This has not been the best of times for college football. Universities have been making headlines, but not for remarkable plays on the field. From pedophile cover-ups to imaginary girlfriends, college football has become more of a circus than an athletic competition. Here’s a timeline of the recent events that have exposed the ugly side of college football since the Penn State scandal broke.
November 4, 2011: Jerry Sandusky is indicted for child molestation. Watch a YouTube video of a FoxNews report about the arrest.
February 14, 2012: ESPN’s Brett McMurphy tweets West Virginia University will have to pay $20 million to the Big East before they move to the Big 12, who are expected to cover half. Read the tweet. You can also read the deal West Virginia made with the Big East to leave the conference.
March 10, 2012: Arkansas State Trooper Royce Denney pulls over Arkansas State’s Micheal Dyer for doing 96 in a 70. The officer discovers marijuana and a firearm. The trooper dumps out the marijuana and confiscates the gun, and at one point turns the dashcam off in his vehicle. The recorder does capture audio of the Trooper talking over how to handle the situation with Dyer, telling him he’ll speak to coach Gus Malzahn over the incident, and asks if Dyer wants him to hold onto the gun until later, which Dyer agrees to. Listen to the audio of the incident on YouTube. Dyer is only ticketed for the speeding. When the story becomes public later in July, Dyer is dismissed from ASU on July 28, and the officer is fired on August 3. Read a Sports Illustrated story about the dismissal from ASU. Dyer was the BCS title game MVP while at Auburn under then-offensive coordinator Malzahn, before being released in January of 2012 following an armed robbery involving four of his teammates. Read that article at sbnation.com.
April 1, 2012: Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino is involved in a motorcycle crash outside Fayetteville. Within the next couple of days, it is discovered he had a 25-year-old passenger: former volleyball player and current staffer Jessica Dorrell. After having to admit to an improper relationship with Dorrell, prior to her hiring at the University, Petrino is fired 10 days after his accident. Read the article at yahoo.com. Coach Petrino gives a post accident press conference that was posted on YouTube. Listen at the 3:35 mark where among the “How ya feelin’ Coach?” questions – Petrino denies anyone was riding with him when the accident happens.
April 30, 2012: ESPN The Magazine addresses what it feels is college football’s biggest problem: weed. Read the ESPN article.
May 3, 2012: Notre Dame backup QB Tommy Rees and LB Carlo Calabrese are arrested after police respond to a loud noise complaint at a party near campus. Rees is arrested trying to escape, then tries to fight the officers until he is pepper sprayed. Calabrese yells at the officers, warning “My people will get you,” and is arrested for threatening an officer. Both remain players on the team. Read an article from the Chicago Tribune on the incident and watch a news report posted on YouTube.
July 2, 2012: On Monday, the University of Maryland announces they will cut seven sports programs in an attempt to offset a budget shortfall of $4 million for the fiscal year, which they estimate could total $17 million by 2017. Outdoor track stays off the chopping block by raising almost $2 million. Football and basketball are unaffected. Read more from the Washington Post or watch a news report on the massive University of Maryland athletic cuts on YouTube.
July 23, 2012: Following the university-sponsored Freeh Report on the Sandusky scandal, the NCAA announces sanctions against Penn State, including: a four-year postseason ban, a $60 million fine to go to child abuse charities, reduction of scholarships, and the vacating of all wins from 1998-2011. No “death penalty” is accessed to the university. Two days later, opposing coaches wait in Penn State’s parking lot to speak to players free to sign elsewhere. Read more at espn.com and watch the NCAA announce sanctions.
August 30, 2012: Notre Dame radio analyst Allen Pinkett is suspended three games for saying in a radio interview that the team needs to recruit more “criminals” to be successful. Pinkett misses games against Navy, Purdue, and Michigan State. Read the story at espn.com. Tommy Rees and Carlos Calabrese are only suspended for the opener against Navy for their arrests in May. Read more at navy.cout.com. The Michigan State game was the one Manti Te’o played in after learning of the death of Lennay Kekua. Go to chicago.cbslocal.com to hear Allen Pinkett endorse recruiting “criminals” at the :40 mark.
September 3, 2012: Prior to 8:00pm, Pickens Police Officer Michael McClatchy pulls over Clemson coach Dabo Swinney for doing 63 in a 35 as he is running late for his radio show to be recorded at a Bi-Lo in Pickens, South Carolina. The dashcam video is later posted to Youtube by the Pickens County Courior. Watch the dashcam video on YouTube. For those not wanting to see two men stand around for fifteen minutes, here’s a quick summary:
Even though he had recently been promoted to Corporal, McClatchy was fired two weeks after the incident. Read more at yourpickenscounty.com.
September 12, 2012: Scott Wolf of the L.A. Daily News is banned for two weeks by USC after reporting on an injury to kicker Andre Heidari, and is told his press credential for the Cal game will not be issued. His ban was lifted two days later by AD Pat Haden. Read more at larrybrownsports.com.
September 19, 2012: Columbia, SC’s The State newspaper’s Ron Morris writes an article criticizing Steve Spurrier playing QB Connor Shaw with a shoulder injury. Read Ron Morris’ article here. Spurrier showed his displeasure by refusing to speak to any media for two days. Read the article about Spurrier’s reaction. When addressing the criticism in a radio interview, Morris reminds everyone that the media taking orders from the coach is how incidents like Penn State happen. This was followed by a written apology in the paper, not only for his Penn State comments but for the Shaw article itself. Read the apology at thestate.com. Spurrier then goes on his own radio show and calls for “changes” to be made by “the guy that runs the newspaper.” Morris loses his job at the local ABC affiliate, but manages to keep his job at The State to this day. Read the article about Morris losing his job. You can also watch video of Spurrier refusing to talk with Morris in the room, and Ron Morris talking about his problems with the Ol Ball Coach.
September 19, 2012: Fresh off a 52-0 loss to Alabama, interim Arkansas coach John L. Smith berates media members in his weekly press conference, and says he will not answer questions unless everyone smiles. Read more at arkansasbusiness.com and watch this great video of John L. Smith demanding that people smile.
September 20, 2012: Two weeks after banning a reporter for writing about an injury, Lane Kiffen runs out of a press conference less than half a minute in after asked about an injury. Read more at usatoday.com and watch Kiffen run out of the press conference on YouTube.
September 27, 2012: The Dayton Daily News publishes a report of Ohio State president (and prominent football supporter) E. Gordon Gee’s salary and expenses. Since 2007, Gee makes “$8.6 million in salary and compensation, making him the highest paid CEO of a public university in the country.” His expenses, which the Daily News said was “hidden among hard-to-get records that the university took nearly a year to release” were as high as $7.7 million. The University has compensated $895,000 for gatherings at the president’s mansion, which was remodeled for $1.3 million, decorated with $673,000 in decorations and furnishings, and a $532 shower curtain in the guest bathroom. $64,000 alone has been spent on Gee’s signature bow ties, bow tie cookies, and bow tie pins. Ohio State were banned from the 2012 postseason following a scandal where five football players traded jerseys for tattoos. Read more at daytondailynews.com. You can also watch a news report on Gee’s huge expense account.
September 29, 2012: L.A. Times writer T.J. Simers not only reports of media being kicked out of practices for UCLA, but also an SID assistant being called over and berated in front of the entire football team by coach Tom Mora, who made the staffer “make the walk of humiliation off the practice field” when cameras are set up in the wrong area. Read the article at latimes.com.
October 2012: The South Bend Tribune, one of the many media sources who published the Lennay Kekua story, create a campaign website called “Te’o For Heisman.” Read about the campaign at southbendtribune.com. You can watch Manti’s Heisman highlights video here or watch this ‘inspirational video’ of his highlights including him talking about losing his girlfriend.
October 5, 2012: Kansas’ student newspaper The University Daily Kansan publishes a cover with the headline “Road Kill Ahead” with a cartoon depicting a Kansas State Wildcat threatening a Jayhawk clinging to a goalpost. The article is about the 1-4 Jayhawks low expectations compared to Kansas State. After Coach Charlie Weis tweets dissatisfaction, members of the football and communications departments meet with student reporter Blake Schuster. They warn him that there could be “negative attitudes” towards him over the cartoon. They do not tell him directly to not ask questions, but do warn him there could be a “change of tone” towards him. No other media outlets are told of this, and Schuster does not ask Coach Weis a question in his next press conference. Read the article about the reporter told not to ask questions at kansan.com.
October 5, 2012: Ohio State third-string QB Cardale Jones tweets: “Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL, we ain’t come here to play SCHOOL, classes are POINTLESS.” The tweet is later deleted, although saved for posterity by Deadspin. Read more at deadspin.com.
November 7, 2012: In a game between USC and Oregon, officials discover game balls supplied by USC are under-inflated, making them easier to throw and catch. USC would later claim a football student manager was solely responsible for his actions, and he was fired. Read the article at usctrojans.com. Watch a report on USC’s under inflated balls, and USC first half highlights while the under inflated balls were still in play and what happened after they were properly inflated.
November 11, 2012: On Friday, No. 2 jerseys go on sale in the Texas A&M bookstore, without Johnny Manziel’s name on them. The school can sell them as long as Manziels name is not on them and he cannot profit from them. A Texas A&M executive promises “a bigger shipment coming on Monday.” Read more at espn.com.
November 19, 2012: Maryland accepts an invitation to join the Big Ten. After slashing seven sports programs due to a projected shortfall of $17 million over five years, Maryland is leaving the ACC, which requires a $50 million buyout fee. While many expect most of this to be covered by Under Armor founder and Maryland alum Kevin Plank, Maryland is now suing the ACC, claiming they should not have to pay because they voted against the increase of the buyout. Read more at forbes.com. The next day, Rutgers announces they will be joining the Big Ten, requiring a $10 million payout to the Big East. Read more at nj.com. The Big Ten Network can now increase it’s cable footprint into the Mid-Atlantic and Tri-State areas. Watch a news report on the move.
November 24, 2012: More than a year after Jerry Sandusky’s indictment, and four months after being dealt a punishment “worse than the death penalty,” Penn State defeats Wisconsin to finish 8-4, with the knowledge they will be playing next year. Watch Penn State beat Wisconsin on OT.
November 25, 2012: Two seasons removed from a BCS Title, Auburn fires coach Gene Chizik after a 3-9 overall (0-8 SEC) season. The buyout of he and his staff’s contracts total over $11 million. Read more here. Nine days later, they hire Gus Malzahn, who coached Arkansas State for one single season. Read the article here and watch an ESPN report on Chizik being fired.
December 12, 2012: Texas Tech hosts a dinner for prospective recruits. After the meal is served, Head Coach Tommy Tuberville gets up from the table as if he is going to the bathroom. He does not return. It is discovered the next day he left to take the Head Coaching job at Cincinnati. Read the article here. Watch a PTI report on Tuberville walking out of dinner and going all the way to Cincinati.
January 2, 2013: The State of Pennsylvania files suit against the NCAA, in an attempt to overturn the sanctions against Penn State. Read a yahoonews article here. Watch Pennsylvania Govenror Tom Corbett announce he’s suing the NCAA on behalf of Penn State.
January 6, 2013: Notre Dame plays Alabama in the BCS National Championship game. On Notre Dame’s sideline is Tommy Rees, Carlo Calabrese, Manti Te’o, the player who is believed to be the one alleged to have raped Lizzy Seeberg, possibly any of the players who sent her and another alleged victim threatening texts, and the coaching staff who sent Declan Sullivan up in a scissor-lift in 50-mph wind gusts to videotape a practice. The next day, ESPN apologizes for comments made by Brett Musberger about A.J. McCarron’s girlfriend, Miss Alabama Katherine Webb. Read the story at yahoo.com and hear Brent Musburger’s comments about AJ McCarron’s girlfriend during the National Championship game
January 16, 2013: The Delta Cost Project at American Institutes for Research releases a report about the cost of college sports. The report, based on numbers from 2010, shows SEC schools spend on average over $160,000 per athlete, as opposed to almost $14,000 on regular students. Read the article at scribd.com. Later that afternoon, Deadspin publishes the Lennay Kekua story.
January 18, 2013: A report by the National College Players Association and Drexel University shows that the average fair market value of an FBS-level football player is worth $121,000, and the average basketball player is worth $265,000, but the average athlete has an annual budget shortfall of over $3,000. When factoring in a team’s worth, the average fair market value of a Texas Longhorn football player is $513,000, and Duke basketballers are worth over $1 million, but both live $700 below the federal poverty line. Florida had the highest combined football and basketball revenues, but their players live $2,250 below the federal poverty line, and with a $3000 scholarship shortfall. Read more at ncpanow.org.