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Tag:Cam Newton
Posted on: November 4, 2010 6:07 pm
Edited on: November 4, 2010 6:45 pm
 

Report: Cam Newton being investigated by NCAA

Posted by College Football Blog staff

In what could possibly be the defining story of the season, Pete Thamel of the New York Times tweeted Thursday evening that Auburn quarterback Cam Newton was under investigation by the NCAA.  

This could be the most potentially devastating news to Auburn, who could find themselves without the heart and soul of their team should the investigation warrant any type of suspension. Newton, widely considered the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy, has had a phenomenal season for the Tigers.  He leads the SEC in rushing, rushing touchdowns, and is second in total offense.

According to ESPN, the crux of the matter concerns Kenny Rogers (no, not him) (not him either), a former teammate of Mississippi State assistant coach John Bond, who allegedly approached Bond trying to acquire $200,000 to secure Newton's commitment out of Blinn JC last year. Here's the full statement by Bond, released to the Clarion-Ledger minutes ago:
“During the 2009 football season, I was contacted by a former football teammate, who represented to me that he was speaking for the Newton camp.  He told me that Cam Newton wanted to play at Mississippi State, but that a specified payment would have to be made.  I reported the conversation to the Mississippi State Athletic Department.  I was told by the Athletic Department that Mississippi State would not respond to the overture that was made to me, and that Mississippi State would continue to recruit Cam Newton as it does any other football recruit.”
To MSU's credit, it doesn't sound as if that school has anything to worry about in the coming investigation. As for Auburn, well, that'll depend on what the NCAA finds in the financial records of Cecil Newton, who is Cam's father and the pastor of a church recently under scrutiny for not meeting building codes and needing extensive renovation. Unsurprisingly, Newton's parents categorically deny any involvement:
"If Rogers tried to solicit money from Mississippi State, he did it on his own, without our knowledge," Cecil Newton said.

"If you've ever seen our church, you'd know we don't have any money," said Cam Newton's mother, Jackie. "We have nothing."
It's important to note that Newton has not been declared ineligible as yet, and this is an NCAA response to a claim made by an opposing coach, as good-faith as the claim appears to be. If there's no unusual financial activity by Newton's parents and their church, there's likely nothing to the investigation (or, at the very least, Rogers didn't think it would cost $200,000 to make Auburn worth Newton's while). At any rate, the next couple weeks are going to be awfully interesting down at Auburn.
Posted on: November 3, 2010 12:43 pm
 

Malzahn leaves Colorado door open, sort of

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

One of the most talked-about columns to emerge in the college football media this past week has been this one by the Denver Post 's John Henderson, which not only confidently claims that Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins won't survive into the 2011 season but offers an early shortlist for his replacement. The four names allegedly being considered by Buffs brass: Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain , retired former Colorado head coach Bill McCartney , LSU head coach Les Miles , and Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn .

Of those four, Miles is widely seen as unattainable; McCartney (who has been out of coaching for the past  16 seasons) is seen as old and potentially out-of-touch; and McElwain is seen, as, well, the less-exciting of the two Alabama-based coordinators. Which has focused most of the speculation in response to Henderson's column on Malzahn, whose go-go offense has transformed Auburn from one of the SEC 's worst attacks to one of the nation's best in two short seasons (not to mention turning Cam Newton into the Hesiman front-runner). His approach would seem to be a good fit both for the Buffs' move to the high-scoring Pac-12 and for a Colorado fanbase that could use some excitement after the stultifying Hawkins tenure.

But Malzahn, like his quarterback , has already taken enough turns on the coaching speculation carousel to know not to give anything away this early :

"To be honest, I’m in my own little world," he said. "My entire focus is on this team and making it the best it can be. I’m extremely happy. I’ve said that time and time again. I love coach (Gene ) Chizik and I love coaching these kids. And my only focus is trying to win games and trying to win a championship."

"Somewhere down the line I’d like to [become a head coach]," he said. "I’m in no hurry. I feel like a lot of people think I am. But like I’ve said before, we’ve got a good thing going here and I’d like to see it through.”
This is standard boilerplate for a coach who's a candidate for another job in midseason, but of course that boilerplate is something other than "I'll be at Auburn next year" or "I'm not going to Colorado."

So the door for a move to Boulder still is, in the most technical sense of the metaphor, still open. But at this premilinary stage, reading anything into Malzahn's comments other than that he doesn't want to comment is reading too much into them.





Posted on: November 2, 2010 3:08 pm
 

Newton considering leap to NFL?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Given the Heismanesque (and probably Heisman-winning) junior season he's enjoying and his NFL-ready physique (did you know he's 6'6", 250? Have you heard that mentioned anywhere?), the question was inevitable: could Cam Newton go pro after his one and only season at Auburn ?

When asked that very question Tuesday, Newton demurred in his typically press-savvy fashion , but also left the door decidedly open for a potential early departure:
Newton, one of the leading candidates for the Heisman Trophy, said he will come to a decision about whether he returns for his senior year once this season is over.

"There's a time and place for everything," Newton said Tuesday. "I'm not sitting up here and giving you a definite decision on how I'm feeling right now. How I'm feeling right now is UT-Chattanooga" ...

"I'm trying to partake and trying to grasp something that hasn't been done here in a long time," Newton said. "And we have a chance right now to seize the moment and we can't have those type of selfish thoughts to run through our mind, because it can be contagious and we don't want that around here."
Citing the need for team focus is a skillful rhetorical dodge (even the week of a homecoming game against an FCS punching bag), but reading between the lack of comments makes it clear Newton sees the NFL as an option, at least. That's also the situation as detailed by Auburn quarterback commitment and frequent Newton contact Kiehl Frazier of Springdale, Arkansas, who spoke to the Sporting News and confirmed the NFL is definitely on Newton's radar:

After Newton leaves, Frazier is expected to be a serious candidate to start at quarterback – whether it’s as a true freshman in 2011 if Newton leaves for the NFL after this season — or as a redshirt freshman or sophomore in 2012.

“(Newton and I” talk after just about every game, and he tells me the highlights are every game and his situation and what he’s thinking about the NFL,” Frazier told Sporting News over the weekend. “He’s not definite about anything yet. There’s definitely a chance that he’ll go. If he wins the Heisman, that would probably increase his changes of leaving. Right now I think he’s more focused on getting to the national championship.”

None of this is a surprise, of course; given the potential for Newton to earn megabucks as a first- or even second-round choice, the increased difficulty of returning to a 2011 Auburn team without huge chunks of its offensive line and starting defense, the wear-and-tear of running the ball as often as he does in the SEC , and inevitable emotional comedown in the event Newton's season ends in a Heisman Trophy and conference or national championships, he'd be a fool not to at least take a good long look at the NFL.

As Newton himself said, there's still so much information to gather before making a decision that now would not be the time even if he felt so inclined. But Auburn fans will have to live with the fact that, at the minimum, there will be a decision to be made when Auburn's exhilarating 2010 run is finished.

 


Posted on: November 1, 2010 4:03 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2010 6:08 pm
 

PSU fan attacked for wearing Michigan costume

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Here's something to remember when you're going out on Halloween in a costume that may not be quite as obvious a disguise to others as much as it is to you.  For instance, when you see Cam Newton dressed up as the tooth fairy you know he's in costume because he's Cam Freaking Newton.

He might knock out a few of your teeth as he runs you over, but he sure as hell isn't sneaking into your room at night and leaving any money under your pillow for them.

One year, I dressed up as one of my friends for Halloween.  Now, my friends got the idea and found it rather amusing, while others just thought that I looked like some guy who really liked Pantera.

This Penn State fan took my route with costumes, and unfortunately, some of his fellow Penn State fans didn't quite get it.
A Penn State fan dressed as a Michigan fan for Halloween was assaulted by four men during Saturday night's Nittany Lions-Wolverines game at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pa., according to a report.

Police told the Centre Daily Times in State College that the man was attacked because the assailants believed he was a Michigan fan.

The man was treated at Mount Nittany Medical Center and was released, according to the report.
Way to go, Penn State fans.  Takes a lot of class to attack somebody just because they might be a fan of the opposing team.  Also, while I don't condone the actions these four morons took, I must say, I might understand their motive a bit more had Michigan actually been beating Penn State on Saturday night, and the Michigan fan was rubbing it in.

Instead these four just decided to attack a guy who would have had nothing to celebrate if he actually were a Michigan fan.  That's a special kind of crazy, one I like to call, alcohol.

Posted on: November 1, 2010 5:20 am
Edited on: November 1, 2010 9:00 am
 

Cam Newton and the Tigers had a happy Halloween

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Check out Heisman front-runner Cam Newton, taking a little time on this holiest of holidays* to not take himself too seriously and dress up as the hardest tooth fairy to tackle in college football history:

Also shown: Sexy Backup Quarterback Nurse Clint Moseley.

Oh, and rest assured that the rest of the Tigers, currently in line to play for the BCS Championship Game, also had fun dressing up in this Halloween contest:

You will never unsee reserve guard Bart Eddins in his Daisy Dukes. SPECIAL "YOU WILL ONLY GET THIS IF YOU ARE OVER 36" REFERENCE: Maybe we should call him "Catherine Block"!

Starting tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen goes the Toy Story route with his Woody costume. As with the last 10 minutes of Toy Story 3, some tears for the loss of childhood innocence may need to be shed here.

This is starting defensive end Antoine Carter as Jamaican Olympic hero Usain Bolt. If Carter left anything less to the imagination, this entire blog would be designated NSFW.

Chris Humphries, a reserve linebacker, impersonating Auburn strength coach Kevin Yoxall. Publicly making fun of one's own S&C coach -- particularly for his height -- is, um, "brave." We expect Humphries to vomit from conditioning every day for the rest of the season, and it will have been earned.

Auburn center Ryan Pugh as... well, the shorts say Reno 911!'s Lieutenant Dangle, but the tie and stache say 3/4 of the cast of Super Troopers. Pick a sheriff reference and stick with it, Pugh!

Auburn kickers, as the Fruit of the Loom cast. Except for the apple. Apple's the best part, because of the apple-core hat. This will probably cost someone a starting job. Okay, that's not really cause for stripping someone of their spot on the 2-deep*.

Top score, Tigers. The "dress up as a lady" costume is a time-worn staple of Halloween, so any shock factor is usually self-imagined at best, but Eddins' "sexy" "cowgirl" is both ironically brilliant and horrifying -- especially when he lets that belly hang, as any proper big man ought to. And seriously, Humphries, yours S&C coach is authorized to make you suffer in the name of conditioning. Don't give him a reason to do it! It never ends well!

*Actually, we're told it's nothing of the sort. We apologize for the error in holiness.
**Yet.

Posted on: October 30, 2010 11:29 pm
Edited on: October 30, 2010 11:32 pm
 

What I learned from the SEC (Oct.30)

Posted by Tom Fornelli

1. The SEC East will be decided on November 13. A few weeks ago the SEC was up for grabs with just about every team in the division still in contention to win it.  Now, after Saturday's events, only two teams remain.  With their wins on Saturday, only South Carolina and Florida have a realistic shot, and they play in Gainesville in two weeks.  Florida has Vanderbilt before that, which they should win, and while South Carolina has a tough test with Arkansas next week, they can withstand one more loss.  Either way, the winner of that game on the 13th is going to Atlanta.

2. Auburn cares not for the BCS curse.   Oklahoma couldn't overcome it last week, and some folks wondered if Auburn would be the next #1 team in the BCS to suffer a loss, but it didn't happen this week.  The Tigers took care of Ole Miss 51-31 on Saturday night in Oxford, and the Cam Newton Heisman Locomotive kept on barreling down the tracks.  In fact, Newton decided he was tired of merely passing and running for touchdowns, so he decided to catch one this week as well.

3. Tennessee found a new quarterback.   And his name is Tyler Bray.   The freshman saw his first action last week, and came on in relief of Matt Simms against South Carolina this week as well, and it looks like he may have wrestled the starting job away.  Bray was far from perfect for the Vols, but he did throw for 159 yards and two touchdowns, getting the Vols back into the game before South Carolina pulled away late. Considering that Bray is the future for Tennessee, and the Vols have nothing left to play for, it only makes sense to roll with Bray the rest of the way.

4. Aaron Murray is going to be very good one day.  It's just not going to be this season.  At times on Saturday, Murray made fantastic plays to help lead Georgia back from a 21-10 deficit and force overtime against Florida.  Unfortunately, he also turned the ball over four times, including the back breaker in overtime.  Even so, Murray showed the kind of flashes on Saturday that have to make Georgia fans very optimistic about the future.

5. Chas Henry will rest peacefully tonight. I've felt incredibly sympathetic for Florida punter Chas Henry this season.  He's had to fill in for an injured Caleb Sturgis, and has missed a few huge kicks for the Gators, including one that led to a loss against Mississippi State.   Still, he made a very big one on Saturday night, nailing a 37-yarder to win the game in overtime.

Posted on: October 30, 2010 8:30 pm
 

Auburn avoiding curse of No. 1 just fine

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Several of the much-ballyhooed six undefeated teams going on the road today have struggled and struggled mightily (we're looking at you , Michigan State .) With just under eight minutes left in the third quarter, it's safe to say Auburn is not one of them .

The Tigers have raced out to a 44-17 lead on the road at Ole Miss thanks to another dominating offensive effort. Auburn has enjoyed nine possessions and scored on eight of them, fumbling the ball away on the other. Cam Newton has done most of his damage in this game through the air, connecting on 15-of-21 passes for 188 yards and a score, while also catching Auburn's first touchdown on a Kodi Burns fade to the back of the end zone. Rest assured that that play, too, will be going on the Heisman highlight reel.

But he's hardly been a one-man show, as Michael Dyer and Onterio McCalebb have combined for 205 rushing yards and Demond Washington returned a kickoff for a touchdown.

All in all, it's been all Auburn ever since the Rebels' Jeff Scott scored a touchdown on their second play from scrimmage. We'll see what happens with Oregon , but at least one team today has played up to their gaudy record and the No. 1 ranking.
Posted on: October 29, 2010 7:38 pm
 

Insane Predictions, Week 9

Posted by Adam Jacobi

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 Iowa State would put up 28 points on Texas before hanging on for victory OH WAIT ADAM JACOBI DID EXACTLY THAT. WHAT. WHAT. (You can't see this, but I'm posturing like an imbecile.) 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. As you can tell.

Highly Unlikely

Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin goes B-A-N-A-N-A-S on homestanding Texas, throwing for 310 yards without an interception and running for another 75 with a pair of touchdowns, leading the Bears to a season-defining 27-24 win over the Longhorns. Afterwards, Texas coach Mack Brown first blames a failed attempt to do the John Wall dance as a motivational tactic in the pregame locker room, then complains that the Bears' Waco recruiting base gives them "a big leg up when it comes to athletes."

"You look at a kid like Griffin," Brown says, referring to the quarterback from outside Killeen, "and that's the kind of player that we just have a hard time getting to come to Austin. The kind of pull they'e got in this state, that's a big advantage." -- Jerry Hinnen

Extremely Unlikely

During the second quarter of the Auburn-Ole Miss game, Cam Newton is tackled after a 15-yard gain on the Rebels sideline near Jeremiah Masoli. As Newton gets up to the ground Masoli yells at him "Hey, I totally would have ratted you out to the cops if I'd seen you with that stolen laptop, Newton!" This enrages Cam Newton, who then immediately triples in size and turns green. He literally rips Masoli in half, and Auburn is assessed a 15-yard personal foul. Oh, and Newton is kicked out of the game, to great protestation from Auburn head coach Gene Chizik. Without Newton, offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn suddenly seems like less of a genius, and Auburn's offense stalls. Ole Miss comes back to win and ends Auburn's hopes for a national title. -- Tom Fornelli

Completely Ridiculous

Michigan State loses to Iowa this weekend. Okay, that's not exactly a wild prediction, but what ensues turns the college football world on its head. Michigan State wins the rest of their games, as does Ohio State, and both teams finish the season at 11-1 (7-1) without facing each other. The Big Ten tiebreaker rules award Ohio State the Rose Bowl bid, enraging the Spartan faithful. However, Oregon earns a trip to the national championship, freeing their spot to be taken by a BCS-eligible team from a non-qualifying conference, as is the new rule. Trouble is, Boise State also makes the title game, while TCU beats Utah to knock the Utes out of contention. But instead of the Horned Frogs receiving the bid to Pasadena, TCU is ruled ineligible for bowl play and stripped of all 12 wins after an investigation reveals that they'd been using ringers from the NFL, and nobody at the NCAA had really bothered to check until a concerned Utah fan noticed that the players kept arriving to the games in their personal helicopters. I assume everybody in the NFL has their own helicopter. With no non-AQ schools left standing and no other Pac-10 teams in the top 16 of the BCS standings, the Rose Bowl instead selects Michigan State to face Ohio State, creating the first real Big Ten Championship Game a full season before Nebraska even shows up. The Rose Bowl Committee decides that this game is "kinda way better without the Pac-10 around," and the Big Ten decides to make the Rose Bowl the permanent home of its conference championship game, to be decided every year on January 1. You know, because of tradition. -- Adam Jacobi

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com