Headlinin’: Auburn robbery preceded by multiple evictions, lawsuit

Making the morning rounds.

At least he didn't sell his jersey. Former Auburn safety Mike McNeil, one of the four Tigers indicted last week on multiple felony counts stemming from an alleged armed robbery in March, had just been evicted from a second apartment and faced a lawsuit for thousands of dollars in unpaid rent when he was arrested. Court documents show that McNeil and former teammate Mike Blanc were served eviction papers in April 2010; both were later evicted along with cornerback Neiko Thorpe from a second apartment on March 4 of this year, a week before the alleged robbery. (Neither Blanc nor Thorpe was involved in the robbery; Blanc is an outgoing fifth-year senior, and Thorpe remains on the team as the only returning starter in the secondary in the wake of McNeil's premature exit.)

A summary judgment in favor of the landlord on March 27 left McNeil and Blanc with a $12,385 bill for the first eviction, including $3,500 in attorney and filing fees. [al.com]

At least it's not "Legends and Leaders." Rejecting helpful suggestions that it rechristen itself the "Lone Star League," the "Texas Ten" or the "Longhorns' Little Nine" in honor of its benevolent overlord, the Big 12 confirmed Monday that it's sticking with the "Big 12" label despite being officially downsized to ten members next month. Ostensibly, that's because the Big 12 brand has built up so much cachet over the last 15 years that it's not worth it to start over — it's "the banner under which we have competed, under which we've won national championships," said conference commissioner Dan Beebe — but it also points the way toward inevitable expansion plans to fill the vacancies left by Colorado and Nebraska's departures and get back to an even dozen in the very near future. When even the Big East is trying to get to twelve, is there really a choice? [Big12Sports.com]

Don't drink the water. Arizona defensive lineman Willie Mobley, a junior backup, tore his ACL over the weekend playing pickup basketball, making him the fourth Wildcat to go down with a season-ending ACL injury since the start of spring practice: Before Mobley, backup running back Greg Nwokwo, starting safety Adam Hall and starting linebacker Jake Fischer all suffered the same injury. Across the state, the plague has also stricken two senior starters at Arizona State, all-conference cornerback Omar Bolden and wide receiver T.J. Simpson, whose seasons were likely lost to ACL tears last month. [Arizona Republic] {YSP:MORE}

Straight from the horse's bench. Former Ohio State basketball player Mark Titus, aka noted benchwarmer blogger "Club Trillion," wrote Monday that he's "almost certain there was something shady going on with the car dealer" now under scrutiny as the go-to salesman for Buckeye athletes over the last five or six years. Although Titus said he has no "inside information" and didn't hang out with football players when he was on campus, he also thinks it "doesn't exactly take top notch detective skills" to figure out some players were driving beyond their means.

"Anyone who spent any time on Ohio State's campus while I was there could tell you that there were an unusually high volume of brand new Dodge Chargers driving around on campus, and just about all of them had tinted windows and rims on the outside with Ohio State football players behind the wheel on the inside," he wrote. "In fact, as the news of the free tattoos and sold merchandise or whatever came out, I kept telling my family how funny it was that they were getting busted for tattoos and gold pants when I was pretty sure they had been getting serious discounts on cars for years." [Club Trillion]

RIP. Former Army All-American Joe Steffy, a College Football Hall of Famer whose number 61 is retired alongside the Academy's three Heisman Trophy winners, died Saturday after years of reported heart problems. As a player, Steffy was part of a Tennessee team that won the SEC and played in the Rose Bowl in 1944, a two-way starter on the dominant Army squads that went 18-0-1 and hammered opponents by an average score of 36 to 6 in 1945-46 and the second Outland Trophy winner as the nation's best lineman in 1947. As a soldier, he was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for wounds he suffered in action in Korea. He was 85. [Associated Press]

That's Joe Steffy. And as for you…

You didn't really like your girlfriend or your job, anyway, right? Just in case you were planning to get out of the house this summer, yeah, NCAA Football 12's expanded "Dynasty" mode pretty much guarantees that's not going to happen:

That's right, even the video game is hating on the Big East and undermining the sanctity of the Rose Bowl. Is Bill Hancock going to let this blasphemy stand? [EA Sports]

Quickly… The Mountain West gets on the rebranding bandwagon with a super-secret new logo, to be unveiled on June 6. … More "Brady Hoke is tough" rhetoric out of Michigan. … Cal's temporary move to AT&T Park won't leave much room for the visitors. … An awesome interview with Georgia's newest Hall of Famer, Jake Scott. … And Alabama coaches give Demetrius Goode "the highest recommendations" to his new coaches at North Alabama, "in regards to his character, football playing ability and work ethic." So, uh, why isn't he still playing at Alabama?

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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.

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