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The SEC Tries To Clean Up

We like to call the SEC the Situational Ethics Conference because we've
always believed it to be the most corrupt conference there is. Leave it to
the ever talkative Dave Odom to
put in perspective.
When talking to a coach from another conference about
scheduling a game, Odom says "[h]e told me there were only four teams in the SEC he would
play," because the other eight schools were cheaters. Well, let's

It seems safe to guess that Vanderbilt would be one of the four. Since
Odom told the story, and since he is in fact pretty much a straight arrow, South
Carolina would be the second.

Who else? Our guesses - and this is limited to basketball - would be Kentucky
and Tennessee, or possibly Georgia.

Kentucky of course has a glorious tradition of cheating, but if Tubby Smith
has been cheating, at least in terms of either getting or paying players, he
sure hasn't been doing a good job of it. He's built his teams around kids
with solid character and heart, and until this year has not really signed a lot
of big-time recruits. If you're cheating at Kentucky, you're getting good
recruits, or your backers want their money back.

As for Tennessee, we're pretty sure Buzz Peterson is not cheating. And
we don't know enough yet, but we're sure hoping Dennis Felton isn't cheating at
Georgia. He has done some remarkable things as a head coach, and they
aren't the sorts of things you get by cutting corners. On the other hand,
though, Georgia has had repeated problems over the years in basketball and
football, and as recently as Jim Harrick's firing (and by the way, his hiring
was about as ridiculous), they didn't get it. But assume they do

That leaves...

  • Florida
  • Alabama
  • Auburn
  • Mississippi
  • Mississippi State
  • Arkansas
  • LSU

Mike Montgomery's rip of Billy Donovan, which he later withdrew, saying that
the University had to know he was cheating when they gave him a huge raise, was
memorable, but he retracted it. Still, he's not the only coach who has
thought that.

We have heard some things about two schools on this list which have not yet
been reported, if they are in fact true, including some funny business with a
shoe company steering players to a particular campus.

Check out the rest of what Odom had to say:

When Odom was coaching in the Atlantic Coast Conference, he was amazed at all the rule-breaking that seemed to prevail in the SEC. Coaches talked openly about paying for players and bragged that they had their own system of checks, balances and avoiding the NCAA.

"I'd say, 'How in the heck do you get by with that stuff," Odom recalled. "They'd say, 'Hey, local rules prevail. We take care of our own."'

What he doesn't say is this: the SEC cheats this baldly, and still
they can't catch the ACC.

In fairness, the SEC is trying to clean it up. One key part of the plan is to
have coaches narc on each other, supposedly anonymously through their AD's, but
with so many guys cheating, who would dare to turn someone else in?