It may be time for Slive put his foot down again

In the South, we call it a ”Come to Jesus” meeting. That’s when the man (or woman) in charge of an organization calls everybody into a room and lays down the law. Any deviation from this path, the boss says, will result in serious consequences. You fail to heed this warning at your own peril, the boss emphasizes. Now go back out there and behave.

In May of 2009 SEC Commissioner Mike Slive had a “Come to Jesus” meeting with his coaches at the annual Spring Meetings in Destin. The Commish had had enough back biting between Florida coach Urban Meyer and the Boy Wonder at Tennessee, Lane Kiffin. Even Steve Spurrier had thrown in a little jab when asked.

Slive got all of the coaches into a room at the Sandestin Hilton and, in a lawyerly fashion (he is a former district court judge), read them the riot act. Any more of this public food fight and somebody, he warned, was going to get taken to the woodshed.

In the wake of the storm now engulfing the SEC concerning Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton, it could be time for Slive to put his foot down once more.

Here is what we know: The NCAA is investigating whether or not rules were violated in the recruitment of Newton.

That’s it.

But from that one fact has emerged waves charges and counter charges that bring back some very  of the worst days of the SEC.  Slive came on board in 2002 and wanted to clean up the dark side of this conference where rumor and whispers were used as weapons in an attempt to bring another program down. Some progress had been made.  Coaches and other SEC employees were put on notice that free lancing in the area of rules compliance would not be tolerated. There was a process put in place where if an employee of a member institution comes upon information that another member may have broken the rules, that information must go up the chain of command and eventually to the conference office.

Then that information will be assessed and, if warranted, passed on to the NCAA. Those who work for SEC schools may not have direct contact with the NCAA on such information. Employees of SEC schools may not leak information of this kind to the media. If so, they are in direct violation of conference policy.

And it could be that, until yesterday, the chain of command was followed in the Cameron Newton story. We know that Mississippi State acquired some information about the recruitment of Newton (the total accuracy of that information is still uncertain) and that it was passed along to the SEC which passed it along to the NCAA. The rest has been media speculation from unnamed sources.

But yesterday this story changed and took on a very ugly–and perhaps illegal–tone.

Somebody leaked some information that caused a story to be written that Newton faced multiple academic incidents while he was at Florida and was on the verge of expulsion before he left in 2009.  We don’t know if that story is true or not. There have been subsequent reports, from unnamed sources, that the story is not true.

But if the story is true, somebody just broke federal privacy laws in releasing that information. And if that person works for an SEC institution and if the leak ever gets traced back to them, I have a piece of advice: You better lawyer up, buddy, because your life is going to get really complicated. Federal judges don’t really care that much about college football. They do care about people violating federal law for their own amusement.

If the story is not true, and if it came from an employee of an SEC institution,  then the leak it represents the worst kind of behavior that cannot be tolerated. The person who gave misinformation to the media, knowing that it was misinformation, should be fired on the spot if they are ever caught.

And if the academic story about Newton is true, so what? It’s embarrassing to Newton and his family. He should be held accountable for his actions. But beyond that what’s the need for that information, if true, to be made public?  What purpose does it serve if it doesn’t impact this eligibility?  Why would you release that kind of information unless you wanted to embarrass the kid and perhaps negatively impact his ability to perform on the field?  Do you put that information out there because you don’t want the kid to win the Heisman Trophy? Do you want to him be embarrassed enough to turn pro and get out of the league? Did you watch him running up and down the field and enjoying his time at Auburn and think: “This guy isn’t who people think he is. It’s up to me to set the record straight?”

What is this, high school?

Despite various media reports we don’t know if coaches are actually involved in his sorry tale. But if they are, even if the information they leaked is true, the consequences should be fairly harsh. The fact is we may never know who all the leaks are and whether or not coaches have their finger prints on this. But a lot of people sure THINK coaches are involved in this.

In the meantime, it might be a good idea for the Presidents of  the SEC to meet with Commissioner Slive and empower him to do whatever he has to do to get a handle on this.

It puts the commissioner in a tough spot. If he steps out and says something publicly, it adds another layer to the story and keeps it alive for several more news cycles. And if he says something publicly, what exactly does he say and who exactly is he saying it TO?

But what we have now are charges, albeit unsubstantiated, that coaches in this league have violated federal privacy laws at worst and SEC policy at best. It’s probably a good time for everybody in the league to be reminded that they work for the institution and are obligated to follow the rules of the Southeastern Conference. They also need to be reminded that if they violate those policies, the result will not be pretty.

What’s going on now plays into every stereotype the rest of the country has about the SEC. Can you imagine something like this happening in the Big Ten or the Pac-10? Me neither.

It will be tricky, but it’s time for the commissioner to put his foot down again.

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661 comments Add your comment

Roaddawg80

November 10th, 2010
9:11 am

Gen Neyland;

He did say fined and said if he did anything like that again that they should fire him immediately!

Clay

November 10th, 2010
9:11 am

There sure is a lot of smoke, the fire has to be around here some where. It may take a few years like it did with Reggie Bush and USC, but it’ll come out.

Shut up!

November 10th, 2010
9:11 am

and if none of this is true the media members who are writing the stories of heresay should lose their jobs and never work again until they see Jesus. You forgot that part, Tony.

NewnanDawg

November 10th, 2010
9:12 am

If you don’t want people to find out that you cheated and were about to be expelled…..don’t cheat. If it’s all a “grand conspiracy” and you did not cheat…deny it. Cam Newton “doesn’t want to talk about it.” End of story.

OkefenokeeDawg

November 10th, 2010
9:13 am

“I hope Auburn wins by 700.”
***************************
Would that be a record?

Seriously, if the “FIRTS Story” has huge holes poked in it, why hasn’t the NCAA (investigating since August) already cleared Cam and Auburn?

David Granger

November 10th, 2010
9:13 am

If Cam Newton really were in danger of being expelled for cheating at UF, the only two departments that would know it are the athletic department and the office of academic affairs. Sure seems like the info had to come from one of those two places, and as you point out, Tony…leaking that kind of info is a federal crime. I hope the justice department will be just as diligent in finding the leak as the sports press is in digging up their stories.

tide rising

November 10th, 2010
9:15 am

Sorry, I only come on here when Bama wins and UGA loses.

Maybe next week?

TommyJack

November 10th, 2010
9:16 am

Oh how I wish Cam had gone to Bama.

Gregg T

November 10th, 2010
9:16 am

If, what if, who, when, someone said, where there’s smoke and so forth. It’s all just rumor and speculation. Everyone needs to keep their mouths shut and allow the authorities to do their work. If this man is guilty, that’s one thing, but what are all these bloggers going to say if/when it’s determined that it has all been just a ruse to deflect attention from Cam and/or get him too distracted to perform well against ALA. Now there is your story. One thing for sure, some slime from somewhere is going to rise to the surface, and I’ll put my money on it being someone besides Cam Newton.

richtfan

November 10th, 2010
9:16 am

mike slive needs to be more concerned with whether or not AU and the newtons are being straight with the ncaa and the sec office than he is about whether or not someone violated a federal privacy law.

and here is the thing……..if it’s true about newton and florida and why he left there, then there is no law violated. if it is an unfounded allegation, then that’s a different story.

Paul From Milton

November 10th, 2010
9:16 am

All the cheating stuff is secondary. This case comes down to whether or not the FBI and NCAA can tie the church renovation money to Auburn. If so, Auburn is in a lot of trouble. If not, it’s just a messy story that is unfair to many people and everyone moves on.

johnny fontane

November 10th, 2010
9:16 am

If Miss State “knew” that Cam was dirty, why did they keep recruiting him up until he signed with Auburn? Why did they not walk away? Bob Stoops has come out and said the there was nothing wrong with Olkahoma’s dealings with Cam and his family.

TallyDawg

November 10th, 2010
9:16 am

Apparently nowadays its OK to cheat until you get caught and then all you need to do is transfer to a different school and your slate is wiped clean. Who knew?

SECWasteManagement

November 10th, 2010
9:17 am

I like it Tony. Thank you for getting over that writers block that you were having.

DawginLex

November 10th, 2010
9:17 am

Agreed ga gator, BUT

If he is not denying it, then the assumption is that it is true. Therefore, he lied about why he left Florida. It had nothing to do with playing time but everything to do with cheating.

If he lied then, could he not lie again about the $$$$$$?

It busts him bad from a credibility standpoint. If he didn’t cheat at florida, say so.

Roaddawg80

November 10th, 2010
9:18 am

I for one am a UGA fan and will say that I hope CAM does play.

However, I am not going to sit here and say that he did do it or didn’t do it and I don’t think anybody is actually saying this(except for HS kids who should be in school right now).

But there is something fishy and it will all come out. Maybe not this week or this month or heck by the end of the year. I love how some of the media(i.e. Tony Barnhardt) calls people out for alledgely doing things but in fact it’s the media that is totally responsible. Maybe they should be fired!

I am just saying!

Oconee Dawg

November 10th, 2010
9:18 am

Here we go again Mr. Tony or should I say Dr. Barnhart. Don’t tell the public what should be done! Just report the facts to the public. Yes, Cam is a great football player. He should be in jail now instead of being considered as the best football player in college. He needs pin strips “black and white”.
He should be seen on side of the road pick up can and paper, etc…..
Maybe the Dawg fan will dress up in pin strips for the game Saturday.
GO DAWGS !

lil lol

November 10th, 2010
9:19 am

JB do you ever get off the blogs..24 hrs aday is JB– BS.
Yes it would really make alot of dawg fans happy if Cam couldn’t play…then your choked team may win.

NOT REALLY MR ANYTHING

November 10th, 2010
9:20 am

TONY, TONY, TONY. TOUGH GUY TONY. By writing about Newton you are just another reporter trying to get into the mix. You act as if the FBI is going to swoop down in Gainesville & pick-up Meyer by his collar. Well, it ain’t gonna happen, Tony boy.
Piece of advice: Stop over-reacting & find a real subject to write about.

Sven Ottke

November 10th, 2010
9:21 am

Tony, the SEC is not high school……but it’s the academic equivalent of high school.

JB

November 10th, 2010
9:21 am

Still worried about my Dawgs Saturday….could less about Auburn and their troubles, and they are NOT ours by the way……..To the guy who hopes Georgia loses by 700……..Screw you…..All we are is the next team on their schedule……….Cam is Not enrolled at UGA……He’s not our problem OFF the football field……. We’ll see enough of him Saturday. He is impressive.

BAMA dude

November 10th, 2010
9:22 am

MURPHY

November 10th, 2010
9:02 am
BAMA dude,

This Cam thing is getting uglier by the day.Did you happen to see the ESPN 30 ro 30 program on Marcus Dupree last night? Sounds a little like what is going on with Cam at AU right now.

Nah, missed that one. But yeah, I’m not sure ugly is a strong enough word.

Bama Fan #2

November 10th, 2010
9:22 am

The real story is about follow the money trail not who leaked inside information on
the cheating on term papers or stealing a labtop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NOT REALLY MR ANYTHING

November 10th, 2010
9:23 am

I don’t want the DAWGS to beat AU w/o Newton.

I want him to play –NO EXCUSES!!!

BEAT AU W/ NEWTON!! GO DAWGS!!!

BAMA dude

November 10th, 2010
9:23 am

Oconee Dawg

November 10th, 2010
9:18 am
Here we go again Mr. Tony or should I say Dr. Barnhart. Don’t tell the public what should be done! Just report the facts to the public.

This is not a news article, it is a blog post. Tony’s opinions are appropriately voiced in this forum.

OkefenokeeDawg

November 10th, 2010
9:23 am

If somebody wrongfully accused me of cheating, stealing, and breaking NCAA rules by accepting money to play football, and I got an audience with the media, as Cam did yesterday, I would say, in a loud voice, “these are damn lies. I have never cheated on tests, and I have never, ever been paid any money to play for Auburn!”

I wouldn’t sit there and do that “lawyer-speak” crap, “I won’t talk about any of that.” I would defend my honor, if I had any . . .

Maybe that’s just me, though.

MURPHY

November 10th, 2010
9:24 am

Gen Neyland,

It does seem that the AU program is snake bit. I feel bad for the Tiger fan’s.Lot of corruption in the sports world this day and time.Im sure it as always been there,but with the internet it is magnified greatly

BAMA dude

November 10th, 2010
9:25 am

Paul From Milton

November 10th, 2010
9:16 am
All the cheating stuff is secondary. This case comes down to whether or not the FBI and NCAA can tie the church renovation money to Auburn. If so, Auburn is in a lot of trouble. If not, it’s just a messy story that is unfair to many people and everyone moves on.

Not true. If it can be proven that Cam, Cecil, or a third party authorized by Cam and Cecil even TRIED to get pay for play then Cam is no longer an amateur and ineligible due to an agent relationship. Auburn would be forced to vacate all wins that Cam contributed to.

Kyle

November 10th, 2010
9:25 am

Tony should take off his SEC cheerleader outfit and put down his Mike Slive pom poms and get a reality check. The C in SEC stands for cheater.

JB

November 10th, 2010
9:26 am

Chisnik, their Russian coach, basically said that yesterday OkefenokeeDawg……..

WDE

November 10th, 2010
9:26 am

Haters, When you meet Cam Newton on Auburns campus he is quick with a smile and a handshake. He works harder than anyone here and is a devoted to this team more than anything. Even when the media was singing his praises he maintained that yes he did some things at UF he wasn’t proud of, but he has learned and changed from it. He wasn’t even kicked off UF’s team when the laptop story broke. So give it up and take a look in the passion in Gene Chizik’s speach yesterday, and the humility that Cam displayed in his. Then come talk to me.

cajdawg

November 10th, 2010
9:27 am

Let me say straight up that I’m a UGA fan and I have no animosity for Auburn. I save my hatred for UF and GT.

It boils down to this…if the father and/or son are on tape shaking down MSU and/or AU or admitting shaking down MSU and/or AU… then AU is in hot water.

WesDawg

November 10th, 2010
9:27 am

As soon as Auburn is out of it Cam will go down.

Ross

November 10th, 2010
9:28 am

The problem here is much deeper than that. The problem is that this kid has serious charcter flaws. It is coming out now that he AND his dad asked Miss St for money there. The NCAA needs to immediately sanction this young man, after all, they busted AJ Green up for far less. The leak from Fla was wrong, however, it does go hand in hand with the theft of the lap top and the trail of unscrupulous behaviour by this young man.

Old Dawg

November 10th, 2010
9:28 am

Can we just play some football and forget the soap operas?

FAQS

November 10th, 2010
9:28 am

To JB

I was the one who said I hope Auburn wins by 700. And it’s because of whiny UGA “fans” like you.

When someone decides to bring some facts, actual FACTS, about Cam’s recruitment or anything else that could jeopardize his eligibility (parking tickets and term papers don’t cut it) then we’ll see what happens. Everyone on here is already saying he’s guilty when there isn’t a single shred of evidence.

Has anyone started investigating AJ Green yet? I told you I brokered a half million dollar deal for him. So much smoke …

Miles

November 10th, 2010
9:29 am

“And if the academic story about Newton is true, so what?” Mr. Barnhart, ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?

AS IT RELATES TO MORAL INTEGRITY, THE ONLY INTEGRITY IN QUESTION IS CAM NEWTON’S!

BAMA dude

November 10th, 2010
9:29 am

WDE

November 10th, 2010
9:26 am
Haters, When you meet Cam Newton on Auburns campus he is quick with a smile and a handshake. He works harder than anyone here and is a devoted to this team more than anything. Even when the media was singing his praises he maintained that yes he did some things at UF he wasn’t proud of, but he has learned and changed from it. He wasn’t even kicked off UF’s team when the laptop story broke. So give it up and take a look in the passion in Gene Chizik’s speach yesterday, and the humility that Cam displayed in his. Then come talk to me.

LMMFAO. He smiles, shakes hands, works hard, and is not a crook. Does he happen to kiss babies too? Urban Meyer = Deep Throat?

Top Recruit

November 10th, 2010
9:30 am

Gee, I wished I’d been a journalism or philosophy major rather than a business major. Yeah, the investigation of causes and laws underlying reality. Do you want us to cry about the situation at Auburn? Not hardly, after the way the AJC and others beat the hell out of us over a player selling a jersey to an alleged agent, some traffic violations that the AJC thinks should be tried in Federal Court, and a coach touching his neck. Tony if there is nothing here why has the NCAA not resolved this matter by now? And why are there three schools involved in this…perhaps more. It took awhile for the NCAA and the Pac 10 to resolve the Bush matter. But once the whispers, allegations, and etc became a drum beat, it was hard to ignore the facts. The SEC office wants a national contender from the conference, a calf with no blemishes [since you injected religion into this], and a SEC team playing in the national title game…in other words the matter is on hold and the whispers continue.

Red Panty Lover

November 10th, 2010
9:30 am

I confess…I did it. I am taking everyone down with me. I even ratted out Caleb King!

WWVD (What Would Vince Do?)

November 10th, 2010
9:31 am

If you’re looking for wrong-doing and a long history of sleaze, look no further than Athens.

In the 1986 Jan Kemp trial, O. Hale Almand Jr., a lawyer for UGA, offered a justification for the favorable treatment accorded the athletes, citing a hypothetical player. “We may not make a university student out of him,” he told the jury, “but if we can teach him to read and write, maybe he can work at the post office rather than as a garbageman when he gets through with his athletic career.”

That trial exposed UGA for the football factory that it was, and exposed Vince Dooley as a fraud and a sleazebag. It also derailed Dooley’s plans for a political career. That’s why we see the decrepit old fraud doing TV commercials even now.

Mark Richt is just the latest in a line of sleazy UGA coaches who coddle athletes and discard them after four years of football. He recruits illiterate morons he knows aren’t smart enough for college, but he doesn’t care, as long as they help him line his pockets with millions of dollars each year.

Suntanned Saint Mark isn’t all he appears to be, is he?

Will

November 10th, 2010
9:32 am

Slive will do nothing because Auburn is the only shot they have for the mythical NC. Also, UGA is not only going to be playing Auburn but the referees and the SEC hierarchy. I guarantee you UGA will get screwed by the refs several times in this game.

SlimeDawg Millionaire

November 10th, 2010
9:32 am

Ross,
What proof? There isn’t any. The NCAA sanctioned A.J. because he was found with absolute evidence (and a guilty plea) of his wrongdoing. The NCAA has had information on these allegations on Newton since January. And they haven’t even sent a letter of inquiry to Auburn yet. They didn’t even send a warning to sit him until they investigate further. They seem to think there’s nothing there yet. Certainly they may find something. But they haven’t yet. Let the facts come out before anyone is convicted.

OkefenokeeDawg

November 10th, 2010
9:32 am

“It does seem that the AU program is snake bit”
********************************
Murphy,

Seems you get snake bit a lot more if you keep putting yourself close to a snake.

http://ncaafootball.fanhouse.com/2007/07/24/footballs-dirtiest-programs-8-auburn/

JB

November 10th, 2010
9:32 am

FAQS….. I’ll write you a check for a 100.00 if you can find anywhere on here this morning where “I” have accused him of any of this…..If fact, you’ll see where I have 2 or 3 times said I hope it’s not true….
I don’t lump all anti Georgia bloggers as a$$ holes, don’t lump me as whiney.

lil lol

November 10th, 2010
9:33 am

All this BS was started by a mad x-agent who told Mr Bond x QB at MSU, cam would cost big $$$ ? Mr Bond tells Mr Evans, ESPN reporter who didn’t like Cam and don’t wont Cam to win Heisman so he puts out the story in his on words. Then everyone that thinks they know something throw more dirt laundry on cam. Just keeps the crap going…..

Everyone one of you out there that said you never cheated in school is a damn lier!

Al

November 10th, 2010
9:33 am

You might want to do more research Barnhart. Yes, everyone is claiming that this is a violation of privacy law, but in fact it is not. A Georgia Supreme Court case about the Red and Black and student disciplinary hearings at UGA determined that the Federal privacy rules, specifically the Buckner Amendments that are being implemented in the Newton situation do not apply to student disciplinary situations.

RED & BLACK PUBLISHING COMPANY, INC. et al. v. BOARD OF REGENTS et al.; and vice versa., 262 Ga. 848, 427 S.E.2.d 257 (1993)

The Barn is Burning

November 10th, 2010
9:33 am

It is sad how the Barn’s coaches and administration are so desperate to get out of Big Brother’s shadow that they will go to this length to win. The Camburgler is obviously a high character guy (uh-hum, insert sarcasm here) and deserves all of the praise that has been rained down on him over the past week. I am amazed that the cow college’s top brass would even go here win though. This is a no brainer- if you knew about all this, then why risk everything for one glorious season?! Sorry Little Brother, maybe you’ll catch a break in 10 years or so, when you are able to get your full allotment of schollys again. Cuz you, along with Toomber’s TP, are going to be burning until then…

The Plain Truth

November 10th, 2010
9:35 am

Tony Geinzer

November 10th, 2010
9:35 am

Cam Newton walks, talks, acts and behaves like a Dog! Enough Said, Tony.