Posted on: November 16, 2010 4:05 pm
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 12, 2010 11:30 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2010 11:46 pm
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:
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:
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 5, 2010 11:27 am
Edited on: November 5, 2010 11:33 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
The college football world was rocked last night with the reports that the recruitment of Auburn quarterback Cam Newton was being investigated by the NCAA, with allegations that a man representing Newton's camp was shopping the high school star around to multiple schools. Former Mississippi State quarterback John Bond informed the university that Newton's commitment could be obtained for a price. An ESPN.com report identified the man shopping Newton as former Bulldog Kenny Rogers. Newton's father has vehemently denied the allegations, and the family has hired a lawyer to "protect our interests."
At "Tiger Talk," a weekly radio show with Gene Chizik, the Tigers' head coach declined to comment directly, though he offered some very strong words in support of his starting quarterback.
“Unfortunately, I can’t comment,” Chizik said. “But here’s what I can say, and I’ll say this very loud and very clear: Cameron Newton is eligible at Auburn University. Period. End of Story."
[video below, H/T: TWER]