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Why Are the Eagles Hiring So Many Cheaters?

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Another hiring, another cheater. Chip Kelly has got some shady figures working for him. (But not Shady McCoy.)

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles have hired a high number of coaches or front office personnel who had no prior NFL experience before joining the Eagles. That in and of itself is not worrisome. The Eagles are doing things differently than the rest of the league, and that is a bit refreshing. But what is worrisome is that some of these guys are CHEATERS.

Such as their most recent hire, Joe Pannunzio. First of all, just look at this friggin' guy.

He looks like a guy who breaks people's fingers when they don't pay Robert DeNiro's character in Silver Linings Playbook. He's even got a South Philly name. When teams release players, the task of collecting them and bringing them to the coach is usually given some low level front office guy, who is dubbed "The Turk." Now the Eagles have a full fledged button man. The kind of guy who roots for bad guys in the movies. Just a shady looking character. And sounding one: (the link within the link is dead. HMM...)

"You must understand that in 2005 when I was president at Murray State, I fired our football coach, Joe Pannunzio, because of numerous incidents that occurred in our program under him that were quite bad," he said. "Well, Pannunzio immediately was hired by Miami, and he's one of the coaches who's been prominently mentioned by Shapiro in the current scandal. He's now the head of football operations at Alabama."

How bad though? Like body in a trunk bad? Or just Oklahoma State recruiting bad? As that quote says, Pannunzio was at Miami, overseeing these players, and also involved in the Nevin Shapiro mess... along with Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland. These guys were like a crew. HMM...

Stoutland joined a second coach, identified by two sources as then-assistant Joe Pannunzio, at Shapiro's $6 million Miami Beach mansion for a recruiting pitch to offensive line prospect Matt Patchan. The visit, which Shapiro and two sources said occurred in the summer of 2007, included Patchan, three members of the recruit's family (his mother, father and uncle), two Miami assistants and Hurricanes players Robert Marve, A.J. Trump, Derrick Morse and Jason Fox.

The connections run deeper, like a RICO case. Both Stoutland and Pannunzio previously worked with Eagles VP of Player Personnel Ed Marynowitz at Alabama, who also has his own priors. HMM...

The compliance staff noticed irregularities in the Marynowitz's phone records. UCF began an inquiry and found that from June 6, 2007, through Feb. 6, 2008, he placed and received phone calls from about 17 recruits or their parents. Marynowitz also sent 70 text messages to recruits and their families despite having no authorization to have any phone contact with recruits.

Several of the phone calls were placed during weeks when the coaching staff was limited to one phone call to recruits, pushing the staff over the NCAA's phone restrictions.

Marynowitz told school officials investigating the violation that he was placing the phone calls to help with logistics of official visits, adding that conversations moved on to more general topics considered part of recruiting, including asking about their schoolwork, their football season and personal goals.

Riiiiight. So now Chip Kelly's new underboss (Jerry Azzinaro is his Consigliere) has his capo. Pannunzio, Marynowitz, and Stoutland's next stops after these violations? Alabama, together at the same time, where magically they all reformed, imagine that. And of course, the Don himself, Chip Kelly, is no angel during that time frame.

In a wide-ranging, multi-day interview, Lyles said Kelly "scrambled" in late February and asked Lyles to submit retroactive player profiles to justify the $25,000 payment to his company, just days before the transaction was revealed in a March 3 Yahoo! Sports report.

And then the team had the gall to not address this in the owners meetings. Don't they know, cheaters never prosper?