Monday, December 17, 2007

Flip Out?

According to West By God Virginia, the SEC's real evil genius--Jimmy Sexton--is at it again:
Sources close to University President Mike Garrison have informed WBGV that Nick Saban’s agent has contacted WVU regarding our vacant head-coaching position.

These sources tell us that Saban is extremely unhappy in Tuscaloosa and has failed to recapture the situation he had in Baton Rouge with LSU. The purpose of the agent’s call was to express initial interest in the position and to have WVU athletics put together a compensation package enough to lure Saban from Alabama. This package would not need to be as much as Saban is currently making at Alabama, but enough to not result in a 50% paycut.
In an update, WBGV adds that ('s West Virginia affiliate) has confirmed the story on the premium ($$) side of their site.

For what it's worth, I'd personally score this one in the "extremely unlikely at best" category, but then again, there's this:
Interestingly, while working the story last year, a source in West Virginia told me that the governor would essentially be the one who would hire the new Mountaineer coach when Rodriguez left for Alabama.

Of course, I didn't know at the time that the governor was Joe Manchin -- who is a close friend of Nick Saban and godfather to Saban's son Nicholas.

(No, not starting the Saban-to-West Virginia rumors. Just pointing out an interesting sidebar).

Manchin was a quarterback for the Mountaineers and now, as governor, has his own parking spot outside the West Virginia stadium.
Interesting. Here's quite a bit more background on Saban's relationship with Manchin.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Lame Excuses at the Alex City Outlook

As promised in emails from publisher Tim Reeves and editor Kevin Taylor, the Alexander City (AL) Outlook published an apology, of sorts, for the Bruce Meyers column noted here. The Sunday column, written by sports editor Matt Dischinger, opens with,
Dozens of readers responded to the mistakes made in the commentary section of Friday's sports page.

Some found significant mistakes on the part of a guest columnist Bruce Meyers, with the most noteworthy one being a section of the column that was inadvertently plagiarized from a column by Pat Forde appearing on The mistakes were not caught by The Outlook's editorial staff, and we apologize for the mistake on our part and Bruce's part. It was certainly not intentional.

We appreciate the many responses from readers calling attention the problems with Friday's column. Those mistakes have been addressed with the author. The Outlook staff will always try to minimize mistakes when they are found in any guest column.
That's it. The piece also contains several column-inches of scolding, but the scolding is directed at readers who complained about the content of Meyers' column, rather than at Meyers himself for blatantly (and really stupidly) plagiarizing one of the most widely-read national columns on Bobby Petrino from last week.

For whatever it's worth, I have no problem with Bruce Meyers writing whatever opinions he wants to write, and no problem with the AC Outlook publishing them--no matter how dumb, irrelevant, or badly-written those opinions happen to be. As a commenter to my previous post noted, it's not worth getting worked up over an unknown columnist for a paper with a miniscule readership.

But I do have a problem when Meyers or anybody else goes out and steals somebody else's words and claims them as his own. I have a big problem when his section editor blithely writes off outright plagiarism as "a mistake," and the paper's editor and publisher sign off on a lame whitewash.

What Meyers did Friday is not "a mistake," Mr. Reeves. It's not "inadvertent," Mr. Taylor.

It's plagiarism. It's theft. And you ought to be ashamed of yourselves for excusing it.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Plagiarism at the Alex City Outlook

From Pat Forde's column at on December 11, 2007:
[T]hose Arkansas fans ready to embrace their new hotshot coach and his pretty ball plays need to understand one thing:

The disingenuous drifter doesn't love you or any other fan base. He doesn't love any school or any NFL franchise. He loves himself, his playbook and his bank account.

That's it. Don't expect it to change.

Bobby Petrino will return your embrace, Hog fans. But while he's hugging you he'll be looking over your shoulder, scanning the terrain for his next hook-up.

Even in a profession rife with dishonest posturing, Petrino is singularly mercenary. Loyalty, allegiance, commitment and honesty are foreign concepts to him. It must be a sad existence.

I apologize to Alabama's Nick Saban -- last year I named him president of the Liar's Club. He's been impeached and replaced by the disingenuous drifter.
(Emphasis mine above and below.)

From Bruce Meyers' column in the Alexander City (AL) Outlook, December 13, 2007:
Nick Saban should send flowers to Petrino for taking the Arkansas job. Now the media can get off of Saban's back about how he handled the job change. They are calling Petrino the disingenuous drifter.

To the Hog fans: Petrino doesn't love you or any other fan base. He doesn't love any school or NFL franchise. Petrino loves himself, his playbook and his bank account. Petrino is a mercenary at best. Loyalty, allegiance commitment and honesty are foreign concepts to this guy.

Coach Saban, you have been impeached and replaced.
Meyers makes it a point to say twice in the column linked above, "I am not an Alabama fan." Maybe, maybe not, Bruce, but you are a plagiarist.

UPDATE: As of the morning of December 15, the Alex City Outlook has replaced Meyers' column at the link above with an unrelated AP article.

Uh, guys, this is the internet. We can save stuff. And we have. Try again.

UPDATE UPDATE: Per an email response from AC Outlook publisher Tim Reeves, the Meyers column was replaced on the website due to the site's policy of posting items on consecutive days under the same "tagline." I've replaced the link above with the correct link to the Friday Meyers column, and also corrected the date of that column above to December 13.