Wednesday, February 21, 2007

FOOTBALL + SOCCER = BAD, BAD THINGS

You know, most people just want some candy for Valentine's Day. Or a card. If you really love your significant other, jewelry or nice cologne or season tickets to their favorite college football team's games might be in order.

Most people aren't looking for a letter accusing their team of serious recruiting violations. Welcome to Cincinnati, Brian Kelly!

Of course, sex-and-liquor-for-commitments accusations don't tend to sit well with university officials. Prudes.


What's his problem?

University of Cincinnati football coach Brian Kelly on Tuesday said allegations that current football players and recruits engaged in sex acts with a former soccer player during a recruiting visit should be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.

Give Cincinnati credit for doing something MLS has been trying to do for years: Making soccer sexy.

"I've been in a college environment long enough to know that any kind of allegations need to be thoroughly looked at," Kelly said. "Everything that I heard should be taken seriously and should be handled by the appropriate people."
The anonymous allegations were brought to the attention of UC President Nancy Zimpher; Daniel Cummins, director of judicial affairs; and Barbara Rinto, director of the UC Women's Center, in a letter that was dated Feb. 14 and signed, "A Concerned Athletic Department Employee."

Who, by the tone of the letter, appears to be a pissed-off volleyball coach.

UC spokesman Greg Hand acknowledged Tuesday that the university is conducting an investigation.
"Daniel did get the letter, and all I can say is that we're looking into it at this point," Hand said. ...
According to the Feb. 14 letter, the sex acts took place during a party at which alcohol was served, the sex acts were videotaped and the tapes have been circulated in UC dormitories.
Rinto said she first saw the letter Monday.


Um, lesson No. 1 of conspiracies to do something illegal and/or immoral: Don't put it on tape. This is, after all, a football program and not a taping session for Girls Gone Wild. At least, one would hope.

Kelly said the UC football program held at least five recruiting weekends leading up to the national signing date, Feb. 7. One occurred the weekend after head coach Mark Dantonio left to accept the Michigan State job Nov. 27 and before Kelly was hired to replace him Dec. 4.
There was one more recruiting weekend in December and three in January. ...
If anything of the nature described in the allegations did occur, Kelly said, "It's absolutely inappropriate behavior, period. End of discussion. ... That is pretty standard relative to student conduct or even appropriate human-being conduct."

Brian Kelly: Moral beacon.

At least he's lucky in one respect: The NCAA has bigger fish to fry right now.

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