After meeting with USA Today oddsmaker Danny Sheridan regarding his claims that an NCAA source had told him a bagman in the Auburn-Cam Newton case had been found, that same organization has published on its website a scathing rebuke of the man:
“Danny Sheridan continues to make vague, unsubstantiated claims without backing them up with proof. Contrary to his claims of having an inside source with details on the Auburn investigation, the NCAA has not provided information to Sheridan or anyone else. As a matter of due diligence, the NCAA spoke with Sheridan this week to determine if he had any facts pertaining to the investigation. Sheridan, however, did not provide any information to the enforcement staff and certainly did not provide a name. Instead, he unsuccessfully attempted to gather information for his own use.”
On Sheridan: Sheridan has made a career out of setting gambling lines for ball games. It doesn’t take much credibility to do that, just a knack for projecting said ball games. Good thing. Because any actual “news” credibility Sheridan might have had is gone with the wind this afternoon.
On the NCAA: Think college sports’ governing body is tired of scandals and accusations? They have a tough enough job trying to monitor hundreds of schools with a small team of investigators. With today’s media, every $50 handshake becomes a mega-scandal. The last thing they need is to have someone suggest that a) they have information they’re not acting on and b) that they themselves leak information to someone tied to sports gambling.
Kudos to the NCAA for stepping on Sheridan and his nonsense. They should do this kind of thing more often. Then again, for all the sleazy people making scurrilous accusations in the media these days, no one else has gotten as specific with his malarkey as Sheridan.
On Alabama fans: I can’t count the number of emails and comments this site has received from Tide fans angry that we would dare question the motivations of a man like Sheridan. “Why would he lie?” “He’s got to worry about his own reputation!” “If the NCAA wants to talk to him that means he’s got the goods on Auburn!”
Uh, no. The lesson — should any of you now feel ridiculous for publicly backing Sheridan — don’t believe something just because you want to. Wanting something to be true doesn’t make it so. I’d like to think I’m a pretty good looking guy. But the mirrors in my house tell me otherwise. We all know you hate Auburn, but that doesn’t mean every crackpot with a baseless accusation against AU is telling the God’s honest truth.
On Auburn fans: Don’t laugh too loudly, folks. The NCAA hasn’t closed its investigation into the Tiger program. Sheridan might not have had a clue regarding what they’ve found — if anything — but they are still looking. And as we say when the NCAA starts snooping around any SEC school… uh-oh. You don’t want NCAA investigators nosing around on your campus. Ever.
Also, how ’bout taking a lesson from the disappointment Bama fans are feeling right now. For all the photos floating around of Tide players sharing dinner with a booster — a booster who wasn’t even banned from UA at the time of the dinners — there’s no hard proof that the owner of T-Town Menswear was paying players in cash or in clothes. It doesn’t mean that those players — in the NCAA’s eyes — were promoting the man’s business. Just because you want it to be true, doesn’t make it true.
In the end, the NCAA will rule on what is and what isn’t legal. If history is any judge, they’ll have no problem smacking around Alabama or Auburn if one of them is actually cheating. Lord knows they’ve done so quite a few times in the past.
And as has previously been the case, if they do spank one of those schools, they’ll likely do so without giving Danny Sheridan a heads-up.