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D.J. Fluker and 4 Other SEC Players Paid in College

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Could NCAA football come under anymore scrutiny? It has only been a few days since the scandal at OSU was brought to light by Sports Illustrated, and now an official Yahoo! Sports investigation has revealed that 5 players from the SEC received monetary benefits while playing in college. The suspected players are D.J Fluker – offensive tackle for the University of Alabama, Tyler Bray – quarterback for the University of Tennessee, Maurice Crouch – defensive end for the University of Tennessee, Fletcher Cox – defensive tackle for Mississippi State University, and Chad Bumphis – wide receiver for Mississippi State.

While the charges against the players from Tennessee and Mississippi State are serious (especially considering the two programs are currently under probation), the charges against D.J. Fluker perhaps carry the most weight. Fluker was a member of Alabama’s previous 2 National Championship teams. After last year’s championship victory, Fluker decided to forego his senior season and enter his name into the NFL draft, where he was chosen 11th by the San Diego Chargers. Past money allegations have shown us just how serious the offense is considered by the NCAA; After it was discovered that Reggie Bush had taken money while at USC, the NCAA stripped USC of its 2004 National Title, banned them from bowl games for 2 years, and stripped 30 scholarships and 14 victories from the team.

Based on previous actions, one can properly assume that Alabama is in grave danger of losing claims to its last 2 national championships. However, it may come down to an issue of how much Alabama actually knew about the situation. If anyone at Alabama had knowledge of the events either as they occurred or after the fact, and did not step forward with the allegations, then Alabama most likely will lose their national championships and face many other sanctions (Prime examples – USC and coach Jim Tressel at Ohio State). However, if this was an isolated action by Fluker and his contact points, Alabama may be able to weasel their way around the situation and retain their successes.

Unlike the accusations against OSU, this case will probably be fairly cut and dry. The report issued by Yahoo! Sports outlines a huge paper trail left behind by Fluker, his mother, and his contact – former Alabama defensive end Luther Davis. Whenever one can create a chronological listing of all of the money transactions which occurred to Fluker from Davis, it’s safe to say the evidence is fairly damning. Perhaps the most damning evidence of all, however, was divulged by Fluker himself. In April, Fluker posted a tweet in which he admitted that he received money while in college:

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The allegations against these 5 players and the allegations against OSU once again bring us to the age-old question: Should college athletes be paid for their services rendered during college? This USA Today Sports article by Chris Strauss makes the argument that Alabama should have played Fluker for his performance for the Crimson Tide, based on the amount of revenue the football team pulled-in for the university and Fluker’s past of growing up poor. While the latter case is hard to argue against (those pathos appeals always carry so much weight), one cannot overlook the fact that Fluker has his entire college expense paid for and received a HUGE contract upon signing with the San Diego Chargers ($6.6 million in a signing bonus, to be exact). Personally, I believe paying college students to play sports completely eliminates the division between amateur and professional and also eliminates the need for college athletics. But perhaps that is just the internal jealousy stemming from a vertically-challenged, private-liberal-arts educated academic.

What do you think? Should college athletes be paid? Respond in the Comment Section below.

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D.J. Fluker and 4 Other SEC Players Paid in College
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  • Reality

    I wrote this 2 days ago about Oklahoma State and I stand by it:

    This stuff happens at all major university programs. Anyone who has ever been close to or involved in major programs knows it happens.

    College football players at major schools are not student-athletes. They are there to play sports. It is a huge business. Athletes are passed by teachers or get answers to tests from tutors or through the greek system. Alumni pay the athletes under the table or set them up with easy high paying jobs where they are also paid under the table. Cheerleaders, strippers, and hookers are used all the time to attract athletes. Heck, many of the girls do it for free just because of the thrill or the possibility of landing a future professional athlete. Parents are moved or given jobs in the community the athlete goes to school in. Players are so large now that college teams are as big as pro teams — a lot of this is from steroids. What you think our kids have access to every drug in the world, but draw the line at drugs that make them stronger and look better?

    Come on people — stop being so naive. We see the evidence all around us and logically we know that there is no way an athlete really can be a student, yet we try to convince ourselves that this stuff isn’t happening. People don’t deal with reality — they want to deal with a dream world that doesn’t exist.

  • Reality

    Also, in response to the Oklahoma State article , I wrote this about the SEC:

    “I have been around major programs in the SEC and I know for a fact this stuff happens all the time. Start investigating and talking to the alumni, teachers, and strippers from Atlanta and you will find all your answers.”

    I wrote this before the SEC story was broken. I am not some special person or anything. I just went to college at an SEC school. It is so blatantly obvious that even I was able to figure it out easily. I have no clue how people think it doesn’t The conference has been dominant now for the past decade. Do you think that the SEC gets all the best athletes in the country by doing things the “right” way? People in the SEC are football crazy and will do anything to win at it. I assure you that this is just the tip of the iceberg as to what is going on.

    Don’t even get me started on what is happening in our high schools. Really want to be disillusioned? Start looking into that.

  • Hmm

    All you have to do is look at Alabama’s team and know that something is not on the up and up. They are massive and bigger than most pro teams. Sometimes you have to trust what is right before your eyes. I dare anyone to randomly test for steroids at that program. Just show up one day and test everyone. I am sure you will not like the results.

    The funny thing is that everyone knows this stuff is going on in the SEC. You don’t dominate college football for a 10 years or so by doing things “right.” Everyone just turns a blind eye. Heck, Alabama can lose a game and not drop in the polls. Any other school in the nation will drop 5 to 10 spots. You know people are helping them out and turning blind eyes all over the place.

  • justafbfan

    News flash for Alabama fans. USC got caught breaking rules with Reggie Bush and USC had to vacant ( giveback) a national championship. Now Alabama broke rules when they played Fluker and Barron, who took money, they should have to vacant the national championship because he played on the team which won it. Alabama looks like karma to me. Can you say years of “probation” and “bowl ban” ….. Oh don’t feel too bad Tenseness and Mississippi State will be joining you….I guess he SEC really does lead the nation ….in scandals