Tag:Cam Newton Investigation
Posted on: January 11, 2012 9:08 pm
 

NCAA Legislative Council debates new proposals

Posted by Bryan Fischer

INDIANAPOLIS -- Cecil Newton wasn't the only thing on the docket for the NCAA Division I Legislative Council on Wednesday.

As the NCAA kicked the organization's annual convention into high gear, the council considered several proposals from member schools and other groups covering everything from the definition of an agent to recruiting contacts to multi-year scholarships.

"We're accustomed as the Legislative Council to be the primary ones looking at this legislation and really charged with making sure all the rules work right," chairwoman Carolyn Campbell-McGovern said. "It's a pretty big responsiblity."

The most noteworthy issue the council tackled was reworking the definition of an agent to close the loophole brought up in the Cam Newton investigation. The group also struck down a proposal submitted by the Colonial Athletic Association that would have given football players an extra year to play.

"We defeated the proposal in football that would have allowed students to have five seasons of eligibility in five calendar years," Campbell-McGovern said. "It was voted on separately by the FCS and FBS divisions. There was very little support."

The talk of the convention has centered on two ideas out of August's Presidential Retreat that would allow for up $2,000 in the form of a stipend to cover the cost of attendance and extend scholarships to cover multiple years. The two proposals reached the number of override votes from the membership and have been tabled for the time being until they have been sufficiently discussed and reworked.

"We had some discussion of that in order to provide some feedback to the board," the chairwoman said. "The fact that there was an override speaks to the fact that there are different positions and the membership is pretty well split. There was some discussion over what the concerns were, which have been pretty well documented.

"I think they all build on each other. The fact that it went into effect immediately and people didn't have time to plan was problematic.

"To some extent, the fact that some institutions will be able to engage in (giving out the scholarships or stipends) more than others is a concern, I didn't feel like that was one of the most prompt."

The council will provide feedback to the NCAA Board of Directors on Saturday on the proposals. Another proposal struck down dealt with the academic readiness of two-year college transfers.

"We struggled with this," Campbell-McGovern said. "We know a lot of people worked hard on this and that the two-year college community, in particular, was enthusiastic about it. We just felt like this really wasn't the time for it. We think it needs more work and we need to think more about how we can support the two-year college students better."

The board cited a need for more flexibility and support when students get to a four-year school and not have to rely on two-year colleges. The proposal is not dead - "it has merit" - but is being sent back to be reworked.
The council will resume debating Thursday morning and once the council wraps things up, the rules are considered adopted subject to final approval by the board.

Posted on: November 4, 2011 1:50 pm
Edited on: November 4, 2011 1:50 pm
 

NCAA documents on Newton investigation released

Posted by Tom Fornelli

In October the NCAA concluded its investigation of Cam Newton and his recruitment to Auburn without finding any major violations. The result of this announcement was that Auburn fans could stop worrying that they'd one day have their BCS title stripped from them and that the school would also suffer further punishments.

Though just because there were no major violations found, that doesn't mean the school didn't come close to losing Newton a couple of times last season.

Auburn released documents on Friday between the school and the NCAA regarding the Newton investigation as part of the Freedom of Information Act. What they document is that Auburn was nearly forced to sit Newton out twice last season -- before the Georgia game and SEC Championship -- but that the school successfully defended Newton both times by saying he had no knowledge of any contact between his father Cecil Newton and Kenny Rogers.

The documents also included a letter from Auburn sent to the NCAA.

"Despite numerous media reports suggesting Newton himself engaged in wrongdoing, the facts clearly demonstrate Newton has done nothing
wrong," Auburn told the NCAA. "Auburn had no contact with Rogers during the recruitment of Newton. Auburn was in no way involved in offering or considering an offer of any recruitment inducement."

Cecil Newton has already admitted that he asked Rogers, a former Mississippi State player, to try and get money from Mississippi State when it was recruiting his son, but that no money ever changed hands and there was never a similar deal agreed to or even asked of Auburn.

Though the documents that were released on Friday show that there was plenty of contact between Cecil Newton and Rogers, as the two exchanged 275 phone calls during Cam Newton's recruitment at Mississippi State.
Posted on: October 12, 2011 5:22 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2011 5:38 pm
 

No major violations in Auburn's signing of Newton



Posted by Tom Fornelli

It appears the Cam Newton Saga at Auburn has finally come to an end. The NCAA announced on Wednesday that it had found no major rules violations in Auburn's signing of Newton. The NCAA also announced that it had concluded an investigation into the claims of four former Auburn players on HBO's Real Sports that Auburn had provided the players with extra benefits, and again, the NCAA found no wrongdoing by anybody at Auburn.

"We appreciate the NCAA and thank them for their professionalism and thoroughness during this exhaustive investigation.  We are pleased to put this matter behind us," said Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs.

As for the Newton case, the NCAA said it interviewed more than 50 people to find out if Auburn had provided Newton or any members of his family with improper benefits, and that there was no reason to keep the investigation open because the NCAA's findings did not meet a "burden of proof" that Auburn had done anything wrong.

If you don't recall, Newton came under scrutiny last season when it was alleged that his father Cecil Newton attempted to collect $180,000 from Mississippi State to get his son to transfer there from Blinn College, where Cam had transferred to after being kicked off the team at Florida. Auburn always maintained that Newton never asked for money from the school, nor did the school ever pay him anything to attend Auburn.

So, good news, Auburn fans. That national championship is not going to be taken away.

Click here to read the letter the NCAA sent Auburn

Posted on: April 14, 2011 11:06 am
 

Auburn readying statues of Heisman winners

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Given the press surrounding the soon-to-be-unveiled Nick Saban statue at Alabama and the new row of Heisman-winning quarterback statues at Florida, it was only a matter of time before some other school stepped forward to keep up with the Joneses in Tuscaloosa and Gainesville.

And this week, in a letter to fans and alumni, Tiger athletic director Jay Jacobs made it official that that school would be Auburn. The Tiger athletic department last year commissioned statues of past Heisman winners Pat Sullivan and Bo Jackson, before having to add another sculpture to their shopping list when Cam Newton picked up the program's third Heisman last December. "Little did we know we would need to add a third statue so soon," Jacobs wrote.

Newton's honor likely pushed the timetable for the unveiling back from this weekend's "A-Day" spring game to the 2011 season; the artist's website says the Sullivan and Jackson statues are already completed. If there's any positive to the delay from the Auburn perspective, it's that it will give the program another few months in which to avoid unveiling the Newton statue should anything come to light in the still-ongoing (as far as we know) NCAA investigation into his recruitment.

But obviously, Jacobs and Auburn aren't expecting any developments like that soon, or ever; it's hard to prove a belief in a player's innocence any more emphatically than setting a nine-foot tall, one-ton statue of him outside the stadium directly alongside the team's two greatest legends, isn't it?
Posted on: February 16, 2011 10:54 am
 

Report: Newton investigation still open

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

For Cam Newton, it's nothing but good news these days. His San Diego workout for the media drew a consensus of raves; he's projected to go to the Washington Redskins with the 10th overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft  by many , if not to a different team much higher ; and he just signed what might be the richest athletic endorsement deal for a rookie in NFL history.

For the Auburn team he left behind, the news these days regarding Newton is ... mostly good. But the shadow of the NCAA investigation into his arrival on the Plains hasn't lifted just yet, according to a new column from Birmingham News writer Kevin Scarbinsky :
According to people with reason to know, the NCAA is still conducting an active investigation into Auburn's recruitment of Newton. There is an enforcement staff official assigned to the case, and that person is turning over every rock to make sure the NCAA doesn't get blindsided down the road.

Auburn fans won't like that information. Some of them won't believe it. They'll be joined in their displeasure or disbelief by fans of other schools who read this nugget: The bomb is not about to drop.

According to those same well-informed sources, the NCAA has yet to discover or uncover new information that would wipe out Auburn's national championship season.

This echoes similar statements made recently by SEC commissioner Mike Slive, who said "nobody had written him a letter" saying the case had been closed or that any new information had come to light. 

Which means that for the time being, the Newton scandal remains in the same limbo in which it's been mired since Newton was ruled eligible to play in November: no evidence that Newton or his family accepted any improper benefits to come to Auburn, but still enough legwork left for the NCAA to do that anyone who says definitively that no such evidence exists is jumping the gun.

As Scarbinsky points out, the last Heisman winner to walk away with the kind of deal Newton just inked with Under Armour was Reggie Bush. If there's anything we can say with certainty about the Newton case, it's that the NCAA isn't going to let the investigative media make its compliance staff look hopelessly behind (as in the Bush case) if they can help it. If the good news for Auburn is that there's no "bomb" poised to drop, the bad news is that they likely shouldn't expect an "investigation closed" resolution to drop anytime soon.

Posted on: February 13, 2011 1:58 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2011 2:08 pm
 

Mark Emmert talks NCAA transparency, Cam Newton

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Mark Emmert is only four months into his tenure as the NCAA President, but he's already had quite a bit on his plate in that short amount of time. Between the dealings between agents and players at places like North Carolina, the Cam Newton investigation, and the suspension of several Ohio State players, there have been a lot of rulings by the NCAA during his tenure and a lot of confusion about those rulings.

So with that in mind, Emmert met with a group of AP sports editors at IUPUI on Saturday night. There Emmert stressed that transparency is critical to the future of the NCAA, and that he hopes the NCAA and media can work together in the future. He also shared plans for holding a mock hearing in which the media would be allowed to participate and ask questions.

Of course, no discussion between the media and Emmert about transparency could finish without Emmert being asked about the Cam Newton case

"We try hard to get it right every time," Emmert said. "Getting it right is often in the eye of the beholder. The cases we saw this fall were highly controversial and highly debatable. I understand that, and some of them were even enormously frustrating to me.

"I said very loud and clear that I think it's absolutely a fundamentally wrong for a father to try to sell the services of his son or daughter to the highest bidder, to a university. We ought never to allow that to happen, but yet, having not anticipated that, we didn't have any rule or structure that said it was a violation of any of our rules. I found that grossly inappropriate that didn't have a structure in which we could say, 'No, you can't do that.'

"There was no evidence that money had changed hands and there was no evidence that Auburn University had anything to do with it. We would up making a decision that felt to many people morally objectionable, but that fit the facts and the circumstances.

"We find ourselves making those kinds of judgment calls often."

Newton, of course, was suspended for a day but never missed any games and Auburn went on to win the national championship with him at quarterback. Looking at it now, though, it's still hard to believe that the NCAA didn't have any rules in place for a parent selling their child to the highest bidder. Considering all the shady dealings that have taken place with player recruitment in the past, it's hard to imagine that nobody ever saw this type of thing coming.
Posted on: February 9, 2011 10:59 am
Edited on: February 9, 2011 11:00 am
 

Auburn spent $170k on legal fees for Newton case

Posted by Chip Patterson

What does it take to win a national championship? In order to keep preserve Cam Newton's eligibility, Auburn University was willing to shell out six figures.

The Birmingham News reported Wednesday that Auburn has spent approximately $170,000 in attorney fees during the ongoing Cam Newton NCAA investigation. Lightfoot, Franklin, White LLC, the school's Birmingham-based legal counsel has once again pulled in the big bucks defending a high profile NCAA investigation.

Michigan paid the same firm $600,000 during its recent infractions case, and Connecticut paid $338,000 over 12 months during the investigation of the Huskies basketball program.

As the report details, spending such a large amount of money for legal counsel is not unusual with such a high profile investigation. After all, Auburn was competing for a national championship - a reward that holds no price tag in the hearts of Tiger fans.

However, if you are measuring dollar amounts against each other, it should be noted that Auburn's need for legal assistance is likely far from complete. The NCAA has issued no ruling to completely close the Newton case at Auburn. Some would assume with Newton gone, the trouble would go away. But after a Heisman Trophy and National Championship, this story isn't fading away any time soon.

Posted on: January 8, 2011 2:21 pm
 

Newton investigation still ongoing

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Cam Newton will be taking the field Monday night in Glendale. There's no doubt about that. But it doesn't mean he's out of the NCAA woods just yet.

That's the biggest takeway from this report by Fox Sports' Thayer Evans , who spoke to a pair of Atlanta-area contractors who had agreed to do repairs on Cecil Newton's church in Newnan, Ga., and were interviewed by NCAA investigators the week before Christmas. The good news for Cam is that both said they weren't aware of any kind of scheme to funnel money to the Newtons:
[Emory] Wilcox and [Eddie] Norris, listed on separate city permits for work to be done on Cecil Newton’s struggling Holy Zion Center of Deliverance, each told the NCAA investigators that they were never asked to deliver nor did they deliver money to Newton.

“There may be something there, but nothing related to me,” Norris told FOXSports.com.

The interviews also did nothing to support the theory that the Newtons had used an illicitly-paid windfall to repair the church, as Wilcox revealed that Cecil had yet to pay him for even minor electrical work. The church has avoided being condemned, a Newnan city spokeswoman confirmed, but is not yet up to code enough to host church services.

Despite all that, Evans' story illustrates that while the attention into the investigation into Newton's eligibility has waned, the investigation itself is carrying on all the same. Until the NCAA announces that it's officially concluded its look into the Newtons' finances -- and that that look produced nothing damning -- the possibility will remain that the next overturned log will uncover the improper benefits that would make Cam ineligible for the 2010 season. 


 
 
 
 
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