Despite coming from a long line of Sooner alumni, CBS Sports’ Greg Doyel is compelled to shine a light on the recent resignation of Oklahoma assistant coach Oronde Taliaferro, and an incriminating pattern of texts and phone calls to a Tampa financial advisor accused of wiring $3000 to the account of OU F Tiny Gallon (above). “That’s death penalty stuff, right?” asks Doyel. Perhaps not, but given that Oklahoma is just coming off probation next week, the timing couldn’t be better (or worse), depending on your perspective.
Oklahoma pushed Taliaferro out last month. Technically he “resigned,” but don’t be stupid. He didn’t resign on April 8. He was fired. The financial advisor, Jeffrey Hausinger, also is out of a job. He left Merrill Lynch on March 26, shortly after his alleged involvement went public.
As for Gallon and Warren, both entered the 2010 NBA Draft around the same time that Hausinger left his job. Both are thought to be headed to the second round, land of nonguaranteed contracts. Both are awfully young to be leaving for the second round — Gallon a freshman, Warren a sophomore. But they’re gone. They’re not coming back. Oklahoma doesn’t even want them back. And if you couple their departures with the job losses of Taliaferro and Hausinger — who exchanged more than 65 calls and text messages in a 10-month period — well, those are some easily connected dots.
So now we wait. We wait for the NCAA to connect those dots officially and to render a judgment. If it’s anything like the investigation into Southern California, this could take a while. In the vacuum of information, though, we can speculate. Which is what I’m going to do right now.
I’m going to speculate that the NCAA finds enough wrong to level Oklahoma with a major violation. Oklahoma has prepared for such a finding by distancing itself from Taliaferro: “Don’t blame us,” Oklahoma symbolically told the NCAA by pushing Taliaferro out. “Blame him.”
But it’s not that easy. “Us” and “him” were the same thing when this violation allegedly went down. And if the NCAA connects enough dots to level Oklahoma with a major violation, then all hell should break loose.