Updated: Tommy Tuberville listed in fraud lawsuit

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I’m not sure what it is about head coaches and shady investment opportunities, but Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville has now been linked to two of them in the past year. Tuberville was listed as an investor in former Georgia coach Jim Donnan‘s “retail liquidation company”, GLC, which turned out to be a Ponzi scheme. Now, Tuberville is the subject of Huntsville Times report that lists him as the focal point of a fraud case involving an Auburn-based investment company.

The paper reports a complaint was filed last Friday in the in U.S. District Court in Montgomery against TS Capital and its co-owners, Tuberville and John David Stroud. The document accuses the two of defrauding investors out of more than $1.7 million.

Details from the Huntsville Times

The 32-page suit alleges that Tuberville and Stroud mixed their clients’ assets with their own, failed to file tax returns, falsified client statements, falsified fund performance reports and “generally disregarded and violated customary practices and procedures followed in the hedge fund and security investments industry.”

Several plaintiffs, including at least one former employee of TS Capital, have demanded their money be returned, yet, according to the complaint, none of the money invested has been accounted for. The suit also states that investors listed “have reason to believe that most, and possibly all, of their invested funds have been misappropriated, improperly converted and/or squandered.”

The suit lists 16 complaints against Tuberville and Stroud, including “negligence or wantonness,” “fraudulent misrepresentation” and “fraudulent suppression.”

Yikes.

Tuberville had been involved with TS Capital Partners following his departure from Auburn after the 2008 season. Tuberville was hired by Texas Tech in January, 2010. According to another Birmingham News feature in 2009, Tuberville, “an amateur stock guru”, was looking to “drum up a little business for a big-time hedge fund run by Stroud Capital.”

Like most fraud cases, the company was exposed in the past year when investors started asking for their funds. Then, things started spiraling out of control. That prompted a report from the National Futures Association last October that essentially showed TS Capital had no money to pay investors.

“To date, the NFA has been able to confirm that TS Management and its affiliated entities have in aggregate less than $3,500 based upon bank and brokerage account records produced by Stroud to the NFA,” the NFA report reads.

Tuberville and Stroud didn’t return calls and emails by the newspaper requesting a response. What this means for Tuberville going forward isn’t known, but there’s a valuable lesson we can all learn from this: if someone you know calls you and the words “investment opportunity” come out of their mouth, hang up the ph0ne.

UPDATED 5:45 p.m. ET: In a statement issued via his attorney, Tuberville “categorically denies any wrongdoing” and alleges he “has never met or spoken with most of the plaintiffs.” Tubervill claims he “invested significant funds and has never received any return from his own investment.”

Finally, Tuberville asserts he “has cooperated with every regulatory inquiry and not a single one has asserted that he was involved in any wrongdoing” and will “vigorously defend the allegations made against him and is confident he will be exonerated.”

(courtesy of Aaron Dickens of RedRaiderSports.com) 

Auburn’s John Franklin III may not be completely done playing QB after all

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Auburn quarterback-turned-wideout John Franklin III may not be completely done taking snaps behind center after all.

The Tigers’ new offensive coordinator tipped that the speedy receiver likely would be the best option to fill the team’s emergency quarterback spot in 2017 while speaking to AL.com during a meeting with a booster club over the weekend.

“I think he definitely could be (the emergency option), for sure,” Chip Lindsey told the site. “He’s done it his whole life, so I think he could definitely do that if we needed him to, for sure.”

Auburn suffered a host of injuries at the position last season, which prompted some extended playing time for Franklin as he appeared in all 13 games of the 2016 campaign and threw for 204 yards and a touchdown. He was moved to wide receiver during spring practice following the arrival of highly touted Baylor transfer Jarrett Stidham and seems likely he’ll see the bulk of the action catching passes during the year instead of throwing them.

However, transfers out of the Plains have changed the equation a little bit at quarterback for Auburn. On top of former starter Sean White still recovering from a broken arm, redshirt freshman Woody Barrett decided to move to a JUCO and fellow backup Tyler Queen dropped all the way down to a Division II school this offseason. That leaves just Stidham and White with any experience at the position this year and true freshman Malik Willis behind them on the depth chart.

You can bet that Lindsey and head coach Gus Malzahn want to preserve Willis’ redshirt in 2017 so it certainly makes sense to have Franklin slot in behind the team’s unquestioned top two quarterbacks if either were to go down with an injury. Even if everybody stays healthy, it seems likely we’ll even get to see Franklin in a few Wildcat packages for the Tigers given his skillset so his days behind center don’t appear to be fully over just yet.

Ex-UCF lineman sues athletic department over use of his name and likeness

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Central Florida is involved in yet another lawsuit with a former player only this time it’s over the use of a former lineman’s likeness.

Jah Reid, who played at UCF from 2006-10, has sued the school’s non-profit athletics association as well as a separate corporation led by football coach Scott Frost for “improper use of his likeness,” the Orlando Sentinel  reports. He is apparently seeking some $200,000 in royalties and a whopping $600,000 in damages over the case.

At the heart of the matter is apparently how Frost’s summer camps advertised using Reid’s likeness to promote it to future recruits. The former offensive lineman’s picture was reportedly used and the lawsuit brings up the fact that a brochure used the line: “come to camp and have a chance to earn an offer like Jah Reid.”

Reid did not play for Frost during his time on the team and instead was recruited and coached by former Knights coach George O’Leary. Reid was later drafted by the Baltimore Ravens and is currently a member of the Kansas City Chiefs organization heading into the 2017 season.

The use of an athlete’s name and likeness have been litigated quite in recent years, notably in the O’Bannon vs. NCAA case that continues to make its way through the court system. It will be interesting to see if the Reid lawsuit against UCF even makes it to trial in light of that or if the parties eventually settle out of court before it gets to that point.

Either way, probably not the offseason news that Frost and the UCF athletics brass wanted to see this summer.

Former Alabama coach Gene Stallings recovering after suffering slight stroke last week

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Scary news out of Alabama as former Crimson Tide head coach Gene Stallings reportedly suffered a slight stroke last week.

According to AL.com, Stallings was attending a charity golf tournament dinner on Thursday honoring former his player and assistant coach Dabo Swinney when he felt ill. He was eventually hospitalized in Montgomery later that night and diagnosed with a slight stroke after losing peripheral vision in his right eye.

“Bottom line is I’m not supposed to do anything for five, six weeks,” Stallings told the paper after returning to his home in Texas.

The College Football Hall of Famer coached Alabama to the 1992 national title and previously won a Super Bowl as an assistant with the Dallas Cowboys. Stallings is a regular discussing the Tide in recent years during various radio and TV appearances and played a key role in starting Swinney’s coaching career before the latter eventually wound up winning a national title of his own with Clemson this past season.

Hopefully the veteran coach gets well soon as he recovers from the scary incident in Montgomery last week.

Former Oregon RB set to attempt football comeback… at Oregon State

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The next edition of the Civil War could feature a familiar face for fans of both sides of Oregon’s famous rivalry.

Oregonian columnist John Canzano reports that former Oregon Ducks tailback Thomas Tyner is set to return from a medical retirement from football and will instead be headed up the road to Corvallis in order to join Oregon State’s backfield in 2017:

Tyner requested his release from the University of Oregon on Friday. At 9 a.m. on Saturday morning it became official and the former five-star running back who once rushed for 644 yards and scored 10 touchdowns in a single game for Aloha High School prepared to talk with Beavers coach Gary Andersen about playing for OSU next season.

“I’ve wanted to be a Beaver my whole life,” Tyner said.

It seems there’s still plenty to sort out when it comes to the NCAA and becoming eligible for the upcoming season but Tyner seems pretty set on returning to the football field where he once made a name for himself. One of the few five-star prospects to prep in the Beaver State, the running back was a key member of the backfield rotation and rushed for 1,284 yards and 14 touchdowns over two seasons with the Ducks.

Shoulder injuries prevented him from getting back on the field however and it was later announced that he was retiring from the game. It seems the itch to play was just to great though and hence we have this rather interesting comeback attempt at a Pac-12 rival. Canzano notes that Tyner couldn’t play for the Ducks if he wanted because he took that medical retirement and NCAA rules prevent a return, so it’s Beavers or bust in 2017 and beyond for the running back.

If everything does sort itself out eventually and Tyner shows flashes of his former self, he could turn OSU into one of the best backfields on the West Coast. Ryan Nall is already an established, quality starter and he could form a nice thunder-and-lightning tandem with the speedy Tyner for the rebuilding Beavers. Either way, best to circle November 25th on your calendar and tune in for the annual Civil War (in Eugene this year, no less) because it could feature one player who is as intimately familiar with the opponent as he is with his own team.