When the news broke that the Auburn men’s basketball team was under investigation for possibly shaving points, a great many Alabama fans shouted AH HAH and nodded with supreme satisfaction, without really understanding any part of the story.
Just wait, the rank-and-file Tide fan will say. Just wait, and they’ll be able to connect this thing back to Cam Newton.
Correcting such hyperbolic thinking is the purpose of this piece. The notion that the alleged basketball violations somehow originated with Cam Newton is ridiculous. It started way before that. Like, probably with Bo Jackson and stuff.
Alabama fans have long suspected that Auburn is a hive of underworld activity, a theory that is proven correct every time Auburn beats Alabama at anything. Auburn fans will counter that it is Alabama, not them, that has a long history of NCAA violations. (Which proves that Auburn is always copying Alabama, but whatevs.)
Back in the 80s, Bo Jackson was a running back who wanted to play football for Auburn. However, instead of enrolling immediately, he waited for Bear Bryant to die first. (After Bryant died Alabama forgot how to tackle for a long time.) Because he waited so long, Bo was 47 years old as a freshman, and had Old Man Strength. As all old men do, Bo liked baseball. He started playing both sports and became very famous. Unfortunately, no matter how many packs of Topps baseball cards I bought, I could never find any Bo Jackson cards, even though the stupid kid down the street always got them in his Donruss packs. Stupid Donruss.
The missing Bo Jackson cards, of course, had been stolen by Milton McGregor, who owns a place where you can go and win money, but is totes not a casino, ya’ll. McGregor thought that if he owned all the Bo Jackson cards, their value would go way up and he could sell them at a huge profit. (Note: if you attempt this scheme with Jimmy Key cards, it will not work. TRUST ME.)
Meanwhile, Auburn football was in trouble: A player named Eric Ramsey claimed that he had been paid $300 a month by boosters and coaches. This was outrageous, because $300 wasn’t even half of what all of the other schools were paying. The Auburn folks went to Milton McGregor and told him to sell the cards so that the team could “recruit” more easily.
Problem was, once all the cards were sold, there was too much money to hide from all the auditors and the NCAA. Don Siegelman tried to take some of it, but he got caught. Terry Bowden, who has excellent hair, grabbed a bunch of it and ran, probably to buy gel or pomade. He never came back. Finally, Auburn trustee Bobby Lowder was like, chill my babies, Daddy gots a bank. Drop those stacks in an account.
This worked for a while. Auburn used the slush fund to pay for players, assassins, flubber, voodoo curses, and whatever else they used to beat Alabama those six times in a row. However, when the funds ran low, everybody flipped out because they realized that not very many people collected baseball cards anymore—they would have to find another scheme. After considering lots of ideas, the shadowy ringleaders settled on the concept of shaving points—that is, placing bets and pretending to suck more than you actually do. Instead of having the football team do it, though, they made the basketball team do it, because, well, basketball.
It wouldn’t be easy. Paul Finebaum, who is famous, had put the spotlight on Bobby Lowder. Too many people were watching and there was no way to sneak the money into his bank. Milton McGregor was in trouble with the law, so keeping the money at his place was nixed as well.
Then a man named Cecil Newton arrived and offered to hide the money in his church in Georgia. This seemed easy enough.
However, Alabama fans caught wind. Paul Finebaum sent his super agent Harvey Updyke to expose the plot. Updyke caught Cecil Newton on the Auburn campus, just as the preacher was carrying big burlap sacks with “$$$” painted on them in black paint.
For seven days and seven nights, Harvey Updyke and Cecil Newton fought each other hand and foot across the entire Auburn campus. Blow for blow, the two titans waged a terrible duel for the future of Alabama. Finally, on the seventh night, Updyke got the upper hand. Just as he was about to knock Newton down and call the NCAA, a mighty wind swept through the Plains.
It was Bo Jackson! He used his Tecmo Super Bowl special powers and blasted Harvey Updyke through the air and into a couple of oak trees at Toomer’s Corner. The next morning, Jackson and Newton were long gone, and the police found Updyke passed out on the ground. Updyke was arrested and charged with destroying the trees, although he denied every bit of it.
INT. TUSCALOOSA. PRESIDENT’S MANSION FIREROOM, NIGHT
President Witt reclines in his high back chair, staring intently into the fire as he twists a Cuban between his teeth.
It didn’t use to be like this, did it Wittsy. Back in the old days we could get things done. We didn’t have to worry about these kids with their internets and their tweet machines. Back then we didn’t have to sneak around.
Smoke rings from the cigar drift upwards into the cavernous room. Witt casts one last rueful glance at the issue of The Tuscaloosa News in his hand. The headline is large and sensational: UPDYKE ARRESTED
Look at you, rotting in your ivory tower while the Barners run rampant.
Witt reflects for a moment. Slowly, deliberately, he works his Presidential Ring off of his finger. He drops the ring on the floor, where it falls softly onto the bearskin rug.
Yes, that’s it. Resign. Go off the grid. Handle this one personally. Good form, Wittsy.