As much as I'd like to spend the Talking Points waxing poetically about the fall practices, including information about the rising stars on the defensive line, the hunger to win across the whole team,and Erik Ainge's struggles to advance in New York, the big news is obviously the NCAA's intiial ruling that Bryce Brown is currently ineligible. To that end, I've gathered as much information as I could on the case to try to make some more sense of it.
The focus of the investigation was on fundraising activities that Brian Butler engaged in for the sake of a tour of schools in the south for his players. From the Wichita Eagle:
Brown was one of 10 players who went on a summer 2007 tour to college campuses in the southern part of the country. Butler billed it as an academic tour. Players on that tour included Brown and his brother, Arthur, who is at Miami (Fla.); Rose Hill graduate Blaize Foltz, now at Texas Christian; Northwest graduate Chris Harper, who transferred from Oregon to Kansas State; and 2008 Top 11 selection Jaydan Bird, a Conway Springs graduate now at Oklahoma.
Butler said money was raised for that tour by hosting barbecues at Wal-Mart and Sam's, a fund-raiser at Texas Roadhouse, as well as money given by four donors whom Butler did not identify.
"I deemed it initially, and marketed it that way, as an academic tour," Butler said. "I know you can't get money donated when it has anything to do with athletics....
That is the heart of the issue. It's worth noting that, at the time of this writing, only Bryce Brown has been targeted by the NCAA for any disciplinary action. This implies that either Bryce received extra-special benefits on this tour (as a sophomore in high school) that nobody else received, or that the NCAA is making a statement.
Brian Butler believes it's a statement by the NCAA. He was on a radio interview Wednesday morning with KGSO of Wichita. Some Volnation members liveblogged it here if you're interested. In it, Butler asserts that the investigation that ended in Brown's ineligibility was birthed in this New York Times article, which painted Butler in a rather dim light. It's an article that made Doc Saturday change his opinion on Butler.
We had a roundup of the Brian Butler articles and discussion last spring that you may want to revisit. The NCAA investigation has been over for a while, and they have just now gotten round to issuing judgment, so the real information of concern is the information we knew back then. Again, if you're interested, I recommend revisiting the articles from the spring to better understand the context.
Potential Players, Butler's organization, has issued a statement regarding the investigation. Here is the link, but from the article, here is a list of the players affected by the fundraiser:
Here is a list of players who have been involved with Brian Butler's training, or camps:
2009 Class and School Attended
Jaydan Bird-University of Oklahoma, Bryce Brown-University of Tennessee, Devin Gfeller-Kansas St. University, Wil Richards-University of Nebraska, Riley Spencer-University of Kansas, Forrest Stucky-Pittsburg St., Huldon Tharp-University of Kansas, Kevin Young-University of Kansas, Aaron Wilson-Butler County, Jeff Page-Butler County , Garrett Kraft-Coffeyville C.C., Justin Puthoff-University of Kansas, Jake Snodgrass-McPherson,
Kamerion Wimbley-Cleveland Browns (2001)
Players Currently in 4 year Colleges
Tysyn Hartman-Kansas State University (2007), Frank Delarue-Kansas State University (2007), Matt Bowie-University of Kansas (2007) , Arthur Brown Jr.-University of Miami (2008), Chris Harper-University of Oregon (2008), Chase Meija-Northern Illinois University (2008), Blaize Foltz-Texas Christian University (2008), D.J. Breathett-University of Oklahoma (2008)
Scholarships Commits for 2007 -2008 Camp Participants
Blake Bell-University of Oklahoma(2010 Commit), Devin Hedgepeth-Oklahoma St. University(2010 Commit), Nathan Stanley-University of Mississippi, Ethan Powell-Missouri Southern, Brayden Burris-Iowa State University, Brock Bell-Emporia State University, Bart Voegeli-University of Kansas, Austin Yeargain-Southwestern Oklahoma St. University, Romero Cotton-University of Nebraska , Garrick Williams-Wake Forest University, Jake Morse-Missouri State, Trey Stead-Emporia State University.
With a list that extensive, it's very difficult to believe that only Bryce Brown is worthy of NCAA attention, if there is indeed some foul play afoot. More details will come out in time, and perhaps there is information that is not yet public about this incident that will clarify the NCAA's actions, but for right now, the NCAA appears intent on making an example out of Bryce Brown in order to create the precedent they need to shut down handlers like Brian Butler.