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) 

Penn State trustee says he’s ‘running out of patience’ with ‘so-called victims’ of Jerry Sandusky

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With Baylor seemingly running away with the title of most embarrassing university in collegiate athletics, a Penn State trustee has said “hold my beer.”

Friday, former Penn State president Graham Spanier was found guilty on one count of endangering the welfare of children in a trial related to his role in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal.  In an email to the Chronicle of Higher Education this week, PSU trustee Albert Lord had sharp words for the victims of Sandusky, who was found guilty on 45 of 48 child-sex abuse charges in June of 2012 and is currently serving a sentence of at least 30 years.

“Running out of sympathy for 35 yr old, so-called victims with 7 digit net worth,” the trustee wrote in a portion of the email. “Do not understand why they were so prominent in trial. As you learned, Graham Spanier never knew Sandusky abused anyone.”

Spanier was found not guilty on two other charges, a second count of child endangerment and one count of criminal conspiracy.

In a statement, the chairman of the school’s board of trustees, Ira Lubert, attempted to distance the body from Lord’s comments.

“Al Lord’s comments are personal and do not represent the opinions of the board or the university.”

Sun Belt commish issues statement on Arkansas gun law

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A highly-charged state law continues to garner the attention of the college football world.

Last week, the state of Arkansas legislature passed a law (House Bill 1249) that would allow concealed-carry handguns on publicly-owned property, which would include college sporting events.  A day later, and after realizing, amidst considerable controversy, the potential for alcohol-fueled fans to attend an SEC football game armed, the state’s senate voted to amend the law to exclude college sporting events.

The amendment still must pass through the House of Representatives, leading SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, with the University of Arkansas as a member of his conference, to release a statement Tuesday that was no doubt meant to apply pressure ahead of the vote.  Thursday, the Sun Belt’s commissioner, Karl Benson, followed suit out of concern for his membership, including Arkansas State in football.

During the last week I have followed closely the news articles regarding Arkansas House Bill 1249, and now also a potential amendment to what is now Act 562. Given that both the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Arkansas State University are members of the Sun Belt Conference — and as my colleague Greg Sankey of the Southeastern Conference has stated — I too support the Arkansas State Senate’s exemption in Senate Bill 724 that would prevent firearms from being allowed inside publicly funded stadiums and arenas in the State of Arkansas.

It’s unclear when the House will vote on the amendment.  Regardless of which version of thew law is finally agreed upon, it will go into effect Sept. 1.

Arkansas opens its 2017 season Sept. 2 against Florida A&M in Fayetteville.  Arkansas State’s home opener is a week later against the Miami (Fla.).

Foot injury could sideline Auburn’s Tashawn Manning for rest of spring

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After kicking cancer’s ass, this latest health issue hardly qualifies as a big deal.  Still, it’s a thing.

Tashawn Manning has been battling an unspecified foot injury of late, which has limited the defensive tackle’s availability for most of the first two-thirds of Auburn’s spring practice sessions.  With just five practices remaining, Manning could very well be sidelined for al of them.

“The problem is this is Day 9 and Saturday will be Day 11, so there’s a probability” that the player will not see the field for what remains of spring practice, Manning’s position coach, Rodney Garner, said according to al.com.

Around Thanksgiving of 2015, Manning, then an Auburn verbal commit, was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia.  In July of last year, he was finished with chemotherapy and declared cancer-free.

The defensive lineman didn’t play at all last season, instead taking online classes as he built up his strength as well as his weight after losing more than 60 pounds because of the chemo.  In January, he enrolled at AU and, two months later, was cleared to participate in the spring.

Suspended Mich. St. staffer receives one-MONTH contract extension

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A disturbing situation in East Lansing has added a head-scratching twist.

According to ESPN.com, and by way of a Freedom of Information request, Michigan State football staffer Curtis Blackwell was on the receiving end of a one-month contract extension earlier this month.  Blackwell, whose title with the football program is director of college advancement and performance, was set to see his contract expire at the end of this week.

What makes this development noteworthy is that Blackwell has been indefinitely suspended by the Spartans since early February.

Around that time, it was confirmed by the university that three still-unnamed MSU football players had been suspended after allegations of sexual assault were made against them last month.  An unnamed football staffer was suspended at the time as well; that staffer was subsequently identified as Blackwell.

A police investigation, as well as a Title IX probe, into the allegations continue.  Blackwell is not accused of participating in the alleged sexual assault, but rather a non-sexual crime that’s connected to the investigation.

Mark Dantonio hadn’t spoken publicly about the allegations until earlier this week, and the head coach probably would’ve been better served to have kept it that way.