Posted on: January 11, 2012 9:08 pm
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
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
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: July 26, 2011 5:31 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 5:34 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Aside from Auburn's fans and coaches, there didn't seem to be many people happy with the NCAA's decision last fall to rule Cam Newton eligible after his father Cecil Newton admitted he'd asked Mississippi State boosters for $180,000. That even goes for people who agreed with the NCAA's ruling, like president Mark Emmert, who stated plainly (as Gene Chizik will tell you) that the NCAA had no evidence to rule that Cam knew of his father's request or that the family had received benefits from anyone ... but also affirmed 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."
And in the interests of protecting that stance, Emmerts's organization has moved towards making requests like Cecil's an eligibility-breaker in the future. An official release from the NCAA Tuesday details a proposal for an "expanded definition of agents," one that would "include third-party influences, including family members, who market student-athletes’ athletics ability or reputation for personal financial gain."
The statement reads:
Under the new definition, Cecil would have been acting as Cam's "agent" and -- one would assume -- having an agent operating on his behalf (even without his consent) would have resulted in Cam's having been declared ineligible. The definition might also be broad enough to include the likes of "advisors" like Bryce Brown mentor Brian Butler (or, if certain allegations involving Oregon stick, Will Lyles.)
The proposal will be reviewed at the NCAA's 2011-2012 legislative session and could be put into effect as soon as April of next year.
If we play devil's advocate for a moment, we have to wonder if it's entirely fair to prospective athletes to pay the price in elgibility for others' actions they may have no control over. (Consider a scenario similar to the famous Albert Means case: if a high school coach goes behind a recruit's back and asks a school for money in order to push the recruit towards that school, how is that the player's fault? Would their college football career be ruined all the same?)
But all the same, Emmert is right that the attempted sales of athletes' services (whether that sale is completed or not) is "fundamentally wrong." If the NCAA believes the proposed legislation might help stamp out some of those sales pitches, it's legislation they must consider.
Posted on: February 9, 2011 10:59 am
Edited on: February 9, 2011 11:00 am
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 21, 2011 11:45 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Such is the world of the NCAA and college football these days that the fact that Cam Newton was seen hugging his father on the field in Glendale following Auburn's win over Oregon became a national story. That's what tends to happen when the Heisman Trophy winner has a father who was trying to sell his son to the highest bidder, and has been told by stay away from the Auburn football program by the NCAA. Which is why it's hard to blame Auburn for asking Cecil Newton to stay away from the game, as athletic director Jay Jacobs and Cecil Newton came to a mutual agreement that he'd stay away from the game.
So is Jacobs upset at Cecil for being on the field after the game? Did it go against the agreement? Nope and nope.
"My understanding is he actually came in after the game was over for the celebration," Jacobs said. "Now, I haven't spoken to Mr. Newton. But based on what his attorney said, that's my understanding. As far as I'm concerned, he didn't go against anything we mutually agreed upon."
Newton's attorney said that Cecil watched the game off-site and came to the stadium after the game for the celebration. Which is somewhat odd considering that I'm pretty sure the fine folks at any stadium are busy trying to get you out of the stadium once the game is over, not allow new people in. I suppose it's possible that Cecil Newton may have told somebody at the stadium who he was, and they then let him in, but I'm not sure.
Whatever the case is, the bottom line is it doesn't matter. He was just a father who wanted to be with his son as he celebrated the biggest accomplishment of his life. I don't see why anyone needs to try and take that away from him.
Posted on: January 12, 2011 11:51 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Before Auburn took on Oregon in the title game on Monday, the school had come to a "mutual agreement" with Cam Newton's father, Cecil Newton, that he wouldn't attend the game. Considering what the NCAA told Auburn earlier this year, about limiting Cecil's contact with the school's football program, it seemed like the smart decision for the school to make.
Of course, as we all know by now, Cecil Newton was at the game. He may not have been found by cameras during the game, as he wasn't seated with his wife, but there he was hugging his son on the field after the game was over. Which, as you'd expect, has brought up the question of how Cecil got his ticket. Well, Auburn really wants you to know that it didn't give it to him.
So who did? I don't know. Maybe it was Mississippi State, maybe it was Kenny Rogers, or maybe he just bought the darn thing himself. The better question is who cares? I know that we may never know the total truth about what went on behind the scenes with Cam Newton's recruitment, or that we might find out everything in the coming years.
Do I think Cecil Newton violated NCAA rules when it came to his son? I do, but when it comes to this instance, I don't care. If he bought his way into the game, then he can do whatever he pleases. Let's try to get past the hypocritical values of the NCAA for a second here and just approach this as human beings for a second.
The man was already forced to miss seeing his son win the Heisman Trophy. Should he be denied the chance to see his son reach the college football apex as well? The man didn't kill anybody, he asked for money. Allegedly.
Posted on: January 11, 2011 11:24 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
Cecil Newton, the center of Cam Newton's eligibility questions, stayed away from the Heisman Trophy presentation to avoid being a distraction for his son's moment. Heading into the BCS National Championship Game, Auburn's athletic department insisted that Cam's father would not be in attendance at the title game.
But photographer Vasha Hunt, of the Opelika-Auburn News, photographed Newton when he took off into the stands and embraces a man who looks strikingly similar to his father. Brett McMurphy of Fanhouse got confirmation from Auburn center Ryan Pugh that the man was Cecil Newton.
"I wish I was up there with Cam and his dad," Pugh said.
Unfortunately this will become a PR nightmare for Auburn, as many will try to analyze this situation as a microcosm for the Newton family hiding information from the university. If Auburn doesn't make a big deal about Newton NOT being at the game, then it wouldn't be a big deal when he is spotted at the game.
PHOTO CREDIT:Vasha Hunt | Opelika-Auburn News