The timing of when the loan was executed is not the important and troubling issue to the T-News.
The troubling issue is Hurt has for years reported on the circumstances surrounding Keller's involvement in the Alabama probation findings and kept secret from his employer the proven fact Hurt and Keller had a pre-existing financial arrangement and personal friendship.
Everyone now must call into question not only what Hurt wrote about the facts regarding Keller's involvement, but also what Hurt did NOT write. There is no way anyone cannot pose the question of whether Hurt slanted his coverage and reporting to protect Keller, or if Hurt failed to aggressively ask Keller (and those surrounding him) some tough and persistent questions. It will take much more than Hurt, or anyone else from the T-News, merely saying he did nothing wrong - he must somehow prove he did not. And it is virtually impossible to prove a negative. So, Hurt is rightfully in deep trouble with his employer.
The credibility and impartiality of the T-News is at stake. And if the paper loses those things in the public's eye, then they are nothing more than a gossip rag or a shopper's guide - or a shrill like bamamag.com. Hurt's lack of forthrightness has brought immediate discredit to his employer.
Contemporary newspapers are nothing more than gossip rags anyway. Cecil's business is his own business. There was a time...not that long ago...that this would not have been an issue. The reason it is an issue now is not integrity. The media by and large has forgotten what integrity is. In this day and age of microwaved internet news, mainstream media looks for controversy to gain marketshare, and the boundaries of truth are stretched by the fishwrappers on a daily basis.
If Cecil's employer has an issue with something he has written regarding the NCAA investigation or Keller cases, they need to point it out and be specific - as does anyone who wants to be critical of him. Cecil has never made his fandom a secret issue, yet even as a Bama fan he tends to shoot straighter than anyone else, for better or for worse. He calls a spade a spade and not a heart because it gets him readers...readers who want to know what the truth is. He reports on the facts and when he give his opinion , it is couched as opinion. His longstanding fandom of Alabama would likely slant his reporting on anything Bama related far more than a Keller as a cosigner.
It is my opinion that Cecil Hurt is the best sportswriter in Alabama. If the T-News wants to play the B'ham news games, so be it. I am sure that Cecil will find gainful employment with little effort.
What is being forthright? His attaining a cosigner - be it Keller, Young, or the ghost of Elvis - is none of anyone's business. The T-News would not have had an issue with it had it not been made public...a fact that I feel is wrong. I would like to know what the NCAA thinks that bringing this out in court will accomplish.