Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Foul Play: Paid in Mississippi, Part I

Was Laremy Tunsil sabotaged? Who are the "bagmen"?  Is college football in Mississippi truly pay for play? Was Leo Lewis a dumb jock or a playa who figured out how to play the system?  Is the Egg Bowl the scene of the most "intense" rivalry in college football?  Reporter Steven Godfrey attempted to cover these questions in Foul Play: Paid in Mississippi, a four-part Youtube series about the Ole Miss NCAA scandal.  The SB Nation production was barely, if at all, mentioned in the Mississippi media when it was released in August 2018 even though the production value was quite good.  The first video is posted below.  Pour a drink, light a cigar, and enjoy. 

Some quick observations:

* The video spends a bit of time covering the sabotage of Laremy Tunsil on the 2016 NFL Draft Night.

* The narrator, Steven Godfrey, an Ole Miss grad, repeatedly refers to the Ole Miss-MSU rivalry as the "most intense" in college football. Um, really? Hopefully, Mr. Godfrey's statement was a poor attempt at some hyperbole instead of some homerism for his alma mater  Surely he has heard of a little game called the Iron Bowl?  Hmmm, not to mention OU-Texas, Meechigan-Ohio State, or even Alabama-Tennessee.

* Rose Bowl.  Maybe Rose Bowl is the best name for the ole Steve because he looks more like a Duckie than a Bulldog.  How much weed does that guy smoke? Yes, I'm stereotyping BUT it's fun stereotyping.

* The video makes a big deal out of the so-called Brookhaven parking lot meeting between Alan Smith, Jr. and Leo Lewis.  However, Mr. Smith has publicly denied the meeting ever took place.  Mr. Smith as "John Doe" told the Ole Miss Spirit:

“Thank God for Steven Godfrey and his thoroughness and objectivity as a reporter.

I have been screaming how biased this investigation has been and how Leo Lewis lacks any credibility for months now to my family and close friends but was unable to say anything to the public or review the actual testimony of Leo.

Now that I have read the article, I will comment further.

I provided documentation to the NCAA before Leo's third interview that definitely proved I did not pay him $10k, as alleged. I provided the "sign in" sheet for motion day that has my name on it for Hinds County Court in downtown Jackson, Miss., for 10 a.m. that day. I was there until approximately noon whereby I provided a credit card receipt for a Chick-fil-A sandwich I bought for lunch near my office at approximately 1 p.m. I also provided a sworn affidavit from a lawyer who was co-counsel with me on the case that I was in court that morning stating we worked in my office on matters related to that case until approximately 4:30 p.m. This objective and direct evidence proves I did not pay Leo $10k in addition to the time frame issues Godfrey discussed in his article.

Another thing that has really bothered me about this false allegation is that anyone who know me knows I am not so stupid as to give $10k to a 18-year-old kid who had changed his commitment two or three times without having a letter of intent with me for him to sign prior to paying him any money. Not that I am the smartest guy in the world, but if I was so inclined to do such a thing, which I wasn't, and coach (Barney) Farrar and I had this "grand scheme" going on, I sure as hell would have told coach to email a letter of intent before I paid him any money.

Again, Leo's story defies logic. Some may ask why I have fought so hard in the court system to keep my name confidential. My response would be because of precedent and the 14th Amendment of our Constitution. As an attorney I think about the consequences of me just laying down and having my information released. That would be the easy route, especially when I know I am being falsely accused, and my identity is not that big of a secret. However, what happens five, 10, 20 years down the line when another NCAA investigator comes knocking on our door and again tries to railroad Ole Miss and its alumni? I sure as hell do not want any concession I made out of convenience to be used against Ole Miss and any Rebel alumni in the future. I have been denied due process in this investigation. I have been denied on multiple occasions to question my accuser, and there is absolutely no burden of proof with the NCAA.

This process is "cowboy court," to put it mildly. As such, I will continue to fight on. I want to apologize to the great Rebel Nation for any heartache this has caused, but I wanted to shed some further light on this sham of justice. Hotty Toddy!” statement.
One wonders if he is now saying Mr. Godfrey is fair and objective when the video posted does not mention his statements published in the Ole Miss Spirit.   Mr. Smith and I sparred several rounds in court with yours truly winning.  However, the video should have mentioned his statements and denials.*  Even JJ gave him that courtesy but then JJ is not legitimate media, right, Mr. Hood? ;-)

* The videos include quite a few editorial comments from SB Nation staff about the absurdity of barring college athletes from being paid while in college.

JJ will post the remaining three videos in the next few days.  

* Mr. Smith cited public records.  He is more than welcome to send those records or the name of the case to this website for verification, sanctification, and publication.  This website's quarrel with Mr. Smith was over public records, not his actual innocence or guilt. 


Nobody Denies This, Noooobaady.. said...

Who cares whether or not players SHOULD be paid to play football? The point is that's not allowed now and Tunsil admitted he was paid.

The REAL story (and it won't take four episodes) is that Revrunt Freeze escaped scott-free and is still coaching and making the "I'm a Christian" travelin' circuit (circus). And so did Bjork, his partner in crime.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness we have stellar “clean” programs like LSU to represent the athletic integrity of the SEC.

Anonymous said...

A good friend of mine who is a fire fighter out west once explained to me how smart firemen fight forest fires by starting a fire to burn off all the fuel so that the big fire does not make more progress. Start a little fire to starve a big fire. This is a marvelous little fire. The Ole Miss grad is doing his part for alma mater and showing that his education was not wasted. Good firefighter.

Anonymous said...

Like he or Ole Miss give a damn about those poor black kids making nothing while college football programs get rich. Ole Miss? Ole Miss? Actually it's more appropriate at Ole Miss than anyplace else in the country.

Anonymous said...

Do free hoes count as "pay" ?

Anonymous said...

Weird flex, but at least he is honest.

He admits he messed up by not making Lewis sign a LOI before he gave him all that money. LOL!

Anonymous said...

Many readers will take offense to this, but ole miss is the laughing stock of the south. Soon a degree from there won’t be worth any more than a degree from Alcorn.

Anonymous said...

While we are on this, has anyone noticed the racial disparity in college sports, especially in college football and basketball? Is making sure a black kid who doesn’t give a rip about an education to get an athletic scholarship worth you spending your time at the games or sitting in front of a television while there are some other young students who would love to get a shot at playing for a college or university? If we placed as much effort in academics and got this country smarter, you would see a huge difference in all sectors of society. But when you have to lower the bar so certain students can pass them you really slingshotted yourself back a hundred years. Oh well..... this shit ain’t gonna change. Remember, Rome had its coliseum and gladiators.

Anonymous said...

Using the word "reporter" to describe Steven Godfrey is sinking to a new low. You obviously haven't done your research on him.

Anonymous said...

4:42 I've noticed the same disparity and we should be making sure a white kid who doesn't give a rip about an education gets those scholarships. Hey, now that you mention it, we've already done that. Watch the news.

Anonymous said...


Amen and when you factor in how expensive it is to attend a game to watch these "student athletes" play what often times resembles street ball more than organized sports it's really pretty easy to lose interest. Like me !

Anonymous said...

Sports, at all levels, is a business, but it's really just another segment of the entertainment industry. When you watch college or professional sports (and I do with the best of them), it's for entertainment purposes only. The outcome of a game even at the highest level (i.e. World Series, Super Bowl, NBA Finals) does nothing to change world events, improve lives, educate, feed the hungry, right wrongs, etc., etc., etc. Our society here in the US puts way to much emphasis on entertainment, particularly sports. At the end of the day, does it really matter who wins the Egg Bowl?

Anonymous said...


Godfrey is a 100% fan boy .

Anonymous said...

1.02 AM

Don't really take offense to your comment, but disagree. Perhaps you are conflating athletic reputation with academics. Yes, Ole Miss has a lot of mud on its face as a result of the football debacle. However, while the school has never been an academic powerhouse, it has two nationally-ranked schools in pharmacy and accounting, and - for better or worse - it will always carry some reptuational weight within Mississippi. With a $700M+ endowment, they can attract programs and reasonably talented faculty.

Despite what seems to be the overwhelming tendency of Mississippians, one must look beyond the football program of a university before judging the overall merits of the institution.

Anonymous said...


The whole point of this 4-part series (and Godfrey is a friend of mine) is that college football players should be paid.

That’s it. Leo Lewis is a victim. Ole Miss only cheated because schools aren’t allowed to pay players legally.

Bob Boteler said...

1:02 and 4:42.....your comments are blatantly racist at all levels. But I suppose under the cloak of darkness (anonymous) you feel powered to make them. I hope some day you have a change of heart before the day that you have to meet your maker (and also meet a lot of fine Alcorn graduates).

Anonymous said...

I sure am glad that I'm an LSU alum.

Anonymous said...

@4:02 ......AAAAAAAAAND, unsurprisingly, we end up at the usual place........

Anonymous said...

@9:09 am. Ask Andrés Escobar who takes sports too seriously?

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

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Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

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Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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