Video of Random Sideline Guy Frightening Saban

Looks like someone put Tom Al-Betar’s sideline pass to good use.

(A Star is Born)

Sadly though, I’ve been told Alabama football legend Harvey Updyke didn’t see the field last night.

Though if I had Mal Moore fetching me chicken fingers and spiked cheerwine all night, I’d wouldn’t bother to leave President Witt’s suite either.

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Pics: Trent Richardson Seen Gambling At Casino

Early Friday morning longtime Alabama media personality Paul Finebaum appeared on FOX 6 in Birmingham to set the scene in New Orleans on the weekend before LSU and Alabama meet on Monday at the SuperDome.

Trent Richardson at Harrahs Casino in New Orleans Jan. 7, 2012

(Trent Richardson at New Orleans Casino Saturday night)

During his visit with FOX 6 news anchor Janice Rogers, Finebaum reported that Alabama and LSU football players were spending their off-field time visiting Bourbon Street and patronizing Harrah’s Casino.

We saw reams of Alabama and LSU players, they had a midnight curfew, and, surprise suprise they split their time between Bourbon Street, and I know fans of LSU and Alabama are going to be thrilled to hear this, Bourbon Street and Harrah’s Casino.

About a quarter ’til twelve we went in there (Harrah’s Casino), I saw mainly LSU players, one very prominent one I might add but I’ll keep his name out of it. I hope he’s an adult although I think he is based on his alleged criminal activity of a few months ago.

I was a little surprised to see football players gambling, in a legal casino I might add, but it still surprised me. I guess I’m getting old.

Rogers then asked Finebaum, “I did hear that the curfews were midnight. Maybe one (team) had a one o’clock curfew, will that not start tightening up now today?


Finebaum replied:

Yes, it’s interesting I saw Trent Richardson out on, I think it was Bourbon Street, and he ran into one of his coaches and they were talking and, Trent really is a very nice kid, and he said, ‘coach I hate to do this but I’ve got curfew in ten minutes, I’ve got to run.’

Speaking of Richardson, the Alabama star running back was seen the evening after Finebaum’s comments at Harrah’s Casino around 11pm local time.

Trent Richardson at Harrahs Casino in New Orleans Jan. 7, 2012

(Trent Richardson at New Orleans Casino Saturday night) 

Richardson was also photographed visiting the New Orleans gambling parlor Saturday night around 11:30pm local time.

Trent Richardson at Harrahs Casino in New Orleans Jan. 7, 2012

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Video: Bama Habadashery Gets Tip From The Hat

Thanks to Michael Casagrande of the DECATUR (AL) DAILY and DailyBamaBlog - via Clay Travis at OutKickTheCoverage.com - for this tip from The Hat to an Alabama fan Saturday before the Heisman Trophy ceremony:


As an aside, anyone know why Les Miles is called “The Hat”? If it has anything to do with his roots, guessing we’ll never know.

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More Payments Link Baylor Coach, LSU To Lyles

Joseph Duarte of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE today profiled Willie Lyles, the Houston-based recruiting service operator at the center of an NCAA investigation into the recruiting practices of the Oregon football program.

Art Briles coached Houston program paid Lyles company $10,000 in 2007

From Duarte’s July 8, 2011, piece in the Chronicle:

Lyles said he had informal conversations with other schools, among them the University of Houston and Rice, about purchasing his service. He occasionally contacted UH to recommend players “that they should look at” in an effort to build a relationship, but the school decided not to purchase his recruiting package.

The University of Houston football program may have not purchased a recruiting package from Complete Scouting Services, the company Lyles set up in late 2009 with Oregon football coach Chip Kelly’s blessing, but UH is documented to have made a $10,000 payment to a recruiting services company which employed Lyles at the time of the financial transaction.

In a Yahoo Sports report on July 1, 2011, Charles Robinson and Dan Wetzel reported how Lyles first met Kelly:

Lyles said he first met Kelly in 2007, when he worked as a Texas-area scout for Muscle Sports, (MSL) a New York-based service.

A search of the official website of the state of Texas comptroller revealed today that the University of Houston paid “MSL Combines” $10,000 during the 2007 fiscal year. (Before Oct. 17, 2007.)

On Nov. 28, 2007, former University of Houston football coach Art Briles left the school to take over as the head football coach at Baylor.

The 2008 Baylor football recruiting class included star quarterback Robert Griffin III, who had previously committed to Houston, and former Texas high school prospect Kendall Wright, who this week was named to the 2011 preseason watch list for the Biletnikoff Award.

Current Bears QB Griffin visited Oregon during his recruitment in 2007 and said on July 13, 2007, “During the season I’m going to try to take officials [official recruiting visits] to LSU, Stanford and Washington State.”

Like the Briles-coached UH Cougars, LSU also reportedly paid MSL Combines $10,000 in 2007. Former Texas A&M assistant coach Van Malone recently alleged that Lyles asked him for $80,000 in 2007 in exchange for delivering high profile recruit Patrick Peterson to the Aggies.

Peterson ultimately sign with LSU.

In 2007, Lyles was a MSL colleague of current Florida-based recruiting service operator Charles Fishbein.

In 2008, Fishbein started Elite Scouting Services (ESS). Of that transition, Fishbein told reporter Justin Hopkins of Oregon.247sports.com three days ago: Read more…

Oregon ReDux? Les Miles Denied Knowing Lyles

During a radio interview with PORTLAND OREGONIAN columnist John Canzano of 750 the Game in Portland Tuesday, Houston-based recruiting services operator Willie Lyles said, “I know Les Miles and he knows me.

Les Miles Claims He Didn't Know Who Willie Lyles Was Until December 9

Lyles’ claim to Canzano jibes with a March 14 report by Jim Kleinpeter of the NEW ORLEANS TIMES-PICAUYUNE in which LSU senior associate athletic director Herb Vincent confirmed that the school had three months earlier paid Lyles for recruiting services.

In a story first reported by FOXsports.com senior writer Thayer Evans, Vincent said the money was paid to Lyles business in December, and was one of several recruitng services LSU used. LSU no longer employs Complete Scouting Services.

LSU paid $6,000 for the JUCO Per State Package which includes game films from California and Kansas Junior Colleges and costs $3,000 per state.

But three weeks after Vincent confirmed LSU football’s formal connection to Lyles, Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com reported on April 9, 2011, “LSU coach Les Miles told CBSSports.com Friday he didn’t know who Willie Lyles was until he saw him in December at the college football awards show in Orlando, Fla.

Stranger yet, thanks to the LSU football coach’s association with an ill-fated entertainment venture attempted by Lyles’ former employer, MSL Sports & Entertainment, Miles was presented as a longtime friend of Lyles.

On April 1, 2008, the following story was published on ESPN.com via the ASSOCIATED PRESS: Read more…

Willie Lyles: “I know Les Miles And He Knows Me”

The man at the center of an NCAA investigation into football recruiting impropriety by the University of Oregon, Houston-based recruiting service operator Willie Lyles, appeared on Portland radio on Tuesday to talk about his role with the Ducks while providing new information to host and PORTLAND OREGONIAN columnist John Canzano about his relationship to the LSU, Cal and Texas A&M football programs.

Willie Lyles on Sideline at LSU with Lache Seastrunk 2009 LSU-Florida game

(Audio of Canzano’s Lyles interview is below)

During an hour-long interview with Canzano on 750 The Game in Portland, Lyles talked at length about his ties to Oregon and head football coach Chip Kelly. But when Canzano broached his role with LSU, for which Lyles has confirmed he was most-recently paid $6,000 by the Tigers, Lyles at first refused to divulge any details of his now-documented connection to the Tigers. Read more…

Video: LSU Basketball Meets Jersey Shore. In Italy

Seriously.


LSU basketball players Garrett Green, Justin Hamilton, Matt Derenbecker, Andrew Del Piero and Eddie Ludwig had a chance encounter with cast members of the MTV reality show Jersey Shore last week in Florence, Italy. (The LSU hoops squad is midway through an 11-day tour of Italy while Jersey Shore is shooting its third season in the country.)

Paparazzi spotted the quintet of SEC ballers touring the ancient Italian city and encouraged them to go into a restaurant where Jersey Shore cast members Jenni “JWoWW” Farley and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi were having lunch. The LSU hoops players entered the establishment with the group soon moving outside for an obligatory photo-op.

Good thing that chance encounter didn’t involve student-athletes from a certain other SEC school - before May 19.

Last Thursday TMZ.com reported the University of Florida had previously threatened UF students studying in Italy with expulsion from the school-sponsored abroad studies program if they were seen on video with cast members of the same MTV reality show.

An email sent to applicable UF students stated that if those students, “agree to participate in the filming of the show, or who signs a waiver or legal agreement of any sort with MTV, will be dismissed from the program immediately.

Apparently embarrassed by the TMZ report, UF officials subsequently backed down from their threat, with a school spokeswoman later telling the website, “Generally speaking, students may participate in activities outside their Study Abroad program as long as they meet the academic and living requirements of that program. This is a reversal of the UF administrator’s position.

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Pics: Les Miles Is The Thunder From Down Under

Here’s some photos of Les Miles taken a couple summers ago on an LSU booster’s yacht.

Les Miles Tiger Bait Boat Photo

Miles is with his family on a $700,000, 60-foot Bertram yacht called “Tiger Bait.”

Les Miles Tiger Bait Boat Photo

The impressive vessel, which is up for sale, currently docks just outside Pensacola in Orange Beach, Alabama. Read more…

Exclusive: Shaq Agrees To LSU Statue Unveiling

Yesterday I broke the news that a life-size statue of Shaquille O’Neal commissioned by representatives of LSU’s athletic interests - inside and outside the university - had been completed.

Shaq LSU Statue Plans

In July, 2010, the LSU athletic department made a formal request of the university to erect the now-completed statue outside the LSU basketball practice facility. Today I was told that the request was subsequently granted by the school.

Monday I reported that O’Neal, who has anonymously donated millions to LSU over the years after obtaining his degree from the school in 2000, did not want LSU to celebrate him with a statue on campus.

Shaq LSU Statue Plans

But since my story was published Monday morning, that’s changed. Read more…

Pic: River Flood Threatens LSU Campus, Stadium

Today the official Facebook page of Louisiana State University posted this ominous photo of the Mississippi River:

Mississippi flood waters threatening Baton Rouge, LSU campus, Tiger Stadium

(Mappage of spillways north of Baton Rouge)

The photo was taken atop the Baton Rouge levee, just a few hundred feet from the LSU campus and less than a mile from Tiger Stadium.

WWL-AM in New Orleans reports that to reduce possible flooding in the heavily populated areas around the Mississippi River, the Army Corps of Engineers will soon open the Morganza flood control structure, which is 39 miles north of Baton Rouge. 

From WWL:

The governor said the river flow is barely below the threshold to open the Morganza structure now, and will hit it this weekend.
“We are expected to reach that trigger on Saturday or Sunday, based on the volume of water,” said (Governor Bobby) Jindal

“What that means is, that it now looks like they will reach that trigger, it is likely we’ll get that decision from the corps, sometime between Saturday and Tuesday.”

Mississippi flood waters threatening Baton Rouge, LSU campus, Tiger Stadium

He said during Tuesday’s briefing that once the spillway is open, floodwater could be flowing around Morgan City and into the Gulf of Mexico in three days.  He said and estimated 2,500 people live in the flood plain, but thousands more could be affected by backwater flooding.

Above is another image from the Army Corps of Engineers that details the expected Louisiana flood plain from the Mississippi River in the coming days.

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