The Arthur Andersen accounting firm, hired in December by the Vanderbilt football program to audit its games, says that, by its accounting methods, the Commodores actually went 11-0 last season.
This is in contrast to standard, game-day accounting procedures, which showed a 2-9 record, including a 71-13 loss to Florida and a 38-0 blowout at the hands of the Tennessee Volunteers. What was generally regarded as a dismal season even led to the resignation of coach Woody Widenhofer.
“The old-fashioned, one-dimensional points system did indeed show a considerable deficit for the Vanderbilt team in 2001,” Andersen senior sports accountant E. Bud Myerberg concedes. “But that system fails to take into account other relevant factors.”
Among the other “intangible points supplement factors” Andersen added are graduation rates, temperature regulation of after-game showers, the number of practical jokes players perpetrated on one another, and how often team members attend religious services of their choice.
“When those factors are included, the Commodores racked up lots of these ‘intangible points’ and defeated all of their opponents for the season,” Myerberg says.
“I thought it felt like we were doing better than the scoreboard showed,” Widenhofer says from an undisclosed location where he has been since the end of football season. “These figures prove it, and you can believe them because they are certified by a respected international accounting firm. We kicked some butt.”
Commodore players are happy about the revised record, but say that somehow winning this way is not the same.
“We were all set to rub [former Florida coach Steve] Spurrier’s face in the fact that our accountants say that we ate his lunch, but I read about his contract with the Redskins and didn’t feel like doing that anymore,” one Commodore player says.
(Fabricate: to make up in order to deceive.)
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