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Auburn's Early Problems


AFTiger
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Several weeks ago I got caught up in what the moderater termed a flame war. I am still new to boards but there were several statements made that were erroneous.

I have gone to a book written by Rich Donnell in 1993 entitled SHUG: The Life and Times of Auburn's ralph "Shug" Jordan and feel that we need to review what happened and why my and so many Auburn fans feelings are so strong.

I was a youngster in Auburn when all of this happened and much of this is very familiar to me.

SHUG

Chapter 12

"In the interests of another institution"

As Jordan drove the Tigers to glory in 1957, something kept tugging at him. With his energies channeled into the tremendous task at hand, he usually pushed the discomfort aside. But it was there. The NCAA was again investigating Auburn for recruiting violations, looking specifically into Auburn's recruitment of Guntersville High School quarterback Don Fuell. What frustrated Jordan was that this was Auburn's second such involvement with the NCAA. Auburn was already playing under probation. The NCAA had handed down a punishment in spring 1956, charging Auburn with improper recruiting. The penalty prohibited Auburn from playing in bowl games following the 1956 and 1957 seasons. The penalty may have cost Auburn's 7 3 team a bowl bid in 1956. It undoubtedly cost Auburn's undefeated squad of 1957 a bowl invitation.

Rich Donnell, SHUG: The Life and Times of Auburn’s Ralph ‘Shug’ Jordan, Owl Bay Publishers , 1993, PP149-161

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My dad grew up in Guntersville and graduated from high school in 1966. He has told me about that several times, Bear and Alabama were behind it.

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On December 15, 1955, the Birmingham News broke the story that SEC Commissioner Bernie Moore was looking into a report that an Auburn recruiter paid one thousand dollars to Gadsden area running backs Robert and Harry Beaube in an effort to coerce them to accept scholarships from Auburn. The twin brothers had just completed their prep careers at Emma Samsom High School. Harry Beaube had made Class AAA All-State. The father of the twins, the Reverend Albert Beaube, said he wished his sons "'would just forget football."

A week later, the SEC fined Auburn two thousand dollars for the incident. Auburn said it would not appeal the fine. Commissioner Moore revealed that Auburn defensive coach Hal Herring gave the twins five hundred dollars each on November 28. Apparently, Herring acted on behalf of an alumnus.

President Draughon commented, "After full inquiry we accept as fact the statement that one of our coaches has made offers in cash in excess of normal grant in aid allowable." The existing grant-in-aid setup allowed players tuition, books, room and board, plus fifteen dollars per month for laundry.

But Draughon offered some additional information. He said, "Persons acting in the interests of another institution" had led the twins to believe they would be given a furnished apartment. When Herring discovered this, he "unwisely, in the heat of competition, was led to make a cash payment."

Draughon didn't mention any names, but he was referring to the University of Alabama. The twins said Auburn and Alabama had been the only two SEC schools to offer them scholarships. Auburn also believed that Alabama's recruiting coordinator had called the SEC Commissioner and reported Auburn's misdeed.

"We cannot excuse the fact that the excess upon Auburn's part occurred because persons acting in the interests of another institution made the original offer," Draughon said. But he added, "To penalize one institution and not the other can only result in sharpening the rivalry."

Jeff Beard, then the athletic director, said he and Jordan immediately drove to the home of Hueytown High School quarterback Richard Rush, who had just signed with Auburn. They gathered goods which, according to Beard, had been given to the player by Alabama during the recruiting season, and transported the goods to the SEC commissioner's office in Birmingham.

"We told him that if he wanted evidence, there it was," Beard later said.

Rich Donnell, SHUG: The Life and Times of Auburn’s Ralph ‘Shug’ Jordan, Owl Bay Publishers , 1993, PP149-161

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...why are we discussing something that happened 50 year ago with no relevence today. or am i missing something.

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If anyone thinks for a second that Auburn's history of NCAA difficulties are either an accident OR the result of that much guilt on our part, then I'd like some of what you're smoking. If you review h istory, every time we got close to closing the gap between us and that other school, something would mysteriously turn up to get us in trouble....meanwhile.... no such trouble ever came their way until recently.... You figure!

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there is a guy on the boards that uses the name: 'Remember Don Fuell'

His is a story that you must hear in person. Don Fuell was the son of a bootlegger, or so I am told. He came to Auburn and lived pretty high on the hog due to his Dad. Two Alabama Asst Coaches got into his rental house by posing as Encyclopedia Salesmen, kid you not.

Fulmer just took a page out of the Bama history books when he turned the Tide in.

What went around, came around.

BTW, I can assure you all that CTT knows the story very well. Ever wonder why we dont really go head to head with Bama on any athlete? Why he is a great recruiter but shys away from the in-state guys?

'Remember Don Fuell'

BTW, check the dates again, Bear et al werent there until 58.

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In the Interest of Another Institution

Part 3

On December 31, 1955 the Birmingham News reported that the SEC had fined Alabama one thousand dollars because four alumni or supporters of the university gave Hueytown's Rush a television set, clothes, an overcoat and $28.47 in cash.

But Auburn, not Alabama, was in the hot seat with the NCAA, which had launched an enforcement program in 1952. Early in 1956, NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers reported that twenty five schools were under investigation. The NCAA had recently slapped the University of Miami with a major penalty.

On May 1, 1956, an eighteen man NCAA Council, meeting in New Orleans, put on probation Texas A&M, Mississippi College and the University of Kansas. The NCAA found Bear Bryant's Texas A&M program guilty of offering at least two prospective student athletes financial aid during April 1955. The penalty knocked Texas A&M out of two bowl games.

The next day, May 2, the NCAA put the boom on Auburn, Florida and Louisville. The council agreed with the SEC's finding on Herring and the cash payments to the twins. Executive Director Byers said the twins reported the incident to their father the same day they received the money, and their father returned the money the following day. President Draughon called the probation "rough stuff."

"We're going to do everything we can to restore the good standing of Auburn," Draughon said.

The NCAA also reprimanded and censured Jordan for failing to "take corrective action or punitive action upon learning of the incident."

In four years the NCAA had placed seventeen colleges on probation.

Years later Herring said, "I took the blame and we went on. It's amazing how all the agricultural colleges get zapped and the state universities don't."

The incident didn't seriously impact recruiting as scholarships weren't part of the penalty. Also, Auburn had already signed those players who were to be freshmen in 1956. The players Auburn would sign the following season, who would play freshman ball in 1957, wouldn't be affected by the lack of bowl participation anyway, since freshmen couldn't play on the varsity. Auburn signed lineman Ken Rice and fullback and kicker Ed Dyas, both future All Americans, that year. Needless to say the penalty didn't affect the varsity team's play, as the 1957 team won the national title.

But the incident did, in Draughon's words, sharpen the rivalry between Auburn and Alabama. It created some bitterness in Beard, Jordan and the assistant coaches toward Alabama. However, Auburn's 34 7 and 40 0 whippings of Alabama in the no bowl years of 1956 and 1957 helped mollify their anxiety.

And then it happened again, only this time it was worse. In April 1958, just as Auburn was coming off the initial penalty, the NCAA smacked Auburn with a three year probation. No bowl games in 1958, 1959 and 1960; no sharing in the conference's bowl receipts; no television; no participation by the school's other sports including basketball, baseball, track, golf and wrestling in post season regional or national tournaments or playoffs with NCAA championship ramifications. The NCAA said Auburn violated recruiting rules when an alumnus, who was an active recruiter, and whose actions were known by members of the coaching staff, offered substantial financial assistance and materials to Guntersville High School quarterback Don Fuell.

Once again Auburn insinuated that Alabama had a hand in Auburn's misfortunes. This time Auburn aggressively contested the charges.

Rich Donnell, SHUG: The Life and Times of Auburn’s Ralph ‘Shug’ Jordan, Owl Bay Publishers , 1993, PP149-161

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there is a guy on the boards that uses the name: 'Remember Don Fuell'

His is a story that you must hear in person. Don Fuell was the son of a bootlegger, or so I am told. He came to Auburn and lived pretty high on the hog due to his Dad. Two Alabama Asst Coaches got into his rental house by posing as Encyclopedia Salesmen, kid you not.

Fulmer just took a page out of the Bama history biiks when he turned the Tide in.

What went around, came around.

BTW, I can assure you all that CTT knows the story very well. Ever wonder why we dont really go head to head with Bama on any athlete? Why he is a great recruiter but shys away from the in-state guys?

'Remember Don Fuell'

BTW, check the dates again, Bear et al werent there until 58.

149387[/snapback]

{/quote}

_____________________________________

I don't use the handle 'Remember Don Fuell' but I have summarized that story here on a couple of ocassions. I can verify it is factual and if you want a well known person to verify it, just call Vince Dooley and ask. Bama coach Ears Whitworth was desperately trying to save his job and sent the two asst. coaches posing as encyclopedia salesman to Auburn. They saw a new car and a new boat in the driveway of Fuell's nice duplex apartment. Then they went inside and saw a nicely furnished place. Natuarally they concluded Auburn gave him all this stuff.The fact that Fuell's dad was a bootlegger didn't come out in the press until well after Auburn was placed on probation. We appealed the probation in court and it got to a circuit court in New Orleans. But in the end Auburn faced choices:

1. Spill the beans on Fuell's father and get him sent to jail or

2. Accept the probation and move on.

We did the right thing under the circumstances.

I was a sportswriter for The Plainsman in 1957 and was on the "inside' of all this in the Athletic Dept. and the players. Although I was at Auburn, I grew up 50 miles from UAT and actually thought about going there at one time. Up until 1957, i still like bama OK and still exchanged visits with H.S. buddies there on weekends. But after witnessing the events of 1957, I have despised the bama athletic program ever since. No offense to my bama friends, or my daughter who is a bama grad, but most bama fans today are totally ignorant of why Auburn hates them so bad.

And someone named creed up this thread asks why this matters. Son if you don't know and you claim to be an Auburn fan, you better read some history. It's just as important as knowing who your momma and daddy are :D

Edited by Proud Tiger
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funny, but I just read the SHUG book back in Jan. and i was stunned when i read this chapter on the probations. we lost going to several bowl games because of it.

one part of the fuell story was that, when the ncaa asked his dad who paid for the boat he said he did, and when the asked fuell he said he paid for it. since both admitted to paying for it, they just assumed they were both lying and never listened to an explanation. apparently, though, don's dad gave him the money and he actually handed over the money to pay for it. the book really gave the impression that once the ncaa had their mind made up that AU was guilty, they went out of they way to NOT uncover the truth. ggggrrrrrrrrr.

burns me up. just one of a million reasons to hate the crimson tide.......and the ncaa for that matter.

WDE!

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Also, remember that Bryant came back to his beloved "Criminal Tide" in 1958. Also, he had been in negotiations with the Tide from 1957 while at T&AM. Anything to get leverage on "that other little school" who are the red headed stepchild, upstarts and keep them in their place...

I hope Tubs continues to stay away from controversy and Tide recruits who are sympathizers. That is the ploy they use.... WDE!

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one part of the fuell story was that, when the ncaa asked his dad who paid for the boat he said he did, and when the asked fuell he said he paid for it.  since both admitted to paying for it, they just assumed they were both lying and never listened to an explanation.  apparently, though, don's dad gave him the money and he actually handed over the money to pay for it.  the book really gave the impression that once the ncaa had their mind made up that AU was guilty, they went out of they way to NOT uncover the truth.  ggggrrrrrrrrr.

burns me up.  just one of a million reasons to hate the crimson tide.......and the ncaa for that matter.

WDE!

149418[/snapback]

Correct on all counts. And you think the NCAA is bad today? In 1957 they were more corrupt than any of the schools they placed on probation.

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In the Interest of Another Institution

Part 4

Jordan had signed Fuell, a highly recruited 6 2, 205 pound quarterback, on December 7,1956. Fourteen schools had offered scholarships to Fuell. Almost immediately, allegations regarding recruiting improprieties and in particular an automobile surfaced. Auburn maintained that an Alabama coach contacted the SEC office and initiated the rumor about the automobile. Rumors of other gifts continued to abound into 1957 and the NCAA began its investigation in late August, shortly before the beginning of the 1957 football season. Fuell, meanwhile, played freshman football for Auburn in 1957, as well as baseball and basketball. The NCAA investigation continued throughout Auburn's national championship season and into the spring of 1958.

Fuell participated in varsity spring practice. He established himself as a hard hitting ballplayer. "Everybody wanted to know where he was lining up before they snapped the ball," McGowen said.

Athletic director Beard argued Auburn's case a first time before the NCAA infractions committee in Kansas City. Then Beard, along with Opelika attorney Bob Brown, and accompanied by coaches Lorendo and Bradberry and young Fuell, argued it again before a seventeen member NCAA Council during an April 19 21 meeting in New Orleans.

But on April 21, the NCAA Council announced the three year penalty. The council said "Auburn offered a prospective student athlete illicit financial aid for himself and his family." Fuell was married and had a son when he entered Auburn. The NCAA said Auburn offered Fuell a motorboat and an air conditioned apartment among other items. The NCAA stated..."the alumnus who primarily was responsible for arranging the various benefits has been identified as a rep of the institution in that staff members of API knew that he was actively recruiting the prospect ... and at least one member of the staff conferred with the alumnus concerning living accommodations."

NCAA Executive Director Byers called it the third most severe penalty in NCAA history. On October 16, 1952, the NCAA had placed the Kentucky sports program on probation for the academic year of 1952 1953 and denied Kentucky the right to play other NCAA member basketball teams. On November 13, 1956, the NCAA whacked North Carolina State with a four year probation.

Beard immediately called a press conference in Auburn. He said the NCAA decision was based on unsupported statements that were disproven by signed affidavits. Beard produced a letter, which had been shown to the NCAA Council, from SEC Commissioner Bernie Moore to Byers dated March 26. "There is not sufficient evidence to substantiate the allegations against the boy or Auburn," Moore wrote. "At no time is it proved that Donald Fuell actually received any cash awards or gifts." Moore, however, following the NCAA decision, toned down his stance and said he wrote his letter based on information Auburn gave him and that he reserved the right to scrutinize all of the facts of the case.

Beard told the press that the NCAA Council had relied on a statement by its investigator who said two witnesses told him that they had seen a piece of paper reportedly containing Auburn offers of extra inducement. Beard said the NCAA believed that Carl Lay, Fuell's father in law in Guntersville, in late July 1957 showed the paper to an assistant line coach at Alabama. Beard also said the NCAA believed that a booster of Oklahoma State had also seen the paper.

But Beard produced a statement from the Alabama coach that he had seen or heard nothing about such inducement, and Beard produced a statement from the Oklahoma State supporter that he had been misinterpreted. Fuell's father in law, in a sworn statement, said, "Such a piece of paper never was in my house ... I know that Auburn has not made any such inducement except a scholarship." The Alabama assistant coach had previously coached at Oklahoma State and Beard implied that in the summer of 1957, perhaps acting in Alabama's interest as well as Oklahoma State's, the assistant coach. attempted to sway Fuell out of the SEC and toward Oklahoma State. At the time of the NCAA's decision on Auburn, the assistant coach was no longer with Alabama.

Rich Donnell, SHUG: The Life and Times of Auburn’s Ralph ‘Shug’ Jordan, Owl Bay Publishers , 1993, PP149-161

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In The Interest of Another Institution

Part 5

As for the NCAA's focus on the Auburn alumnus, Beard said the NCAA had merely made a connection between a Birmingham goods distributorship run by an Auburn alumnus who was courting Fuell for Auburn, and the fact that this alumnus guided Fuell and/or his father to the involved purchases. But Beard said documents showed that the alumnus made no purchases for the Fuells; he cut the Fuells no special deals; and that Fuell's father purchased the motorboat, and that the son, with his father's permission, bought the air conditioner.

Beard also implied that Alabama's involvement ran even deeper: he suggested that Alabama wanted so desperately to turn Fuell away from Auburn that an Alabama recruiter hired a Pinkerton detective to accomplish that task and possibly to work with the NCAA investigation. Beard presented a statement from Fuell that said a Pinkerton detective asked Fuell in late August 1957 if he would consider a bonus to get him to enroll at Mississippi Southern or Tennessee. Beard said the detective visited Fuell twice and after one visit went to Tuscaloosa to confer with the Alabama recruiter.

"I knew he was some kind of agent or whatever," Fuell said of the Pinkerton detective. ""We just played a game with him."

Beard also said that the Pinkerton agent received a call from an NCAA official who inquired about Fuell's material possessions. University of Alabama President Frank Rose denied that his university was involved in Auburn's predicament.

The NCAA's Byers stated, "The fact that Auburn failed to establish its innocence in two formal hearings when all the evidence was available, instead of just one side of the evidence, is more eloquent testimony to Auburn's guilt."

Auburn President Draughon continued to search the NCAA findings for the kind of hard evidence that would seemingly be required to hand out a three year penalty. "Two years ago we were reprimanded and had no excuses," said Draughon. "If the committee on infractions based its findings on the charges submitted to us, I cannot see how they arrived at the conclusions they arrived at."

Birmingham News sportswriter Benny Marshall wrote, "There can be little doubt that NCAA conviction of Auburn guilt came ... largely on circumstantial evidence ... It looks from here like the councilmen determined their verdict for more on what they thought appeared to be than what actually was shown to be."

Rich Donnell, SHUG: The Life and Times of Auburn’s Ralph ‘Shug’ Jordan, Owl Bay Publishers , 1993, PP149-161

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In the Interest of Anothetr Institution

Part 6

Draughon requested that the SEC Executive Committee meet on the NCAA decision, which the committee did on May 23 at the Georgia Terrace Hotel in Atlanta. The committee, along with Commissioner Moore, included university presidents Dr. Troy Middleton, LSU; Dr. Frank Dickey, Kentucky; Dr. T.A. Bickerstaff, Mississippi; Dr. A.R. Scott, Georgia; and Dr. S.M. Sarratt, Vanderbilt. Auburn was represented by Beard, Draughon, Jordan, attorney Brown, Atlanta attorney William Bentley, coaches Lorendo and Bradberry and quarterback Fuell. Auburn argued its case during the morning. The NCAA decision, which the committee, along with Commissioner Moore, included university presidents Dr. Troy Middleton, LSU; Dr. frank Dickey, Kentucky; Dr. T.A. Bickerstaff, Mississippi; Dr. A.R. Scott, Georgia; and Dr. S.M. Sarratt, Vanderbilt. Auburn was represented by Beard, Draugho, Jordan, attorney Brown, Atlanta attorney William Bentley, coaches Lorendo and Bradberry and quarterback Fuell. Auburn argued its case during the morning. The NCAA’s Byers presented his group’s findings to the committee during the afternoon.

Once again the decision felt against Auburn. The committee endorsed the NCAA penalty and provided additional detail of the charges. The committee said that between May18 and August 14 in 1957, Fuell came into possession of a forty-horsepower motor, boat trailer and a boat at a total cost of fifteen-hundred dollars, of which five-hundred was paid as a down payment; an air conditioning unit that cost $182; an electric range and refrigerator that cost three-hundred dollars; and a two-bedroom unfurnished apartment renting for seventy-five dollars a month, plus utilities.

The committee said, “Each of these items were connected in varying ways with the Auburn alumni who had been actively interested in Fuell. Staff members of Auburn knew of the alumni active recruitment and consulted with them.”

The committee also said that possession of these items was not in keeping with the financial status of Fuell and/or his family; that cash outlay amounted to more than one-thousand dollars in a period of less than ninety days and at a time when his father did not have a bank account. The committee said there was no evidence that Fuell’s parents ever provided him with these items.

“The evidence shows the boy was promised these benefits and as an enrolled student received them. Representatives of Auburn have failed to satisfactorily clarify or explain the financing of the items.”

In addition to endorsing the NCAA three-year penalty, the committee kicked Fuell out of SEC athletics. Crying in the lobby of the hotel after hearing of the decision, Fuell uttered, “It was a raw deal.”

Jordan, quiet throughout the long investigation, made the most dramatic statement of all:

“The Southeastern Conference missed a great opportunity let grow up and become a real conference today- The commissioner missed a great opportunity to grow up and be a real commissioner, The Southeastern Conference has (in the past) backed op its stand that no school ever will be convicted on hearsay, suspicion and supposition. The commissioner has repeatedly made the statement. But that's what we were convicted on today. I am still fully convinced that Auburn is innocent of any wrongdoing or illegal recruiting in Donald Fuell's case."

Defense coach Hal Herring, who had been in the middle of the first probation in 1956, said years later, "If you're doing too well somebody is always trying to trump up something to knock you down. Instead of doing it on the field, they want to do it on the sly."

Auburn assistant coach Bradberry said that Auburn's investigation showed that a summer job could have provided Fuell with the funds to buy many of these items. As for the stove and refrigerator, Bradberry said the Birmingham distributor had told Fuell where to get a good deal at an appliance merchant in Tuskegee, which was having trouble because of a black boycott. Fuell subsequently bought the appliances in Tuskegee.

Bradberry said he had naturally associated with the Birmingham distributor because the distributor had helped Auburn recruit for several years "which was legitimate then." Bradberry said the alumnus asked him to help the Fuells find a place to live in Auburn, and Bradberry accompanied the Fuells to the apartment. "It wasn't a violation," Bradberry said. "It was just the connection. That's one of the problems when somebody starts coming at you. You have to prove you're innocent with the NCAA. There's no such thing as due process with the NCAA."

Rich Donnell, SHUG: The Life and Times of Auburn’s Ralph ‘Shug’ Jordan, Owl Bay Publishers , 1993, PP149-161

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Thanks AFTiger, for posting all of this. I've heard one version or another of this episode over the years. What's interesting to me is the extreme penalties assessed at the time for rather minor unproven infractions: 3 years post season ban for not only the football team but all the other athletic teams including golf & wrestling -- for essentially some household appliances such as an A/C unit & a refrigerator. Talk about overkill.

And, if anyone thinks this nearly 50-yr old event isn't relevent today ... just look at the respective responsives to being sanctioned by the NCAA between AU & uat. uat has been crying foul ever since they were penalized that the NCAA used hearsay & circumstantial evidence to find them guilty -- as if it's never been done before. The penalties assessed AU back then were far more reaching & punitive than were the penalties assessed uat just a couple of years ago. It's why I have always maintained the opinion that uat is so lucky because they got off EASY compared to other schools penalized by the NCAA. Sack up, you bunch of whiners.

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In the Interest of Another Institution

Part 7

Thirty five years later, Fuell recalled his ordeal with heartfelt sadness and more than a little bitterness.

"The thing that really smacks still about the situation is the way the verdict came about, without ever hearing my side, without ever getting any of the supposedly conflicting depositions resolved. Auburn was on top of the SEC at that time in football, basketball, baseball, had great wrestling, swimming, just an all around good program, and for kids to be punished for that was a tough thing to handle.

"I sat out my sophomore year in 1958. We tried to get in a court of law. We took it to court but they would not hear the case. There was no legal precedent at that time. But since then there have been a number of lawsuits against the NCAA, and rightfully so. I have a real hard spot in my heart, not because of what happened to me, but what happens to a lot of people and a lot of institutions with the NCAA's Gestapo type tactics. They put people in the defensive position of trying to prove themselves innocent, instead of actually having factual data. The NCAA goes on rumor and innuendo.

"I'm not claiming that I'm cleaner than the driven snow. I was a kid that, like a lot of other kids, could be prostituted very easily. And I was prostituted, though not to the same degree by Auburn as I was by the other universities that recruited me. Probably the two worst violators of the rules of recruiting when I came along were Alabama and Georgia. What they did I think was take the heat off themselves and put it on everybody else by feeding the NCAA all kinds of rumors.

"Nevertheless, the thing that really hurts is the fact that my parents, who had meager means, and my in laws, who had meager means, made sacrifices to provide certain things for us that we were later charged with having received above and beyond a normal scholarship. That really hurt. I'm not claiming I didn't receive things; it's just that the items they zeroed in on, the fact that there was a Tuskegee appliance dealer that was struggling because of a boycott and I bought some appliances at a good price, that my parents paid for or my in laws paid for, that I should be penalized and Auburn should be penalized for that is ridiculous. And they made a big issue out of a boat which I was dumb enough to buy. I kept it for three months. My dad helped me with the down payment on it. We sold the damn boat, but they made a big issue out of it that Auburn had bought a boat. Auburn didn't buy a boat for me. And the same thing with an automobile. My wife's parents had bought her a car when she was sixteen years old and it just so happened that on her eighteenth birthday they replaced the car that they had given her on her sixteenth birthday. And so all of a sudden we're driving around in a new car; it's her car, and they're saying that Auburn gave it to me. They did not. They did not pay one penny toward it.

"The NCAA investigator came to the apartment I rented in Auburn; he never gained entrance to the place, yet he wrote this report about things that were not in there. He came under the subterfuge of being an encyclopedia salesman. My wife didn’t even let him in. He portrayed us as having all the luxury items.

"My son was born with club feet, so Auburn is a warm place in the summer when I had to report. A window air conditioning unit was bought to put into this apartment that we had rented. We rented the apartment because there were some real good friends of ours who lived in the same complex that had held it for us. It was a small apartment complex off campus. These friends of ours wanted us living next door to them and we secured the apartment through them. And we got the air conditioner. The investigator came and talked to my dad. He said, 'Mr. Fuell, who paid for the air conditioner?' My dad said he paid for it. When they interviewed me separately they asked me the same question and I said I paid for it. They said our stories didn't jive. Well, actually my dad had paid for it; he gave me the money to pay for it. That's how ludicrous it was. You never get a chance to clarify these things; they just put it down as conflict in statement.

"Walter Byers at that time, it was obvious he wanted this notch in his belt. Bernie Moore, who was the SEC commissioner, and his investigation exonerated Auburn of any wrongdoing, but then Walter Byers came to Atlanta. The SEC was going to stick by their guns, that was the word we were getting, and then Walter Byers comes in and I don't know what he did or what kind of pressure he brought on the SEC, but they went ahead and went along with the ruling. I know Auburn got a raw deal.

“I never got a day in court. I appeared in person, made myself available, but they would not hear me. The only time I saw them was in passing in the hotel lobby. That's the reason I label it as Gestapo, because if you don't give a person an opportunity to confront his accusers face to face then you're in a Gestapo type atmosphere. I was in the hotel lobby in Atlanta when I heard about the SEC decision. I went back up to my room and broke down."

Rich Donnell, SHUG: The Life and Times of Auburn’s Ralph ‘Shug’ Jordan, Owl Bay Publishers , 1993, PP149-161

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In the Interests of Another Institution

Last Part

As hard as it was to take at the time, Fuell said the SEC's ruling to ban him from conference athletics may have put his life on a better course. "I was struggling at Auburn. I don't think I would have had the opportunity to play at Auburn. I might have been a second or third stringer. I'm just speculating. You never know what you're going to do until you're confronted with it. I was always a competitor so it wouldn't have been because I wasn't trying.

"I went on to Mississippi Southern and had a pretty good athletic and academic career there. I made little All American when I first went there. They got university status my senior year and I made honorable mention All American at the university level. I had other honorary things in school. I was a pre dent student. I never pursued my dental career but I was awarded for being the outstanding pre dent student. I was the president of my graduating class. I was a big man on campus there. I probably would have never achieved the same success at Auburn as I did at Southern."

After graduating, Fuell played several years of football in the Canadian pro league.

"'Looking back on it, we are all faced with adverse conditions. We're basically not judged by the cards we're dealt, but how we play them. I'm still with an aerospace company. I'm enjoying a good career. But when I start reflecting on it, it's still tough."

Fuell remembered Jordan as someone to lean on during the crisis.

"I think Coach Jordan and his whole staff were very supportive of me. It came across to me that they really cared about what was happening to Don Fuell and that meant a lot. My opinion of Coach Jordan is that there's not a more classy individual, more knowledgeable about football and people, that I've ever known. He was a great man.

"They started recruiting me in about '55. Coach Jordan was the guy who was impressive. His style was so great. He would never dress down or get in someone's face on the sidelines. If he had a problem with a player or coach he'd call them into the office and he'd do it behind closed doors. And he called me in a couple of times because I stepped on my you know what like any prima donna will. He was always trying to be positive. He would congratulate people in public, his whole style was in a positive manner instead of a negative manner. I'll take a guy like Shug Jordan any day."

Jordan, to his death, scratched his head over the probation. "There was fragmented, circumstantial evidence and it was vindictive," he said. "With the courts like they are today, that would probably end up in the Supreme Court ... I know it knocked us perhaps out of four big bowls and it cost Auburn a lot of money."

Beard later said, "The more I got into it, the madder I got. I knew it was an injustice. I fought it so hard that the case was widely publicized. Maybe if I'd kept my mouth shut it wouldn't have attracted so much attention."

A day after the SEC decision Jordan sought to get back to business. "As far as Auburn football is concerned, we'll be making every effort to have the same good football team that we have had for the past five years."

But Don Fuell's case was one Auburn people would never forget.

Rich Donnell, SHUG: The Life and Times of Auburn’s Ralph ‘Shug’ Jordan, Owl Bay Publishers , 1993, PP149-161

ISBB 0-9638568-0-4

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My intnent was to shed light on the true story of Auburn's problems with the NCAA. We are not the dirty program that the Bammers have alleged for so long. That was the environment of college football then. Alabama paid players, Georgia paid players, Auburn paid players. Auburn did not, however, pay Don Fuell and tried to defend itself against a corrupt system that still is corrupt. Every time I begin to feel sorry for Alabama's troubles, I re-read this chapter and put it behind me.

The book, SHUG, is a good book and tell the story of Auburn Football through his retirement. I highly recommend you obtain and read this book for a great understanding of Auburn Football in some of its greatest times before Pat Dye. I am a Shug fan.

These were honerable men in a highly competitive business. I have always suspected that whenever Auburn began to dominate the Alabama game, Auburn would find itself in trouble with the NCAA.

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Every time I begin to feel sorry for Alabama's troubles, I re-read this chapter and put it behind me.

149577[/snapback]

Thanks for posting all that AFTiger. It's good for some of the younger folks here to be reminded why bama is the evil empire. It's one thing to dislike them because they are our biggest rival, but all Auburn fans need to know what the bama tradition really is. The Don Fuell saga is the cornerstone of it all.

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...why are we discussing something that happened 50 year ago with no relevence today.  or am i missing something.

149366[/snapback]

YES YOU ARE MISSING SOMETHING!!! This is Bamar and it's one of the many reasons we HATE THEM!!! I was alive for this crap too...and I haven't forgotten it...not by a dam*ed sight! So let's keep standing on their neck for as long as we can! WDE!!!

:au::homer:

Edited by SKCAUB
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...why are we discussing something that happened 50 year ago with no relevence today.  or am i missing something.

149366[/snapback]

YES YOU ARE MISSING SOMETHING!!! This is Bamar and it's one of the many reasons we HATE THEM!!! I was alive for this crap too...and I haven't forgotten it...not by a dam*ed sight! So let's keep standing on their neck for as long as we can! WDE!!!

:au::homer:

149604[/snapback]

You've been awfully quiet creed. Have you got it yet? :D

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No need to start a fight. It has been 50 years and so much forgotten. I am sure creed saw the story develop and understood. As has been stated by several members, this story has floated in various versions so I posted Donnell's version because he researched it so well. Many people have been reading these posts without comment because there is really nothing to say other than "OK I understand now."

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