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: Oct 12, 2010
Posted on: December 1, 2010 11:14 pm

Inside Cam's eligibility

Watch out jfk55.  It seems you may be overpopulating the website with logic and some facts.  It seems that all that flies on this message board is opinions.  I'm not saying it is not good to have opinions, but to say ask "do you really think that he is clean or make the statement there is no way he is clean or to state there is absolutely no way he did not know what his dad was doing" is unrealistic.  I agree with you.  They knew since January people.  Why would they wait until now to kick him?  That makes absolutely no sense to me.  They could have made this decision in July before the 1st snap of the season.  It just didn't sell enough papers or gain anyone that Emmy (or whatever the equivalent is in journalism) because no one knew he was going to be good.  By the way, I have no facts on this but this is just an observation.  Everyone is blowing the horn that Mississippi State was the one that tattled.  Maybe they were, in January.  Don't you find this interesting that this story did not come to pass until AFTER Auburn beat LSU?  I think Les Miles and crew brought the story to the fore front.

Since: Apr 16, 2009
Posted on: December 1, 2010 11:13 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Dec 1, 2010
Posted on: December 1, 2010 11:10 pm

Inside Cam's eligibility

I agree with we will never know it all but the Press for the most part has been pretty bad on this one but  when the NCAA and FBI are in the deal, they know way more than the press or us, the name calling was to calm the haters down, I had to do something to back off the ALL stars and Super stars

Since: Dec 1, 2010
Posted on: December 1, 2010 11:03 pm

Inside Cam's eligibility

You may be right about the womenor not I have been to both but I have not spent enough time in Austin, I cant tell you for sure on NFL stats compared to AU but I think we both can say they are miles ahead of MSU

Since: Oct 12, 2010
Posted on: December 1, 2010 11:03 pm

Inside Cam's eligibility

Oooh.  Nice comeback drewboyy.  The NCAA does not regulate the BCS.  The NCAA did not come up with the BCS.  I could go on and on.  Give me facts, not a poor excuse for a comeback.  The bottom line is no one on this site, including me, has all the facts so we need to not be so judgemental.

Since: Dec 1, 2010
Posted on: December 1, 2010 11:00 pm

Inside Cam's eligibility

Dudes grow up, unless there is something NEW that has not come out as of yesterday, HE IS CLEAR, that was is black and white today. Also think about this, NCAA,AU and State knew about all the this JANUARY(pay for play by daddy AT THAT TIME), this drama is nothing new, now I do think the NCAA got off ther a$$ b/c of the public pressure. Do you dudes actualy think AU( who has one of the best complience guys in D1) would "roll the Dice" on CAM( who btw was not a proven comoadity at the time).
My point is this, AU did the math last July and knew this kid would not lose his availability. YOU DON'T HEAR THAT FROM THE MEDIA B/C IT WONT MAKE A GOOD STORY SO YOU THROW THE SPIN ON IT.
DO YOU ACTUALY THINK THAT A  THE NCAA IS GOING TO COME BACK AND SAY "O YEA WE TOTALY SCREWED UP THIS CASE SO NOW WE ARE GOING TO SLAM AU, MSU, AND THE SEC in this high profile case. Your dreaming if you think that or got hit in the head with a rock.
I will say this, if something big comes out that can show Cam knew or $ was givin than I will say I am wrong but that big thing should have come out by now
CAM came to AU for the Malzon O, best O line, and a school that gets dudes into NFL(top 10 in NCAA), not for cash,. I mean no disrespect to MSU but if you went to Starkville, you would know why cam came to AU

Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: December 1, 2010 10:52 pm

Inside Cam's eligibility

if he was going to pick a school that put people in the NFL why wouldn't he have gone to Texas or OU? both schools recruited him and had QBs drafted last year. He would have probably saved Texas' season.  As for better school, hotter women, etc Texas trumps every school in the nation in that category.

All fairy tales should begin, "Once upon a time..."

Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: December 1, 2010 10:51 pm

Inside Cam's eligibility

So the NCAA, who is more afraid of a scandal then fair play and the students, hives all future cash-grabbers a blueprint as to how to get paid.  All you need to do is have your daddy ask for the money and then you will be off the hook, while enjoying your tricked-out Hummer at age 19.  Good job NCAA, you sniveling, drooling idiots.  Reggie Bush is kicking himself right now saying to himself, "I should have just had Kim ask for the cash and I would be golden like Cash Newton."

I think I am done with college football.

Since: Dec 23, 2008
Posted on: December 1, 2010 10:47 pm

Inside Cam's eligibility

if he was going to pick a school that put people in the NFL why wouldn't he have gone to Texas or OU? both schools recruited him and had QBs drafted last year. He would have probably saved Texas' season.  As for better school, hotter women, etc Texas trumps every school in the nation in that category.

Since: Dec 1, 2010
Posted on: December 1, 2010 10:43 pm

Inside Cam's eligibility

I find it funny that people have to resort to name calling in their arguments for or against the situation.  In the end, all this is a debate on what people think of the situation pro or con and why.  When people resort to name calling it's usually because they don't know how to properly debate their points... it's like a kid that starts yelling at the store when their parents do not want to by them something, they jade the situation by adding other things to the mix.... Regardless, if your for or against the situation, unless you're behind the scenes on everything, we will never completely know the truth... so we have to take what we've been given by the press and best try to assess the situation... interesting thing is that Oregon looks solid right now as well, so in all this debate nothing is guaranteed for AU even if they make the Nat'l Championship game....

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