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Ex-MSU Players To Work With School In Agent Investigation

mrsec-breaking-newsFormer Mississippi State footballers Fletcher Cox and Chad Bumphis — two players Yahoo! Sports alleges received money from agents/runners — will cooperate with the school’s own internal investigation. That according to CBSSports.com’s Jeremy Fowler who cites two unnamed sources.

Bumphis hung up on a reporter for The Jackson Clarion-Ledger when contacted about the story last evening.

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The Morning After: SEC Players Implicated, SEC Fans Fret

mushroom-cloudWelcome to the new reality of college athletics.  In this reality, college athletics — the actual athletic events — are only background noise.  The focus instead is on scandal.  One after another.  Week after week.  School after school.

Penn State.

Oregon.

Miami.

Johnny Manziel.

Oklahoma State and Les Miles.

Alabama, Mississippi State and Tennessee players.

Agents.

Boosters.

Hostesses.

Saturday’s Alabama/Texas A&M clash might as well be hyped as Player Autographs versus Agent Money.

Enjoying it all?  I hope so because with more and more media there will be fewer and fewer secrets.  Some might think complete transparency is a good thing.  In theory, it probably is.  But this writer believes the fact that every $100 handshake — a practice that has gone on since the dawn of college sports — is now going to be uncovered by a website or just a guy with a cell phone camera and a Twitter account, will serve as the death blow for college athletics as we’ve known them.

The NCAA is a doomed organization, but not through any fault of its own.  If everyone has boosters who cheat or players who take money from agents — and they do — then everyone must go on probation or be stripped of wins.  With more and more schools in the NCAA hoosegow, who’ll be left to play the games?

Some of you are likely thinking, “What kind of nimrod believes it’s better if we don’t know about rule-breaking?”  But the point is this: If every jaywalker in New York City was cited or arrested Barney Fife-style, think of the backlog of cases in NYC courts.

Another example: The police in your state know that they can’t catch all speeders.  So they catch a few and hope that the randomness of their ticket-writing scares other drivers into slowing down.  Until now, that’s basically been the NCAA’s plan, too.

Now, however, the NCAA is going to be forced to act again and again by enterprising reporters… or by angry fans with internet access.  Think Alabama and Auburn backers haven’t mastered the art of mudslinging and scandal-finding?

This won’t end well, folks.  We are headed toward the day — and we’ve written this on other occasions — when college sports teams are basically semi-pro squads, complete with bi-weekly paychecks and sponsor logos on helmets and jerseys.  Schools will use them for marketing purposes and the rules will be relaxed to 19th Century Tombstone, Arizona standards.

What we’ve watched and enjoyed for generations is dying.  An omnipresent media will kill it by exposing every toe that goes over an NCAA line.

 

Here’s a quick wrap on what’s being said this AM:

*  As you know, Yahoo! Sports has revealed that five SEC players received extra benefits (cash) from agents/runners between September of 2011 and December of 2012.  Those players documented — key word — to have received cash were ex-Alabama offensive lineman DJ Fluker, ex-Mississippi State defensive lineman Fletcher Cox and ex-receiver Chad Bumphis, ex-Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray and current Vol defensive defensive lineman Maurice Couch.

*  Columnist Kevin Scarbinsky wonders if Fluker could be Alabama’s version of Reggie Bush, leading to the loss of a pair of BCS titles.

*  Anyone remember Fluker tweeting in April: “Yea I took $ n college so wat. I did wat i had to do. Agents was tryin to pimp me to I pimped them. Cast da 1st stone.”  At the time, his agent claimed Fluker’s Twitter account was hacked.  Uh-huh.  You can be sure that there will be plenty of angry Tide fans ready to “cast da 1st stone” at Fluker’s noggin if his decision to accept cash hurts their program.

*  Nick Saban said yesterday taht he would handle the Fluker allegations appropriately.  When pressed for answers on the Fluker topic, Saban grew angry and left his presser with the words: “I appreciate your interest in the game.”

The runner in this case is ex-Alabama defensive lineman Luther Davis.  Yahoo! Sports has records suggesting that Davis funneled at least $45,000 to the five players implicated.

Some Alabama players are defending the school’s compliance department.

Here’s the breakdown of the Yahoo! story from a Mississippi State perspective.

Ex-Bulldog Bumphis hung up on a reporter from The Jackson Clarion-Ledger when contacted last night about his involvement in the story.

Here’s a look at things from a Tennessee perspective.  Associate AD Jimmy Stanton said: “We are aware of the article and are examining all of the relevant facts, and we will not comment further.”  UT coach Butch Jones has said that Couch probably won’t play against Oregon on Saturday.  (In reality, there’s little chance he’ll ever play again for Tennessee.)

 

Here are some quickie thoughts on the report and its fallout:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Report: Five SEC Players Received Extra Benefits, Violated NCAA Rules

mrsec-breaking-newsAccording to an investigation by Yahoo Sports, four former and one current SEC player violated NCAA rules by receiving extra benefits.  Yahoo says the recipients of those benefits were:

- Alabama tackle D.J. Fluker

- Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray

- Tennessee defensive lineman Maurice Couch

- Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox

- Mississippi State wide receiver Chad Bumphis

Fluker, Bray and Cox are now in the NFL. Bumphis was recently released by Miami.  Couch is a senior at Tennessee.

Yahoo says identities of the player were revealed from financial and text message records belonging to former Alabama defensive end Luther Davis. A source alleges Davis was acting as an intermediary between college players and multiple NFL agents and financial advisors.

Yahoo found financial records, including Western Union wire transfers and flight receipts, linking Davis to the five SEC players. All told, Yahoo says records show agents and financial advisers moved at least $45,550 to Davis between September 2011 and December 2012.

For D.J. Fluker – Yahoo Sports authenticated multiple transactions tying Fluker to Davis and others, including cash transfers, hotel stays, furniture, airline flights and other expenses.

For Tyler Bray and Maurice Couch – Yahoo authenticated six transactions – all were cash transfers.

For Fletcher Cox and Chad Bumphis – Yahoo authenticated airfare purchases.

If proven by the NCAA, the organization could retroactively nullify a portion of each player’s eligibility.

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Ex-MSU WR Bumphis Has Advice For Recruits: Don’t Go With The Money

Former Mississippi State receiver Chad Bumphis took time out from his NFL draft preps to hit Twitter this morning.  And one particular tweet has hit the Magnolia State like an atom bomb:

 

bumphis-tweet 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the words of Dick Enberg, “Oh, my.”

Now, there are three ways to take that tweet.  First, perhaps Bumphis was just giving general advice on a topic with which he has no first-hand experience.  Second, maybe he was talking about the rumors of foul play at Ole Miss, a program that’s surprisingly in the mix for a top five finish in this year’s recruiting rankings.  Third, he could be talking about his own stop in Starkville (which is how many Rebel fans are spinning it).

But Bumphis followed up his first tweet with this one:

 

bumphis-tweet-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And he also playfully dismissed a tweet from an Ole Miss grad/personal injury attorney from Mobile, Alabama:

 

bumphis-tweet 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bumphis had 922 receiving yards last year to go with 12 touchdowns.  He is expected to be a mid-round selection in this year’s draft.

But he’s already the #1 pick of Bulldog fans who are pointing fingers at Ole Miss’ recruiting turnaround and at a certain Rebel commitment’s recent tweet.

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SEC Headlines 12/30/2012

headlines-sunNFL Draft Prospects

1. Florida junior defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd on the possibility of leaving for the NFL.  ”Right now, we’re just focusing on Louisville. I haven’t talked to anybody about the NFL.”

2. Teammate Matt Elam wouldn’t comment on his NFL draft prospects Saturday – his older brother Abe is a seven-year NFL veteran with the Kansas City Chiefs.

3. Two sources say Florida is planning to lose both Floyd and Elam. Elam’s high school coach- Jack Daniels – yes, Jack Daniels – says he expects Elam to leave.

4. Mississippi State offensive guard Gabe Jackson is waiting to hear back from the NFL Draft Advisory Board.

5. Georgia has at least three players contemplating early entry into the NFL draft - and a few other distractions to deal with.

SEC Football

6. Are Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews and Chris Boyd the best receiving duo in college football?

7. Florida wide receiver Omarius Hines is keeping tabs on Louisville in New Orleans.  “I’ve seen a lot of players out having a good time.”

8. Louisville’s offensive coordinator Shawn Watson on Florida’s defense. “No. 1, they have great talent,” Watson said. “All across the board, and they have depth besides talent.

9. The new Arkansas staff has plenty of Florida recruiting ties.

10. LSU is getting healthy – multiple players returning for the bowl game. LSU has already defeated Clemson - at the Brazilian barbecue meat-eating contest.

11. He’s graduated twice, has had two senior days, been to two national championship games – a long career for one LSU player: “Josh Dworaczyk has been here for six or 10 years, a number of years,” Les Miles deadpanned recently. “I think he’s been here longer than I have. He finally got his (second) degree.”

12. SI’s Andy Staples sees a 10-point LSU victory over Clemson. And a three-point win for South Carolina

13. South Carolina’s Bruce Ellington is not just a talented two-sport player - he’s a legitimate SEC wide receiver.

14. Alabama center Barrett Jones still pedaling a stationary bike during practice and wearing a boot on his injured foot.

15. USA Today asks - who does America hate more: Alabama or Notre Dame?

16. Bo Wallace’s sore shoulder won’t prevent the Ole Miss quarterback from playing in the bowl game.

17. Mississippi State needs to reignite its running game- averaged just 55.5 yards in last four losses.

18. Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen is appreciative of wide receiver Chad Bumphis and other seniors who were part of his first recruiting class: They’ll leave as one of the most successful classes in school history.”

19. Expect a high-scoring game at the Gator Bowl between Mississippi State and Northwestern.

20. If Georgia beats Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl, it will mark only the third Bulldog team in history to win 12 games.

21. Something’s gotta give.  Neither Georgia QB Aaron Murray nor Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez has ever won a bowl game. Both are 0-2.

22. Georgia wide receiver Marlon Brown says he’s never seen the footage of the hit that resulted in a torn ACL and the end of his college career.  “I haven’t even seen the film of the actual play,” Brown said. “I felt him twisting my leg, but also felt him hit his helmet on my knee. I don’t know what caused it.”

23. A thought on Derek Dooley’s future.

24. Important “offseason” coming up for the Liberty Bowl.  Contract is up at the same time the bowl system is being overhauled.

SEC Basketball

25. John Calipari pulled off a switch at the free-throw line Saturday – refs missed it.

26. A tough Saturday for Kentucky freshman Willie Cauley-Stein – missed six free throws in the last 4:22 of the game.

27. Eight of ESPN’s top 100 2013 NBA prospects were on display in the Kentucky-Louisville game.

28. How the bench saved Tennessee in its victory over Xavier Saturday.

29. Missouri had a nine-point lead late in the game Friday night against UCLA but lost in overtime.  Frank Haith: “We will learn from it. There is a lot of basketball left in the season.’’

30. When will LSU’s Johnny O’Bryant (injured) and Anthony Hickey (suspended) return to action?

31. Alabama vs. Tulane.  Coach Anthony Grant is looking to forward Nick Jacobs. “Our team needs Nick to step up.”

32. Mississippi State vs. Alabama A&M.  Bulldogs playing their first home game in nearly a month.

Extra

33. Remembering Declan Sullivan – the Notre Dame student killed at practice two years ago.

34. Former Auburn basketball player Kenny Gabriel went to Israel to play basketball - and experienced sirens, missiles and safe rooms.

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MSU’s Bumphis Sprains — Doesn’t Break — Ankle

Mississippi State receiver Chad Bumphis put a scare into the Bulldog fanbase yesterday with a series of tweets claiming that he had broken his ankle and would have to undergo surgery today.

Then came a follow-up:  “No surgery needed!!”

Brandon Marcello of The Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports that an MSU spokesperson and Bumphis’ mother have further cleared up the situation today.


* Bumphis’ injury occurred in State’s weight room.

* X-rays on the receiver’s ankle this morning were negative.  (That’s negative in a good way for all you George Costanzas out there.)  The injury is a sprain, not a break.


The junior from Tupelo led State with 634 receiving yards and five touchdowns last season.

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Tide Rolls Dawgs 30-10, Game Notes, & More Tyler Russell?

Mississippi State
Content provided by All Things Maroon – A MSU and SEC blog.

chuckyBellAfter experiencing their longest winning streak since the 1999 season, MSU fell hard at Alabama on Saturday night. State is now 7-3 (3-3), while the Tide improved to 8-2 (5-2). Bama seemed to have regained some of their swagger, but the Bulldogs lost a little bit that they had acquired over the past 6 weeks. Dan Mullen’s bunch, failed to earn MSU’s 3rd win in 55 years in Tuscaloosa, and Bama just continued their usual dominance over the Bulldogs. I know, sickening. If I hadn’t watched the game, and you would have told me that State would convert 50% of their 3rdDowns, and win the T.O.P. battle by 3 minutes, I would have surely thought the Dawgs would have won. But, 3 consecutive scoring plays on Offense for the Tide of 45, 78, and 56 yards, pushed State out of reach. Here’s my game notes from the match up:

(1) Defense Must Improve: All year, the Defense has been a question mark for MSU. Not necessarily the personnel, but rather whether we are putting our guys in position to make plays, and to win ball games. Many maypoint to tackling, which I admit is somewhat of a weakness for a few of our players on D. But, my problem lies in Diaz’s coverage schemes. Either #1, he is giving our guys way too much freedom when it comes to choosing the cushion they give their respective WRs, or #2 the blame is all on Diaz, because he is purposefully putting our guys in those costly coverage sets. Like I’ve mentioned earlier this season, it’s sad when all of us in the stands can see that we are going to give up a 1st Down, before the ball is even snapped. If you are an X’s and O’s guy like me, you know exactly who the ball is going to as well, which makes it even more sickening to watch. Not only does lining up 7-12 yards off a WR hurt you on underneath routes, but in another critical area-that Bama attacked last night. What’s that you might ask? Recovery. Let’s take a 3rd Down and 9 situation for this illustration. Whether you are in man or zone coverage, before the ball is even snapped, a Bulldog player is 7-12 yards off the line of scrimmage. On the snap, the DB naturally backs up to provide space and cushion to conform to the route, and almost automatically the WR has the chains in their favor, because of the pre-snap distance. You keep the Offense from scoring, but you give up 12 yds, when they only needed 9. Now, playing that deep hurts you in multiple ways. #1, you literally change the mindset of the Offenses’s ‘underneath’ passing game’s distance. The Offense goes from using 5-7 yd passes, to 10-12 yard passes, because the coverage is set so deep. Now, the area that Bama exploited so well vs State, was our inability to recover. So, #2 playing as deep as the Dawgs have in coverage, effects their ability to react to the ball, and minimize the damage. On the catch by Marquis Maze last night, the play should have went for 12 yards and a 1st Down, instead the kid takes it 45 yds for aTD. When you play that deep off the ball, it means you have to come up and make a play after the ball has been caught. With the amount of cushion we are providing, the receivers have already caught the ball, and then have the opportunity to adjust to either a flat footed DB, or one who is headed in his direction at full speed, which benefits the WR. We should be a 70/30 Man coverageD, but Diaz’s philosophy will not ever allow that. So, since we are confined to his style, we have to make adjustments. Shorten the umbrella, face-up WRs, and save the 7-12 yard cushion for Prevent situations, and most importantly, our Secondary needs to learn where the chains are, and expect throws within that vicinity. Also, If I were Diaz, Monday and Tuesday would consist of nothing but coned-pursuit drills and tackling basics. We were TERRIBLE in both aspects. I was really happy with how we handled the Bama run game, until it was over in the 3rd, and the Tide was eating clock. Alabama did nothing special, but we sure made them look that way.

(2) Time for the Relf/Russell Platoon: One thing is clear, to beat ‘true’ SEC elite teams like Bama, year in and year out, you have to be non-predictable on Offense. You can only run the read, the counter, the QB draw, and the option so much. We are so vanilla, that when we send a man in motion before the snap, the opposing D knows who’s getting the ball, and the magic is gone. What was supposed to be a wrinkle, becomes the evident. One thing is becoming more and more clear, and that is that our Offense needs something else. There are times when it makes sense to run the ball down a team’s throat all night, but there are obvious cases in which you have to know that you can’t. Mullen has mentioned the fact that he would like to see our pass production increase, but it’s clear that Chris Relf doesn’t have the potential to make that happen. In fact, if we know that we are going to throw the ball, why not put the ball in the hands of the better passer (Russell)? With that said, I know I have to defend Tyler’s play. Since the Alcorn game, Tyler has been held out of 2 whole games, and all but 3 plays in another. Very little playing time = very little experience = occasional mistakes. It’s simple math. Yall know that I’m a HUGE Tyler fan, but I have also been the unbiased critic that I have needed to be, when it comes to his shortcomings. But, as I said after the Alcorn and UK games, I feel that he tries to over-compensate when he finally gets the opportunity to see the field, because the time he is in is so scarce. As a Freshman QB, he needs the experience just to get the “Cloud 9″ game he had vs Memphis-out of his head. There are many areas of his game that he needs to improve on, but what Freshman in college football doesn’t? So, why should he play? (1) Russell is a 58% passer, he averages 9+ yds per attempt, and has a QB Passer Rating of 141.37. (2) The kid has lead long scoring drives in 2 of the nation’s toughest places to play (@ Bama and @ LSU, vs their 1st string). (3) He’s thrown 4 TDs and 5 INTs, and about 2 or 3 of those were clearly not his fault, while the others were terrible. (4) Tyler also has a much better ‘internal’ QB Clock, that all signal callers need, in order to sense pressure and get rid of the ball. That, is something that Relf sorely lacks. (5) Russell has thrown for 555 yds, in very limited action. The fact is, we can’t continue to try and play Clock Wars with the rest of our schedule. Teams know exactly what we are going to do, and it’s only going to get easier for them to stop us. I know a lot of coaches and fans are not proponents of platooning within a series, but how is that any different from running the QB to the sideline for a breather, when we go the Rabid Dawg? There is no difference, so why not bring in Relf or Russell-off the switch, and keep defense’s honest, by capitalizing on a different strength? Or better yet, surprise them and let Relf throw and Tyler run occasionally. That’s what it’s going to take to light a fire for our Offense. Both QBs have shown moments of extreme effectiveness in what they do…why not combine the two strengths? It’s time! Btw, the Relf INT was the worst pass of the year, and KILLED our confidence and a perfect scoring opportunity early on. Triple coverage Chris? The root of the problem is Koenning, who called for the pass on 1st Down anyway. I’ve never seen a guy abandon what ‘was’ working so well in the first place. Take over the play calling Dan, or hire someone who you can trust…please. And finally, I think we lose 30-24, ‘IF’ we would have brought in Russell 2 series earlier. That would have made us look much better.

(3) We are not THERE yet: The fact is, MSU has turned the corner, but not a Bama, or an LSU type corner. We are at the point where we can beat a great program on a down year, UGA and UF for example, where we can win almost all our home games, but not to the point where we match the Top teams in the conference for 4 quarters. We don’t have the mindset, the personnel, or the depth to do so. And as long as Les Koenning is calling plays, we may not have the coaching (Btw, we passed on 10 first downs last night…10). But, I think we are 2 years away from breaking into the top tier of the SEC. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy with 7-3, and where this year has taken us, but I’m just being realistic. We are losing some players on OL and at LB, that have been critical to our success. Saturday night was a perfect example of a top tier teamthat makes plays, and a team who is not there yet, and doesn’t. We commit stupid penalties, our coaches display poor play-calling, we drop way to many passes, and we have a lot to clean up before Arkansas.

Offensive & Defensive Standouts: RB Vick Ballard- 19 rushes for 80 yds; RB LaDarius Perkins- 8 rushes for 44 yds;QB Tyler Russell-4/7 for 80 yds, TD,INT; WR Chad Bumphis- 3 catches 44 yds,TD;WR Brandon Heavens- 3 catches 21 yds;WR Arceto Clark- 2 catches 44 yds. LB Chris White- 3tkl, 1INT; LB KJ Wright, S Nickoe Whitley, S Charles Mitchell- all with 5 tkls   

      Positives     

  • We are 7-3 (3-3 in SEC)
  • We are Bowl bound…somewhere?
  • We are better than we played on Saturday
  • We are still ranked, #22 in AP, #21 in the BCS

     SEC Week 11    

UT Crushes Ole Miss, 52-14. At the beginning of the season, I mentioned that Nutt should play Nathan Stanley until the kid was worthy of being benched. I expected a down year for Ole Miss, and that move would have secured the fact that Nutt gave Stanley his shot, and then brought in Masoli for change. Nutt instead, put all his eggs in one basket, and has killed the confidence of Stanley, and just solidified the school of thought-that Nutt cannot develop a QB, even the likes of Jeremiah Masoli. I don’t see Nutt making it past next season in Oxford.

UF Let MeDown, 36-14. I was shocked that the Gators allowed the Gamecocks to come into the Swamp, with the East on the line, and do what they did. USC held the ball for 40+ minutes, after UF returned the opening kick off for a TD. 200 yds rushing for Lattimore. Spurrier lucks out on a week year in the East.

Auburn Runs Away from UGA, 49-31. It was close until the 4th. Cam Newton and Auby outscored UGA 28-10 in the 2nd half. Cam Newton is the best player in college football, just not the best ‘eligible’ player. I get tired of all the Newton worship. He is not a victim. Btw, I hope that in all this, Auburn realizes that we didn’t bring them into this, but rather Newton’s association with Auburn did. We are getting way to much blame, for making the right decisions and moves. There are rumors out there, but I’m glad that Stricklin has confirmed what we have released, and what we haven’t. I expect a new break in the story tomorrow. And DT Nick Fairley for Auburn, should have been immediately ejected for his hit on UGA QB, Aaron Murray. If in the NFL, he’d be forking over $30,000. Anyway, Auburn clinches the West.

Arkansas Rolls UTEP, 58-21. Mallet threw for 215 yds, 5 TDs; Kniles Davis ran for 182 yds on just 11 carries; 31 First Downs, and 577 yards.

 

Anyway, your thoughts on the SEC Weekend?

Should Tyler Russell get more playing time?

What were your thoughts about the game in general?

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