We pause for the cause on this gastric holiday for a look at the Turkeys of 2008:
Clemson recruit Kenneth Page: Young Kenneth posted this image on his MySpace page shortly after the Tigers "secured" his services
Oklahoma's Josh Jarboe: The freshman receiver's rap about carrying guns and shooting people rocketed to the top of the Internet charts. It also earned him a ticket out of Norman.
Kevin Hart: It was a difficult decision, but the pride of Fernley (Nev.) High chose to continue his college career at Cal. Unfortunately, Jeff Tedford didn't know anything about it.
University of Michigan: Not only did it hire Rich Rodriguez, the school picked up $2.5 million of the $4 million the coach owed West Virginia for the buyout clause in his contract.
Ryan Perrilloux: It started in 2006 with the Louisiana State quarterback being named a "person of interest" by the feds, who were investigating a counterfeit ring. Then he tried to use his brother's drivers license to get onto the Hollywood Casino gambling boat, got into a fight at The Varsity, a Baton Rouge nightclub, reportedly missed class, offseason workouts and was late to team meetings. There were rumors of a failed drug test. Was finally booted off the team in May.
Chris Leak: Those shoes he wore in the 2007 BCS title game were put on eBay with a buy-it-now price of $10,000. They're still available, for $6,000.
Jimmy Johns: The former Alabama linebacker allegedly sold cocaine to undercover agents, once in the parking lot of the Crimson Tide's football complex.
Ron Prince: His final season at Kansas State was an act of desperation. He signed 19 junior college players, none of whom panned out, then backed out of a game against Fresno State — costing the university $250,000 — in order to play Montana State. Prince paid for it by losing his job.
Rivals and Scout: Stuck in a Web 1.0 world, the sites combined to run up a string of offenses. Illinois' Ron Zook said the next great recruiting scandal would come from the sites, which have unregulated access to recruits. South Carolina's Steve Spurrier then said someone working at a Clemson fan site had been acting as a recruiting agent for the rival Tigers, sending recruits articles about Gamecock players having brushes with the law. Earlier this month, the Kansas State Rivals site reported that Texas Christian's Gary Patterson had been hired at Kansas State. We could go on, but you get the point.
Ronnie Wilson, Florida: Was booted out of school after he pleaded guilty in August 2007 to misdemeanor charges of battery and discharging a firearm (an AK-47 assault rifle) in public. Allowed to re-enroll on Jan. 7, a day after an arrest on a marijuana charge. Things were going well until Oct. 16, when he was charged with assault after hitting two people, one of them a woman.
Darren McFadden, Arkansas: The junior's eligibility was questioned before the Cotton Bowl after KARK-TV in Little Rock reported the running back was in possession of a new Cadillac Escalade that agent Mike Conley helped him purchase. McFadden was cleared, of course, and the station apologized. McFadden then left for the NFL and — surprise! — chose Conley to represent him.
Nick Saban, Alabama: Ever the control freak, he reportedly had a hand in getting a blog entry by Gentry Estes of the Mobile Press-Register spiked. The entry reappeared four days later, but not on Estes' blog — it was posted on Paul Finebaum's site. Montgomery radio personality Doug Amos was told by a source that the request to spike Estes' post came from Saban, who called the writer to complain.
Iowa football: A dizzying series of off-field troubles, from players appearing on a Facebook page with large wads of cash to two other players being charged with sexual assault. It's a miracle Kirk Ferentz still has his job.
Bo Pelini, Nebraska: He briefly banned the Daily Nebraskan from covering the team after an editorial that was critical of the coach for his handling of players who have run afoul of the law. The editorial was centered on Josh Williams, a defensive end recruit from Denton, Texas, who was arrested for assault and robbery after he robbed a man of $900. Williams was sentenced to two years probation in July but Pelini allowed him to join the team. Last weekend, Williams was cited for minor consumption, so maybe the Daily Nebraskan was onto something.
Tommy Bowden: The heartwarming story of Ray Ray McElrathbey was followed by the cold-blooded Bowden, who decided not to renew the running back's scholarship. Thankfully, what goes around comes around. Ray Ray continued his playing career at Howard. Bowden, who used interest from Arkansas to get a fat contract extension from Clemson, was fired in midseason.
Xavier Hicks, Washington State: The much-troubled safety put rubbing alcohol in teammate and roommate Grady Maxwell's contact-lens case and pleaded guilty to intent to commit assault. He also pleaded guilty to two gross misdemeanors for credit-card theft. Was sentenced to 45 days in jail during the summer. Then he was ticketed for driving with a suspended license as he was driving home from jail.
Urban Meyer, Florida: The Dirtiest Player in the Game. He was so hot for Sierra Community College receiver Carl Moore that he started recruiting Moore's girlfriend for the gymnastics team, a no-no according to NCAA rules. Then he allegedly called Moore at the Heisman Trophy ceremonies and handed the phone to Tim Tebow, who put in a few good words. Another no-no. A Florida investigation, of course, found no wrongdoing.
Chris Jesse, Texas: The stepson of Mack Brown wandered onto the playing field and touched a live ball during the Longhorns' victory over Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl. The first word that comes to mind is idiot.
Rich Rodriguez, Michigan: One question for Michigan: Why?
Last but not least, here's the link to the 2007 Turkey Awards.