The kid who loved football has agreed to settle charges that he and some friends operated a pump-and-dump penny stock operation full of "tall tales" and "phony taste tests."
Dan "Rudy" Ruettiger famously got his chance to play Notre Dame ball as a triumph of will and character over nature.
But the SEC points out that the "well-known feel-good story" only lured investors to put money in Ruettiger's shell company, Rudy Nutrition, which doesn't appear to have ever sold many sports drinks.
Instead, the company made $11 million for stock promoters back in 2008 as they pumped its price from $0.25 to over $1, then sold off.
Ruettiger has agreed to pay $386,000 to settle the charges. While the SEC says it might bar certain individuals from ever running a public company again, it's as yet unclear whether Rudy will face that penalty.
Rudy Nutrition has since failed and the man himself now works as a motivational coach. People are calling him stupid, but this looks more like a failure of ambition than anything else.
Rudy went after what he wanted, bending the limits of common sense and public opinion to do so, and he was rewarded for it.
But bending the limits of public opinion tends to have better outcomes than bending the law. He could have cheated, bribed, lied, stolen his way onto the Notre Dame team.
As far as I know, he didn't act that way then. But if you're running a public company -- no matter how small or obscure -- you can't fake your way to the big show.