Kansas Gets Caught Cheating

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self

First thing first, Weller is in Montana for the week so if you tune in for his posts come back next Tuesday (or stick around and read mine.  I’d prefer that).

Now, as you may know, Bill Self, Head Coach at the University of Kansas, has been caught for illegal contact with a recruit.  The story goes that Self stood outside the locker room of top prospect John Wall after a game in Springfield, Missouri and the two had a brief conversation.  The conversation happened during the NCAA’s “Evaluation Period” when coaches are not supposed to have any contact with recruits.

While breaking the rules is obviously wrong, (I’m sure a secondary violation like this happens all the time) the real issue I have is with the blatant arrogance of the violation. Continue reading


Latest on Spygate

This morning Matt Walsh, former video assistant for the patriots, met with NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell. This meeting was scheduled to discuss the eight video tapes dating from 2000 through 2002 that Walsh had handed over to the league, which showed the patriots illegally video taping opposing teams defensive and offensive signals. They also talked about what Walsh’s duties were for the team and despite the fact that Walsh did not have a video tape of the Rams walk through for Super Bowl XXXVI, he did tell Goodell that he watched part of the Rams walk through and then relayed the information to one of the patriot’s assistant coaches. Walsh is also meeting with Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., today to discuss these issues.

After his meeting with Walsh, Commissioner Goodell had a press conference and stated that “the fundamental information that Matt provided was consistent with what we disciplined the patriots for last fall.” This bothers me for a couple of reasons. First off, Matt Walsh provided tapes from 2000 to 2002, while last fall, the patriots only provided tapes from the 2006 and 2007 seasons, which Goodell suspiciously destroyed. These tapes from 2006 and 2007 also only showed the patriots taping defensive signals. This is bad enough in itself, because this shows that what the patriots video tapes showed could not possibly line up with the video tapes Walsh provided, because they are from different season and also show offensive signals being taped. But are we supposed to believe that from 2003 to 2005 they just stopped video taping signals for no reason? Nobody will buy that.

Hopefully Sen. Specter will push this issue further. Specter has criticized the way that the NFL has handled this situation from the beginning. Today on ESPN’s Around the Horn, Woody Paige said that he believes the patriots should have to forfeit all games that are shown in any video tapes that have been surrendered to the league. He went on to add that this would include forfeiting one of their Super Bowl wins, which he said should be retroactively awarded to the Rams. On the same show Jay Mariotti added that spygate is not over, and that it shouldn’t be over. An hour earlier on ESPN’s Rome is Burning, hosted by Jim Rome, his guest Terence Moore said that the commissioner’s press conference after meeting with Walsh was bologna. He said that he hopes Specter will pressure the league into further action, and that patriots’ head coach, bill belichick has blatantly lied about issues that are a part of spygate. Moore also said that he believes that the based on the tapes that were released to the press, which were shown immediately before Goodell’s press conference, he can see how this footage would have given the patriots a huge advantage, with endzone cameras, cameras on coaches, and cameras on the clocks and scoreboards. He said that with all of this put together that it would be easy to use this as a cheating advantage. When Moore was asked if he thought that the patriots won these games by cheating, he responded with a definite yes; saying that the patriots had to cheat to win these games.

Cris Carter said that he doesn’t think that the fine and first round draft pick was enough of a penalty. Cris Carter said that with what he has seen from the videos, he would be able to go back and play in the NFL right now, with the information he would be able to benefit from by seeing those tapes. Carter also said that he believed this was the perfect opportunity for Goodell to establish the same sort authority among the coaches and frachises that he did with the players. Carter then said that he believed bill belichick should have received a suspension. When asked how long of a suspension, Carter said he didn’t know, but that Goodell should definitely have taken more action than he has.

I believe that the patriots should receive further punishment. They should have to forfeit games. There should be further investigation by the league. I hope Senator Specter will spark this to happen.

This isn’t over.

Hopefully the NFL Does the Right Thing

This post is going to be kind of hard for me, as a Rams fan.  As most of the free world knows, the New England Patriots are under an ongoing investigation for taping the signals of the opponents’ coordinators, as well as the pre-game walkthroughs.  This has become known as “Spygate” because, as we all know, adding “gate” to the end of anything automatically makes it a scandal.  When former video assistant Matt Walsh stepped forward and said he did the taping, Patriots coach Bill Belichick claimed he “couldn’t pick Matt Walsh out of a lineup.”

The NFL fined Belichick $500,000 and forced the team to forfeit their first round selection in the 2008 Draft.  The latter punishment had little effect since the Patriots held the 10th pick after a trade with the 49ers from the year before. (Unfortunately for Weller, they took former Tennessee Linebacker Jerod Mayo.  An intervention was held. He’s fine now.)

Walsh is now scheduled for a meeting with Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday morning to review the tapes.  John Clayton just reported on ESPN that he expects nothing to come of the meeting since the NFL already knew about these tapes.

Now, I don’t know if the NFL has seen the tapes or knew about the tapes before Matt Walsh sent them in for review, but I do know that video taping another team’s signals is wrong.  I also know that Walsh’s tapes range in date from 2000-2002 and that the Jets’ claims came from 2007.  I highly doubt that the Patriots stopped taping teams from 2003-2006 and happened to start again at the beginning of last season.

I talked with Weller about what kind of punishment we’d like to see the Patriots given.  He said lots of things that I can’t repeat, so I’ll let you use your imagination.  Eventually, I decided that I’d like to see Belichick suspended for at least 8 regular season games, if not the entire season.  If this were the punishment, he would miss at least two AFC East matchups as well as other key games at San Diego in Week 6 and at Indianapolis in Week 9.  I figured if Chris Henry was suspended for 8 games and Pacman Jones was suspended for a year for multiple non-football incidents, then Belichick should be suspended at least that long for an actual football-related crime.

Weller finally decided that he would be happy if they took away at least one of their Super Bowl titles.  I would be alright with this as well, but I’d rather have it matter in the present day.  It would be nice if they retroactively awarded the Rams the Super Bowl, but A) that won’t happen and B) it really wouldn’t mean that much at this point.  It would be like the NCAA taking away the Fab Five’s Final Fours,  or Reggie Bush’s Heisman.  We all know they won, it doesn’t matter if they have a trophy or a banner.

Let me know what you think should (or shouldn’t) happen to Mr. Belichick in the comments.

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