College football roundup: Ex-Georgia coach charged in Ponzi scheme

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


Former Georgia football coach Jim Donnan was charged with fraud in an $80 million Ponzi scheme that included other college coaches and former players among its victims.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Donnan and business partner Gregory Crabtree defrauded investors they'd promised extremely high rates of return -- from 50 to 380 percent -- under the guise of a wholesale liquidation business called GLC Limited.
Investors were told when the scheme was first hatched in 2007 that leftover merchandise from major retailers was purchased and resold at substantial profits. In reality, only about $12 million of the $80 million raised from almost 100 investors was used in that manner.
One former Georgia and NFL player, Kendrell Bell, said last year that Donnan had bilked more than $2 million out of him in the scheme.
The SEC alleges Donnan typically told investors that he was investing along with them. He claimed he and many other college football coaches had been profitable investing in GLC. By October 2010, Donnan had siphoned $7 million out of the company and Crabtree had misappropriated more than $1 million, the SEC said.
Donnan reached a bankruptcy settlement for GLC in June.

---Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel reportedly injured his ankle Wednesday during a two-minute drill in practice and left the locker room in a walking boot.
He was held out of Thursday's team scrimmage for precautionary reasons, according to the school.
Manuel is considered by many the make-or-break talent in Tallahassee, where ACC championship hopes remain high based largely on a very talented defense.

--With the Western Athletic Conference unlikely to have college football in 2013, Idaho will bolt for independence.
Idaho will become an independent in 2013, joining the likes of Notre Dame and BYU, after it was one of two teams left without a conference to call home for college football next season. New Mexico State was the other, as five of the current WAC programs join new conferences beginning in July.

--The upcoming Joe Paterno biography due on newsstands Aug. 21 details some of the most painful of the late Penn State coach's final days.
The following excerpts of the book, authored by Joe Posnanski, are due to appear in the September issue of GQ:
"On Thursday, Paterno met with his coaches at his house. He sobbed uncontrollably. This was his bad day. Later, one of his former captains, Brandon Short, stopped by the house. When Brandon asked, "How are you doing, Coach?" Paterno answered, "I'm okay," but the last syllable was shaky, muffled by crying, and then he broke down and said, "I don't know what I'm going to do with myself." Nobody knew how to handle such emotion. Joe had always seemed invulnerable. On Thursday, though, he cried continually."

--Michigan State left guard Blake Treadwell will likely miss the first two games of the regular season with a fractured tibia.
The Spartans have four other starting offensive linemen back from last season and the team is high on redshirt freshman Jack Allen, who is the likely replacement for Treadwell.
Michigan State opens the season Aug. 31 against Boise State and at Central Michigan Sept. 8. Treadwell could return for the Sept. 15 game against Notre Dame in East Lansing.

---Lane Kiffin removed himself from the voting for the USA Today coaches' poll, and Southern California's coach has the full backing of the Pac-10 commissioner.
Larry Scott told 710-ESPN's "Mason and Ireland Show" that he agrees that coaches have more important priorities than voting in a poll that determines the national champion. Not to mention it being a fundamental conflict of interest.
"I think it's an unfair position to put the coaches in, to supposedly vote objectively when they've got a very natural conflict of interest, No. 1, and, No. 2, I think most coaches are focused on their own games -- let alone breaking down tape afterwards and all that," Scott said, via ESPNLosAngeles.com. "So to expect that coaches could have a good, balanced, well-researched perspective on who the best teams are in any given week is a fallacy."