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Tuesday News and Notes…

By on January 29th, 2013 in Football 10 Comments »
Peta

Monday was a day to kiss up for Auburn assistant coach Rodney Garner. It was also a day that could make or break this year’s recruiting class. After famously passing on five-star defensive-end Carl Lawson while at Georgia, Garner has his work cut out for him, trying to convince the Milton High School senior to keep his commitment with Auburn.

After cancelling a visit to North Carolina over the weekend, Lawson has narrowed his choices to Tennessee, Clemson and Auburn. Recruiting service 247 Sports places the Vols as the favorite. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is expected to meet with Lawson on Wednesday.

Lawson’s father called the relationship between Garner and his son, “A work in progress.” He is scheduled to take an official visit to Auburn this weekend…

How bad are things for Manti Te’o? Even the animal rights group PETA is getting in on the fun. The organization began placing billboards (see above) this week that read, “Sometimes faking it is better,” with instructions to “score faux-chicken Super Bowl recipes.”

I just don’t see the guy overcoming all this crap. He’ll never survive in an NFL locker room. At first, I thought he was lying. Now I’m afraid he might really be that stupid. Alabama’s offense certainly made him look that way in Miami…

In case you missed it, former Auburn star and current Dallas Cowboy Jay Ratliff was arrested January 22nd on DUI charges. It was revealed yesterday by Grapevine (TX) police that his blood-alcohol level was .16 or twice the legal limit in Texas – and that was following a two hour wait for testing.

His arrest comes on the heels of the alcohol related death last month of teammate Jerry Brown who was with current Cowboy Josh Brent when their car crashed. Brent has been charged with intoxication manslaughter.

The police report stated that Ratliff became “verbally abusive several times” after being placed under arrest. He helped anchor Auburn’s defensive line during its 2004 Perfect Season. He started all 13 games and recorded 37 tackles…

Former Auburn defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder continues to find post-Auburn employment elusive. After interviewing with the Carolina Panthers for its vacant linebackers coaching position, the Panthers chose former New York Giants assistant Al Holcomb instead.

Don’t feel too badly for VanGorder. Auburn is still on the hook for the remainder of his $850,000 annual salary which runs out in June. He and Trooper Taylor remain the only former assistants yet to find employment…

Over the weekend, my son replayed the 2010 Heisman Trophy Presentation on TV. At one point, ESPN interviewed both Gene Chizik and Oregon’s Chip Kelly. It’s hard to believe that two years removed from that night, Chizik is unemployed and Kelly is the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. Who would have dreamed that the guy who won the national championship would be on the short end of the stick?…

Speaking of Chizik, he’ll be working on-air for ESPNU on National Signing Day…

How important is winning in the SEC? Take a look at the situation at Tennessee. The Sports Business Journal reports that the Volunteer athletic department is in deep financial trouble following years of sub-par play in football.

“After staggering to losing football seasons in four of the last five years and seeing attendance drop to levels last seen in the 1970s, the Vols find themselves mired in more than $200 million of debt, the most in the SEC, with reserves of just $1.95 million, the least in the conference,” says the story.

There’s no doubt the new SEC television contract will help, but $200 million is not something you overcome in a few years. Seeing Tennessee this deep in the red is shocking and shows just how important football is to all athletic departments.

10 Comments

  1. Tigerstripe Tigerstripe says:

    A friend ran into Chizik this past weekend at a quail hunt. He showed up with his son and seemed upbeat. He had to leave early on Sunday because he and his wife were heading to Cabo… He’s doing just fine.

  2. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..The Tennessee news is shocking. Hopefully the basketball arena, stadium spruce-ups and buyouts haven’t put Auburn in that sort of ballpark. This proves that no well is bottomless! On the other hand, this bunch hired Lane Kiffen and Derek Dooley in succession. How well can such types manage a checkbook?

    • MyAuburn myauburn says:

      Auburn is definitely not Tn. Like the survey said, AU fans are the most loyal in the country. Outside of 2010 we have knocked on the door of the Tn situation and from what I have heard our coffers are in pretty good shape.
      IMO, I think Teo should sue PETA for a ton of money. That ad is insulting at best. PETA is as radical as they come as a group and have done some pretty bizarre things in the past. As you might have figured out by now, I don’t like them or their tactics.

  3. Col.Angus Col.Angus says:

    Bryan Matthews at AU is saying this morning that, while not locks, Foster and Lawson are solidly pro-Auburn right now.

    $200 Mill in the hole? Uh, wow.
    I guess the Tenn. situation proves that you can’t rest on your laurels or your reputation when it comes to your footbaball program, which is why we couldn’t wait another second on Chizik. Even though I was in favor of giving Chiz another year to get things together it has become abundently clear that Chizik strayed so far from the formula for success, there was no way he was going to get back to where we were in 2010 with him at the helm. Thank God he is currently quail hunting. Must be nice.

    • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

      I suspect the quail in his vicinity have nothing to worry about.

    • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

      ……There’s an interesting post up at Team Speed Kills about debt at the SEC schools. I’m not going to link to an SBN site, but the gist is that Tennessee is only the 3rd highest debtor, with Bama and LSU topping the charts. Of course, there are all sorts of creative accounting tricks that various schools play, and the figures aren’t all figured the same way.

      …..What it boils down to is that at most schools, they don’t fund-raise to directly build new stuff. They fund raise to clear debt, so that they can then issue more bonds and build. It’s kind of how state and national governments are run, these days.

      …..Where Tennessee got in trouble is that with their record the past five seasons, donations and attendance are WAY down, and it’s seriously affecting the department budget, to the point that they are having difficulty servicing that $200 million dollar debt.

  4. audude audude says:

    Chizik must be a PETA supporter if he was on a quail hunt….PETA = People Eating Tasty Animals.

  5. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    So, I’m going to pass on the joke that working for Jerry Jones drives one to drink and turn a little serious: Drunk driving is a scourge. These players really have NO excuse for such behavior. They make plenty of money that makes calling a cab for a ride home that much easier. Frankly, if seeing a fellow player kill another fellow player in a drunk driving accident doesn’t inspire a modicum of responsibility, then I suspect something more serious is going on. Never underestimate the power of an addiction. It’s debilitating and destructive. Let’s hope that Jay and players like Jay get the help they need. That said, these guys NEED to be prosecuted to keep their stupid asses off of the roads.

    /stepping off of soapbox…..