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: Dec 2, 2010
Posted on: December 2, 2010 9:19 am

Inside Cam's eligibility

cam's family received the benfits?   wow, your the first to report that.  great job

Since: Oct 1, 2007
Posted on: December 2, 2010 9:16 am

Inside Cam's eligibility

Hate to say it, tsunami, but if Auburn were 7-5 this story would have never seen the light of day.  The SEC and NCAA had notice of possible infractions back in January, yet it wasn't until Auburn beat LSU that this was even news.  At least Cam Newton won me my college football fantasy league.  In the big scheme, that is all that matters.

Since: Oct 27, 2010
Posted on: December 2, 2010 9:07 am

Inside Cam's eligibility

LOL...what a joke. Hmm, something tells me that if Auburn was 7-5, and if TCU wasn't ready to slip into the title game behind Auburn, then Cam isn't reinstated 24 HOURS later. This reeks of conspiracy (TV ratings/$$), To believe otherwise is simply naive. I'm tired of all the rampant scandal involved with D1 athletics (UNC, USC, Cam, etc, etc, etc, etc). Someone please just end the whole "student athlete" charade and devise a payment plan. Look at the graduation rates, at many schools less than 1/2 of the football teams players graduate anyway. College football is a joke, they don't even crown a true champion.

Since: Oct 8, 2007
Posted on: December 2, 2010 8:59 am

Inside Cam's eligibility

.........and soon the Heisman could have two black marks in the span of one decade.  College football is about pageantry, honor, and pride. The bowl games and the Heisman trophy are the pinnacle of what used to be the greatest display of collegiate sports and always started out the new year with excitement and a sense of camaraderie.

Now its scattered throughout the course of multiple weeks and mixed with seething scandals and a focus on a playoff system simply devoted to find out who is number 1 out of 120 teams with everyone wearing blinders to the other 119 teams except to come back a month before next season to read off a stat line from an irrelevent game with a now defunct roster and gameplan that has nothing to do with the upcoming season.

I'm not from Ohio but i live here and I've lived in Pennsylvania, Illinois and born in a state that has never had a pro sports team in any sport.  Cam Newton shouldnt be playing football right now.  His father admittedly shopped his son who already has black marks on his collegiate eligibility and the NCAA somehow finds it even a plausible case that Cam had absolutely no clue he was for sale?  I dont see the connection.  He was being represented and his family received the benefits.  This is the exact same situation as Reggie Bush.  Bush was represented and his family received the benefits.  I'm not buying that Cam Newton is supposedly a college educated young man and cant connect the dots enough to know where he'd be even attending college and what the deciding factors are?  Please dont treat me like i'm a gawdamm fool.

I understand that Auburn wants to win the national championship and the Heisman should go to the best player in the country but first the player has to be ELIGIBLE to be even considered.  North Carolina had the best looking defense in college football in over 20 years and eligibility and scandal tore that team apart to just a sliver of what it once could have been.  Its a shame that a team like Auburn cares more about winning than honor and pride.  They should be taking a page from North Carolina's book and removing the tarnish itself to show fans that it believes there is more to their program than just doing whatever it takes to win a football game.

Since: Jul 22, 2007
Posted on: December 2, 2010 8:58 am

Inside Cam's eligibility

Oh, ok so now you're saying the cheating DID happen just that it should have never been brought to light and it was a private matter.
Weel, yes true enough it was a private matter and as we all know there are leaks that come out of universities in cases like this, heck we hear about NFL draftees who fail drug tests but that's supposed to be confidential so there are leaks everywhere some are opportunistic where the leaker receives some sort of compensation where others are merely "loose lips that sink ships".
He did it, plain and simple, he's not the first college attendee to cheat or attempt to cheat though trying to cheat in the class of the same professor 3x just is not smart.
Regardless of all that he did it just like he bought the stolen laptop it just shows a pattern of bad decision making with that pattern as a backdrop you come to this current situation where again I believe as many do that he knew full well what his dad was up to and it was just easy to pin the blame on dad and dad was more than happy to accept it.
This has nothing to do with Cam being "That good" it has to do with making a young man be accountable for his actions plain and simple and while we're at it let the NCAA investigate Auburn to make sure no wrongdoing was done on their part too.
Of Cecil asked schools for money and Miss. state is the only one where we know the details of the request then let the NCAA speak with the recruiting staff at Auburn and let's put this whole thing to bed, sounds fair right? I mean if Auburn did nothing wrong they have nothing to worry about right?

Since: Jul 22, 2007
Posted on: December 2, 2010 8:51 am

Inside Cam's eligibility

Ok, let's assume that Cam isn't the biggest sports fan out there, even if that were true he would have heard about the Reggie Bush case or some other case where an NCAA athlete received improper payments/benefits and the school was hit with sanctions.
Don't say he "didn't know" because we all know it's wrong even the most casual of sports fans, that's just a ridiculous argument to make.

Since: Dec 26, 2007
Posted on: December 2, 2010 8:44 am

Inside Cam's eligibility

Anyone who thinks this sort of thing does not happen routinely in college sports is mistaken. (Either directly by the institution, directly by a booster, or indirectly by some other party of interest, a coach, another player's parent, etc) It dos not "excuse" anything.  It may not be public record, and may not come in the form of actual "cash", but "favors" to this level of athlete happen routinely.  It does not excuse what anyone with an open mind knows is probably true, but the NCAA and college sports eligibility rules are archaic. Call big time college sports what they are: Semi-pro.

The rules of the NCAA can be confusing, open to interpretation, have loopholes, and can obviously only be enforced if a violation is more times than not brought to light by the offending party(ies) themselves.  For every violation that is penalized, there are literally 100's more that never surface.  Let's assume Cam did NOT know....what protects an athlete who has family members or other influential people in their lives from seizing an oppotunity to make a buck at the expense of the athlete?  Nothing.  Let's asume Cam DID know.  What prevents any athete from claiming ignorance to a situation to avoid personal responsibility? Nothing.

Whatever your toughts are on this topic, the fact is that big time money is made in college sports, and anytime money is invoved, there are people lined up with their hands open, and plenty of people to give it. Dont be naive to think that this is somehow an isolated occurence.  It just happens to be in the spotlight this year.  It will be someone else next year, and the year after.......

I would bet my life savings that if you gave truth serems to every Heismann Trphy winner, there would be more than a handful that would have to join Reggie Bush and have to forfeit their honor.  I have ZERO doubt about that.

Since: Oct 1, 2007
Posted on: December 2, 2010 8:33 am

Inside Cam's eligibility

Yawn.  I wonder how many different ways people against Auburn can say the exact same thing.  Blah Blah Blah.  Nothing is going to happen this season, if ever.  Auburn and MSU have been completely compliant and assisted the NCAA in their investigation (which is completely different from USC).  So cry, pout, stomp your feet, give a stink face, slam doors shut, whatever.  Just keep acting like over-explosive, snotty infants.

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: December 2, 2010 8:15 am

Inside Cam's eligibility

Tiebeams.... if you don't lke the site and how the stories are written then take a hike and go someplace else.. this isn't favoritism.. these are articles written in real time, and posted as such.. I'm quite sure no one is trying to cover anything up. No conspiricy theories here..

Since: Oct 16, 2008
Posted on: December 2, 2010 8:04 am

Inside Cam's eligibility

Cam Newton said in an October magazine before all this came out that he let his dad decide which school to attend.    He said his dad had a party one night and told everyone Cam was going to Auburn.  We then find out recently that his father was pimping his services.  HOW IS THEIR NO WRONG DOING?!?!?   Everybody that loves the game of College Football should be shouting as loud as they can.  On top of that, the NCAA should be investigated because it is obvious they, the SEC and Auburn are looking the other way while their spoiled kid has his hand in the cookie jar. 

I find it hilarious that this website has Boise as the main article.  Biased journalism is getting out of control and this website is a joke.  The only reason I read this crap is to see how biased they can get. Just get it over with and call your sports page, SEC Sports.

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