We have been too busy here at STS to chat about the national scene and, as a Clemson site, we try to focus on the Tigers.
The guys over at Dawg Sports have been all over this for yearsand preceded us by a couple/4 years on this post,. There is a topic that has hogged conversations between Dr. B and I and we think that it you will be interested in this conversation. Go visit Kyle's spot because he does very, very good. job. The issue is Auburn and the lack of institutional control there. Auburn deserves whatever they get.
I will go ahead and give the disclaimer: This article is based solely on circumstantial evidence but based upon REAL facts, articles, and common sense. Believe what you want, but below are the facts that we have. I don't have the time to give the complete play by play but encourage you to block off an hour of your time and bump on over to Tiger Droppings to catch their recount on "As the Plains Burn" (linked below). If you have more questions, I would be willing to bet our sister site, Roll Bama Roll would be able to answer questions.
I will go ahead and say it, once the Nat Championship game is over and all the money has been made, then the NCAA will decide it is a non-profit organization. As much crap as Auburn will take, the NCAA should take more for its determination that rules are less important than TV ratings. When they finish the investigation on the Plains someone should review the crap the NCAA does because it is (non for profit) very profitable and corrupt.
First off, I will give credit and apologize to Auburn. These guys want a national championship so bad that they will do what it takes to get it. Take it for what it is worth, but that statement speaks volumes. The apology: I am sorry that you are not the University of Alabama. When you think of college football, you think of Bear and his boys. I will go ahead and steal your thunder, Clemson is no Alabama. There is no Bammer except for the Capstone and we respect Alabama for being the greatest winning tradition in college football here.
On to the story. Dr. B encouraged me to put together a flow chart describing this situation. The chart quickly got too confusing to deal with, so I will boil it down immediately. Auburn pays players. They are certainly not the only school to do it, but they are about to get hammerfucked for it. From what I have heard, it will be just short of SMU and will require the SEC to stand up for them just to keep it from SMU land (if they lose their accreditation, by definition they cannot be a member of the Southeastern Conference).
Here is the quick and dirty about why Auburn will end up on the wrong end of the stick. Two names you need to know: Bobby Lowderand Milton McGregor. Bobby Lowder was the big dog at Colonial Bank and is the financial chair on the BOT at Auburn. Make no bones about it, Lowder runs Auburnand has done so for many years. McGregor is a powerhouse in Alabama and is a powerhouse booster at Auburn. This man runs legalized gambling in the state, owning Bingo parlors and dog tracks in Bammer. He was also a member of the Colonial Bank board.
The shit officially hit the fan in October when McGregor and four state senators were indictedfor buying votes related to gambling issues. Allegedly, the FBI had been watching this for years and the authorities have a legit case that will put Milt in the pokey.
Concurrently, Bob Lowder has run into his own problems. He deserves more history, so here you go. Lowder was appointed to the BOT at Auburn in the early ‘80's by George Wallace. Lowder's father, a WWII vet, started a business empire that was passed purchased by Bobby and his two brothers. Bobby created Colonial Bank in the early ‘80's and used an acquisition strategy to increase Colonial's worth and leverage into the real estate mortgage sector. After some government deregulation in the early ‘90's, Lowder further leveraged his positions into emerging markets and increased his company's worth through the process. Colonial Bank went public in the mid-90's. Just to give you perspective, Lowder's net worth was estimated to be over $125 million five years ago.
Lowder's problems stem from his overextension into the real estate mortgage market. As previously stated, Colonial made a ton of money during the real estate boom. Once the bust hit, Colonial's worth got hammered. In late 2008/early 2009, Lowder and his board publicly stated that they had a financial backer who would allow them to deal with their toxic assets. This "backer" eventually went under and the deal never came together. The largest bank failure in 2009 was Colonial Bank. The feds raided Colonial and many of their sites, as the government was on the hook for several billions of dollars due to this collapse.
So, how does all of this tie to Auburn? Lowder ran Auburn for years. He knew and allegedly supported the pay for play scandal that got Pat Dye fired and AU on probation in the early ‘90's (side note: Pat Dye was on the Colonial Bank Board). Terry Bowden has openly told folks that his efforts to eliminate pay for play at Auburn were fiercely opposedby Lowder and Lowder ran him out of Auburn. Tommy Tubberville got run off by Lowder and was involved with the ridiculous "Jet Gate' where Lowder flew Auburn folks to Louisville on his plane to talk to a new coach.
Allegedly, McGregor is the man feeding the pay for play. We have heard stories about both Lowder and McGregor paying players, with Lowder allegedly issuing Colonial Bank ATM cards to players and McGregor incurring player would win at his gambling spots. This is in addition to the pay for play that put Auburn on probation years ago. The same people were in charge so I am skeptical that anything changed.
On top of all of this is Auburn ALMOST losing their accreditation earlier this decade. The committee cited a lack of control AND too much influence by the BOT/Lowder in particular. Spin this anyway you want but being on accreditation probation means there is something wrong.
The conspiracies get deeper with some allegations of charity/church slush funds and money laundering through various means. Those are strong allegations and I am not willing to fire that flair. I will say there is an issue at Auburn. Lowder, whose stronghold has diminished with the Colonial implosion, has run that place for years. Pay for play has been acknowledged openly by a past coach. Auburn almost got discredited. Two of their top boosters are under federal investigation/indictment. What should you think?
If you want to see the whole soap opera, allot the needed hour and read this:
Tiger Droppings on AU : As the Plains Burn