While the NCAA Enforcement team was in Los Angeles investigating the Reggie Bush case, they should have hot-boxed the real culprit – even if he wasn’t necessarily directly involved in that case.
The Big Dillon Baxter Lie has the fingerprints of Lane Kiffin all over it.
Clearly, lots of unpleasantries are often exchanged between institutions in recruiting warfare, but the fact that Florida has been falsely accused twice now over prized recruits by the schools where the same guy is working should not require the investigative skills of Sherlock Holmes.
When it gets right down to the reason for The Big Lie being told by the Big Liar and why this stuff keeps happening, one cannot help but wonder how the governing bodies can continue to ignore such blasphemy. Not to mention ignoring the varmint who keeps doing the blaspheming.
Somehow this airhead coach with the fast lip and not-so-fast brain seems suspect for most everything bad about college football these days.
Of course USC is going to deny the culpability of Kiffin in this whole Baxter Dillon charade, because Athletic Director Mike Garrett already has taken the bullet and the blood is on his hands. However, just a letter of apology to Florida AD Jeremy Foley as well as the ADs of other schools implicated by the false accusations of illegal contact is not nearly enough.
It’s like saying to a bank president, “I’m so sorry that one of our guys robbed your bank last week and tied up four of your tellers – he had too much caffeine that day.”
GatorCountry.com has learned that Florida not only didn’t contact Baxter but, in fact, Baxter had contacted UF saying he was going to decommit to USC while assistant coach Brian White was in California recruiting.
Meyer has been outright slandered personally again by Kiffin and an apology just won’t get it. The NCAA needs to start levying fines. Hey, didn’t Meyer get hit for a $31,000 fine by SEC Commissioner Mike Slive for saying a whole lot less about some referee’s questionable calls?
What Kiffin and the USC folks did is wrong on so many levels. They apparently took Baxter’s words to the Pac-10 as gospel, then when there were no cell phone records, he claimed he “lost the phone.” So what stopped them from contacting the cell phone company for the records?
It was Baxter who told a Pac-10 enforcement official he had been illegally contacted by Florida, Washington, Fresno State and Alabama. The letter from Matt Billings of the USC compliance department to Ron Baker of the Pac 10 said:
“I just met with [Baxter] and he told me that he received phone calls from five institutions [June 10th.] All of the institutions asked if he was interested in transferring from USC due to the NCAA decision. Would you please speak with these schools to remind them they cannot speak to this student athlete.”
And by the way, wasn’t it curious that on the same night that the USC penalties came down that the school released the false “tampering” charges to Joe Schad of ESPN? Now who does that sound like?
You don’t suppose that was an attempt to deflect attention away from USC woes, do you?
No doubt from his safe house in Seattle, just as Pete Carroll was shocked about how all this Reggie Bush stuff went down, I’m sure he was also shocked to learn that all of the schools charged in the Dillon case were falsely accused.
It could have something to do with the fact that two prized recruits were pulled out of California by tight end coach Brian White, who plucked ESPNU’s No. 1 pick, defensive end Ronald Powell of Moreno Valley, and the No. 3 cornerback, Joshua Shaw, from Palmdale.
So the false accusations by Baxter about Florida also cast White in a bad light after such a stellar job of recruiting – done in the right way. I asked White about the incident.
“I was in California with George Edwards (then the short-lived defensive coordinator) and he was in the hospital,” said White. “It was in January when Urban called and told me about Dillon. He asked if I would call and go to San Diego to visit him.”
White spoke with Baxter and made plans to meet him the next day at Mission Bay High School. When he arrived at 10 a.m. he was surprised to see several other coaches there – including Rick Neuheisel of UCLA and Steve Fairchild of Colorado State.
“I talked to him — a nice kid — for all of two minutes,” said White. “He told me he had re-committed to USC. Neuheisel said, ‘Go ahead and take what time you need.’ I thanked him and said ‘That’s all I need.’”
White said that was it, period. Later he was questioned by Meyer, Jeremy Foley and others from compliance. He told them, “I never called or contacted him again.’”
Of course the missing phone never seemed to show up.
“Now,” as Paul Harvey used to say, “you know the rest of the story.”
Until, of course, Lane Kiffin makes up another one.