WATERCOOLER CHAT: NEW TWIST IN RUTGERS STORY, AUBURN BRIBING PLAYERS, JAMARCUS RUSSELL IN SHAPE

BASKETBALL

In college basketball, as we’ve been discussing, Rutgers University recently fired head coach Mike Rice after a video surfaced on the Internet of Rice screaming slurs at players and even shoving them.  This is not a behavior that is tolerated in college (or anywhere for that matter).  However, now two students on the Rutgers basketball team have come to the public defense of Rice, saying that Rice wasn’t as bad as what was featured on that video.  They said that Rice actually helped them turn their life around and made them into the good men that they are today.  It’s an interesting opinion, but at the end of the day, a coach simply can’t treat his players like that

FOOTBALL

And in college football, another conspiracy.  It’s being reported that Auburn may have violated many rules as they tried to bribe NFL draft candidates to stay at school.  Any university knows how valuable having a quality program is.  They make hundreds of millions from ticket sales and especially TV contracts.  Auburn didn’t seem to care about the rules, and just started offering players bribes whenever it was convenient.  There is even an allegation that they offered money to quality players if they looked unmotivated or too tired at practice.  This story is still developing, but it could go very deep.

Finally, with the NFL draft upon us, many are talking about the hot quarterback names on the board:  Geno Smith, Matt Barkley, E.J. Manuel.  However, it looks like a former #1 overall draft pick may be ready to claim a starting job.  When the Raiders drafted big man JaMarcus Russell to a lucrative deal to be their franchise quarterback, they expected him to show the gifted athleticism he exhibited winning a National Championship that season.  Unfortunately, Russell didn’t stay in shape and even got into drugs and alcohol, eventually forcing the Raiders to cut him.  Well now, videos are surfacing on the Internet of Russell getting in tremendous shape — working out hard and losing 40 pounds in order to try to land a job with a team.  Perhaps he really is a new man.  Will a team give him a chance?

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