Blog Entry

Inside Cam's eligibility

Posted on: December 1, 2010 4:44 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2010 5:20 pm

Did the NCAA do Mike Slive a favor?

Certainly, tacitly.

Start with the timing of Wednesday's announcement that Cam Newton had been reinstated by the NCAA and was eligible to play. Curiously, it came three days before the SEC championship putting a nice, neat bow on a slimy case that had been ongoing for a month. It helps everyone -- Auburn, the NCAA and the SEC -- that this case is "resolved" before the biggest TV show on the SEC calendar.

The obvious attempt at a publicity grab helps everyone who was in line to be helped. The NCAA was being criticized for dragging its feet. There was a perception that Auburn was a rogue operation. The SEC and Slive, the commissioner, was taking heat for what it knew and when in the Cam case. Mississippi State is the whistle blower. Folks were starting to write how they would not vote Newton for Heisman. CBS couldn't help but mentioning the case on its telecasts.

"Honestly, it is a major story in college football and has to be covered fully," Sean McManus, president of CBS News and Sports, said this week.

There was, then, lingering embarrassment all around. That's why this was a bit of a grandstand move and, to me, still an unresolved case. 

"There are hundreds of cases each year where schools go to the NCAA an self-report a violation," said a source with intimate knowledge of the NCAA process. "If nobody knows about it, the NCAA reinstates the athlete and they don't make announcements. It's obviously because this was high profile and they want to try and put this thing to rest."

"It is interesting," said Doug Zeit, attorney for former Mississippi State player Kenny Rogers who was part of Wednesday's NCAA statement, "[this happened] three days before the championship."

We got our Cam back. We got our villain, his father Cecil. We got our co-conspirator. The NCAA said Cecil collaborated Rogers in a "pay-for-play scenario." The NCAA doesn't actually use names but when Slive added his own admonishment we knew who everyone was talking about.

"The conduct of Cam Newton's father and the involved individual is unacceptable and has no place in the SEC or in intercollegiate athletics," Slive said.

The NCAA cited a bylaw that applied to the case (12.3.3). It states that, "Any individual, agency or organization that represents a prospective student-athlete for compensation in placing the prospective student-athlete in a collegiate institution [getting] financial aid shall be considered an agent ..."

That seems to label Cecil who now will have limited access to Auburn athletics. What that means no one seems to know. Maybe Cecil can't become a financial advisor within 100 feet of Jordan-Hare Stadium. But what about Cam reportedly telling a Mississippi State recruiter that "the money was too much" at Auburn? Wednesday's release seems to let Auburn off the hook, but you have to read between the lines. Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president for academic and membership affairs said, " ... at this time we do not have sufficient evidence that Cam Newton or anyone from Auburn was aware of this activity ..." (Emphasis added).

That should tell you the case is not over, but for the purposes of Saturday's SEC championship game it's game on. As for the bowl game? Check back with the NCAA later. This story isn't going to die after Saturday.

The bylaw (12.3.3) seems to clears up the NCAA interpretation of this case. A couple of weeks ago a lot of us were breathless over the apparent NCAA bylaw that applied to this case. It turns out the case probably revealed a gap in NCAA legislation. In essence, the NCAA had to find a bylaw that best fit the "crime," -- a parent soliciting money for his son's services without the son's knowledge.

However, the NCAA concluded that neither "Newton or anyone from Auburn was aware of this activity, which led to this reinstatement."

"I think the NCAA is trying to say, 'We found a violation so we're going to put this on the father and Kenny Rogers because they were acting as agents," the source said. "The violation occurs when the prospect agrees to be represented by them. [Cam] didn't know anything about it. My argument would be there hasn't been a violation here."

On that confusing basis, Newton was allowed to regain his eligibility. It also gives the deniability excuse to any kid who is ever shopped by his parents, uncle or handler. That's why the NCAA is working hard as I type on a new bylaw to close this loophole.

This story started with Rogers who apparently will not go quietly. Rogers, who runs a scouting service in Chicago, was reported to have sought $180,000-$200,000 from Mississippi State for Cam's services. The school on Wednesday "disassociated" Rogers. However, Rogers was not found to have been a representative of the university's athletic interests in the letter sent to him by the school. So what exactly did Rogers do wrong? 

"This is like a knife in his heart," Zeit said. "This is his alma mater. For them to suggest this is beyond the pale but not surprising ... He never solicited any money. That is patently false."

Zeit said Rogers will consider his legal options including defamation suits against "media outlets" and "people from Mississippi State."

Another reason to believe this isn't over: Check this second-to-the-last sentence in Wednesday's release -- The reinstatement process is likely to conclude prior to the close of an investigation.

Category: NCAAF

Since: Sep 6, 2008
Posted on: December 2, 2010 3:40 pm

Inside Cam's eligibility

Arkansas should seek an immediate injunction to halt the play of the SECCG for a legal decision on Cam Newton's eligibility to play an intercollegiate sport in the SEC, under the bylaws of the conference. 

Reading the SEC bylaws (Section dealing with Financial Aid states (bold added for emphasis) states:
"If at any time before or after matriculation in a member institution a student-athlete or any member of his/her family receives or agrees to receive, directly or indirectly, any aid or assistance beyond or in addition to that permitted by the Bylaws of this Conference (except such aid or assistance as such student-athlete may receive from those persons on whom the student is naturally or legally dependent for support), such student- athlete shall be ineligible for competition in any intercollegiate sport within the Conference for the remainder of his/her college career."

The major points those in favor of Cameron continuing to play are:
1.  Cam knew nothing about the deals his father was trying to make.  After reading this bylaw that doesn't seem to assist Cam at all in his elgibility.  It basically says the parent is the player.  Parent messes up, player pays.  Simple and to the point.
2.  No money was exchanged.  Once again the catch phrase here is "agrees to receive".  There is little doubt that with the solicitation of his son with an agent and those agents appraoching universities, Mr. Newton's agreement was intended. 

We are not going to get a clear resolution without the power of supeona and the threat of perjury.  The only way that is going to happen is by moving this to the courts. 

Since: Oct 26, 2006
Posted on: December 2, 2010 2:58 pm

Inside Cam's eligibility

Whatever.  They admit that the parent was shopping him to benefit themselves.  Same exact issue as Reggie Bush.  F You NCAA Hypocrits!

Since: Nov 25, 2007
Posted on: December 2, 2010 2:56 pm

Inside Cam's eligibility

"However, the NCAA concluded that neither 'Newton or anyone from Auburn was aware of this activity, which led to this reinstatement.'"(Dodd)   -----Since his father was acting as a representative for his son, then, technically, he is an "agent" for his son.  Since it is illegal to have an agent, then he is in violation of NCAA rules and should be inelligible for that, right?

Since: Feb 21, 2009
Posted on: December 2, 2010 1:58 pm

Inside Cam's eligibility

If Andy Dalton's dad had asked for 180 large and was ahead of an SEC team for the BCS championship game TCU would have had to forfeit all games this year and Dalton would be sentenced to playing for the Buffalo Bills next year.

Since: Jan 23, 2008
Posted on: December 2, 2010 1:28 pm

Inside Cam's eligibility

The latest conversation between NCCA and BCS.
NCCA: Yep Cams guilty!  BCS: Hey TCU is ranked third and they would have to play for the National Championship. That can't happen! NCCA: Ooooh,  Wait we made a mistake he's not guilty only his dad is guilty!  BCS: Wow that was close we could of lost millions!NCCA: Ok after the National Champion game then we'll find him guilty that way Auburn and the holy SEC can collect their money!BCS: We're ok with that as long as we maintain our hold on the corrupt Bowl System!NCCA: Our pockets are greased and waiting! 

Since: Sep 6, 2009
Posted on: December 2, 2010 1:23 pm

Inside Cam's eligibility

Why ask for money from one school and then sign with another school for free?

Since: Nov 17, 2006
Posted on: December 2, 2010 1:15 pm

Inside Cam's eligibility

If Cam knew nothing about the money issues then why is he on record admitting that "the money at Auburn was better"?

Since: Jun 8, 2008
Posted on: December 2, 2010 1:12 pm

Inside Cam's eligibility

Man thats harsh ... Cecil can't practice or play in any of the games. Way to drop the hammer .....

Since: Nov 25, 2008
Posted on: December 2, 2010 1:03 pm

Inside Cam's eligibility

Dear NCAA:

Whom do we talk to to get our reputation back?



Dear Heisman Committee:

Please return my Trophy.  I guess I sent it back in error.


Reggie Bush

Since: Dec 2, 2010
Posted on: December 2, 2010 12:52 pm

Inside Cam's eligibility

Just as in the Reggie Bush case, the NCAA will never learn.  This time all the facts are on the table whether you want to admit it or not.  The eyes of the Football Nation are on the NCAA and should create a storm of major proporations when at the end of the year Cam is found guilty as charged and he is in the NFL and could care less about the NCAA and Auburn, just as Reggie Bush did.  I would think that the ruling powers could do a better job in policing its institutions.  It is hard to believe that a son could witness his father coming into hundreds of thousands of dollare and not know about it.  The real losers could and should be the same NCAA that ruled him eligible to continue this charade. 

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