Tag:NCAA Investigations
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 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 8, 2010 12:25 pm
 

Newton investigation 'not a closed matter'

Posted by Tom Fornelli

This has been a pretty magical season for Auburn.   The team is 10-0, ranked second in the BCS, and a win this Saturday against Georgia would clinch the SEC West and have the Tigers bound for Atlanta to play for the SEC title.  The biggest reason the Tigers have been so good this season is Cam Newton, who has pretty much run away with the Heisman Trophy thanks to his play on the field.

Of course, all anyone wants to talk about when bringing up Auburn is Newton, but it's for all the wrong reasons these days.  The news broke last week that the NCAA is looking into Newton's recruitment, as Kenny Rogers claims that he offered to bring Newton to Mississippi State for $200,000 from the school.  Considering the current environment in college football, in which the contact between agents and players have led to many suspensions, and Reggie Bush has had to give up his Heisman Trophy, there have been a few people who have already made up their minds that Newton is guilty.  Lack of evidence be damned.

One sign that Newton will be cleared in this investigation, though, is the fact that he played on Saturday, and has played all season long while Auburn has been aware of the investigation.  According to Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs, if they felt Newton had done anything wrong, he wouldn't be playing, though that doesn't mean the NCAA is done just yet.

"Any of our student-athletes, if we had any questions about them, about their eligibility," Jacobs told the USA Today. "We wouldn't want them to play."

"It's not a closed matter.  It's still ongoing. ... But we look for Cam to continue to play for us."

Does this mean that Newton is innocent?  No, of course not, but it's a sign that nothing will come from the investigation.  Wins are nice, but if Auburn felt there was going to be any trouble over this, it wouldn't compound the problem by continuing to send Newton out there every Saturday.
Posted on: November 5, 2010 11:31 am
Edited on: November 5, 2010 11:32 am
 

Newton investigation is 'sad and disgusting'

Posted by Tom Fornelli

There's been a whole lot of crazy going on since the news broke on Thursday that the NCAA was conducting an investigation at Auburn about the recruitment of quarterback/assault vehicle Cam Newton.  The story broke when it was reported that agent and former Mississippi State football player, Kenny Rogers, allegedly tried to solicit $200,000 from Mississippi State to get Cam Newton to transfer to Biloxi after he left Florida.

It's a story that Newton's family has denied ever happened, along with denying that Rogers has ever worked for them.  So far, given the amount of evidence that has shown anything to the contrary, and the words of Newton's head coach Gene Chizik, all signs point that the Newton's have done nothing wrong.  According to a report on AUTigers.com -- which, we admit, may be a touch biased in this situation -- that's exactly the case.

A source "very close to the Auburn athletics department" told them there's absolutely nothing to any of this.

“There is no evidence whatsoever of any contact between Mr. Rogers and anyone on the staff at Auburn University or anyone associated with Auburn University,” the source told the site. 

“There have also been no NCAA allegations made against Auburn University or anybody on the Auburn staff regarding the recruitment of Cam Newton. This is a really sad and disgusting situation.  Cameron Newton and his family have become the victim of a rogue agent with a questionable past and of other people who are out to hurt Cam Newton and his family."

Who exactly those people are trying to hurt Newton and his family, I don't know, though Paul Finebaum seems to think he does.  

It's not all that crazy to think that Kenny Rogers, if he did ask Mississippi State for the money to get Cam Newton, was acting on his own.  Maybe he thought that if he got $200,000 he could keep some of it and then use the rest to try and sway Newton to reunite with his former offensive coordinator, Dan Mullen. I'm not saying that this is what happened, but given everything we've learned about agents and college football players this year, does anything surprise you at this point?
Posted on: October 12, 2010 1:33 pm
 

RichRod feels your hate

Posted by Tom Fornelli

For the first five weeks of the season, Rich Rodriguez was feeling pretty good.  His team was off to a 5-0 start, ranked on both the AP and Coaches polls, and the voices calling for his head had quieted down a bit.  Though that doesn't mean that those voices were totally silent, something Rodriguez has been aware of all season, and now that Michigan is coming off its third straight loss to "little brother' Michigan State, they're getting loud again.

"We lost to Michigan State, what, you wanna take me and hang me off the building now?" Rodriguez asked during his weekly press conference. "I mean, there might be a few people who want to do that, but it's the same people that probably wanted to do that after the first five games, too, they just weren't saying it publicly."

While it seems ridiculous on the surface that some fans would want Rodriguez gone after he's matched his 2009 win total in only six games, it's not completely unwarranted.  After all, the Wolverines were 4-0 last season before they lost to Michigan State and lost six of the next seven games to finish 5-7 and miss out on a bowl game for the second straight year.

Fans are just a bit nervous it can happen again, and I can't blame them.

While Michigan has improved this season, it's because of one player playing out of his mind, Denard Robinson.   As the Spartans proved last weekend, if you can keep things from getting too Denarded, Michigan is very beatable.  The Michigan defense is allowing 26.8 points per game, and unless that unit improves, odds are that Michigan's record within the Big Ten isn't going to be very good.

There's also that whole NCAA investigation hanging over Rodriguez's head.  The NCAA is expected to make its decision about Rodriguez and his failure to "promote an atmosphere of compliance" before the end of the regular season, and if the NCAA decides to hand down a major punishment while the Wolverines are in the midst of a losing streak, then those dissenting voices will grow louder than ever.

While I don't think they'll hang Rodriguez from any buildings in Ann Arbor, they'd gladly kick him out of town.
Posted on: October 9, 2010 11:08 am
 

Rumors of Butch Davis' demise aren't true

Posted by Tom Fornelli

A rumor broke out on some North Carolina message boards that the North Carolina systems Board of Governors (the one that governs all of the UNC campuses, not just Chapel Hill's) had instructed North Carolina chancellor Holden Thorp to fire head coach Butch Davis.   A rumor that, considering everything that's been going on with the North Carolina program, isn't hard to believe.

But don't, because according to the board's chairwoman Hannah Gage, it's not true.

"None of that happened. None, none, none," Gage told the Raleigh News & Observer . "I can assure that none of that happened. That hasn't been part of any discussion we've had."

Which makes sense seeing as the UNC system Board of Governors doesn't really involve itself with the athletics programs of the UNC schools, leaving those decisions to the individual schools.

Of course, considering everything that has taken place in Chapel Hill since Butch Davis took over the program, I can assure you that this won't be the last rumor you hear about him being canned.  Eventually, one of them will be true.
 
 
 
 
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