Sprints Thinks Scam Artists Should Stop Talking to the Media // 02.01.13

Oh, and he's back - Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports

All the news that's fit to make fun of, including the latest denials from the magical tablet guys to the latest weirdness in the Manti Te'o saga

Mostly follow-ups today to stories that we've reported elsewhere, from the weird guys who were selling the magical pogs to Alabama players to the weird guy who was playing Lennay Kekua talking to Dr. Phil. Who said college football's offseason was boring?

Snake oil salesman denies being snake oil salesman
Christopher Key, whom you would think knows better by now, is speaking to the media. This time, it's the Associated Press asking questions.

"I'm not just this quack peddling these stickers," said Key, who received a bachelor of science degree from Alabama in 1996. "This was my life work."

Key, you'll recall, is the man who said he had a light beam that could kill the swine flu. But he's right -- calling Christopher Key a quack is an insult to quacks everywhere. For our purposes, there's a far more interesting part of this story.

Key said the company has had dealings with players from five Southeastern Conference football programs -- at least three of which have asked them to stay away. Ross said players from LSU, Mississippi and in the SEC championship game wore the chips during their games with Alabama.

It's kind of hard to tell which players exactly are being referred to in the comment about "in the SEC championship game." In the time frame Key talks about in the article, two Florida teams and one Georgia team have faced Alabama in the conference title bout. Unless he's saying both Florida and Georgia had players involved in the cockamamie business, in which case either he or the reporter should say so.

This is not even the most interesting thing Bowen Loftin's been authorized to negotiate in the last two years
Kevin Sumlin's about to get paid, as he should.

Billy Gillispie will be at Kentucky-Texas A&M
I'm sure he'll be welcome. (HT: Clay)

This just gets more and more bizarre
Ronaiah Tuiasosopo now says he was in love with Manti Te'o. More on that in a moment. But the truly through-the-looking-glass part of his interview with Dr. Phil came when Tuiasosopo is telling about an emotional conversation around the time of the death of Te'o's grandmother.

"Then I said, 'Forget I ever asked the question, forget everything. I didn't know that she was sick. You never told me she's been sick for weeks now. We talked every night on the phone, sleep on the phone every night together ... so how was I supposed to know that she was even sick?'"

Yes, Tuiasosopo was upset because Manti Te'o was not fully forthcoming with Tuiasosopo. Who was playing a character. Of the opposite gender. That, my friends, is what they call "gall."

And this just makes absolutely no sense
I'm not sure what to believe happened at this point, but I know I don't really believe this.

Tuiasosopo said he felt Kekua was a part of him, and grew feelings and emotions for Te'o that he could not control. He acknowledged that the hoax was cruel, but said it was never intended as a joke and that he got no financial gain from it.

The part about developing feelings and all that is very -- well, I don't know what it is, but it's something -- but it just doesn't make any sense. Tuiasosopo didn't decide to develop feelings for Manti Te'o just because. This was not a happenstance meeting between two people. This was an orchestrated campaign to deceive Te'o that started before Tuiasosopo developed these "feelings."

So, why? If it was not meant to be a joke and there was no financial component to the scam, why did Tuiasosopo begin it in the first place? There are less time-consuming hobbies. Why call someone you've never met, pretend to be a woman, and then begin to discuss your life with this total stranger who also happens to be a star player on one of the most storied programs in all of college football?

There's an answer to that question somewhere. And we won't know the full story of the Manti Te'o hoax until we get that answer.

Snyder will only be 346 when it's over
Bill Synder signed a five-year extension with Kansas State.

Bob Bowslby should fit right in as a conference commissioner
One of the things that Big 12 coaches seem to have been happy about is not having to deal with a conference championship game -- it was one of the reasons being given for the conference not to expand. And the conference doesn't want to expand.

But now, it's changed its mind about the whole conference championship game. And it wants the NCAA to let it have one.

As he has done repeatedly, Bowlsby reiterated that the league is comfortable with proceeding forward with 10 members because conference members are receiving high payouts per school and pleased with their access to the postseason.

''We are unconvinced at this point that larger is better,'' Bowlsby said.

Read between the lines here. The Big 12 wants to get to hold a money-making championship game but not go through the expansion process that would require some of that money to flow to the new members. In other words, the Big 12 wants to get all of the benefits of a conference championship game without accept any of the potential downsides. Texas' arrogance might be contagious.

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