Every great sequel should have an equally impressive prequel. The whole Back to the Future thing started out well enough in 1984. The follow-up movies? Not so much. Tonight, HBO airs a little Q and A session involving Auburn (and a few others) which essentially revisits an old theme: Cheatin' on the Plains. Must see TV if ever there was any.
In January 1992, 60 Minutes did a well known expose on Auburn, starring Eric Ramsey and the Auburn's sleazy underbelly of boosters and a few coaches. For those of you who have about 11 minutes and have not viewed the CBS piece fronted by the late Ed Bradley, it's the prequel to tonight's HBO sequel.
History is fun.
In 1992, the Auburn scandal, involving Ramsey, was originally broken by the Montgomery Advertiser. CBS had a ready-made story and ran with it. Once the NCAA got involved, the sanctions were pretty harsh:
On August 18, 1993, Auburn was hit with some of the most severe penalties in the history of the NCAA (at that time). These included a two-year bowl ban, a one-year television ban (for the 1993 season), and the loss of 13 scholarships spread out over a four-year period. Dye was also banned from any appearance at an Auburn function until August 1995. The probation period, while enforced at the beginning of the 1993 season, did not actually start until the 1991 probations of the basketball and tennis teams ended. The probation therefore extended until Thanksgiving 1995. (wikipedia.org)
One player, one tape recorder and one pretty big NCAA slapdown. Tonight, HBO has multiple players making similar accusations about money. However, the statute of limitations may retard what the NCAA can (if they pursue this at all?) use in any investigation. And, there are no tape recordings...at least none that I've read about on the interwebs.
Auburn is already under scrutiny. The Newton case, although quiet for now, hasn't disappeared. The NCAA seems to be very interested in a couple of recruits from Louisiana, but again, this story is just simmerin' on the back-burner for now. There's a bunch of other stuff out there, if you are to believe a few pro-Bama sites, that purport to have something new just about every day. Who really knows? Is Auburn coated in teflon? So far, that's the impression. But then again, the NCAA is probably just biding their time. Maybe they want to arrange a nice, tidy package deal instead of picking up on an infraction here or there.
Tonight's TV may or may not be the catalyst that triggers OMG Auburngeddon! But then again...we can all dream.