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Chizik demands answers on probe, gets NCAA tongue-lashing instead

Gene Chizik

It’s long been known that the NCAA’s investigation into Auburn in regards to the recruitment of Cam Newton — and ostensibly their recruiting practices as a wholeis still ongoing and has yet to be completed, so the report from Pete Thamel of the New York Times that the investigation is open doesn’t exactly plow new ground.

However, there was an interesting exchange recently involving the school’s head football coach and an NCAA official regarding the open-ended nature of the probe that’s mentioned in the piece and worth noting.

At the annual SEC meeting last month in Destin, Fla., each of the conference’s head football and basketball coaches, as well as every athletic director, was in attendance for a presentation by Julie Roe Lach, the NCAA’s vice president of enforcement.  Following Roe Lach’s presentation, a testy exchange ensued between the NCAA official and Gene Chizik when the floor was opened for questions, an exchange that was corroborated by at least three SEC hoops coaches in on-the-record comments to Thamel.

…When she opened up the room for discussion, Auburn’s football coach, Gene Chizik, raised his hand first.

He peppered Roe Lach with a flurry of questions about the N.C.A.A.’s investigation into Cam Newton and why the N.C.A.A. had not publicly announced that the investigation was over. Chizik complained that the inquiry’s open-ended nature had hurt Auburn’s recruiting and he followed up at least three times, leading to a testy exchange.

“You’ll know when we’re finished,” Roe Lach told Chizik, according to several coaches who were at the meeting. “And we’re not finished.”

[/Roe Lach slamming MacBook Pro shut, flexing]

The exchange between Roe Lach and Chizik certainly caught the attention of those in attendance.

“Obviously, I think that she was serious, and I obviously thought it was a good message, because you could tell that she and they are serious about what they’re doing and trying to do what they have to do to clean up some of the bad elements in college athletics,” Vanderbilt hoops coach Kevin Stallings told the Times.

“It was obvious they were trying to be thorough. It was obvious they wanted everyone to know that there’s a more diligent pursuit than there’s been in the past. The staff is bigger and more aggressive. I thought that her message was a good one.”

We understand why Chizik and the Auburn football program would want the book closed on this situation sooner rather than later so they can get on with their recruiting lives, but the best way to accomplish that might not be to challenge of the the top dogs in NCAA enforcement in front of a large group of people.

As the NCAA proved with the years-long Reggie Bush/USC case, they’ll take as long as they damn well please, regardless of the amount of public and private criticism — and private criticism that becomes public — that’s lobbed their way.

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18 Responses to “Chizik demands answers on probe, gets NCAA tongue-lashing instead”
  1. polegojim says: Jul 14, 2011 9:52 AM

    Mr. Chizik – a CLOSED mouth gathers no foot.

    How does it benefit you to poke these guys in the eye with a sharp stick? Sometimes it’s better to remain silent… this is one of those times.

  2. burntorangehorn says: Jul 14, 2011 9:55 AM

    I’m hopeful the pond-water pace of the NCAA’s punishments speeds up significantly. I think they realized how ridiculous it was that the USC case took so long, and incremental improvement would be great–especially with such obvious evidence as in the Ohio State case. Auburn may be a little tougher, but of course this isn’t a court of law, so rules of evidence and reasonable doubt do not apply.

  3. florida727 says: Jul 14, 2011 10:16 AM

    What’s that saying? “Better to be silent and let others think you’re a fool, than to open your mouth and erase all doubt.”

  4. whatswiththehate says: Jul 14, 2011 10:24 AM

    Yes, Gene is 100% right and if he was part of your school, who was being treated this way by the media and NCAA, you’d be applauding also. And this is coming from someone who doesn’t go or never even really heard of Auburn.

    The NCAA need to put up or shut up. Like who can’t see that all the pompous chest raising that they do with these schools, and yet they are nothing but whimps to the media. Sad that they treasure their image over integrity by making more of this BS case than need be.

    Yes NCAA, let the so called professionals in the sports media, who can’t seem to leave their personal prejudices and baises at home, control how you should handle a case. And you have to nerves to lash out at Gene.

    Why don’t you stand up to the media and say exactly what this case is all about…a he/said between two people with no real evidence of money being exchanged and friends who can’t keep their stories straight.

    Heck the Kenny guy went begging a person he hadn’t spoken to in over twenty years allegedly and that seems normal to you guys? And, where is the testimony from the MSU coaches that Cecil allegedly had a meeting with for money according to the media’s “source.? None of that BS panned out.. AMAZING

    This whole attack on Auburn by fans, whose school is always in trouble with the NCAA, reminds me of prisoners who self-righteously attack other mates and justify it by accusing them of being worst then they are. Like those prisoners are in jail for good behavior. Sheesh..Some of you really need to get off the meds.

  5. thepar46 says: Jul 14, 2011 11:48 AM

    HMMMMMMMM!Doesnt seem to bother youSEC pucks,that that is what the NCAA and the MORONS in the media are doing the same to Oregon! So dont WHINE,that the same is being done to Auburn! Besides you the NCAA needs to take care of you cheaters befor they get to OREGON”GO DUCKS” KICK LSU ASS IN THE OPENER “O”

  6. soflatrojan says: Jul 14, 2011 12:30 PM

    thepar,

    thepar,

    The difference is that the street agent Oregon paid is running around doing interviews and producing evidence. I still don’t think Oregon has gotten nearly the coverage that tOSU has received.

    I also thought the NCAA has said all along it was an ongoing investigation into Cam. I don’t think there is any doubt someone got paid when it come to Cam Newton. Whether they can prove it is a different story.

  7. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Jul 14, 2011 1:35 PM

    @whatswiththehate:

    Are you serious? The way the media and NCAA are treating Auburn?

    Fact: Cecil admitted to pimping, er I mean, shopping his kid.

    Fact: The bylaw in question does not specify that the player MUST

  8. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Jul 14, 2011 1:40 PM

    …dang computer…

    as I was saying….

    It does not say the player MUST have knowledge of this to have his eligibility affected, so why are you calling out the NCAA–they cut you a major break by ignoring their own bylaw in your favor. Talk about biting the hand the feeds.

    Oh, and stop pointing fingers at Alabama, I do believe Auburn has had more major infractions than they have. And if you think the NCAA investigation into Auburn is restricted to soley the Cam situation, you are delusional. I would be more worried about the Colonial Life Bank situation if I were you.

  9. centexhorn says: Jul 14, 2011 1:41 PM

    @whatswiththehate

    Wait, did you just say you’ve never really ever heard of Auburn? But yet they just won the national championship and had their quarterback drafted #1 overall in the NFL?

    How on Earth could you be commenting on a college football blog but yet you’ve never really ever heard of Auburn? And then you go on to be intimately familiar with the case in question.

    You just exposed yourself as both completely full of shit and dumb as a box of rocks.

  10. pricecube says: Jul 14, 2011 1:50 PM

    @whatswiththehate

    “Yes, Gene is 100% right and if he was part of your school, who was being treated this way by the media and NCAA, you’d be applauding also. And this is coming from someone who doesn’t go or never even really heard of Auburn.”

    _______________________________

    No. Chizik was an imbecile. The following quote is by Ole Miss basketball coach Andy Kennedy, a witness, as per the Grey Lady:

    “I think the format of the meeting was set up to be generally about the lay of the land going forward,” Kennedy continued. “When he got into specific questions regarding their situation, I think we were all sitting back saying, ‘I didn’t know that we were going here.’ ”

    Kennedy said Roe Lach gave general answers at first, but Chizik’s persistence forced her into a bigger statement — that the N.C.A.A. was still investigating Auburn.

    “I’m not sure she wanted it to be that way,” Kennedy said. “I’m speculating, but it seemed like a situation where she was like, ‘Do I go left or do I go right here?’ ”

    end quote.

    When Andy “International Altercation” Kennedy is flabbergasted by the behaviour of your football coach… especially while Chizik is on his family and Jesus book tour… then things don’t look good. The above comments about poking eyes with sharp sticks and keeping one’s mouth closed are spot on.

  11. polegojim says: Jul 14, 2011 4:58 PM

    @whatswiththehate – I totally get standing up for Auburn… but if Gene were part of my school, I’d want him to use FAR more discretion and strategy than he displayed.

    Dumb way… for a smart man…to go about it. He knows better.

  12. dg0122 says: Jul 14, 2011 5:30 PM

    how is it hurting recruiting? are their prices going up?

  13. alligatorsnapper says: Jul 15, 2011 4:32 AM

    The Bible instructs us to pray for wisdom if we lack it, and God will give us wisdom. Coach Cizik obviously needed wisdom in this situation and apparently did not pray about it because agitating the investigative and prosecutive body is not wise. I am sure he realizes that now, but it is done.

    Auburn did not need any angering of the NCAA, if anything, they needed favor. Maybe Cizik can apologize and this situation can work out for his good and Auburn’s good anyway, time will tell.

    If any have not purchased their “Iron Bowl” tickets to support those who were devastated by the recent tornadoes and storms, do so today. As mentioned by others and ourselves, keep the tickets as souvenirs or donate them back for those who cannot afford them. It is a great way to support the efforts there in Alabama and elsewhere.

  14. whatswiththehate says: Jul 15, 2011 8:30 AM

    “We understand why Chizik and the Auburn football program would want the book closed on this situation sooner rather than later so they can get on with their recruiting lives.”
    —————
    Or maybe Gene Chizik sees BS in how the NCAA is handling this BS of a scandal.

    Hang in there Chizik. If this mere mortal, who isn’t a “rah-rah” fan of any particular college or have an ax to grind with Auburn had a hard time keeping up with the many bogus stories coming from the media in regards to Cam and his father, then I’m sure those at the NCAA are no exception.

    With all the help those three former MSU students had from those in the sports media in pushing their lies, one would think they would get their stories straight.

    From the many versions of when Cecil actually demanded money for his son coming from Mr. Kenny Rogers-to-Bill Bates making up his mind as to whether he actually spoke to Cecil in regards to money increments and if his phone finally did dried out-to waiting for John Bond to figure out whether he spoke directly with Kenny in regards to money or was it that he heard it from someone. And whatever happened to that Audio-tape of Cam and Cecil boasting?

    Yes Gene, all that stuff takes time. Especially when NCAA has real violation issues with other other schools.

    It seems unlike the folks at PFT and ESPN, the NCAA wants to pretend they are being fair in their assessment of this garbage, I mean story and not simply playing dirty politics by keeping Auburn in a noose to appease their most hatedrivals, in and out of the media.

    But I will say, good for you Gene for standing up to Goliath. It’s clear you’re not blinded by the heavy smokescreen spunned “unnamed sourced” stories these rable-rousers in the sports media enjoyed pushing against this kid and his father for their personal entertainment.

    And, we won’t even get into the close ties those in the media, who are fiercely pushing this BS, John Bond and Kenny Rogers have with your arch rival UA. Continue to Roll that Tide.
    ———————-
    “As the NCAA proved with the years-long Reggie Bush/USC case, they’ll take as long as they damn well please, regardless of the amount of public and private criticism — and private criticism that becomes public — that’s lobbed their way”
    ———–
    Oh please, spare me John. Can’t wait to see how quickly you change your tune when it’s a college you more favor. You need to stop writing your articles with such bias glasses on. It’s quite noticable if someone like myself can quickly pick it up just by reading a few of the articles on this site.
    ————–
    polegojim says:Jul 14, 2011 4:58 PM

    @whatswiththehate – I totally get standing up for Auburn… but if Gene were part of my school, I’d want him to use FAR more discretion and strategy than he displayed.

    Dumb way… for a smart man…to go about it. He knows better.
    ————–
    You nor I were there. When I recognize the media on their usual witch-hunt against someone as in the case with Auburn, I tend to take anything they say with a grain of salt.

  15. lucky5934 says: Jul 15, 2011 8:45 AM

    Let’s be honest here.. Chizik said what many coaches feel. Was it smart to call out the NCAA in a public forum… absolutely not! But this isn’t about Auburn, it is about how long the NCAA takes to “conduct” their investigations. Their should absolutely be a time frame limitation on their search process. If it seriously took the NCAA 5-6 years to nail Reggie Bush, then the NCAA is grossly overpaid and highly incompetent. As a coach, I would be annoyed at their casual “stand at the coffee machine drinking coffee for an hour, surf the internet for two hours, take 30 minutes to see who is going to lunch, go to lunch for an 90 minutes, come back and spend ten minutes to write a letter to Georgia Tech, read Collegefootballtalk.com for 30 minutes, spend 20 minutes reporting to your boss about the letter, and then finish your day with an hour of surfing through comments on PFT to see if the Lockout is ending soon” approach.

  16. whatswiththehate says: Jul 15, 2011 9:57 AM

    centexhorn says:Jul 14, 2011 1:41 PM

    @whatswiththehate

    Wait, did you just say you’ve never really ever heard of Auburn? But yet they just won the national championship and had their quarterback drafted #1 overall in the NFL?
    ———–
    FYI, not everyone live in a college football bubble. Me not knowing who the Auburn Tigers were before the Cam Newton story last year shouldn’t come as a surprise even if they did win this year.

    I’m a fan of many sports but Pro football only during Superbowl and occasionally during the season but college football..NEVER. But, ironically, the first college football game I did catch was the Orange Bowl. So yes, I do know the Tigers won the NC thanks to ESPN.

    I started following the “Cam Newton story” last year because of all the brew-ha-ha these guys in the sports media were making over him. The story initially got a passing glance from me while I was reading different sports sites but never really paid attention until I read an aricle where the sports writer was viciously attack Cam and his father and I became very curious as to why such venom.

    Sorry if you mis-understood my post but NOPE never heard of the Auburn Tigers before last year. I’ve heard of Auburn University but ask what state it was located before last year and I would be guessing.

  17. Deb says: Jul 15, 2011 1:18 PM

    Oh my goodness. My Steelers have kept me busy, so I’m late to this party.

    I wouldn’t normally call someone a bald-faced liar, but whatswiththehate, you are–and you’re not even good at it.

    Casual football fans who only show up for the Super Bowl and never follow college ball don’t troll sites like PFT and CFT. Not only have you posted long, detailed diatribes on every Auburn story on this site, you’ve been showing up on PFT ripping former Bama players. So it’s just coincidence that you’d show up making a wild accusations to slam Marcell Dareus on a lighthearted article where fans of numerous teams were all making positive comments?

    Not even the Auburn faithful have been blaming the Newton controversy on Bama because there is no link between the two. But you’ve been drawing that connection in every post. Now how would a guy who knows nothing about Auburn pick Alabama out of thin air to be the villain in his warped conspiracy theories?

    Yeah, you are a liar. You’re not only an Auburn fan, but you’re a nut on a par with Harvey Updyke. Only that kind of nut could take a confession from Cecil Newton that he’d been pimping out his son to Mississippi State and create a conspiracy that Alabama had generated the Newton rumors to get Auburn in trouble.

    The NCAA is investigating Auburn because Newton’s dad demanded $180,000 from MSU, met with Auburn once, and signed immediately. Period. Alabama has nothing to do with it except in your sick mind. Now in your fantasy world guys may demand $180,000 for a product one week and give it away free the next, but most folks find that tough to swallow. Clearly, the NCAA investigators didn’t just fall off the turnip truck … onto their heads.

  18. rob57 says: Jul 18, 2011 8:13 PM

    Deb, this is why you are one of the better posters on this site.

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