Posted on: November 10, 2010 1:19 pm
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 11:51 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2010 12:32 pm
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:
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.
Posted on: November 9, 2010 5:42 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2010 6:23 pm
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
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.
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?
Posted on: November 9, 2010 2:25 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
There has been one good piece of news to come out over the past 24 hours for Cam Newton : the Maxwell Football Club named him one of 16 semifinalists for the Maxwell Award , the organization's honor for the best player in college football. And though Newton has accumulated the stats and highlight reels of an All-American running back this season, it's perhaps for the best for him he doesn't actually play the position. That's the way it looks from the complete list of semifinalists:
WR Justin Blackmon , Oklahoma State, So.
WR Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma, Jr.
QB Andy Dalton , TCU, Sr.
QB Robert Griffin III , Baylor, So.
RB Kendall Hunter , Oklahoma State, Sr.
RB LaMichael James , Oregon, So.
QB Colin Kaepernick , Nevada, Sr.
QB Andrew Luck , Stanford, So.
QB Ryan Mallett , Arkansas, Jr.
QB Taylor Martinez , Nebraska, Fr.
QB Kellen Moore , Boise State, Jr.
QB Cam Newton , Auburn, Jr.
QB Terrelle Pryor , Ohio State, Jr.
QB Denard Robinson , Michigan, So.
QB Ricky Stanzi , Iowa, Sr.
QB Tyrod Taylor , Virginia Tech, Sr.
All right, so it's also a little odd that none of the top 16 players in the nation by the Maxwell's estimation happen to play defense. But it's nothing unusual for defenders to get snubbed in the national Player of the Year talk, and since the Maxwell Club also hands out the Bednarik Award to the nation's best defensive player, the Maxwell itself appears to be a de facto offensive players-only honor; even the great Ndamokung Suh didn't crack the semifinalists list last season .
So the much bigger surprise is that among a list of the nation's top 16 offensive players, only two running backs, Hunter and James, make the cut next to two wide receivers and a whopping 12 quarterbacks. Since when has the the second-most high-profile position on the football field been this devoid of stars?
Since 2010, apparently. Last year's Maxwell semifinalist list included seven tailbacks, including a pair of Heisman finalists in Toby Gerhart and Mark Ingram and several who returned to college football for this 2010 season: Ingram, Noel Devine , Jacquizz Rodgers , Dion Lewis . Unfortunately for those four players, the season hasn't played out as expected for any of them; not one currently ranks among even the top 30 rushers in the nation at present, with Rodgers' 803 yards (good for 33rd) the best year to-date of the bunch.
Why the sudden downturn in the fortunes of the nation's top tailbacks? Some of it is probably a simple fluke. But some of it is the continuing rise of the spread offense, which revolves around the all-purpose quarterback at the expense of pounding along with the traditional bruising tailback. Auburn , Nevada , Michigan , TCU , Baylor -- these are all some of the most explosive offenses in the country, and all five begin with a mobile QB. It's no wonder all five placed their quarterbacks on the list above despite the presence of top rushers like Nevada's Vai Taua , Baylor's Jay Finley , and TCU's Ed Wesley . This year's top pro-style attacks, meanwhile, are all quarterback-dominated as well: Stanford and Luck, Arkansas and Mallett, Boise and Moore. Offenses like the 2009 Cardinal and Tide attacks that turned Gerhart and Ingram into superstars just aren't out there this year.
They'll probably be back next year. But that doesn't mean they'll be back in the same numbers we've seen in the past; as long as the spread remains as in vogue as it is today, the kind of bludgeoning workhorse tailback that makes award lists is going to stay an increasingly endangered species.
Tags: Andrew Luck, Andy Dalton, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Bednarik Award, Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick, Denard Robinson, Dion Lewis, Ed Wesley, Iowa, Jacquizz Rodgers, Jay Finley, Justin Blackmon, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James, Mark Ingram, Maxwell Award, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, Noel Devine, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State. Ryan Broyles, Oregon, Ricky Stanzi, Robert Griffin, Ryan Mallett, Stanford, Taylor Martinez, TCU, Terrelle Pryor, Tyrod Taylor, Vai Taua, Virginia Tech
Posted on: November 9, 2010 12:53 pm
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
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 11:14 am
Edited on: November 9, 2010 11:15 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Over the last few days, we've learned quite a bit about Auburn quarterback Cam Newton. First the news broke last week about the NCAA investigation into Newton's recruitment after he left Florida following an incident in which he stole a laptop, and now the news that Newton cheated while enrolled in Gainesville.
Dark secrets indeed, but they merely scratch the surface. I did some digging of my own, utilizing my many sources throughout the college football world and public school system of College Park, Georgia. What I uncovered during my investigation will chill you to the bone.
This is just some of what I learned.
- While in the second grade, Newton checked the book Where The Wild Things Are out from the College Park Public Library. He returned the book two weeks late, and refused to pay the 25 cents in late fees.
- While in the third grade, a classmate alleged that Newton stole his chocolate milk during lunch. Two other students saw him do it, but lunch room officials never found evidence of the stolen milk, and Newton did not serve any detention.
- In the fifth grade, Newton's class was told to make a diarama about a book they read. Newton had chosen The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and turned in a diarama of Huck and Tom Sawyer sailing down the Mississippi River. It was very well done, and while there was suspicion that his parents may have helped him, it was never proven. He received a B+.
- When Newton was 13 he stole a Snickers bar on a dare from some friends from the local convenience store. He was caught by the proprietor, who then called the police to teach Newton a lesson. The police then made Newton pay for the candy bar before taking him home to his parents. Newton was grounded for a week.
- Three years later, at the age of 16, Newton returned to the same convenience store to get some Gatorade. The total for his purchase was $1.26. Newton only had a quarter on him, and didn't want to break another dollar. Thankfully there was a "Take a penny, leave a penny" tray on the counter. Newton only needed one penny, but he took three.
These are just some of the stories I learned in my investigation. Clearly, Cam Newton is a monster that needs to be stopped. Hopefully somebody can stop him before he strikes again.