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: Jul 28, 2008
Posted on: December 2, 2010 7:56 am

Inside Cam's eligibility

I can understand why people have an opinion on the whole PayForPlay issue but seriously, you people need to drop the whole CHEATING AT FLORIDA issue cause its obvious someone dropped the ball when it comes to privacy issues at Florida. It's like announcing to the world what is in your MEDICAL RECORD at a hospital.

Go bitch and whine about how he got over on the NCAA with the allegations at Miss State but you need to understand everyone is coming at Cam Newton because he is obviously THAT GOOD. If Auburn were 5-7 right now, none N O N E of this would be an issue.

War Eagle.....Beat Gamecocks.

Can't we all just get along.....(oh, and Cam did it....Not O.J)

Since: Sep 2, 2007
Posted on: December 2, 2010 7:26 am

Inside Cam's eligibility

So let me get this straight.  The guy who cheats on tests, steals laptops, and who's father clearly asked for big money for his son to go to Miss St. is now pure as the driven snow?  He and his father never talked about this, and sweet little Cam was an innocent child?  And of course, after demanding $200K from Miss. St. he chose Auburn where he would could play for no money and Auburn is perfectly clean too?  And the NCAA who lets teams twist in the wind for months or years, and took years to say anything about Reggie Bush all of a sudden hurries to close this case?

This smells like a whole school of dead fish.  The fix is in. 


Since: Dec 2, 2010
Posted on: December 2, 2010 6:12 am

Inside Cam's eligibility

Dodd is a tabloid idiot.  None of this would have been written if Newton was in the Big 10. I hope AU beats SC and wins it all.  Who cares about Rogers' ridiculous claim?  We all know that nobody would pay $200K.  Give me  break. 

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: December 2, 2010 4:06 am

Inside Cam's eligibility

I am a Gator fan first and foremmost, as bad as this season has been for us, but I have NO soft spot for Auburn.  However I have greater distaste for media types who are supposed to be journalists first and not tabloid conspiracy hounds.  Too bad Dodd. but you are wrong AGAIN!  You and your CBS cohorts like Barnhart and Brando are left with nothing to say except that the story isn't over yet.  You are all like the taling heads on Fox News Channel or MSNBC...a lot of words which really don't say anything because your emperor, the story about Cam Newton going to the highest bidder, has been found to have no clothes.   What's next, another rehash about the movement toward super-conferences?  Or are you saving that for the offseason? 

Since: Dec 6, 2006
Posted on: December 2, 2010 3:44 am

Inside Cam's eligibility

Cam knew plain and simple, but he's still a damn kid and doesn't know any better, but his father should have known better! I am a huge Gator's fan and don't like Auburn, but to not let the kid would have given the game to South Carolina! No easy wins in the SEC!

Since: Jul 12, 2010
Posted on: December 2, 2010 2:26 am

Inside Cam's eligibility


Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: December 2, 2010 1:58 am

Inside Cam's eligibility

rgp7777, your attempt to hide your bias toward Auburn is feable. You supposedly joined CBS today, and as it were, made that post? Who do you think you're fooling.

Now, to actually respond to your post. The crucial part of that statement isn't "receives or agrees to receive", it's "directly or indirectly". The NCAA ruled that Cecil violated NCAA rules. How that isn't an example of "indirectly", no one knows. The NCAA ruled Cam Newton eligable right now because they haven't concluded their investigation and are erring on the side of causion. Should he be cleared of all violations, they wouldn't want to have kept him off the field mistakenly. I can gaurentee that they reserve the right to go back and rule him ineligable and strip Auburn of all wins and any championships if they find any evidence to prove it.

Right now all the talk on this topic, whether it's on the radio, T.V., chat's or Blogs, is "what the hell is the NCAA doing? Cecil Newton was found to have violated NCAA rules but Cam is still eligable?"

Be prepaired to have your heart broken, rgp777.

Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: December 2, 2010 1:39 am

Inside Cam's eligibility

Why would LSU wait until after the game?  If they knew they would have said so immedietely.  Les Miles is crazy, but he has never put up with cheaters or thugs.  Ask Perilloux.  Just another Auburn homer making excuses for teh schools lack of integrity.  You are aware right that the FBI has been investigated the school for a couple of years, and that they have tapes of board of directors, not just the athletic department, okaying the cash-for-recruits orogram, most notably Pat Dye.  There is more than football eligibility at stake here, teh school could lose its accreditation.  The NCAA was hamstrung by the FBI investigation.  There is a couple more years till this whol house of corrupt cards comes tumbling down.

Since: Dec 2, 2010
Posted on: December 2, 2010 12:58 am

Inside Cam's eligibility: Read the Bylaws

I am tired of so much loose retoric surrounding this series of events and then the twisted coverage of the "facts".

I believe the actions Wednesday by Auburn , the SEC and the NCAA are very clean and consistent with the rules.

SEC bylaws (Section dealing with Financial Aid 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 crucial part is "receives or agrees to receive" aid or assitance. I have seen nor heard any evidence that Cam or Cecil received or agreeded to receive aid or assistence from anybody ! It appeard that Cecil via loose canon Kenny Rogers may have asked for money from some MSU booster but by all accounts, this attempt was slammed shut. No money changed hands nor was any money offered therefore Cecil or Cam never received or agreeded to receive money. Nowhere do the rules say that an act of solicitation makes a player ineligible.

Auburn had all the facts needed to make this determination back in July and acted appropriately.

I believe the other factor that caused the Cam Newton situation to blow up into the media frenzy it did was the constant referrences and misleading comparisons to the 5 year long USC investigation and sanctions. The USC situation was far more complex, involving multiple sports and atheletes and hundreds of documented infractions by players, agents, parents, boosters, coaches  and school officials. The Final Public Report is nearly 70 pages long. The Cam Newton scenario is a minor incident by comparison.

Since: Jul 22, 2007
Posted on: December 2, 2010 12:50 am

Inside Cam's eligibility

Don't you think that the guy has more at stake if he uses his position to grind an ax against a kid?
I also believe that one of the links took you to the ESPN SEC reporter who I think would go and check the story out before submitting it to his editors who also would check it out too seeing as though ESPN does have the reputation as THE sports authority I believe their editors would want tp uphold their journalistic standards and not invite any trouble with slander.
That being said, you go on and believe all you like that this reporter was trying to slander Newton because he had a vendetta when it all comes out just how dirty he, his dad & this marketing agent were Auburn fans are going to wish they had never gone to the dance known as the college football season of 2010 with Cam Newton.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or