A few weeks ago, I wrote a rant concerning the inconsistent off-track antics of the ‘Southern Gentleman’, Elliott Sadler. This has sparked much debate and even ‘hate mail’ my way, so maybe it is time to set the record straight. There was a common theme with the negative comments and hate mail, and that was one of ‘who are you to judge’. That answer is simple, I am one to judge because I live in a country that allows me to do so. More importantly, as I have seen the inconstant nature of the way the ‘Southern Gentleman’ has handled his off-track persona for 8+ years now. That is something that not one of the email flamers can say, in fact one such flamer’s comments from Austin only validates my feeling. She commented that I must have ‘been some sort of insider’, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. For those who knew me over the past 8 years would know that I was just a fan of Sadler, I didn’t think he was ‘soooo cute’, and could have cared less about the plethora of ‘drool photos’ that would spring up on the fan club site on an almost daily basis. Simply put, I was a fan of the on-track Sadler, nothing more, nothing less.
But after a few years, one can begin to see through the facade of the “Southern Gentleman’s” motive and just how he considers a ‘fan’, a fan as long as he/she is a paying customer. I first noticed this with the very late change of 'Sadler fan day' even after phone calls were made in order for fans who live far away could make travel arrangements, this was simply a lack of consideration. I have been told that I have ‘an axe to grind’, when actually I am simply exposing the truth. You may choose to bury your head in the sand, (I did it for quite some time), but I refuse to do it any longer. I wish the ‘Southern Gentleman’ all the best on the track, but the buck has to stop somewhere. More impotantly, this is not a commentary of Sadler Fans, but naiveness should no longer be an excuse.
That being said, lets begin with a newer Sadler fan from Austin and her comments concerning the ‘auction’, and what I should do or have done about it.
“The last time I checked, a Business Manager is an individual who manages business so the driver doesn’t have to. If you have a beef with his Manager about a flaky shirt auction – take it up with the manager, and if you have proof of an illegal act – notify the proper authorities who can resolve such an issue. The general public is not the proper authority (unless you have an alternate agenda)!”
No agenda here, other than telling the truth, something that the Southern Gentleman and his handlers have issues with. Susan recommended that I:
1) Take up ‘my beef’ with his manager. CHECK
2) ‘Notify’ the proper authorities CHECK
Like any shaky deal, yes Susan, the general public does need to know what goes on behind close doors in Emporia, its called accountability and checks and balances. This multi part rant will tell a side of the story and just why it was questioned in the first place, and the responses from Sadler’s handlers.
Mistake number 1:
Ebay item is publicly advertised on both the SFC forum and SFC website. While that is not a major problem, the problem is the person who first posted this on the SFC Forum. The new webmaster/moderator used his own “personal” ID without notifying his true identity. “NCSW1” raised many eyebrows to begin with, as the general public had no clue who he was at the time. His responses to these questions from posters.
(2/23/06 10:35 pm)
New Post Re: Ebay item from Daytona yes, some of it is going to charity. This is our first one so we have not figured out everything yet. I am hopefully going to get word tomm on the actual % that is going and whatnot and will update it as soon as I can.
(2/24/06 8:49 am)
New Post Re: Ebay item from Daytona Yes, this is my regular account on the message boards. I am helping with the website and other things and I am also doing the ebay item. A portion of the amount will go to Elliott's Charity
Note the obligatory ‘a portion will go to Elliott’s charity’ and ‘we have not figured everything out yet’. More importantly, this whole mess could have been squelched had Sean simply followed through with his claim of “get word tomm on the actual % that is going and whatnot”. But as we will see, that will never happen.
My direct response to Sean’s posts after repeated questions of the actual percentages going to the Foundation had been ignored.
(3/16/06 9:30 am)
“The reason why I asked these questions is that because of where I live and have been living since Aug, “charity fraud” is a sore subject. The original question was asked by others, and the Webmaster responded vaguely with “yes, some of it is going to charity” and “hopefully going to get word tomorrow on the actual % that is going and what not and will update it as soon as I can.”. That word appears to have never been conveyed.
Considering this is not the first time there has been problems with Sadler items being auctioned on Ebay by official representatives/employees of Elliott, and that this particular item did not follow numerous Ebay guidelines (charitable donations, shill bidding), fuels some of the skepticism I maybe having and know more about just wsince there are plans for more of these items that I might be interested in, I would like tohere more “charitable donation” goes, and what programs that Foundation sponsors. Those are basic questions someone might be asked when the ruse of charity is given.
I certainly would not donate the amount of money that item was auctioned for, to anyone or anything if I did not fully understand where and how much of that money is going. To not understand this fully is foolish. After seeing first hand how some have taken advantage of Hurricane Katrina victims, questioning this in the same public forum that the item was solicited in the first place is not unreasonable or out of line. Trying to understand more about the Foundation and its Trustees is more of a legal matter depending on where one lives and IRS deductions. Before I would feel comfortable bidding on any future items as I’m guessing since I’m a fan of the Sadlers I would have some interest in bidding on them, I’d like some answers to questions being posed. If everything is on the up and up, it shouldn’t be a big deal.
Had I been bidding on this item and later found out that someone directly involved with the selling of this item was also shill bidding to drive up the price, I would have major problems with it. I am sure the winner of the item feels foolish that they had been duped into winning an item that had been shill bided.”
So what do we think the “Southern Gentleman’s handler’s” answer was?
Thread locked, closed and edited
*EDIT* If you have any questions regarding the foundations, do not post them on the message board. Please contact the webmaster.
Edited by: SFC Webmaster at: 3/17/06 3:58 pm
"POOF', like it never happened, like sweeping the dirt under the carpet.
Now if that is not an interesting way to handle things and one that would raise suspicion, I don’t know what is. The “Southern Gentleman’s” handlers want to use the forum as a vehicle to promote their auction, but when questions come up that they clearly want to avoid, now the message board is not the place to ask them. Fair enough, it is off to email the SFC Webmaster:
email by ****** to SFC webmaster (March 17th, 2006)
My questions were on the thread that was edited and that were not answered before. I really don't understand the aloofness of all of this, as the actions only seem to fuel any skeptism one might have. I was simply using the very forum that you used to promote the item, I cannot think of a more appropriate place to ask them. The questions that not only I asked but others did as well are not uncommon questions when 'donations' are being made.
The more specific questions I asked basically came directly from the Federal Trade Commission warnings concerning charity donations and I mainly did it because promises of more information were made, but as far as I could tell, not followed through.
I am not trying to be a jerk about this, but like I said, from the outside, this auction has numerous anomalies. Since you stated that there would be more of this auctions and I am interested in bidding on such items, these questions are not abnormal. Let I said, I would like to have a good conscious in knowing where and how much of my donation dollars are going to.
Feel free to answer the questions on the edited thread and if you cannot pull them up because they were edited, I can re-submit them.
Thanks for your time
Again, all that is asked here are answers to a few simple questions.
So now the PR/Spotter gets into to act as obviously Sean is overwhelmed by accountability.
Response for Brett Griffin (via SFC webmaster) march 18th
I am sending you some information:
A portion of the proceeds from all of the online auctions pertaining to Elliott's memorabilia utilized under the name DriversChoice38 will be given to the Elliott and Hermie Sadler Foundation. If you are a supporter of Elliott and Hermie then you know what the foundation supports. We are in the process of forming a web site for the foundation. These items will be offered as very unique items and the winning bid will receive the item(s). This is the FIRST auction on ebay that any of Elliott's representatives have managed and we have not had any problems! Drivers Choice is a motorsports marketing company and will pay the Elliott and Hermie Sadler Foundation a portion of the proceeds. Thank you for your interest.
Business Manager, Elliott Sadler Enterprises
Call my crazy, but Brett states this is their first auction (it maybe Brett’s first auction, but not the first time there have been issues with other auctions by Sadler PR people). He also mentions ‘DriversChoice’ and by doing that has now indirectly implicated Dale Jarrett (a partner in Driver’s Choice Motorsports Marketing Group). Then there is the “. If you are a supporter of Elliott and Hermie then you know what the foundation supports.” Statement. This just goes to show how out of touch Brett is with Sadler’s fans, as there have been people who came over from RYR and still really don’t have an earthly idea what the darn foundation does and further more, was this auction only limited to 'Sadler Fans'? Sure we get bits and pieces of info now and then pertaining to Hermie’s Daughter, but the days of helping the Faison School for Autism are long gone as well as the "Race for Hope".
And lastly, we see Brett’s first attempt to deflect and ignore the questions at hand with the claim “we have not had any problems”. Just the questions alone by multiple people addressed at him, is in indication of said problems.
Also, what is very important to note, is that the auction had ended over 2 weeks prior and the winner of the auction had already made the exchange of $820 at a private meeting with Sean at the Mooresville Cracker-barrel on March 13th. Since this transaction was completed, why would there be any problems of knowing the exact percentages of the $820 going to the Foundation? It is really not a hard question to answer, and one that ANY charitable marketing group should be expected to by asked of them.
I’ll stop here, and next week I’ll submit the direct email exchange from the “Southern Gentleman’s” Spotter/PR person and the actions that followed.
to be continued............