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Sunday Morning Quarterback

Sunday Morning Quarterback

Thursday, August 25, 2005

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Wherein SMQ chronicles eligibility-crippling offenses - legal, academic, institutional and otherwise...

Texas Tech safety Vincent Meeks, who's received some affection from preseason magazines, has made "some bad decisions" in the course of cashing a forged check and violating his probation by failing to complete any of its stipulations, according to coach Mike Leach, who also says Meeks has been "the victim of bad circumstances created by other people." Anyway, those bad circumstances created by other people -

[Meeks] is accused of violating terms of his three-year probation on a charge of forgery of a financial instrument, Rockwall County District Attorney Ray Sumrow said Wednesday. Meeks failed to report to a probation officer for several months, didn't pay court costs and failed to complete community service and other programs, Sumrow said.

Meeks was accused of trying to cash a $475 illegal computer-generated check in 2003 that was made out to him, Sumrow said. He pleaded guilty but was not convicted because the court gave him deferred adjudication, Sumrow said. If he had completed his probation without any incidents, the charge would have been removed from his record.
won't keep Meeks out of the Raiders' lineup; Leach says, "Team-wise, he's fine." There you go, Mike, the government's got the beef, not you.

In the shocking - shocking! - world of SEC scandals, as South Carolina deals with an extra year under the scourge of reduced scholarships and fewer campus visits for potential recruits, a lawsuit brought against the NCAA and the Kentucky athletic department by former Wildcat assistant Claude Bassett, who was fired for recruiting violations committed in the late nineties under Hal Mumme, alledges higher-ups knew about the violations, by Bassett and others:

According to the filing, [former UK assistant Tony] Franklin testified last week that recruiting violations occurred both before and after Bassett's hiring, that Bassett, who resigned after the 2000 season, wasn't the only one at Kentucky who committed violations, and that the violations occurred "with the implied consent" and "to some extent, with (the) participation" of administrators including former university President Charles Wethington, former Athletics Directors C.M. Newton and Larry Ivy and the university's current NCAA compliance director, Sandy Bell.
Franklin also alleged that Ivy told him that he "wanted to cover up these violations and avoid scandal to the University by firing Coach Bassett," according to the filing, and that Ivy went to Franklin "specifically looking for evidence to fire Coach Bassett," which Franklin provided.

Mumme, now the head coach at New Mexico State, said in his affidavit that during a meeting between himself and Ivy the day after the 2000 season finale, that Ivy "seemed anxious to find some violation by Bassett." Bassett later was called to the meeting and asked to resign, which he did.

Mumme said that he understood that in exchange for Bassett's resignation, "he would not be investigated or prosecuted for any alleged violations and that any accusations of wrongdoing would end there." Mumme also said that Bassett had "performed admirably in his role to recruit outstanding student football players to the University of Kentucky."

Mumme said that Bell later told him "that it would be in the university's best interest if everything was tied to Claude Bassett, and that they would dump all the problems in Claude Bassett's lap."
Interesting...[stroking beard]...interesting. Highly-paid heads could roll over that sort of allegation.

As always, when discussing recruiting violations, SMQ asks: how come the team still sucks? You're cheating! Auburn at least won 20 straight games when it was on probation. What's the point of cheating if it apparently has no effect on future results?
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