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: 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: December 1, 2010 12:58 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Here's some bad news for TCU or any other school or fan base out there hoping that the hammer was going to come down on Cam Newton. The NCAA declared Newton eligible on Wednesday.
On Monday the NCAA that a violation of amateurism rules took place, and Auburn declared Newton ineligible on Tuesday as they're required to do. Still, using the evidence it had, the NCAA found that while Cecil Newton along with Kenny Rogers did in fact try to solicit money for his son, Cam Newton was unaware of it and the NCAA decided to reinstate his eligibility. Though according to the agreement between the NCAA and Auburn, Cecil Newton's access to the Auburn athletic department has been limited.
The relationship between Kenny Rogers and Mississippi State has been dissolved.
“Our members have established rules for a fair and equal recruitment of student-athletes, as well as to promote integrity in the recruiting process,” said Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president for academic and membership affairs. “In determining how a violation impacts a student-athlete’s eligibility, we must consider the young person’s responsibility. Based on the information available to the reinstatement staff at this time, we do not have sufficient evidence that Cam Newton or anyone from Auburn was aware of this activity, which led to his reinstatement. From a student-athlete reinstatement perspective, Auburn University met its obligation under NCAA bylaw 14.11.1. Under this threshold, the student-athlete has not participated while ineligible.”
All of which is a fancy way of saying that every single win that Auburn had with Cam Newton as its quarterback will stand, and that any win from here on out will also stand. Which means that if Auburn beats South Carolina on Saturday, it will be playing for a national title, and if it wins that game, it won't be stripped of it any time in the future.
Which, obviously, is fantastic news for Auburn, Cam Newton, and Auburn fans everywhere.
Posted on: November 17, 2010 10:48 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2010 10:49 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
According to a report on TMZ, the FBI's probe of the Cam Newton investigation has expanded to include dog track owner Milton McGregor, a prominent Auburn booster -- and recent bribery arrestee.
Obviously, McGregor's not terribly thrilled about being connected to the investigation and the FBI in any way, so his attorney has just released a statement on McGregor's behalf to WSFA 12 in Montgomery. Here's the statement in full:
"Contrary to postings on celebrity and sports blogs, Milton McGregor has never had any contact direct or indirect with Cam Newton, Cecil Newton - Cam's father, Kenny Rogers or anyone purporting to represent Cam Newton. Mr. McGregor has never been asked to provide money for any recruitment or compensation of any current or prospective student athlete including Cam Newton at Auburn or any other school, and has never provided any type of compensation in that regard period no exceptions. As a proud supporter of Auburn University Mr. McGregor wants it known that he does cheer loudly for Cam Newton and thinks he is the best athlete in college football."
It's worth pointing out that the only allegations made by TMZ are that the FBI is investigating McGregor, not that he necessarily had any role in the Newton recruitment, so his denial is something between "misleading" and "flat-out incorrect." Still, this is the first time McGregor's been connected to this investigation at all, so there's a lot more information that's going to need to come out before any worthwhile analysis of the McGregor situation can occur.
Photo via al.com
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 12, 2010 6:37 pm
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.
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 UnlikelyIn 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
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.
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
Tags: Andy Dalton, Auburn, Boise State, California, Cam Newton, Cam Newton Investigation, Chip Kelly, Darron Thomas, Gene Chizik, Georgia, Gratuitous Movie References, Insane Predictions, Jim Tressel, Kenny Rogers, LaMichael James, Matt McGloin, Nevada, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, San Diego State, Spaceballs, TCU
Posted on: November 8, 2010 12:25 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
This has been a pretty magical season for Auburn. The team is 10-0, ranked second in the BCS, and a win this Saturday against Georgia would clinch the SEC West and have the Tigers bound for Atlanta to play for the SEC title. The biggest reason the Tigers have been so good this season is Cam Newton, who has pretty much run away with the Heisman Trophy thanks to his play on the field.
Of course, all anyone wants to talk about when bringing up Auburn is Newton, but it's for all the wrong reasons these days. The news broke last week that the NCAA is looking into Newton's recruitment, as Kenny Rogers claims that he offered to bring Newton to Mississippi State for $200,000 from the school. Considering the current environment in college football, in which the contact between agents and players have led to many suspensions, and Reggie Bush has had to give up his Heisman Trophy, there have been a few people who have already made up their minds that Newton is guilty. Lack of evidence be damned.
One sign that Newton will be cleared in this investigation, though, is the fact that he played on Saturday, and has played all season long while Auburn has been aware of the investigation. According to Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs, if they felt Newton had done anything wrong, he wouldn't be playing, though that doesn't mean the NCAA is done just yet.
"Any of our student-athletes, if we had any questions about them, about their eligibility," Jacobs told the USA Today. "We wouldn't want them to play."
"It's not a closed matter. It's still ongoing. ... But we look for Cam to continue to play for us."
Does this mean that Newton is innocent? No, of course not, but it's a sign that nothing will come from the investigation. Wins are nice, but if Auburn felt there was going to be any trouble over this, it wouldn't compound the problem by continuing to send Newton out there every Saturday.