Tag:Cam Newton
Posted on: November 17, 2010 1:30 pm

Scout: Newton a 1st rounder, but with "questions"

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

If the NCAA investigation into Cam Newton concludes (or concludes in the somewhat near future, anyway) with the Heisman front-runner ruled ineligible for the 2010 season, it's likely going to cost Newton a lot: his Heisman chances, his team's shot at a BCS title, possibly his chance to play in an SEC championship game, various other sundry awards and honors that are surely on their way.

If there's any silver lining to a possible NCAA-dictated suspension, it's that eligible or not, Newton will be free to play in the NFL as soon as he leaves Auburn. But that's where the scandal has already cost him something: the benefit of the doubt with NFL scouts :

One director of scouting for an AFC team said Tuesday that Newton will be a first-round pick should he decide to skip his senior season but added that not every franchise will be interested because of his off-the-field issues.

“There are going to be questions about the kid,” said the scout, who requested anonymity. “You’re going to want to sit down and do a lot of interviews with him, because he never makes a check or a call at the line of scrimmage. He gets everything from the sidelines, so all that stuff is going to be new to him.

“We’ll want to see how smart he is, and then there is the naive part. He let his dad pick his school for him and all this kind of stuff. If this situation gets really bad, there might be teams that just don’t want the PR nightmare.”

Of course, the scout makes clear that things can only get so bad for Newton from an NFL standpoint; even if "not every franchise" will want to take a flyer on a prospect with Newton's off-field baggage, if the scout is correct that Newton won't slip out of the first round, even going 32nd overall isn't a bad consolation prize by any means. The scout describes Newton as a "big ball of clay" with an "NFL body" whose ability to shed tacklers and deliver throws could make him a "matchup nightmare" in the "right system." Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the scout's comments is that between his first-round stock and the inevitable eligibility questions that will dog him, it appears highly unlikely that Newton will want to spend another season under the microscope at Auburn .

The scout does, however, also worry that Newton could fall in with "the wrong crowd" or be overly influenced by his father Cecil Newton , who (as you know) has been accused as negotiating Newton's enrollment at Mississippi State in exchange for money. Nothing other than acing his eventual pre-draft interviews will make those question marks go away, and for that, Newton has the investigation to thank. That much damage, it appears, has already been done.

Posted on: November 17, 2010 12:12 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2010 12:43 pm

Cam Newton's stolen laptop for sale

Posted by Tom Fornelli

We're past the midway point of the month of November, which means that we're a little over a month away from Christmas.  So you've probably already begun doing some Christmas shopping for your family and friends, and if you have an Auburn fan in your life, or perhaps an Auburn hater, it seems I may have found the perfect gift for you to buy them.

Long before Cam Newton found himself in the midst of the current NCAA investigation into his recruitment and the alleged attempt of his father to sell his son to the highest bidder, Newton found himself in some trouble while at Florida for stealing another student's laptop.  A laptop he threw out of his dorm room window when the police were called.

Well, how would you like to buy that stolen laptop?  It turns out that somebody has it, and they sent an email to Deadspin on Tuesday to let them know that it's available for the right price.
My friend is in possession of the laptop that Cam Newton stole/purchased stolen and subsequently threw out a window while at UF. He's been contacted multiple times to sell. The serial number/model match that of the stolen laptop. In addition, the laptop has Cam's name written on it in large white letters. (See the police report which is already online for confirmation that this truly is the real laptop. It lists the serial number.). While the laptop is damaged from its fall out a window and will not function, it would definitely be of the highest entertainment value. Would your site be interested in bidding for it?
While I'm not sure how interested the site is in buying the laptop, I'm sure if you're interested you could contact Deadspin yourself to find out how you could go about buying it.  But hurry, Christmas will be here before you know it.
Posted on: November 16, 2010 4:05 pm

Key figures in Newton case talking to NCAA, FBI?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

College football fans (not to mention poll voters, BCS administrators, exhausted reporters, etc.) hoping for some movement forward on the Cam Newton investigation appear to be getting their wish today based on a series of reports out of the South. Two of those are recapped here , namely:

-- Former Mississippi State quarterback and Bulldog supporter John Bond met with the FBI today, according to Bond's attorney; Bond was the player (allegedly) originally approached as a possible source of funds by ...

-- Kenny Rogers , another former State player and agent who has claimed Cecil Newton asked him to arrange payment for his son's services; according to a Dallas radio host, Rogers is speaking to NCAA investigators as we type.

But that's not all. Notorious Alabama radio personality Paul Finebaum has added a new name into the mix of potential Newton informants and NCAA interviewees: Jody Wright , currently an Alabama graduate assistant and formerly a State director of football operations, who Finebaum reported was interviewed yesterday.

Obviously, the NCAA isn't going to confirm or comment on any of this. But to disregard all of these reports (not to mention the ones out of Birmingham that Auburn met with NCAA officials before the Georgia game) would be trying too hard. Whispers from the Auburn-colored corners of the Internet are even suggesting that a ruling could come as early as this week .

Since that would be a decision-making process of nearly unprecedented speed for an organization universally panned for its methodical approach, it seems unlikely the NCAA will make a move quite that soon. But clearly, the NCAA is on the case and moving with what appears to be all possible haste. Early estimates that placed a conclusion to the Newton case early next year -- following a BCS championship game which may or may not include Auburn, depending on their performance in the Iron Bowl grudge match with Alabama -- look at this moment to be on the pessimistic side.

Considering how much is at stake -- not only for Auburn but for all of college football, should its biggest individual award and national championship be awarded to a player later found to be ineligible -- that may not be surprising, even for the NCAA.

Posted on: November 16, 2010 11:26 am

Chizik could be docked $60,000 per month

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Cam Newton brouhaha aside, this has been a dream season for Auburn and head coach Gene Chizik , who had to have only seen 11-0 starts and top-two BCS rankings in his wildest fantasies when he was trudging through his final 2-10 season at Iowa State .

Which might explain why Chizik agreed to contract terms that might be costing him , say, a new Lexus each month, according to a USA Today report:
Chizik's total compensation for this season was set at $2.25 million. With his team's record at 11-0, he is still in contention for his maximum of $1.3 million in athletically related bonuses. He also could get $150,000 based on the team's academic performance.

However, Auburn can suspend one or both of the nearly $60,000 payments it makes monthly to Chizik for personal endorsement rights and TV, radio and personal appearances "in the event an investigation is instituted by Auburn, the SEC or the NCAA into alleged major rules violations involving Coach and/or the football program," the contract says. Auburn senior associate AD Scott Carr, in an e-mail, declined to comment.
Learning that such a highly unusual clause (which punishes Chizik not for uncovered violations but merely for an investigation ) exists in Chizik's contract helps explain why the Tiger athletic department attempted to insert the same into new men's basketball coach Tony Barbee 's contract before Barbee and his lawyers objected. But learning that Chizik signed on anyway also emphasizes just how much Chizik was willing to sacrifice to make the leap from Ames to Auburn. (It may also emphasize that the Auburn athletic department, much criticized in some corners for playing Newton against Georgia, does take its compliance obligations seriously.)

The good news for Chizik is that at this stage, despite the "no comment" from Carr, he's probably still drawing that $60,000 per month; while the NCAA investigation into Newton's eligibility (or lack thereof) continues, no one has yet reported that Auburn itself, Chizik, or any of his staff has fallen under that investigation's scope.

Of course, with new twists and turns emerging in the Newton case seemingly by the day, Chizik might not want to include that money in his December

Posted on: November 15, 2010 12:41 pm

More fun for Butch Davis

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Remember the good old days of the 2010 season, when it was North Carolina head coach Butch Davis that was the worst person in the college football world?  Thanks to his decision to have John Blake on his coaching staff, Davis was forced to play out the season with a whole bunch of his players -- and some players from around the NCAA -- suspended for receiving gifts from agents.  Then this whole Cam Newton story came along, and we all forgot about Butch, which is something he's probably grateful for.

Which is why it's too bad a former academic coordinator at North Carolina, Cynthia Reynolds, has filed a grievance against the school, saying that the only reason she lost her job was because Davis wanted somebody younger -- read: more attractive -- in the position. 

"I think it's important to make the point that even though I was an 'at-will' employee, you can't get rid of somebody [because] you want someone younger in the position,'' Reynolds told the Charlotte News & Observer. "There are policies, and you have to follow them."

The 56-year old Reynolds spent seven years working with the football program before being reassigned to Olympic sports in 2009, and then let go in August of 2010.  Though, according to the school, her dismissal had nothing to do with her age as much as it had to do with her ability to do the job.  The school says that Reynolds was reassigned for two incidents.
  • A player was deemed academically ineligible in 2008 due to misadvising.
  • A secondary violation was reported to the NCAA after 18 incoming freshmen football players were not enrolled in enough summer school hours, a violation none of the players were held responsible for.
Those violations came in 2008, Reynolds was reassigned in 2009.  Seems to make sense to me.

As for Reynolds' claims that Davis wanted her removed, the coach emailed the paper and told them that her claims aren't accurate, and that he has no such authority to reassign anybody from the Academic Support Program.  Those decisions belong solely to the department.
Posted on: November 13, 2010 11:06 pm

What I learned from the SEC (Nov. 13)

Posted by Tom Fornelli

1. South Carolina and Auburn will battle for the SEC title in Atlanta. It's official, even though the game is three weeks away, we know that no matter what happens from here on out, South Carolina and Auburn are headed to Atlanta to square off for the SEC Championship.  It'll be the first time since 2004 that the game didn't feature Florida, Alabama or LSU.   Coincidentally, that's also the last time Auburn played in the game, beating Tennessee 38-28.

2. Sources tell me Cam Newton is still awesome.   Distractions?  What the hell is a distraction?  Cam Newton sure didn't play like a kid who spent the last week dealing with the media circus surrounding his NCAA investigation.  Newton finished the day with 299 total yards and four touchdowns during Auburn's 49-31 win over Georgia.

3. I worry about Marcus Lattimore's future. Listen, I totally understand why Steve Spurrier and South Carolina choose to ride Lattimore's back.  The kid is a beast, and he completely changes the Gamecocks offense.  Still, when I see him get 41 carries on Saturday night -- along with 38 against Georgia earlier this season -- I do worry that he'll be worn out by the end of his college career.  We've all seen in the past at places like Wisconsin what happens to running backs who carry the ball hundreds of times in their college career when they get to the NFL.  I just hope Lattimore doesn't suffer the same fate.

4. The Cam Newton Saga seemed to have a bigger effect on Mississippi State.
  Newton played like Cam Newton against Georgia, but Mississippi State played like a team that should have coughed up the dough on Saturday night.  Sure, Alabama -- a ticked off Alabama team at that -- had a lot to do with it, but the Bulldogs didn't look very good in their 30-10 loss.

5. Tennessee has its quarterback. Who would have thought back in September or early October that Tennessee would have a chance to go bowling this season?  I certainly didn't, but thanks to the continued rise of Tyler Bray and his back tattoo, the Vols have played incredibly well the last few weeks.  Bray threw for 323 yards and 3 touchdowns as Tennessee destroyed Ole Miss 52-14.  Now, if the Vols can manage to win their last two games against Vanderbilt and Kentucky -- which isn't all that crazy -- they'll finish the season 6-6 and be bowl eligible.

6. Florida's offense is still terrible.
  Listen, you may have been fooled by seeing Florida score 41 points against Vanderbilt last week, and some pollsters might have been as well, but I wasn't.  An offense that has struggled all season did so again on Saturday night, managing a paltry 226 yards and 14 points against a Gamecocks defense that gave up 24 points to Tennessee, and 31 to Kentucky.  If Steve Addazzio survives this season, then somebody is going to burn Gainesville to the ground.
Posted on: November 13, 2010 7:56 pm

Auburn, Chizik off to Atlanta after win

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Not many fans outside of Auburn will be pleased with it after the week's Cam Newton revelations and some ugly scenes at the end of tonight's win over Georgia , but that also won't make any difference after the Tigers' 49-31 victory moved them to a perfect 7-0 in the SEC and clinched the West division title. Auburn will play in the SEC championship game for the first time since 2004 and for just the third time since the SEC's divisional split in 1992.

Though a national title game could still be on the horizon pending the SEC title tilt and an even-tricker-looking visit to Alabama , the West championship is already a huge vindication for Gene Chizik , whose hire was derided in virtually every corner after his 5-19 record at Iowa State . With two games still to play, he's a perfectly palindromical 19-5 in his two seasons at the Auburn helm, and whether or not the Newton scandal forces him to vacate those victories, it's hard to argue he hasn't brought the team a steady, calming influence that's allowed them to make three comebacks from double-digit deficits this season.

Today was the third, with the Bulldogs jumping out to a 21-7 lead before the inexorable march of Auburn's ground-pounding offense wore down Georgia's defense as the game. The Tigers finished with 315 rushing yards, their sixth straight SEC game with 300 or more yards on the ground. Newton finished with 151 yards and two rushing touchdowns (to go with 148 and 3 scores in the air), Onterio McCalebb 71 and three scores, and Michael Dyer 60. Georgia scored 10 points on their first two drives of the second half, on expertly-guided drives of 81 and 66 yards by Aaron Murray ... but it didn't make much difference when Auburn's final five possessions of the game all ended in touchdowns.

The game ended on a sour note as a pair of Bulldog offensive lineman took exception to a hit by Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley on Murray which forced him off the field, dogpiling on Fairley after the following play. The resulting fracas resulted in the ejection of backup defensive end Michael Goggans , and after the next play, a punch saw backup defensive tackle Mike Blanc dismissed as well. Both will reported miss the first half of the Alabama game, and though neither starts, both see major time in Auburn's usual defensive line rotation.

Neither that nor the Newton scandal will do much to dull the celebrations in Auburn tonight, though. The coach who would supposedly never get Auburn to the top of their division did it in just two years. Until/unless the NCAA says otherwise, that's more than enough reason to break out the party hats.

Posted on: November 13, 2010 2:57 pm

Cam Newton almost certainly playing

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

If you dropped out of a spaceship (let's be specific: a spaceship without the Internet) into Auburn 's final preparations for today's Georgia game, you apparently wouldn't even know there was anything unusual going on with Cam Newton . Newton went through Auburn's traditional pregame Tiger Walk to the stadium, went through preliminary warmups with quarterbacks coach Gus Malzahn , spent some time firing up the student-section early arrivals, and as our own Dennis Dodd has tweeted, is wearing his full usual gameday outfit:

Considering that ineligible players don't even practice with their teammates, much less take the field only minutes before kickoff, it looks like the world's surest bet that Newton will be playing this afternoon.
Category: NCAAF
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