Tag:Cam Newton investigation
Posted on: November 13, 2010 7:56 pm
 

Auburn, Chizik off to Atlanta after win

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Not many fans outside of Auburn will be pleased with it after the week's Cam Newton revelations and some ugly scenes at the end of tonight's win over Georgia , but that also won't make any difference after the Tigers' 49-31 victory moved them to a perfect 7-0 in the SEC and clinched the West division title. Auburn will play in the SEC championship game for the first time since 2004 and for just the third time since the SEC's divisional split in 1992.

Though a national title game could still be on the horizon pending the SEC title tilt and an even-tricker-looking visit to Alabama , the West championship is already a huge vindication for Gene Chizik , whose hire was derided in virtually every corner after his 5-19 record at Iowa State . With two games still to play, he's a perfectly palindromical 19-5 in his two seasons at the Auburn helm, and whether or not the Newton scandal forces him to vacate those victories, it's hard to argue he hasn't brought the team a steady, calming influence that's allowed them to make three comebacks from double-digit deficits this season.

Today was the third, with the Bulldogs jumping out to a 21-7 lead before the inexorable march of Auburn's ground-pounding offense wore down Georgia's defense as the game. The Tigers finished with 315 rushing yards, their sixth straight SEC game with 300 or more yards on the ground. Newton finished with 151 yards and two rushing touchdowns (to go with 148 and 3 scores in the air), Onterio McCalebb 71 and three scores, and Michael Dyer 60. Georgia scored 10 points on their first two drives of the second half, on expertly-guided drives of 81 and 66 yards by Aaron Murray ... but it didn't make much difference when Auburn's final five possessions of the game all ended in touchdowns.

The game ended on a sour note as a pair of Bulldog offensive lineman took exception to a hit by Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley on Murray which forced him off the field, dogpiling on Fairley after the following play. The resulting fracas resulted in the ejection of backup defensive end Michael Goggans , and after the next play, a punch saw backup defensive tackle Mike Blanc dismissed as well. Both will reported miss the first half of the Alabama game, and though neither starts, both see major time in Auburn's usual defensive line rotation.

Neither that nor the Newton scandal will do much to dull the celebrations in Auburn tonight, though. The coach who would supposedly never get Auburn to the top of their division did it in just two years. Until/unless the NCAA says otherwise, that's more than enough reason to break out the party hats.

Posted on: November 12, 2010 6:37 pm
 

Insane Predictions, Week 11

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.

Somewhat Plausible

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 Unlikely

In 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

Severely Unlikely

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.

Although the new look is panned by virtually every fan and pundit watching, recruits in attendance reportedly "love it" and say it will "definitely" aid the Ducks' effort to land their signatures. --Jerry Hinnen

Downright Ridiculous

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

Posted on: November 11, 2010 11:49 am
 

Kiffin says Newton never asked UT for money

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Remember the good old days of the SEC when the only "controversy" was what Lane Kiffin had done or said?  Then Kiffin left Knoxville for USC, which has had its own issues with the NCAA lately, but not before he made an attempt to recruit Cam Newton while Newton was at Blinn Junior College after leaving Florida.   So, naturally, now that the college football world is one of Newton, Newton, Newton and more Newton, it only makes sense that somebody would ask Kiffin if anything unseemly took place during Newton's recruitment.

When asked directly if Newton or anyone claiming to represent Newton ever asked for money during the recruitment, Kiffin said "no."  Though he also said that Tennessee wasn't that actively involved in recruiting him, because he wasn't a great fit for the Tennessee system.  Newton was never offered a scholarship by Tennessee, something Kiffin said "doesn't make me look very smart."

Kiffin also went on to say that his time spent in the SEC gave him a unique perspective on the situation, because "you hear so many things down there."

"I remember so many things said about me that weren't accurate," Kiffin said. "It was a good lesson learned. If something comes on the radio or in print, I don't think there are any facts to it at all until someone shows some proof. This is a perfect example."

Kiffin is the second head coach to recruit Newton, along with Bob Stoops, who has come out and said that money was never involved during the process.  Which is a good sign for all those Auburn fans hoping Newton is cleared of all this, but it doesn't prove anything.  All it means is that Newton is either innocent, or that Oklahoma and Tennessee were never really in the running for his services.
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 10, 2010 1:19 pm
 

Chizik says Newton will play against Georgia

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Twitter has been ablaze this morning with Cam Newton rumors, as you'd expect given all that is going on with the Auburn quarterback and Heisman front-runner.  There were reports this morning that a radio station in Dallas was reporting that Newton would be suspended by the NCAA later this afternoon, though that report was quickly squashed by the same radio host who reportedly had said it.

Really, the only thing we know about Newton right now is that he's being investigated by the NCAA, and that he hasn't been suspended yet.  We also know, thanks to his head coach Gene Chizik, that Newton will be playing this Saturday against Georgia.   Chizik made that clear during his weekly stint on the SEC teleconference before letting everyone know he only wanted to discuss on-field issues.



Of course, that's the plan for now.  Considering everything that has gone on with this investigation, who knows what the situation will be by Saturday?  Hell, who knows what it will be three hours or twenty minutes from now?  I'm just waiting for the report that says Newton was the second shooter on the grassy knoll, or that he kidnapped the Lindbergh baby.
Posted on: November 9, 2010 5:23 pm
 

Report: Cam Newton never in academic danger at UF

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Word came out late last night that according to a Foxsports.com report, Auburn quarterback (and Heisman frontrunner) Cam Newton had been involved in multiple academic incidents at Florida, and that he was facing expulsion if he had returned for the spring semester. Damning stuff, to be sure, but curious in its details. Why was that information coming out now, years after the fact and to no effect on Newton's eligibility? Why did the reporter, Thayer Evans, only have one source cited in his report? What was up with all of this, exactly?

One fact that was generally taken for granted, though, was that Evans' report was more or less accurate. The allegations were specific and of such little immediate consequence that it made no sense for Evans' source to make them up. And yet, if the story's accurate, what's up with this report from AuburnSports.com that Newton, in fact, never faced the Florida Student Conduct Committee?

Two independent sources with detailed knowledge of the UF academic discipline system during the period in question have disputed the Evans story. According to the sources, no allegations of academic impropriety regarding Cam Newton were sent to the Florida Student Conduct Committee at any time either during or after Newton's time at UF.

"Nothing was reported, officially or unofficially" says one source, who did not wish to be identified. "The formal process is for allegations to go through the Student Conduct Committee. If [any allegations against Newton] didn't follow that process, then they didn't follow the rules."

Now, it's important to realize that just because the allegations never made it to the committee doesn't necessarily mean they didn't happen at all, just that they never made it to that step, for whatever reason. But if they didn't, that's a pretty big deal all the same. It certainly undercuts the idea that Newton was on the brink of expulsion -- AuburnSports.com's sources indicated that nobody facing the type of allegations Newton reportedly faced ever got expelled in the 2-3 years that source was at the department.

At any rate, Auburn fans should breathe easy tonight. Evans' report is at best debatable and at worst lousy, and it shouldn't have any effect on Newton's eligibility, focus, or Heisman candidacy. Sure, the other investigation is still ongoing, but the NCAA hasn't even seen fit to investigate Auburn on that front yet. Things just might be okay, Tiger fans.

One last thing worth pointing out, however, is that the source of these leaks doesn't necessarily have to be someone who's at Florida right now, but someone who was at Florida while Cam Newton was there. Someone with intimate knowledge of Newton's athletic and academic situation. And someone with a vendetta against Newton for whatever reason. Let's see, who could possibly fit that bill?

Well then.

Posted on: November 9, 2010 12:53 pm
 

Auburn AD: Newton has been 'completely honest'

Posted by Chip Patterson

In yet another edition of the Cam Newton saga, Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs has released a statement regarding the ongoing drama surrounding the Tigers' star quarterback.

“In the past 24 hours, a lot of allegations have surfaced that date back two years ago and further. These allegations and rumors about Cam Newton are unfortunate and sad because they seem intent on tearing down the reputation of a young man who has done everything we’ve asked him to do. Cam has been and continues to be completely honest with us.

"Cam is, by all accounts, a great kid. Any discussion of academic records is a clear violation of federal privacy laws. We will not go down that path or stoop to that level as others have apparently done. We will, however, emphatically say that Cam is eligible to play football at Auburn University both academically and athletically. I am proud of this young man and the progress he has made to be a better football player and a better man. We are truly blessed that Cam is a part of the Auburn family, and we support him 100 percent.”


And we thought the mud-slinging would be done in early November.  Cam being honest with Auburn is the news-worthy piece of the statement.  We all learned in the dealing with Dez Bryant and Deion Sanders that the "powers that be" in college football dislike nothing more than dishonesty during investigations.  If Newton has come forward to Auburn with all the facts (that he knows), than he cannot be expected to do any more for the university.  Well, that is not completely true.  He could continue to boost the program's worth by making the first-strings in "the best defensive conference in the nation" look like scout teams, and any hardware he collects wouldn't hurt either.

The comments in the second paragraph about "violation of federal privacy laws" and "stoop to that level as others have apparently done" provide some tasty material in the war of words between Auburn and Florida.  Clearly Jacobs is referencing the allegations that the source of the Newton leak have come from within Florida's camp, specifically tied to head coach Urban Meyer.  With South Carolina's loss to Arkansas on Saturday, Florida has moved into a tie for first-place in the SEC East.  The Gators could likely see Newton and the Tigers in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta.  After all this controversy, we can only hope it comes to that. Right?  

   
Posted on: November 9, 2010 2:52 am
Edited on: November 9, 2010 3:17 pm
 

Report: Cam Newton in scandals at UF (UPDATED)

Posted by Adam Jacobi

It seemed virtually impossible after last week, but somehow, the news surrounding Cam Newton 's pre-Auburn years seems to have gotten worse. According to a Fox Sports report, Newton was allegedly involved in multiple academic cheating controversies while enrolled at Florida before he transferred to Blinn Junior College in 2008. The allegations are of a very serious nature, the type that often results in suspension and expulsion from a university. There are three incidents in question here, and it's awfully telling that the least serious of the three is that Newton purchased a term paper online, apparently unaware that professors know how to use the Internet.

We're not going to be able to ascertain the truthfulness of these reports, so we'll just reiterate that they're apparently based solely on the one source that Fox Sports cites in their report. We'll just point out that it's abundantly clear that Fox's source for this scandal is Florida-based; it's not as if some line cook in Tuscaloosa can claim "knowledge of the situation" where it concerns academic matters at the University of Florida, after all. And it's that Florida connection that only intensifies rumors that lingered the first time around that Urban Meyer (or someone in his camp) was responsible for the initial leak of the Newton investigation in the first place .

After all, this revelation serves no actual purpose where the rest of this football season is concerned; Newton's not about to be declared ineligible over allegations that occurred at a different school years ago. The fact remains that there have been no such allegations about Newton since his time at Florida, and it's not as if every single professor at Auburn is under the athletic department's thumb. Go ahead, tell a random professor at any school that he has to edit his gradebook in a football player's favor. See what happens.

So if this report won't affect Newton's eligibility anywhere but at Florida, what purpose does it actually serve? If Newton's eligibility were on trial and in front of a judge, this report would be immediately thrown out over relevance. Cam Newton is an Auburn student whose academic bona fides are, at this time, not in question. Whether he left Florida facing problems down the road is Auburn's problem insofar as the school should be on the lookout for further shenanigans. Past that, this comes off far more as a grade-level psy-ops campaign from Gainesville than anything the NCAA, SEC, or Heisman voters should be aware of.

(UPDATE: According to AuburnSports.com, multiple sources inside the Florida academic discipline system strongly dispute Evans' report.)
 
 
 
 
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