This morning, we ran down some of the early-stage denials emerging from the Auburn community over HBO's upcoming report on alleged pay-for-play operations for Tigers football players under Tommy Tuberville. This afternoon, other sides of the story are scuttling out of the woodwork, and they do nothing to lessen our national thirst for more juicy morsels of scandal.
HBO's Andrea Kremer told Dan Patrick this morning that "a number of different coaches" declined her requests to be included in the program, which we're absolutely sure has nothing to do with this sort of improper benefits being handed out everywhere, at every program, all the time, both with and without the knowledge of coaching staffs. Auburn's star offensive linemen, Lee Ziemba and Ryan Pugh, took to Twitter to deny they took money or knew anybody who did. [Haterz chorus, arise: "Much as we're sure they'd deny ever being coached to chop-block key opponents! Hey-o!"] And buried at the bottom of this Al.com report is an item that nearly paralyzes us with longing for what might have been:
Real Sports was close to adding Cam Newton to the episode.
"The day I was getting on the plane they pulled the plug on it. HBO does not pay for interviews, and that was one of the issues that came up."
Kremer said the pay-for-interview request came from "one of the people who would speak with us." That was 'an' issue, not the only issue," she said.
Recall that l'affaire Newton was rumored to be part of this show from the very beginning. Did Cam Newton (or Cecil, because we hear he's good at that) demand payment to presumably defend his reputation and that of his team on air? Maybe! Is that shocking? IT SO IS, right? (Either that or they were clearly trying to interview Bobby Lowder, which we'd sell organs to see televised in unedited form.)