Tag:Mississippi State
Posted on: November 13, 2010 12:22 pm
 

Game day weather updates, Week 11

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Here's the weather outlook for all of today's important matchups. It's definitely fall these days, and the wind will be whipping across the heartland. All times are Eastern.

Noon kickoffs

No. 13 Iowa at Northwestern , 12:00, Evanston, IL: Mid 50s, scattered showers

Indiana at No. 6 Wisconsin , 12:00, Madison, WI: Low 50s, scattered showers

Kansas State at No. 20 Missouri , 12:30, Columbia, MO: Mid 40s, cloudy, windy

Afternoon kickoffs

No. 15 Utah at Notre Dame, 2:30 , South Bend, IN: Low 60s, scattered thunderstorms

No. 16 Virginia Tech at North Carolina , 3:30, Chapel Hill, NC: Mid 60s, clear

Penn State at No. 8 Ohio State , 3:30, Columbus, OH: Upper 60s, partly cloudy

Georgia at No. 2 Auburn , 3:30, Auburn, AL: Low 70s, clear

Texas Tech at No. 19 Oklahoma , 3:30, Norman, OK: Mid 50s, partly cloudy, windy

San Diego State at No. 3 TCU , 4:00, Ft. Worth, TX: Mid 50s, partly cloudy, windy

Evening kickoffs

No. 23 Texas A&M at Baylor , 7:00, Waco, TX: Upper 40s, clear, breezy

No. 22 South Carolina at No. 24 Florida , 7:15, Gainesville, FL: Upper 50s, clear

No. 17 Mississippi State at No. 11 Alabama , 7:15, Tuscaloosa, AL: Upper 50s, scattered showers

USC at No. 18 Arizona , 8:00, Tucson, AZ: Upper 60s, clear

Late night kickoffs

No. 21 Nevada at Fresno State , 10:15, Fresno, CA: Mid 50s, clear, breezy

Posted on: November 12, 2010 11:30 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2010 11:46 pm
 

Report: Cecil Newton admits to soliciting payment

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:

A source close to the situation exclusively told Channel 2 Action News investigative reporter Mark Winne that the player's father, Cecil Newton, has admitted having conversations with an ex-Mississippi State University player about the possibility of under-the-table money if Cam Newton signed to play football at Mississippi State, though he's steadfastly maintained that no money ever changed hands and said no official at Mississippi State ever made such an offer.

According to Winne’s source, Cecil Newton said his son’s hands are clean, and has made it clear that Cam Newton himself and his mother knew nothing about the money discussions, nor did Auburn University, with whom the Westlake High School grad from College Park eventually signed with out of junior college.

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:

Donald Jackson, an attorney in Montgomery who has faced off with the NCAA many times, said Thursday that the NCAA is apparently comfortable with Newton's eligibility.

"The NCAA never hesitates to strong-arm schools into taking athletes off the field if they have evidence of violations," Jackson said.  

On the latest round of charges, Jackson said that in his opinion, "the statements from Kenny Rogers and John Bond don't add up to anything that would justify taking him 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 4:47 pm
 

The Saturday Meal Plan: Week 11

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Saturday Meal Plan is a helpful guide put together for you to maximize the results of your college football diet.  Just enough to leave you feeling full, but not so much you spend your entire Sunday in the bathroom.

I know you couldn't tell if you have been following the news in college football this week, but there are actually games to be played on Saturday.  I know, I didn't believe it either, but it's true.  There's more to college football than just off the field issues concerning agents, players asking for money, and the NCAA possibly punishing those players because the only people allowed to make money from this sport are the NCAA, not those punk kids who make it for them.

But I promise you, there are games ON the field as well.  Here are some of the best ones for you to watch on Saturday in between updates on what Cam Newton may or may not have done.

Breakfast

Main Course - Northwestern vs. #13 Iowa - Noon - ESPN

Looking at this game on the surface, it doesn't seem all the impressive.  Northwestern is currently in eighth place in the Big Ten, and has lost three of its last four games.  What's the big deal?

Well, Iowa isn't out of the Big Ten title hunt.  This game means a lot to the Hawkeyes for both their BCS aspirations and it provides therapeutic value.  You see, Northwestern has been a thorn in Iowa's side for years now, as Northwestern has won four of the last five meetings.  That includes last season when the Wildcats knocked Ricky Stanzi out for the last three games of the regular season, and handed Iowa its first loss.  Which eventually led to Stanzi missing the Ohio State game and a chance to win the Big Ten.

Side Orders: Not a lot of great choices this morning, but not as terrible as it has been in recent weeks.  There's Missouri and Kansas State who both have a remote chance to win the Big 12 North, but a loss in this game would kill either's chance.  There's also Miami taking on Georgia Tech, and the 'Canes can't afford to lose if they want a chance to play for the ACC title.  If those don't do it for you, I guess you could watch West Virginia and Cincinnati in the latest installment of "The Big East Presents: Something That Is Supposed to Resemble Football."

Lunch

Main Course - #2 Auburn vs. Georgia - 3:30pm - CBS

Listen, you've spent all week hearing about Cam Newton anyway, so why wouldn't you want to actually watch him play this week against Georgia?  I mean, when you think about it, you can't really be sure how many more chances you'll get to see Newton play at Auburn, so you should probably take advantage while you still can.

Oh, and there's also the fact that Auburn is still alive for a national championship, and with a win against Georgia, the Tigers would wrap up the SEC West and a trip to Atlanta.

As for Georgia, hard as it is to believe given the way it started the season, is only one win shy of being bowl eligible.  What a better way to do it than by knocking off the top team in the conference and destroying any chance they have to play for a national title?

Side Orders: There are some other quality non-Cam Newton related games going on during the afternoon as well.  Ohio State hosts Penn State, looking to keep hopes alive for a Big Ten title and trip to the Rose Bowl.  Oklahoma looks to right the ship at home against Texas Tech, and Virginia Tech can just about wrap up the ACC Coastal with a win at North Carolina.

Dinner

Main Course - #24 Florida vs. #22 South Carolina - 7:15pm - ESPN

The SEC East has been wide open all season long, but finally, it all comes down to one game on Saturday night in Gainesville. 

Even though it's been a down season for Florida compared to recent standards, the Gators still have a chance to get to Atlanta and win another SEC title should they get past the Gamecocks. On the flip side, Steve Spurrier still has a chance to win the SEC East and the SEC for the first time as head coach at South Carolina.

South Carolina hasn't played well since knocking off Alabama last month, but it still has a chance to salvage the season if it can knock off the Gators.

Side Orders: Plenty of other good games going on Saturday night if you prefer to look elsewhere.  Alabama can shake off the disappointment of last week's loss against LSU by knocking Mississippi State down a peg, and speaking of disappointment, Texas can boost its morale with a win over Oklahoma State as well.  There's also Oregon looking to stay undefeated at Cal, Arizona hosting USC and Stanford rolling in to Arizona State in the Pac-10.

Late Night Snack

Listen, I've developed a slight infatuation with Colin Kaepernick this season.  It's just every time I see him running down the field I can't help but think of an ostrich, and this amuses me to no end.  Why?  I don't know, it just does.  Tune in to see Kaepernick and Nevada take on Fresno State on Saturday night and find out if you see it too.
Posted on: November 12, 2010 4:23 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2010 10:49 pm
 

Auburn on Cam Newton's eligiblity: 'No comment'

Posted by Adam Jacobi

In light of Kenny Rogers' comments yesterday, it certainly seems as if Cam Newton 's eligibility could be in question. After all, Rogers directly implicates Cam's father Cecil Newton in a plot to secure payment from Mississippi State for Cam's recruitment, and that is itself a major NCAA violation regardless of whether any money changed hands.

It's important to note, however, that Newton has not been declared ineligible by anybody, nor has the NCAA publicly recommended that Newton sit until the end of the investigation -- as North Carolina did with its 13 players and as Georgia did with A.J. Green -- to begin the season. The one change in the situation, however, is that Auburn is now refusing to comment on whether Newton's going to play this week.

Of course, if Auburn is still planning on playing Newton for the rest of the season, as Gene Chizik had insisted earlier in the week, it might not be in the Tigers' best interests to maintain that stance. After all, the more uncertainty Georgia has about Newton's status, the more Mark Richt has to prepare his team for Newton's backup, likely sophomore Barrett Trotter.

And yet, Auburn runs a serious risk of incurring more NCAA wrath than necessary if it continues to play Cam Newton in the face of major allegations. It's one thing for the Tigers to maintain no role in funneling money to Cecil Newton or his church, and that may very well end up being the case. But if the school is aware of allegations of severe misconduct by people connected to one of its players and lets that player be on the field anyway, it won't have much of a case for leniency if the NCAA concludes the allegations were legitimate. That's the type of hubris that can cost a school wins, bowl eligibility, and scholarships -- not to mention cost a head coach his job.



Posted on: November 11, 2010 12:09 pm
 

Tide's Richardson questionable for MSU

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It may sound hard to believe, but SEC teams that don't feature Cam Newton are still planning on playing their scheduled games this weekend, despite the fact that no one will be paying any attention. In fact, a few of those games are downright critical, including Alabama trying to stay alive in the SEC West race with a home win over a Mississippi State program that's made a lot of headlins recently for things that don't have much to do with their preparatiosn for the Tide.

Unfortunately for Alabama, they may have to make do without injured running back Trent Richardson :

Richardson increased his practice participation Tuesday, but the sophomore is not certain to play with knee soreness Saturday when the Crimson Tide hosts Mississippi State.

“Trent did some running today, did some work today. But if he’s not better tomorrow, then I don’t know that he’ll be ready to play in the game,” UA coach Nick Saban said. “We’ll just have to wait and see on that one" ...

“If Trent can’t go, Mark [Ingram] is in good shape and Mark is doing fine, and Mark will do a great job for us in the game."

At a glance, you wouldn't think any program in the country could be less affected by a running back injury, since the Tide do have the reigning Heisman Trophy winner to turn to. But the Tide are a stunning sixth in the SEC in rushing in conference games, Richardson is averaging more than half-yard more than Ingram per-carry and leads the team in all-purpose yardage, and Ingram hasn't gone over the 100-yard mark rushing in his past five games. The Tide have used Ingram and Richardson as a one-two punch for the better part of the past two seasons, but now that even the one-two punch isn't any more than adequate, how well will the one-one punch work out?

We're not sure of Ingram's thoughts on the subject. But we ca n tell you how he feels about ... well ...

Ingram, as last year's Heis­man Trophy winner, has a vote for this year's award. Newton is the front-runner, despite allega­tions leveled against him over the past week ... Ingram said, if his vote were due today, Newton would likely get his vote.

Allegations or not.

"I know they're undefeated and Cam Newton is playing bet­ter football that most everybody in the country right now."
It's that kind of week.

Posted on: November 11, 2010 3:37 am
 

Why doesn't SEC know about Newton calls?

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Last night, the latest bombshell dropped on the Cam Newton ordeal was that Mississippi State recruiters had been specifically told by Newton and his father, Cecil Newton , that money had played a pivotal role in Newton's recruitment to Auburn over MSU. On its face, the charge is damning; if evidence exists of Newton and his father leading MSU to believe that it would need to pay money to recruit him, that's a serious problem, and the NCAA would need to know that immediately.

Except... here's the thing. Mississippi State acknowledged just today that it let the SEC know of the Cam Newton recruiting situation in January. That was 10 months ago. And yet, 10 months after that fact, here's what an SEC spokesperson said today :

SEC spokesman Charles Bloom said Wednesday evening that there was also no mention of the reported conversations in either of the school’s reports to the league.

Okay, great, but those exact conversations were reported on a major media outlet when they were reported on ESPN last night. So here's what we're hoping someone at Mississippi State can answer: why is ESPN learning about incriminating conversations before the SEC?

If a school has knowledge and evidence of serious wrongdoing in recruiting, as we've all been led to believe Mississippi State has against Auburn, it is incumbent upon that school to divulge as much of that information as possible to the appropriate authorities. And indeed, Mississippi State has been on the offensive as far as representing itself as a responsible steward of the SEC's rules, reportedly declining to pay the Newton family any money and reporting the incident to the appropriate authorities .

And yet, it defies immediate logic that MSU could be this proactive in enforcing the SEC's rules and yet neglect to mention this, the most obvious and egregious flaunting of the of SEC's rules among what MSU has reported so far. Why?

 

Posted on: November 10, 2010 5:42 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2010 5:43 pm
 

MSU: University contacted SEC in January

Posted by Chip Patterson

The latest news from the ongoing Cam Newton saga comes from Starkville, but it hard to consider any of it "breaking."  On Wednesday afternoon, Mississippi State released a statement regarding their contact with the SEC offices on the topic of Cam Newton.  The release does very little to reveal any new information, but instead to confirm the reports that questions around Cam Newton's recruitment have been on the conference's radar for almost a year now.
Mississippi State University acknowledges that it contacted the Southeastern Conference office in January of 2010 regarding an issue relating to its recruitment of Cam Newton.

Shortly after the initial call, the SEC office requested specific information to include interviews with involved staff from MSU.

Due to MSU dealing with ongoing and time-consuming eligibility issues involving non-football matters in the winter and spring of 2010, the specific SEC request went unfulfilled. Some additional information was provided to the SEC during July of 2010. Once the NCAA enforcement staff became involved, Mississippi State University cooperated fully with its investigation. MSU is confident the SEC office has managed this process consistent with its established procedures and the university is committed to the conference’s ongoing efforts to ensure compliance with SEC and NCAA rules.
See?  Nothing really to see here.  This is Mississippi State's way of clearing the university's name of any further social or institutional responsibility in the eyes of the public.  The SEC and the NCAA did not need MSU to come out with this kind of statement, and it was likely crafted to try and head off questions which the progam does not want to (and likely is not allowed to by the NCAA) answer.
Posted on: November 9, 2010 11:51 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2010 12:32 pm
 

Report: Cam Newton, father pressured MSU for cash

Posted by Adam Jacobi

More Mississippi State sources have come forward with information against Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, telling ESPN today that the Newton family admitted to receiving money from Auburn recruiters in phone conversations last year:

Prior to Newton's commitment to Auburn, one of the recruiters said Cecil Newton told him it would take "more than a scholarship" to bring his son to Mississippi State, a request the source said the school would not meet. Cecil Newton also referred the recruiter to a third person that would provide more specifics, the source said.

After Newton committed to Auburn, another source said an emotional Cam Newton phoned another recruiter to express regret about his change of commitment from Mississippi State, stating that his father Cecil had chosen Auburn for him because "the money was too much."

Obviously, the NCAA is going to want to hear more about this, and the days of Auburn being able to proudly claim that its football program is not a target of any NCAA investigation are probably close to an end.

It's worth pointing out, though, that this report in and of itself doesn't constitute enough to jeopardize Newton's eligibility today; it's simple hearsay more than anything else. Furthermore, since this new allegation is that the Newtons accepted money (and not that Auburn merely offered it), the NCAA is going to have to actually find some of this money (which sounds easy enough, considering the Newtons were asking for $200,000, but you never know what a, um, "creative" accountant can accomplish) before it doles out any punishment.

When reached for comment, Cecil Newton had little to tell Fox Sports.

"I’m not going to confirm nor deny nothing that has been taking place," Newton told Thayer Evans of Fox Sports. "I’ve answered what I need to answer. If they’re out there, go with it and make the decision or determination based on whatever you’ve got to say."

Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen may have denied the earlier reports that he was behind the allegations of academic misconduct by Newton, but considering MSU's heavy involvement with these two other reports, it's easy to wonder whether there's any point in Mullen keeping any distance from this scandal anymore. This is clearly the Bulldogs' fight right now, so they might as well be honest about it.

Moreover, if the academic allegations did come from Mullen (which would make sense, considering his position at Florida while Newton was there), then this is three-for-three on Cam Newton allegations that have come from Mississippi State ... and haven't been proven yet. That's not to say they can't or won't be proven true -- time will tell on that front -- but these reports aren't coming from the NCAA, they're just Mississippi State airing dirty laundry. Remember how true the academic allegations sounded when the report first hit? Those don't seem quite as credible now that AuburnSports.com has its own sources saying Newton was never involved in the Florida Student Conduct Committee for any reason. It would be wise to at least keep that track record in mind going forward until more definitive evidence arises.


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