Santino Marchiol transferred from Texas A&M earlier this summer and is now coming forward with allegations that Jimbo's new regime at A&M is dirty.
Marchiol, a linebacker from IMG academy via Colorado told USA Today's Dan Wolken that he saw A&M coaches handing out cash for recruiting weekends and that coaches observed workouts in June's no contact period.
Marchiol transferred to Arizona and must sit out 2018 due to NCAA rules, however, he's lawyered up hoping to get a waiver due to A&M's behavior that will allow him to play this season. Taking his cue from the situation at Ole Miss, where athletes weren't required to sit out due to misleading statements by Hugh Freeze and Ole Miss administrators as to NCAA violations, Marchiol is seeking NCAA dispensation due to “documented mitigating circumstances that are outside student-athlete’s control and directly impact the health, safety and well-being of the student-athlete.”
The health and safety part comes from the diagnosis and treatment of an ankle injury.
The waiver is a leap, but Marchiol is pushing the boundaries of the rule to play sooner than later. The inclusion of the alleged NCAA infractions on compensation and practice are thrown in just for kicks. Neither has much to do with health, safety, and well-being, they go directly to kicking his former school in the balls on the way out the door.
The cash transfers are potentially the most damaging allegations, though the NCAA's response to such allegations has been fairly impotent and slow. Marchiol names names, including recruits and coaches, notably Bradly Dale Peveto.
Marchiol also gets close to alleging that A&M is currently in the grips of a dreaded "toxic culture" saying coaches and staff called players pussies and what not. The new Aggie coaches alleged that Kevin Sumlin's tenure engendered a country club mentality and the new staff were there to toughen the Aggies up. “They called us soft all the time,” Marchiol said. “They kept telling us, ‘This is gonna get worse, you haven’t seen shit."
Not to diminish neglecting a valid medical issue, a course of behavior that should be penalized and eradicated from the game, but being called soft is by in large part of the process. Coaching is a demanding process that at times involves using words that aren't normally thrown around in more refined conversation. But then it's part of the culture that players and coaches acclimatized to.
We're sure A&M fans will have their typical measured and reasonable response to Marchiol's allegations. We look forward to civil dialogue and a mutually productive way forward.