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Wednesday Hub Walks the Straight and Narrow

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When I Said 'Cowardice,' I Meant, 'Dignified Prudence.' Yeah, Prudence... One day after Reggie Bush called him out for being a money-grubbing extortionist "ducking and dodging" his lawyers' efforts to obtain a deposition, Lloyd Lake's people answer: ask and ye shall receive, beeyotch:


Luckily for Reggie, at least Mickey knows where his bread is buttered.
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The NCAA's investigation into allegations former Southern California running back Reggie Bush and his family received improper payments and gifts while the Heisman Trophy winner was in college might finally reach a revelatory moment in mid-February.

Lloyd Lake, a San Diego businessman and Bush friend who says he gave Bush and his stepfather, LaMar Griffin, and mother, Denise Griffin, $291,600 in cash, living arrangements and other benefits between November 2004 and January 2006, has agreed to give a deposition beginning Feb. 12.
[...]
Meanwhile, Watkins said Tuesday that he will "put Reggie Bush on notice" to give his deposition that same week.

"We have asked Reggie Bush and his attorneys four times for a convenient date, and they have refused to respond," Watkins said. "So we will set the date for the week of February 12, so he will be compelled to show. Reggie has not talked to the NCAA. He has not been cooperative with USC. He has always said the truth will come out. Now the truth will come out. Reggie will be compelled to answer questions under oath."
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"No snitchin'" only works when there's some reason potential snitchees have to keep their mouths shut. Lake, a couple hundred thousand dollars in the hole after his run-in with Bush, has every incentive to bring on the microphones - just as Bush had every incentive to stay away from the news before he laid down the gauntlet with ESPN during his vacation at Sundance. Lake may be a snake, but you don't poke them when the hood is open.

Not So Fast, My Highly-Compensated Friend! Urban Meyer told the Orlando Sentinel "No problems with that...we're fine" when the paper asked him about a Salt Lake Tribune report that Meyer probably broke recruiting rules in the process of wooing junior college receiver Carl Moore and - out of necessity - his gymnast girlfriend, who otherwise had no interest in Florida and doubted she was still good enough to compete for the Gators' highly-ranked team after an injury cut short her career at UCLA. Turns, out, yeah, maybe not so much:

GAINESVILLE - Florida athletics officials are continuing to review potential secondary violations committed by football Coach Urban Meyer in his recent recruitment of junior college wide receiver Carl Moore and his girlfriend, gymnast Maranda Smith.

"We are in information-gathering mode," UF senior associate athletics director for compliance Jamie McCloskey said Tuesday afternoon. "And we're going to see where that takes us."
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...McCloskey said he and his department will spend as long as the next few weeks determining whether the coach is correct. UF officials have informed the Southeastern Conference of the issue and plan to use phone records and interviews as they review the case.
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UF officials also reviewed a tape of ESPN's broadcasts before and during Saturday's Kentucky-Florida basketball game at the O'Connell Center but do not expect any serious violations to come from the situation. At least one football recruit on campus for a weekend official visit was shown by the cameras. Schools are prohibited from promoting recruits before they sign letters of intent.

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For pure slow season entertainment value, a thousand times yes to compliance directors reviewing the recruitment of gymnast girlfriends and poring over television footage of potential recruits at basketball games. Old school, dyed-in-the-wool cheaters like Bear Bryant wouldn't have lasted a week under these conditions.

In brighter recruiting news for the Gators, they did land alleged godzilla tackle Omar Hunter - possibly the illegally promoted recruit in question during Saturday's basketball game - who cancelled his scheduled visit to Georgia Tuesday and has a good chance to anchor the middle of the iffy UF defensive line as a freshman.


Aw, man, sorry about your party, dog.
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Coming and Going.
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Terrelle Pryor Watch, or, NCAA as Buzzkill, Part 15,676. A massive campus blowout advertised online as the "Terrelle Pryor Greenwood Block Party" during the sought-after quarterback's visit to Michigan last weekend had to be renamed after the Association and Michigan officials came down on the student organizer, who is technically considered by the NCAA an "extension of the University's athletic department." Michigan's compliance director: "We felt like it was a bad concept." Weak, dude. Totally weak.

Karl Dorrell is expected to be hired as wide receivers coach of the Miami Dolphins, where his college record at UCLA probably looks pretty good right about now.

Back at Dorrell's old haunt, the L.A. Times' Bill Plaschke thinks Norm Chow's arrival at UCLA gives the Bruins a recruiting edge and makes the LA-SC rivalry "real" again: "Everyone feels like he just gave UCLA a chance."

Not with Shane Horton, who started or played extensively in every game as a freshman safety for UNLV: the L.A. native will transfer to USC and can still enroll in time to be eligible in the fall.

Alabama was rejected Tuesday by Nebraska offensive coordinator Shawn Watson, who politely declined to interview for Nick Saban's open coordinator position in his humble, Midwestern way, with a statement released through the Husker athletic department that reaffirmed his commitment to Nebraska without mentioning the Tide. As opposed to the SEC way, involving subterfuge, flighttracker.com, kidnapped recruits (at least two) and a steel chair across the back.

What changed Clemson running back James Davis' mind about turning pro early? The excessive downtime, according to Davis, although the subsequent decisions by fellow juniors Darren McFadden, Jonathan Stewart, Felix Jones, Rashard Mendenhall, Steve Slaton and Ray Rice – all projected ahead of Davis in April – might have played some role in his thought process. Davis wants to be a first-rounder, and in a less crowded field in '09, he has a chance.


The Rap Sheet
Crimes, misdemeanors and eligibility-crippling issues legal, academic, institutional and otherwise.
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Punished, Tennessee's entire team, after freshman running back Daryl Vereen was arrested early Monday for public intoxication and underage consumption after trying to leave the scene of a dorm fight with "a bloody lip, a strong odor of alcohol on his breath," slurred speech and bloodshot eyes. On the heels of the double weed arrest during a recruiting visit last week, every Volunteer was ordered out in freezing temperatures at 6 a.m.  Tuesday in either a stern collective response that reinforces team unity and a strong social incentive for deterence or a minor miscarriage of individual justice, depending on your perspective. I think the former - no player wants to be the next guy that pulls his teammates out of bed for predawn sprints in terrible weather - but a handful of commenters at the Tennessean are unanimous: Phat Phil Soft On Crime!

Dang Coach! Grow a pair and actually do something will ya. Make a few of these guys pack their bags and go home and you will see the problems halt. I continue to lose interest in our program due to the constant bs in Knoxville. Sad
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I'm sick and tired of all this and deeply feel extreme measures must be taken! I think those team members that are more mature and who are focused on what this team is about could have a greater influence on the few who give the whole team a bad name and reputation -- come down on them hard guys. It's your reputation too! Come on coach, do something! Come on guys, grow up!
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His players don't respect him, and why should they? That's not a punishment ... that's a joke.
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I knew the headline must be a misprint and I was correct, Phat Phil does not punish.
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A Georgia poacher added something along the lines of "No wonder Richt is more respected as a man and a coach," which - if true at all outside of the state of Georgia, which it's not - is only because Richt's university mandates game suspensions for any and all arrests, even the piddly underage drinking charges young war-and-vote-ready Bulldogs rack up at a fairly steady pace in Athens, where the cops apparently are undistracted, unmerciful taskmasters on such details of public safety. To all of them, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Chip Towers play's the first they're-just-kids card of the offseason:
The bigger point is this: These football player ARE kids. They're away from home for the first time. Athens is fantastic town -- the "Classic City" -- but it's full of all sorts of temptations, as are most college towns, and there are always going to be a few slipups. Last year it was Akeem Hebron, Tripp Chandler and Blake Barnes. This year it's Baldwin and Munzenmeier and there will probably be another screwup before we reach the opening game of the 2008 season.

Does that make the University of Georgia Thugville? In my opinion, absolutely not. And similar incidents at Tennessee and Florida and LSU between now and opening day -- and they're coming, I can assure you -- won't make them Thugville either.
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Just more old media missing the zeitgeist of the information age. If we don't have the exceedingly petty misdemeanors of rivals who happened to get caught in routine misbehavior to impugn the whole of their character and that of everyone around them, what do we have? Anarchy.

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As always, if you have a tip for the Hub, don't be shy: e-mail at sundaymorningqb-at-yah00, etc.