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Debunking the Marcell Dareus Excuse

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Now that we have established that Marvin Austin is Keyser Soze (HT: Capt. ButchRoy), it is time to debunk the weak story that Don Kausler, Jr. of the Birmingham News ran on Wednesday in which poor Marcell Dareus was lured to Miami under "false pretense" and therefore any contact with agents is Austin's fault, while Dareus remains clean as the pure driven snow.

It's time to call bovine excrement on the story because thanks to UNC's official silence and the dearth of hard information, this bogus story is gaining legs in the blogosphere.

I have no evidence of any of this, as this is simply one person's analysis, from someone who worked in college athletics and dealt with compliance for five years. Let me further offer the disclaimer that, over the course of this story, Dareus' mother died and that is very sad and I am truly sorry for his loss.

With that being said, let's take a look at the story:

The entire piece is sourced to an anonymous person "close to the family."

Really? This entire sordid affair, from Austin to Little to Saunders to Dareus has been sourced anonymously by people "close" or "with knowledge of" the situation. How much of that is actually true? And if the source really is close to the family, wouldn't they have a vested interest in keeping Dareus' name clean rather than admit his involvement?

"The plane fare to Miami was paid for by Austin, but when Dareus arrived in Miami, he paid Austin for the ticket and received a receipt, the source said. Austin also arranged for a hotel room, but the source said Dareus did not use the room."

So the source has proof Austin paid for the ticket? And Dareus carries enough walking-around cash to pay Austin back for a plane ticket the moment he arrives. And Austin carries a receipt book with him at all times, I'm sure. And if Dareus didn't stay in the room Austin arranged for him, where did he stay? The YMCA?

"As his mother lay dying in her Birmingham home, Marcell Dareus couldn't cope. He had to get away. Along came an invitation from a friend to fly to Miami. The chance to hang out in South Beach sounded good, so off Dareus went to chill in the sun, sand and warm water...Dareus attended the party but claims he was lured to Miami under a false pretense, a source close to the family said."

Where was the false pretense? What 21 year-old would turn down a trip to South Beach? And what 21 year-old doesn't hope to hit a party in South Beach? And when exactly did Dareus arrive in relationship to the party? Were they there a day or two before, or did Austin whisk Dareus away from the airport to the agent's party while furiously scribbling out a receipt and making change for the plane ticket that Dareus paid for?

"When Dareus discovered there were agents at the party, he asked to leave."

Really? You've seen the pictures. Who left that party? On the other hand, of all the whoppers in Dareus' story, this is the most believable. I will concede that if he found out the party was not he thought it was, he may have asked to leave.

"Then he received grim news that his mother, Michelle Luckey, had died, and he abruptly returned to Birmingham."

Holy timeline problem, Batman! The famous pictures of Austin put the party on May 15, but Dareus' mother passed on May 18. Not quite an abrupt departure. So where was Dareus and what was he doing for three days in Miami while not sleeping in the hotel room Austin supposedly arranged for him?

Last week, when reports surfaced about Austin's possible involvement with agents, Dareus was urged to call Alabama coach Nick Saban, a source close to the family said. The player and coach met late Sunday morning.

Oh, really? Dareus was so concerned about being at a party with agents that he asked to leave, but didn't bother telling his coach or Alabama's compliance office until three days after the Marvin Austin news broke, over two months after the party? Sounds more to me like he realized they were looking at who might have been at the party and he decided he needed to cover his six.

"[Dareus] is described as trusting, naive and gullible. As his mother's health declined in the spring following a lengthy illness, he was particularly vulnerable, a source said."

Give me a break. Oh, poor Marcell, lured to Miami by that evil Marvin Austin. He was so naive, and particularly with his mama sick and all. Remember what Annie Savoy said about women in "Bull Durham": "you're too strong and powerful for that. Now say it -- 'I didn't get lured and I will take responsibility for my actions'."

Given how ridiculous Dareus' defense by his unknown person close to the family was, I can't believe the Birmingham paper even ran this, other than the fact that someone actually spoke to them (which, if you believe the ChaRaleigh Observer & Observer is the only time you can print something).

Moreover, I can't believe those non-UNC sites in the blogosphere who have done more posts than this here site on the Austin situation would spend more trying to prop up the Dareus piece than to analyze it and see it for the farce it is. Even Alabama fans aren't buying this sap story.

In no way am I exonerating Austin if he is in fact found to have compromised his eligibility. But anyone who lends any weight to this particular defense of Dareus drinks a very Crimson Kool-Aid...or a very red one.