Tag:Cam Newton
Posted on: November 12, 2010 11:30 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2010 11:46 pm
 

Report: Cecil Newton admits to soliciting payment

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Is the conclusion of the Cam Newton saga coming into focus? While it's still too early to say with absolute certainty whether Newton will even be playing for Auburn tomorrow, much less at any point for the rest of the season, the actual nature of his misdeeds -- which are, at this point, purely alleged and based solely on the statements of a handful of Mississippi State-affiliated men -- seems to be less of a mystery today than it was earlier this week.

According to Channel 2 Action News in Atlanta, Cecil Newton has reportedly admitted to soliciting money from Mississippi State. Cecil Newton's alleged admission -- which comes without so much as a direct quote from Newton -- is apparently worded in a fashion that attempts to absolve all other parties of blame:

A source close to the situation exclusively told Channel 2 Action News investigative reporter Mark Winne that the player's father, Cecil Newton, has admitted having conversations with an ex-Mississippi State University player about the possibility of under-the-table money if Cam Newton signed to play football at Mississippi State, though he's steadfastly maintained that no money ever changed hands and said no official at Mississippi State ever made such an offer.

According to Winne’s source, Cecil Newton said his son’s hands are clean, and has made it clear that Cam Newton himself and his mother knew nothing about the money discussions, nor did Auburn University, with whom the Westlake High School grad from College Park eventually signed with out of junior college.

This isn't much of a new revelation in and of itself; yesterday, ESPN's Joe Schad reported that the Newtons admitted to soliciting money. The distinction here is that this is an admission to a news organization instead of the accusing party; it's one thing for an MSU source to say the Newtons made these statements to him, and quite another for a reporter to say the same. Moreover, this report comes from a new news organization, meaning the story is gaining traction. That doesn't make it true, necessarily, but it certainly lends it a higher air of plausibility.

The problem that Cam Newton faces is that his father's reported admission, while certainly nice-sounding, might not preserve Cam's eligibility; Mississippi State was led to believe that it would need to pay for Cam to play there. That in and of itself is an NCAA violation. And yet, as Alabama-based attorney Donald Jackson notes, the NCAA hasn't yet felt the need to take the relatively routine step of "strong-arming" Newton off the field:

Donald Jackson, an attorney in Montgomery who has faced off with the NCAA many times, said Thursday that the NCAA is apparently comfortable with Newton's eligibility.

"The NCAA never hesitates to strong-arm schools into taking athletes off the field if they have evidence of violations," Jackson said.  

On the latest round of charges, Jackson said that in his opinion, "the statements from Kenny Rogers and John Bond don't add up to anything that would justify taking him off the field."

So will Newton be playing Saturday? It's easily possible. Auburn has known about this potential issue since January and seems to be committed to riding Newton all the way through the season; the only thing that has definitively changed between then and now is public opinion, and that's not usually a metric by which a football coach guides the management of his team. Being that even SEC chairman Mike Slive is reminding people that Newton's status for Saturday is Auburn's decision, it's probable that unless Auburn has additional information that hasn't been made public (and considering the fact that ESPN has been getting information more readily than the SEC, that doesn't seem particularly likely), we should probably see Newton on the field on Saturday.



Posted on: November 12, 2010 6:37 pm
 

Insane Predictions, Week 11

Posted by College Football Blog staff

Every season, every month, every week, there are several outcomes and achievements that, frankly, nobody operating within reason would ever predict. Who could have predicted Nebraska would beat Florida for the 1995 title by 38 points, or that Boise State would pull off three late trick plays to knock off Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, or that TCU would drop a 47-7 bomb on Utah last week? We're going to try capture that lightning in a bottle by making similarly absurd predictions every week. Are they at all likely to come true? No. Do we even believe the words we're writing? No. But if we make even one correct call on these, we will never stop gloating. Ever.

Somewhat Plausible

San Diego State plays the role of BCS spoiler by upsetting TCU in Fort Worth, 27-24. Andy Dalton struggles against an aggressive defense, and SDSU takes advantage of numerous turnovers to crack the TCU defensive wall. While Boise State fans squeal with glee at their new life in the BCS Championship Game race, the win solidifies Brady Hoke as the hottest coaching prospect in America. By Monday morning, Hoke has job offers from Colorado, Minnesota, and Texas. Yep: Texas. --Adam Jacobi

Highly Unlikely

In Columbus, the Ohio State Buckeyes take on Penn State with their Big Ten title hopes still alive. Though PSU walk-on quarterback Matt McGloin has been somewhat impressive over the last few games, he hasn't faced a defense near the quality of Ohio State's -- and the Buckeyes know it. As a result, they're a bit over confident and are completely blindsided when McGloin explodes for 500 yards passing and six touchdowns as the Nittany Lions embarrass Ohio State 45-3. In a state of shock after the game, Jim Tressel completely breaks character and alleges that when Matt McGloin tried to walk on at Ohio State, he told the coaches he wouldn't play without a scholarship for less than $200,000.  Ohio State refused, and then McGloin walked on at Penn State.  "Do the math," says Tressel, and a media firestorm then ensues, leading to weeks of unnamed sources saying that McGloin might have taken or asked for money, but he also might not have.  Nobody really knows, and no evidence is ever found, and McGloin and Penn State are never punished.  Then the heads of all the BCS conferences meet in their secret lair and pat each other on the back for creating yet another diversion to keep everyone from talking about a playoff or bashing the BCS. --Tom Fornelli

Severely Unlikely

Facing a Cal defense already torn to ribbons by the other funky, explosive rushing attack the Bears have faced this season (i.e, Nevada 's), LaMichael James, Darron Thomas, and the rest of Chip Kelly 's Oregon offense spend most of the first quarter in the highest gear imaginable, running with impunity and snapping the ball only seconds after it's set by the official. As the Bears wear down and offer even less resistance, the Ducks get faster and faster, quicker and quicker, until late in the second quarter (with the score already 51-3) the Ducks appear to violate one of the fundamental laws of the college football space-time continuum by snapping the ball before it's even been set. As Thomas is hauled down for a 32-yard gain on the ensuing play, fans notice that the Ducks' usual eye-searing uniforms are ... changing? Changing, into something even more eye-searing: they've gone plaid. In green-and-yellow, nonetheless.

Although the new look is panned by virtually every fan and pundit watching, recruits in attendance reportedly "love it" and say it will "definitely" aid the Ducks' effort to land their signatures. --Jerry Hinnen

Downright Ridiculous

The Cam Newton saga takes an incredible turn on Friday evening before the Tigers host Georgia.  The NCAA informs Auburn that it is not Newton, but the rest of the offense which must sit out against the Bulldogs.  Staring down less than 24 hours to replace an entire offense, head coach Gene Chizik is clueless.  But not Newton.  Cecil Newton finds a loophole in the NCAA rules (of course he does ), that allows his son to take the field with 10 members of the U12 Louisiana Blitz, a club soccer team from New Orleans.  In the most bizarre Heisman moment in history, Newton and the middle schoolers put up 49 points on Georgia's defense.  Newton throws for 200 yards, rushes for 200 yards, and catches a touchdown from the starting goalie just to prove a point.  At the end of the game, Newton picks up a guitar and leads the entire stadium in a rendition of Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler." Because, as Newton says, "That's funny to Cam." --Chip Patterson

Posted on: November 12, 2010 4:47 pm
 

The Saturday Meal Plan: Week 11

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Saturday Meal Plan is a helpful guide put together for you to maximize the results of your college football diet.  Just enough to leave you feeling full, but not so much you spend your entire Sunday in the bathroom.

I know you couldn't tell if you have been following the news in college football this week, but there are actually games to be played on Saturday.  I know, I didn't believe it either, but it's true.  There's more to college football than just off the field issues concerning agents, players asking for money, and the NCAA possibly punishing those players because the only people allowed to make money from this sport are the NCAA, not those punk kids who make it for them.

But I promise you, there are games ON the field as well.  Here are some of the best ones for you to watch on Saturday in between updates on what Cam Newton may or may not have done.

Breakfast

Main Course - Northwestern vs. #13 Iowa - Noon - ESPN

Looking at this game on the surface, it doesn't seem all the impressive.  Northwestern is currently in eighth place in the Big Ten, and has lost three of its last four games.  What's the big deal?

Well, Iowa isn't out of the Big Ten title hunt.  This game means a lot to the Hawkeyes for both their BCS aspirations and it provides therapeutic value.  You see, Northwestern has been a thorn in Iowa's side for years now, as Northwestern has won four of the last five meetings.  That includes last season when the Wildcats knocked Ricky Stanzi out for the last three games of the regular season, and handed Iowa its first loss.  Which eventually led to Stanzi missing the Ohio State game and a chance to win the Big Ten.

Side Orders: Not a lot of great choices this morning, but not as terrible as it has been in recent weeks.  There's Missouri and Kansas State who both have a remote chance to win the Big 12 North, but a loss in this game would kill either's chance.  There's also Miami taking on Georgia Tech, and the 'Canes can't afford to lose if they want a chance to play for the ACC title.  If those don't do it for you, I guess you could watch West Virginia and Cincinnati in the latest installment of "The Big East Presents: Something That Is Supposed to Resemble Football."

Lunch

Main Course - #2 Auburn vs. Georgia - 3:30pm - CBS

Listen, you've spent all week hearing about Cam Newton anyway, so why wouldn't you want to actually watch him play this week against Georgia?  I mean, when you think about it, you can't really be sure how many more chances you'll get to see Newton play at Auburn, so you should probably take advantage while you still can.

Oh, and there's also the fact that Auburn is still alive for a national championship, and with a win against Georgia, the Tigers would wrap up the SEC West and a trip to Atlanta.

As for Georgia, hard as it is to believe given the way it started the season, is only one win shy of being bowl eligible.  What a better way to do it than by knocking off the top team in the conference and destroying any chance they have to play for a national title?

Side Orders: There are some other quality non-Cam Newton related games going on during the afternoon as well.  Ohio State hosts Penn State, looking to keep hopes alive for a Big Ten title and trip to the Rose Bowl.  Oklahoma looks to right the ship at home against Texas Tech, and Virginia Tech can just about wrap up the ACC Coastal with a win at North Carolina.

Dinner

Main Course - #24 Florida vs. #22 South Carolina - 7:15pm - ESPN

The SEC East has been wide open all season long, but finally, it all comes down to one game on Saturday night in Gainesville. 

Even though it's been a down season for Florida compared to recent standards, the Gators still have a chance to get to Atlanta and win another SEC title should they get past the Gamecocks. On the flip side, Steve Spurrier still has a chance to win the SEC East and the SEC for the first time as head coach at South Carolina.

South Carolina hasn't played well since knocking off Alabama last month, but it still has a chance to salvage the season if it can knock off the Gators.

Side Orders: Plenty of other good games going on Saturday night if you prefer to look elsewhere.  Alabama can shake off the disappointment of last week's loss against LSU by knocking Mississippi State down a peg, and speaking of disappointment, Texas can boost its morale with a win over Oklahoma State as well.  There's also Oregon looking to stay undefeated at Cal, Arizona hosting USC and Stanford rolling in to Arizona State in the Pac-10.

Late Night Snack

Listen, I've developed a slight infatuation with Colin Kaepernick this season.  It's just every time I see him running down the field I can't help but think of an ostrich, and this amuses me to no end.  Why?  I don't know, it just does.  Tune in to see Kaepernick and Nevada take on Fresno State on Saturday night and find out if you see it too.
Posted on: November 12, 2010 4:23 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2010 10:49 pm
 

Auburn on Cam Newton's eligiblity: 'No comment'

Posted by Adam Jacobi

In light of Kenny Rogers' comments yesterday, it certainly seems as if Cam Newton 's eligibility could be in question. After all, Rogers directly implicates Cam's father Cecil Newton in a plot to secure payment from Mississippi State for Cam's recruitment, and that is itself a major NCAA violation regardless of whether any money changed hands.

It's important to note, however, that Newton has not been declared ineligible by anybody, nor has the NCAA publicly recommended that Newton sit until the end of the investigation -- as North Carolina did with its 13 players and as Georgia did with A.J. Green -- to begin the season. The one change in the situation, however, is that Auburn is now refusing to comment on whether Newton's going to play this week.

Of course, if Auburn is still planning on playing Newton for the rest of the season, as Gene Chizik had insisted earlier in the week, it might not be in the Tigers' best interests to maintain that stance. After all, the more uncertainty Georgia has about Newton's status, the more Mark Richt has to prepare his team for Newton's backup, likely sophomore Barrett Trotter.

And yet, Auburn runs a serious risk of incurring more NCAA wrath than necessary if it continues to play Cam Newton in the face of major allegations. It's one thing for the Tigers to maintain no role in funneling money to Cecil Newton or his church, and that may very well end up being the case. But if the school is aware of allegations of severe misconduct by people connected to one of its players and lets that player be on the field anyway, it won't have much of a case for leniency if the NCAA concludes the allegations were legitimate. That's the type of hubris that can cost a school wins, bowl eligibility, and scholarships -- not to mention cost a head coach his job.



Posted on: November 11, 2010 12:09 pm
 

Tide's Richardson questionable for MSU

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It may sound hard to believe, but SEC teams that don't feature Cam Newton are still planning on playing their scheduled games this weekend, despite the fact that no one will be paying any attention. In fact, a few of those games are downright critical, including Alabama trying to stay alive in the SEC West race with a home win over a Mississippi State program that's made a lot of headlins recently for things that don't have much to do with their preparatiosn for the Tide.

Unfortunately for Alabama, they may have to make do without injured running back Trent Richardson :

Richardson increased his practice participation Tuesday, but the sophomore is not certain to play with knee soreness Saturday when the Crimson Tide hosts Mississippi State.

“Trent did some running today, did some work today. But if he’s not better tomorrow, then I don’t know that he’ll be ready to play in the game,” UA coach Nick Saban said. “We’ll just have to wait and see on that one" ...

“If Trent can’t go, Mark [Ingram] is in good shape and Mark is doing fine, and Mark will do a great job for us in the game."

At a glance, you wouldn't think any program in the country could be less affected by a running back injury, since the Tide do have the reigning Heisman Trophy winner to turn to. But the Tide are a stunning sixth in the SEC in rushing in conference games, Richardson is averaging more than half-yard more than Ingram per-carry and leads the team in all-purpose yardage, and Ingram hasn't gone over the 100-yard mark rushing in his past five games. The Tide have used Ingram and Richardson as a one-two punch for the better part of the past two seasons, but now that even the one-two punch isn't any more than adequate, how well will the one-one punch work out?

We're not sure of Ingram's thoughts on the subject. But we ca n tell you how he feels about ... well ...

Ingram, as last year's Heis­man Trophy winner, has a vote for this year's award. Newton is the front-runner, despite allega­tions leveled against him over the past week ... Ingram said, if his vote were due today, Newton would likely get his vote.

Allegations or not.

"I know they're undefeated and Cam Newton is playing bet­ter football that most everybody in the country right now."
It's that kind of week.

Posted on: November 11, 2010 11:49 am
 

Kiffin says Newton never asked UT for money

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Remember the good old days of the SEC when the only "controversy" was what Lane Kiffin had done or said?  Then Kiffin left Knoxville for USC, which has had its own issues with the NCAA lately, but not before he made an attempt to recruit Cam Newton while Newton was at Blinn Junior College after leaving Florida.   So, naturally, now that the college football world is one of Newton, Newton, Newton and more Newton, it only makes sense that somebody would ask Kiffin if anything unseemly took place during Newton's recruitment.

When asked directly if Newton or anyone claiming to represent Newton ever asked for money during the recruitment, Kiffin said "no."  Though he also said that Tennessee wasn't that actively involved in recruiting him, because he wasn't a great fit for the Tennessee system.  Newton was never offered a scholarship by Tennessee, something Kiffin said "doesn't make me look very smart."

Kiffin also went on to say that his time spent in the SEC gave him a unique perspective on the situation, because "you hear so many things down there."

"I remember so many things said about me that weren't accurate," Kiffin said. "It was a good lesson learned. If something comes on the radio or in print, I don't think there are any facts to it at all until someone shows some proof. This is a perfect example."

Kiffin is the second head coach to recruit Newton, along with Bob Stoops, who has come out and said that money was never involved during the process.  Which is a good sign for all those Auburn fans hoping Newton is cleared of all this, but it doesn't prove anything.  All it means is that Newton is either innocent, or that Oklahoma and Tennessee were never really in the running for his services.
Posted on: November 11, 2010 3:37 am
 

Why doesn't SEC know about Newton calls?

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Last night, the latest bombshell dropped on the Cam Newton ordeal was that Mississippi State recruiters had been specifically told by Newton and his father, Cecil Newton , that money had played a pivotal role in Newton's recruitment to Auburn over MSU. On its face, the charge is damning; if evidence exists of Newton and his father leading MSU to believe that it would need to pay money to recruit him, that's a serious problem, and the NCAA would need to know that immediately.

Except... here's the thing. Mississippi State acknowledged just today that it let the SEC know of the Cam Newton recruiting situation in January. That was 10 months ago. And yet, 10 months after that fact, here's what an SEC spokesperson said today :

SEC spokesman Charles Bloom said Wednesday evening that there was also no mention of the reported conversations in either of the school’s reports to the league.

Okay, great, but those exact conversations were reported on a major media outlet when they were reported on ESPN last night. So here's what we're hoping someone at Mississippi State can answer: why is ESPN learning about incriminating conversations before the SEC?

If a school has knowledge and evidence of serious wrongdoing in recruiting, as we've all been led to believe Mississippi State has against Auburn, it is incumbent upon that school to divulge as much of that information as possible to the appropriate authorities. And indeed, Mississippi State has been on the offensive as far as representing itself as a responsible steward of the SEC's rules, reportedly declining to pay the Newton family any money and reporting the incident to the appropriate authorities .

And yet, it defies immediate logic that MSU could be this proactive in enforcing the SEC's rules and yet neglect to mention this, the most obvious and egregious flaunting of the of SEC's rules among what MSU has reported so far. Why?

 

Posted on: November 10, 2010 5:42 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2010 5:43 pm
 

MSU: University contacted SEC in January

Posted by Chip Patterson

The latest news from the ongoing Cam Newton saga comes from Starkville, but it hard to consider any of it "breaking."  On Wednesday afternoon, Mississippi State released a statement regarding their contact with the SEC offices on the topic of Cam Newton.  The release does very little to reveal any new information, but instead to confirm the reports that questions around Cam Newton's recruitment have been on the conference's radar for almost a year now.
Mississippi State University acknowledges that it contacted the Southeastern Conference office in January of 2010 regarding an issue relating to its recruitment of Cam Newton.

Shortly after the initial call, the SEC office requested specific information to include interviews with involved staff from MSU.

Due to MSU dealing with ongoing and time-consuming eligibility issues involving non-football matters in the winter and spring of 2010, the specific SEC request went unfulfilled. Some additional information was provided to the SEC during July of 2010. Once the NCAA enforcement staff became involved, Mississippi State University cooperated fully with its investigation. MSU is confident the SEC office has managed this process consistent with its established procedures and the university is committed to the conference’s ongoing efforts to ensure compliance with SEC and NCAA rules.
See?  Nothing really to see here.  This is Mississippi State's way of clearing the university's name of any further social or institutional responsibility in the eyes of the public.  The SEC and the NCAA did not need MSU to come out with this kind of statement, and it was likely crafted to try and head off questions which the progam does not want to (and likely is not allowed to by the NCAA) answer.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com