Sunday, March 17, 2019

5 ways the alleged scheme to create sham USC football players could’ve been more believable

To oversimplify the convoluted college sports admission bribery scandal, here’s what you need to know: Rich person has kid they want to get into a good school. Rich person contacts middleman. Rich person realizes that if they have their kid listed as a recruit in a sport, the kid will have a better chance of getting in. Rich person pays middleman, who in turn helps fake the kid’s credentials, and bribes coaches and administrators with that money to grease the wheels. Kid gets into school, but isn’t necessarily on a team, and can just “quit” the sport, especially one where they haven’t gotten a full scholarship. Most of the sports stuff in this bribery scandal has to do with non-revenue sports that don’t spend a ton of time in the public eye. But as part of the alleged admissions scheme, three young men were going to be USC football players. As you’ll see shortly, that had the same likelihood of happening as you or me being gifted a Ferrari today. One thing about that makes sense: at least one fake USC player was going to be a kicker. Per the government (find the whole complaint here, including more on the names involved, but note here that “CW-1: is a cooperating witness): CW-1: ... met with [USC], because the [high school your son attends] does not have a football team, I’m gonna make him a kicker/punter and they’re gonna walk him through with football, and I’ll get a picture and figure out how to Photoshop and stuff, so it looks like it and the guy who runs the biggest kicking camp is a good friend, so we’ll put a bunch of stuff about that on his profile, and we should be in pretty good shape to get that done. It’s just a matter of, when I get the profile done. Where this purported scheme earns significant points is by going the route of a specialist. Other catfishes have failed because they’ve gone with a skill position or something too flashy. Kickers and punters are typically walk-ons. They can fly under the radar, even at a place like USC. And they don’t have to fit a huge physical profile. You don’t even have to Photoshop your own 247 profile, though that’s not hard. We’ve done it ourselves. But there are other things about the story that definitely need to be tweaked. 1. A college football-caliber — nay, USC-caliber — player from New Hampshire? One excerpt from the feds’ report: Later that same day, Janke e-mailed two falsified athletic profiles of HODGE’s son — one relating to football, the other relating to tennis—to CW-1. The football profile included various fabricated football achievements, including “Varsity Football Sophomore – Senior Year,” “Team Captain – Senior Year,” and “NH Independent Schools All-American Selection 2013, 2014.” A two-time All-American selection? Too hot. Shoulda just said he was a good player or something. But that pales in comparison to the base level assertion here: that a kid who grew up in New Hampshire was good enough to play football at USC. Since 2015, the 247Sports Composite has only rated eight players from New Hampshire. Three have gone to Power 5 schools: two to Boston College and one to Syracuse. The state has never produced a blue-chip recruit. 2. A 145-pound long snapper/defensive end? Another thing from the feds: Janke created a football profile for PALATELLA’s son that falsely described him, among other things, as an active player on his high school football team as a member of the “defensive line” and a “long snapper” and as a member of several local and statewide championship teams between 2015 and 2017. Defendant Marci Palatella’s son would be the young man whom CW-1 allegedly bragged he got into USC as a defensive lineman and long snapper, while appearing at another point to admit the kid was 145 pounds. Pick a different position. Palatella’s from California. At least say he’s a cornerback or maybe a slot wideout who just needs to put some pounds on. Palatella did raise this inconsistency herself. You know that [my son] took a year off football this year and says he just needed a break and will play next year. So given that, and they he’s [sic] not the team’s star but a good solid player, would he really still have an athletic edge? [My son] is a natural but he’s gotten the message that he is not big enough for college football. I think that’s one of the reasons he dropped out. . . . How would he have an athletic edge at a bigger named school given the other players are huge? It would be quite the inspiring story for him to be a long snapper at that size, though he’d help replace an extremely inspiring story in outgoing USC long snapper, Jake Olson, who is blind. But it gets rationalized away with an academic burn on the Trojans, based on the kid apparently not having a high enough GPA to play at certain other schools: CW-1: He needs to get in through Football so my relationship at that levels gives [him] a shot since that is the sport with the lowest grades. Notre Dame and Vandy lowest football players are 3.4 and have to be big time players. Cannot hide him there. 3. A football player at a Power 5 school being allowed to major in the thing he actually wants to major in? The feds also say: McGLASHAN said his son hoped to attend the Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy, a specialty program in arts, technology and business—”before he even applies,” That won’t work. You gotta pick a “communication” or “real estate development” or maybe “business administration” like most of the roster. 4. Actual good Photoshops of potential college recruits? The entire graphic design structure in college football is built off fake-ass Photoshops that people on Twitter make for recruits and refer to as sick editzzzzz. “CW-1” created a bunch of Photoshops, per the feds, who included them as exhibits in their complaint. They made the kids look too athletic to be believable: This is what a real recruit shop looks like: It’s unclear how much football-specific shopping was done although we know at least our fake kicker/punter got one. But the whole plan is off. 5. Fishy, college football-related payments being made via a check? On or about the next day PALATELLA mailed Heinel a $100,000 check, payable to the USC Women’s Athletic Board, with a note that said, “Our son … is beyond thrilled at the prospect of attending USC as a freshman this fall.” The circumstances here are different than normal cheating, but still: always pay in cash. If we’ve learned anything about college football cheating, it’s to never leave a paper trail. These people are all rich, and they’re all very bad at cheating.

Ex-Kansas Football HC David Beaty Suing School for Alleged Breach of Contract 

Former Kansas Jayhawks head coach David Beaty has filed a lawsuit against the university, alleging school officials are attempting to find a way to avoid paying him his $3 million buyout.  The Athletic's Stewart Mandel shared a portion of Beaty's filing: Kansas announced in November it intended to fire Beaty, with the coach staying on through the end of the 2018 season. His $3 million buyout would be distributed over six payments. According to SB Nation's Steven Godfrey, Kansas wouldn't be on the hook for Beaty's buyout if it could successfully argue it fired him with cause. On Dec. 14, the school sent Beaty a letter informing him it was looking into whether one of his assistants had committed NCAA violations more than two years ago. Alan Bullington, one of the lawyers representing Beaty, told Godfrey that his representatives "made four separate attempts to communicate with Kansas regarding specific details of an alleged violation and have not received communication back." Godfrey reported the lawsuit also alleges Kansas hindered Beaty's chances of getting another job by informing prospective employers he "is the subject of an NCAA investigation." Beaty spent four years at Kansas, compiling a 6-42 record. Weeks after confirming Beaty's imminent departure, Kansas introduced Les Miles as its next head coach. Horns247's Taylor Estes reported in February the Texas Longhorns were considering Beaty for an analyst role on their coaching staff.

Kansas, fired football coach David Beaty at odds over $3M 

AP Published 6:58 p.m. ET March 12, 2019 | Updated 7:31 p.m. ET March 12, 2019 LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Former Kansas football coach David Beaty said Tuesday he was suing the school's athletic department in federal court, alleging breach of contract and seeking $3 million he contends he is owed after he was fired in November. The Jayhawks said they are withholding the money pending an NCAA investigation into possible rules violations by the former coach. Beaty was let go with three games left last season but finished out the year to end his tenure with a 6-42 record in four seasons. The woeful program did post a conference victory over TCU and end a 46-game road losing streak under Beaty, whose contract was extended two years through 2021 in late 2016. Beaty's attorney, Michael Lyons of Dallas, said the contract guaranteed payment if Beaty was terminated without cause and that the coach would be paid $3 million owed to him. Instead, the attorney said, Kansas officials discussed what it would take to avoid paying Beaty and contends he was told in December there were "allegations involving a member of the football staff and that Kansas athletics would not make the guaranteed payments" pending an investigation. "Beaty has cooperated with the investigation and has been unequivocal that he is unaware of any violations of any NCAA rules while the head football coach at KU," according to an excerpt of the lawsuit. David Beaty at Big 12 Media Days in 2016. (Photo: Kevin Jairaj, USA TODAY Sports) Jim Marchiony, a Kansas associate athletic director, said the school learned "of possible NCAA violations allegedly committed by Beaty" after the season during exit interviews with football coaches and staff. "KU contacted the NCAA and the Big 12 Conference and began an investigation into the matter. Beaty refused to cooperate with the KU review and, ultimately, the NCAA took the lead in the still-ongoing investigation," Marchiony said. He also said the money owed to Beaty is being held in escrow "in a show of good faith" pending the outcome of the NCAA probe. "While disappointed in the court filing, the university is committed to seeking the truth and upholding our high standards of ethical conduct," he said. Things we'd change in sports: Expand College Football Playoff Opinion: Urban Meyer's loss of credibility will hurt him as an analyst on Fox Beaty arrived at Kansas as a nondescript wide receivers coach from Texas A&M who had stints as the offensive coordinator of the Jayhawks and Rice but had never been a college head coach. The program he inherited was in shambles following the failed tenure of Turner Gill and the abject failure of Charlie Weis, but with an abundance of energy and positivity he began to slowly improve things. Beaty's success on the recruiting path didn't translate into enough wins. His team won two games in Year 2, one last season and went 3-9 last year. He watched as athletic director Sheahon Zenger — the man who had hired him — was fired largely because of the football program's struggles. New athletic director Jeff Long hired Les Miles, who led LSU to the 2007 national title. Miles signed a five-year contract that will pay him $2,775,000 annually with retention bonuses of $775,000 due in November 2020 and $500,000 in November 2022. The deal includes several other incentives in a sign Long plans to invest heavily in the program. Kansas has often been labeled a "basketball school," and rightly so given the Jayhawks' streak of 14 consecutive Big 12 titles. But while gridiron success has been fleeting, Mark Mangino proved as recently as the 2007 season that it is possible. Kansas went 12-1 and won the Orange Bowl that year. The current roster is better stocked than when Beaty came onboard, but a massive talent gap still exists for Miles to address. Fan apathy is at historically low levels and the school is little more than a year into a five-year, $350 million fundraising effort begun by Zenger that was supposed to earmark more than $300 million for much-needed renovations to Memorial Stadium. Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide  

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