Who Has Been Naughty Or Nice

Phillip Marshall's Christmas Eve column looks at who deserves nice presents and who deserves a lump of coal in their stocking.

It's the day before Christmas, meaning it's time to give out some gifts to those in the world of sports.

*A dose of truth serum for George O'Leary, who was Notre Dame head coach for five days before it was revealed his resume contained some rather large fabrications.

*A book of matches for Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville to be used to destroy all evidence of the game plan that resulted in a 31-7 loss to Alabama.

*A Fed Ex envelope full of cash for Alabama president Roger Sayers to use for paying the lawyer bills from the NCAA investigation of the Tide football program.

*A recording of the song "It's Hard to be Humble" for North Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers, who talks as good a game as he plays.

*A new schedule for Troy State head coach Larry Blakeney, who played both Rose Bowl teams and an Orange Bowl team this season. The Trojans, in their first Division IA season, lost to Miami, Nebraska and Maryland. They also pulled one of the bigger upsets of the season when they exposed Mississippi State as a toothless Bulldog.

*A new computer for the BCS, which was exposed by the final rankings that put Nebraska in the championship game despite a 62-36 loss to Colorado and not even playing in its own conference championship game.

*For SEC commissioner Roy Kramer, a tape of all the glaring football officials' blunders this season. It will be several hours long.

*For SEC supervisor of football officials Bobby Gaston, a new job.

*An alarm clock for Auburn wide receiver Deandre Green, who will miss the Peach Bowl because he slept through a team meeting.

*Another alarm clock for former Auburn basketball star Chris Porter, who apparently did the same thing and missed his flight to Charlotte after being traded to Carolina. He was promptly cut and his NBA career is apparently over after just one season.

*A new job for Bobby Wallace, Temple's head coach and former Auburn assistant. He's an outstanding coach stuck at a place where winning is all but impossible.

*A prescription of antidepressants for Bobby Johnson, who will need them when he discovers how hard it is to win at Vanderbilt. He moved from Furman to replace Woody Widenhofer.

*A bowl game for Ole Miss, which was left out because the SEC office refused to take a stand for what was right.

*One more big game for Alabama quarterback Andrew Zow, who was the epitome of class as he lost his starting job to Tyler Watts as a senior.

*A house in the mountains for Texas Tech basketball coach Bobby Knight. Maybe he'll go there and never be heard from again.

*A football coach for Georgia Tech, which seems to be having a hard time finding anyone who is particularly interested.

*A head coaching job for Jimbo Fisher, LSU's offensive coordinator and former Auburn quarterbacks coach. He's a good guy who has certainly earned his shot.

*For all of you who honor me by reading these words, I wish you the happiest of holiday seasons. I hope the next year brings nothing but happiness and joy.


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