Two indirect developments in the Cam Newton case:
* Bruce Pearl's suspension Friday came through new powers given to SEC commissioner Mike Slive. According to the Birmingham News, the SEC bylaws were changed in June to give the commissioner significantly more leeway in taking coaches and players off the field.
"The Commissioner has the duty and power to investigate the validity of violations and impose penalties and sanctions against member institutions, their athletic staff members or student-athletes, for practices and conduct which violate the spirit, as well as the letter of NCAA and SEC rules and regulations. This shall include the ability to render prospective student-athletes or current student-athletes ineligible for competition due to their involvement in a violation of NCAA or SEC rules that occurs during the individual's recruitment. The Commissioner also has the authority to suspend institutional staff members from participation in recruiting activities or participation in practice and/or competition due to their involvement in violations of NCAA or SEC rules."
The language seems to suggest that Slive could take a player off the field if the evidence was there -- no having to wait for an NCAA case to conclude, no having to wait for the FBI.
Pearl was suspended for eight games by Slive for lying to the NCAA. Tennessee could get its penalties from that case and from the Lane Kiffin secondaries next month.
* New NCAA president Mark Emmert suggested the association isn't going to fast track the Newton case. While not speaking directly about Newton, he told the Chronicle of Higher Education:
"You’ve got to get the facts right,” Emmert said Friday. “The burden of proof is higher than what it is for somebody who’s writing in a blog ...
“You’re dealing with young people’s careers and education. You’re dealing with institutional reputations. You’re dealing with a process that is, by its very nature, complicated. We have to get it right.”