Tag:Florida
Posted on: November 9, 2010 5:42 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2010 6:23 pm
 

AUDIO: Jacobi on Sirius/XM CFB Playbook Radio

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Earlier today, I was fortunate enough to join the CFB Playbook on Sirius/XM Sports with Jack Arute and Mike Leach. We discussed the Cam Newton report from Thayer Evans that had been released last night and wondered aloud about why, precisely, the report had been released. Check out the entire segment below.

It's worth pointing out that this discussion took place before AuburnSports.com released their own report later this afternoon that directly contradicts Evans and makes me look a little dumb for taking Evans' report at face value. Also, later that day, Paul Finebaum reported that Mississippi State head coach (and former UF assistant) Dan Mullen , not anybody still connected with Florida , was behind the academic allegations. That makes wayyyy more sense than any of the spitballing we were doing about Florida, so Gator partisans, feel free to ignore all that talk.

At any rate, have a listen anyway; I had a lot of fun and I hope Arute and Leach did as well.


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 3:44 pm
 

Utes: TCU better than '09 Frogs, '08 Tide

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It's safe to say Utah came away impressed with TCU after the Horned Frogs' emphatic dissolution of what had been the nation's longest home winning streak last Saturday, but how impressed? This impressed :
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham doesn't pull any punches when it comes to TCU. "Hands down, the best football team we've played since I've been at Utah," said Whittingham ...

Starting center Zane Taylor also has high praise for the Frogs.

"They are the best team I've ever gone against."
It's true that you might not expect the Utes to say anything different after their 47-7 humiliation, but it's still worth noting that both Whittingham and Taylor have faced some truly outstanding teams during their Utah tenures. Like, for instance, the 2009 edition of the Horned Frogs, who rolled the Utes 55-28 on their way to what looks very likely to only be the first of back-to-back undefeated regular seasons.

But for the Mountain West skeptics out there, it's also worth pointing out that those teams include the Alabama squad which went 12-0 in the SEC West in 2008 before narrowly losing out to eventual national champion Florida in the SEC championship game and facing the Utes in the Sugar Bowl . The Utes won that game 31-17, and Taylor made a point of mentioning that Tide team as an inferior to this year's version of the Frogs.

Whittingham added that he feels that this TCU team deserves its shot at the national championship. If he's correct that they're even better than two other teams that put together undefeated seasons that landed BCS berths, it'll be awfully hard to say he's not right.

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 11:50 am
 

Urban Meyer denies any role in Newton saga

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Ever since the news broke about Cam Newton and the NCAA's investigation into his recruitment, rumors have surfaced that Newton's former head coach at Florida, Urban Meyer, was the whistleblower on the case.  While there hasn't been any proof, rumors don't need facts, they just need people to start them and watch them spread.  Plus, when you consider that former Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer is guilty of doing the same thing in the past, in a lot of minds, that only adds credence to the rumor.

Well, Urban Meyer wants you to know that the rumors aren't true.  Meyer told The Gainesville Sun that the rumors of his involvement in the Newton investigation are "ridiculous."

"Obviously, it's a joke," Meyer told the paper on Tuesday. "I don't know anything about anything. I heard they've got me meeting with the agent and all that. I never met with anybody. It's ridiculous.

"... we had a great relationship right up until the time he left.  Cam and I and his family always had a great relationship. I don't know where this is all coming from. But it didn't come from me. I know nothing about nothing."

For some reason reading that last quote, I envision Meyer as Edward G. Robinson in some old gangster movie talking to the cops.  "I don't know nothing about nothing, see.  You'll never catch me, copper."

Meyer can deny the rumors all he wants, and whether he's telling the truth or not, most minds have already been made up on the situation.  Personally, I'm not entirely sure what's truth and what's fiction.  I had severe doubts that Meyer was involved until I heard The New York Times' Pete Thamel on Paul Finebaum's radio show on Monday afternoon.

Finebaum asked Thamel straight up about whether or not Meyer was one of his sources for the story, and the way Thamel dodged the question was somewhat suspicious in my opinion.  To me, if Meyer wasn't involved, all Thamel would have had to say was that Urban had nothing to do with it.  The fact he didn't do that, well, it makes me somewhat suspicious.
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.)
Posted on: November 8, 2010 1:27 pm
 

Urban Meyer wants the most intense Blue Out ever

Posted by Tom Fornelli

In any other year, having a 4-3 record in the SEC would have you bound for the Chik-Fil-A or Gator Bowl, but not this year.  No, in 2010, thanks to an SEC East division gone ham, 4-3 is good enough to have you playing for a division title.  Which is exactly where Florida finds itself this week, as its game against South Carolina in The Swamp this weekend is for a trip to Atlanta and the SEC Championship.

The Swamp hasn't been as kind to the Gators this season, as Florida is only 3-2 at home, and 1-2 against SEC opponents.  So in other words, there's just something missing from The Swamp's ecosystem, and Urban Meyer has figured out what that is.  The Swamp NEEDS MORE BLUE.

"I've never really done this, but I want to make this the most intense stadium in the history of Florida football this Saturday," said the coach on his weekly television show. "This is for the SEC Championship.

"Get there early. I want everybody to wear blue — head to toe — including our players."

Yes, we all saw how well the Black Out at Rice-Eccles Stadium worked for Utah against TCU, so surely this is exactly what the Gators need to take care of the Gamecocks and get to Atlanta.  I would think that a better option for the Gators would be to kidnap Marcus Lattimore, or have a few cases of Icehouse delivered to Stephen Garcia on Friday night.

Or, if that goes against Urban's moral compass, I guess he could call the New York Times and tell them that Steve Spurrier paid $200,000 for Lattimore.
Posted on: November 7, 2010 12:31 am
 

What I learned from the SEC (Nov. 6)

Posted by Tom Fornelli

1. Les Miles loves the taste of grass and victory.   Seriously, he loves the taste of grass.  We have video to prove it and Russell Sheppard says he does it all the time because it's filled with protein.  But as any mad genius herbivore can tell you, the grass always tastes sweeter when you win, and that's what LSU did on Saturday to keep its SEC title hopes alive and end those of Alabama at the same time. Miles did it in his usual crazy manner, too.  Making sure his team looked horrible for the first 30 minutes before coming out firing in the second half.  I'm really starting to wonder if Miles is just so insane he's actually sane. Like, he's done the complete 360 degrees of insanity, and the rest of us just can't comprehend it.

2. The SEC West > The SEC East.  Okay, so the Mississippi State Bulldogs are 7-2 overall, and 3-2 in conference play.  This is good enough to earn them fifth place in the six team SEC West.  You know where this would put them in the East?  They'd be tied with Florida and South Carolina for the lead with one less loss -- but one less win as well -- and they'd have the best overall record in the division.  For further proof of the West's dominance, look what fourth place Arkansas did to South Carolina on Saturday night.

3. Cam Newton is not easily distracted.
  Here's what I know about Cam Newton after watching Saturday's game.  He either knows he's 100% innocent of any of the allegations about selling himself to the highest bidder, or he just doesn't give a poop.  Newton threw for 317 yards and 4 touchdowns on Saturday, and granted, it was against Tennessee-Chattanooga, but those are still very impressive numbers.  Now he has the Tigers only one win shy of the SEC West title, and a few more wins away from the title game.

4. Cupcakes are delicious.
  Listen, I don't like the annual sacrifices of FCS schools to BCS schools that we see every year, but the fact of the matter is that as long as the BCS reigns, we are stuck with them.  And, to be honest, I can't really blame SEC schools for wanting to schedule them in the middle of conference play and taking a break.  Georgia, Auburn, Kentucky and Florida -- I'M KIDDING, VANDERBILT* -- all feasted on them, while Ole Miss and Tennessee enjoyed some slightly heavier Sun Belt and Conference USA fare.

*No I'm not
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com