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.

Please follow me on Twitter:

www.twitter.com

661 comments Add your comment

BAMA dude

November 10th, 2010
11:13 am

My bet is on the sleazy agent runner trying to scurry up some money first and then approaching Cecil after he takes a 50% cut. This is all we know. A sleazy agent wannabe tried to start some money flowing and it was reported.

He’s actually a runner for Ian Greengross, a contract agent who typically represents NFL draft picks. His most famous client to date was Darren McFadden.

Driving Ms Dooley

November 10th, 2010
11:15 am

@ Cam Watch

“Cecil Newton Sr. has admitted to employing the services of Kenny Roger’s “placement program”. I guess that even he knew that you have to tell a little bit of truth… sometimes.”

Cam was in Jr College at the time. Cecil said he had met and talked with Kenny Rogers. If he said he empoyed him, he didn’t have any money to pay him. He’s an unemployed preacher. If this is the case, maybe the runner figured he could get paid by boosters for his services. Just because it was reported that a runner for an agent was shopping the services of Cam, that doesn’t mean money was going to Cam or Cecil.

The ONLY info we have is second hand info and that is: a former MISS STATE PLAYER SAID that and AGENTS RUNNER SAID that HE wanted money to guide Cam to Miss State.

The next thing you know, Cam was taking money from Auburn and cheating at Florida and we shouldn’t vote for him for Heisman.

That’s a huge jump that I’m not willing to take until somebody can present some facts. Until then, Cam doesn’t deserve all the trash that’s being thrown his way.

He’s the best college player to come along in a long time. And nobody is even noticing that now.

GatorBoy

November 10th, 2010
11:18 am

Altamaha:

Regarding Rainey.
On its face, yes, it is embarrassing, but I have to believe that the prosecutor, his coach and the UF administration knew this kid and the facts surrounding his collosal mistake better than I.
On a personal note, I have had a clever, manipulative girlfriend push my buttons and I responded in ways I never thought myself capable.
So I sympathize with Rainey.
Something none of the “news” outlet neglected to print from the police report was the text the woman (who, apparently, makes a hobby of UF football players) recieved before the threatening one(s): “You don’t care about me anymore?”
That, to me, sounds like a broken-hearted kid in a lot of pain and her response was for him to “Go home. I’m going to sleep.”
Not justification, by any stretch, just empathy.

BAMA dude

November 10th, 2010
11:18 am

Driving Ms Dooley, you’re probably right. All of this is just conjecture. Good old Cecil didn’t do anything wrong. Preachers never do.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

November 10th, 2010
11:19 am

If it (storys about Cam) is true so what? Bumblebrain puts his foot in his mouth once more. The man that wanted to suspend an assistant coach for giving a jesture – thinks so what about cheating to stay in school? Get your priorities straight – the so what is that IF he got caught cheating three times he should have been kicked out of school – but he wasn’t.. Am I missing something here? The average student non-athlete would have been kicked out of Florida after getting caught cheating ONCE. Now I am not saying Cam did this. I am not pronouncing him guilty of anything. I can wait for EVIDENCE to come out if there is any. Unfortunately with the NCAA it won’t come out until after the regualr season and the Heisman voting is over. We do know one thing – he was in possession of a stolen computer and he left Florida with an explanation that makes no sense.

Jake

November 10th, 2010
11:20 am

AtlamahaDawg,

You want to envy someone, what about our little sister down the street in Atlanta?? Look at the amount of trash they have put into the NBA and NFL yet you never hear a word while they are on campus. Most of their better athletes couldn’t form a complete, coherent sentence if their life depended on it, yet they are able to hang around one of the best engineering institutes in the country for 3-5 years? Give me a break!!!! That’s a system UGA needs to emulate STAT!!

Dutch

November 10th, 2010
11:22 am

Tony,

Can you not “edit” or “rewrite” a story? This is OLD NEWS. What about the new allegations that Cam and his father admitted in TWO SEPARATE phone calls that Auburn paid him?

Thanks

Dutch

Mike Slive

November 10th, 2010
11:24 am

Mike Slive is part of the problem, not the solution.

Robbie E.

November 10th, 2010
11:25 am

It would take a whole lot more than a scholarship to get me to LIVE in STARKVILLE, so I see daddy Newton’s point.

The view from the Swamp

November 10th, 2010
11:25 am

It looks like another big payday for Tony with Blog hits. Good one Jake!

Fleming Island Dawg

November 10th, 2010
11:26 am

Hey Ginger it had to be somone from Florida that leaked records from Florida. How would Georgia get them?

Gatorzone

November 10th, 2010
11:29 am

Fact is, Newton is still a liar and a thief! Had he not had the Laptop incident, I might be more inclined to believe his innocence. His family is not steadfastly proclaiming their innocence either. By not commenting, or “beating a dead horse,” one has to think there is something to this.

If you were falsely accused, what would you do? Lawyer up, or steadfastly proclaim your innocence? Common sense says he would vigorously deny the allegations.

What?

November 10th, 2010
11:30 am

Cam Watch = Bobby Lowder. Probably guilty of fixing up Mr. Newton’s Church to get Cam to come to Auburn–now is blogging about how unfair it is for the Schools to be penalized when a booster goes against NCAA rules.

These rules violations will be a problem until there is a Minor League NFL system…where kids that don’t want or need to go to college can go and play for 2 years before entering the NFL Draft. Many of these kids are enrolled at the school but not really students. How many are forced to juco for a year to finish their remedial requirements!? I’ll bet entire college curriculum and graduation requirements are defined by how to keep dumb football players eligible for at least 2 years.

Wouldn’t watching college football be just as much fun without all of this garbage? With 80 kids that want to go to that University and only that University? With coaches that are looking out for the best interests of the players rather than their own $3 or $5 million paychecks…or their next ‘Built Ford Tough Commercial’?

I know I would still watch the dawgs play!

How2fish

November 10th, 2010
11:35 am

Unreal 362 comments on a story that has NO source and no corroborated facts to it. At this rate no one in the SEC will even be able to watch the game Saturday…too tried from typing about all this B.S.

Driving Ms Dooley

November 10th, 2010
11:36 am

@ Bama Dude: Good old Cecil didn’t do anything wrong. Preachers never do.

I’m the biggest preacher skeptic in the world believe me. But usually when preachers are crooked or morally thin, they live better than the Newtons are. Seriously, look into the Newtons lifestyle and you will see, the guy’s not living the easy life. He’s closer to the poverty line than the easy life. And again, if you throw cash at situation like that, usually the purchases will stand out. That’s clearly not the case hear.

C’mon, do you find it hard to believe that Kenny Rogers was trying to grease his own pockets? The money wasn’t paid and it was reported.

Show me something concrete like in the Reggie Bush situation. It was blatantly obvious that his family suddenly had large influxes of cash. Clearly not the case here.

And who cares about what MIGHT have happened at Florida? Not me. It doesn’t affect this season at all.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

November 10th, 2010
11:37 am

WAR DAMN EAGLE !!!!

And War Cam Eagle!!! until ANYONE shows ONE IOTA of evidence

TrishaDishaWarEagle

November 10th, 2010
11:38 am

And for all of those in law school at UGA, Innuendo is NOT evidence.

Vance

November 10th, 2010
11:40 am

To win the Heisman the nominated player must be excellent on the field and have personal integrity. It is the integrity issue that is in question. This should be clearly resolved and Cam needs to come clean about all of his issues at UF, as well as the MSU questions. Otherwise, he is not worthy of the award. If you have nothing to hide, it is easy to come clean. Too many players in the NCAA and NFL are not being held accountable for their actions. Winning at all costs trumps character. This is terrible younger players as they see no consequence to bad behavior.

Riley

November 10th, 2010
11:41 am

TB –

Ok, it is pretty much a lock that the inevitable conclusion is that Auburn cheated, big time. So my question for you TB is this; once all the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed, do you think Auburn gets the death penalty? As a diehard SEC fan I would hate seeing this, but their arrogance during this whole ordeal has been astounding.

TheLawyerDude

November 10th, 2010
11:41 am

Barnhardt, you’ve been watching too much TV. The Buckley Amendment, as the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (20 USC 1232g) is known, does not have any criminal sanctions as it is not a criminal statute. Anyone violating the act–and individuals do not violate it educational institutions do–will not go into a Federal courthouse. If a complaint is filed that an educational institution violated a student’s right an administrative sanction is levied. In other words, a bureaucrat decides what to do to the educational institution. Usually, the institution gets a reprimand. A fine is possible as is the withholding of future funding. That rarely ever happens and only after a pattern of conduct is clearly demonstrated by the institution.

The University of Florida has over 50,000 students. The federal government is not going to take anyone to the woodshed because the records of one student were improperly released.

Do you even research this stuff before you write about it? Clearly, I’d say the answer is “No.”

PS Your piece is full of typos.

How2fish

November 10th, 2010
11:42 am

TrishaDishaWarEagle I agree with you about no evidence and the kid getting railroaded but lay off UGA we have not one damn thing to do with your problem child on the Plains. I hope Cam is cleared and plays this Saturday and I hope we beat the brakes off the War Chickens..but for the love of God either prove something or lay off the young man..

O.J. Simpson

November 10th, 2010
11:44 am

Cam is innocent until proven guilty!!!!

SEC Sports Fan

November 10th, 2010
11:47 am

Slive has always been an Auburn fan and I am not surprised that he tried to bury this information on Cam Newton. Auburn has never been held accountable for its program or its player’s indiscretions.

It is a football team with a school attached for spoiled children.

Slive should be fired for trying to bury the story and his head of officials should be fired for the slanted playcalling that SEC officials show towards Auburn.

Fan

November 10th, 2010
11:47 am

That’s right Tony–everyone should cover up any cheating by the SEC! Exactly what I would expect a SEC homer to say!!

TrishaDishaWarEagle

November 10th, 2010
11:48 am

so SEC fan, which of the 5-5 SEC east schools are you a fan of..or is it the 7-2 team a little west of here..

BAMA dude

November 10th, 2010
11:48 am

I’m sure the FBI is gonna turn their evidence over to the media any day now. :roll:

We’ll just have to wait and see, but there’s some bad stuff going on here.

Not So Fast

November 10th, 2010
11:49 am

Hey Slive:

In keeping with Barnyard’s Come to Jesus theme.

It is written: “As ye sow, so shall ye reap.”

Slive and the SEC as well as many other in the past regarding another schools program sowed a hard line and demanded “the death penalty”.

Well it is also written: “For they sow the wind, and they reap the whirlwind”.

You got what you asked for, NOW REAP IT!!

Driving Ms Dooley

November 10th, 2010
11:54 am

You Go Trish!

And War Cam Eagle!!! until ANYONE shows ONE IOTA of evidence”

Finally, the voice of rage and reason. And it took a girl to step up and say it!

SEC Sports Fan

November 10th, 2010
11:55 am

Actually the SEC and Big 12 officials should be investigated by the NCAA for orchastrating the BCS championship game last year. Notice how Alabama and Texas and Florida (until the SEC championship game) stayed undefeated towards the end of the year based on VERY questionable ref calls to keep each team undefeated so the SEC and Big 12 would be a lock.

The refs shafted MSU in its game with UF. The refs shafted UT in its game with Bama by not calling the excessive celebration call when the Alabam player took off his helment and celebrated before the clock expired. And Texas gets 1 secon put back on the clock to kick a winning field goal in its last game when it clearly should not have.

That BCS game was stolen and officials from both conferences should be removed by the NCAA.

BAMA dude

November 10th, 2010
11:57 am

The refs shafted MSU in its game with UF. The refs shafted UT in its game with Bama by not calling the excessive celebration call when the Alabam player took off his helment and celebrated before the clock expired.

Removing helmet is a dead ball foul that occurred post possession. Even if they called it all Bama had to do was take a knee. But don’t let me stand in the way of a good Bammer conspiracy.

herp

November 10th, 2010
11:58 am

Auburn fans are hilarious!!! If there was a video of Cam beating a bag of kittens with a bat they would still argue his innocence. It’s for that reason that I am most certainly looking forward to this officially hitting the fan.

BAMA dude

November 10th, 2010
11:58 am

oops, I meant “removing helment.” Carries the same penalty though. 8)

patrick

November 10th, 2010
11:58 am

AUsome
November 10th, 2010
11:08 am

First, no disrespect to GA.
They are a quality SEC program and always dangerous, no matter the record.
Can they hang with Auburn? … not this year.
============================
and this is what you said in 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2001

karnes

November 10th, 2010
11:59 am

Well, the bright side is that the basketball and baseball programs will get a lot more funding once the football team is shut down.

lail

November 10th, 2010
12:00 pm

Every game Cam plays is another 5 years of no football for the Tigers. So by all means Auburn, keep playing the crook!!!

BAMA dude

November 10th, 2010
12:01 pm

If there was a video of Cam beating a bag of kittens with a bat they would still argue his innocence.

No, herp, they would say that no one saw Cam beat the kittens. The poor dead, bloody kittens that had been hanging out with Cam wouldn’t be evidence enough. In fact, they would accuse other SEC schools, especially Bama, of stealing the healthy kittens and replacing them with the dead bloody kittens beaten at the other school.

Coach

November 10th, 2010
12:01 pm

Yea Tony, let’s blame the Miss. State or UF sources for this whole problem. It’s not the SEC’s fault, for knowing about these allegations for almost a year but sitting on them. It’s not Auburn’s fault, for knowing exactly what they were getting in Newton or for allegedly paying him money to play for them when they know the severity of NCAA rules. It’s not Newton’s fault, for thinking he’s above the law and refusing to obey basic civil, traffic, and academic rules. It’s not his Dad’s fault, for having his hand all the way down the cookie jar, I guess a free education, books, room, and board aren’t enough. And of course it’s not the media’s fault. Let’s blame the “sources”. Great perspective Tony, I don’t know how much longer you’ll be getting my page click.

patrick

November 10th, 2010
12:02 pm

TrishaDishaWarEagle
November 10th, 2010
11:37 am

WAR DAMN EAGLE !!!!

And War Cam Eagle!!! until ANYONE shows ONE IOTA of evidence
==============================
ummm there are at least 2 taped phone calls and MSU sent a letter to the NCAA revealiong that Cam and his father called asking for money. One taped call has Cam saying “I am sorry I could come to MSU but the money was to good at Auburn”.
.
I think that is considered more than an iota

SCJack

November 10th, 2010
12:05 pm

Tony: As Ronald Reagan once said to Jimmy Carter in a presidential debate, “there you go again.” You are a pretty good journalist but recently you’ve begun to take very judgmental stances on issues that you apparently feel deeply moved by (Grantham, Newton) and have seemingly moved away from your usual, excellent way of describing a situation without becoming a ‘homer for the cause’. Don’t know why…… Nonetheless, if folks (have not) and will not follow the Christian God’s admonition concerning rumors and innuendoes (King James Bible: But the tongue can no man tame; [it is] an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.) who is Mr. Slive, you, or me for that matter? I have to agree with most of the other commenter’s when they allude to the old adage, “Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire.”

Jdawg

November 10th, 2010
12:09 pm

ATL somebody should tell Cam, if does’nt come from Wal-Mart then dont buy it.Recieving stolen property is also a crime.

BAMA dude

November 10th, 2010
12:10 pm

ummm there are at least 2 taped phone calls and MSU sent a letter to the NCAA revealiong that Cam and his father called asking for money.

I’m not buying that one at this point. The only place I saw that posted was on a TCU blog by a guy calling himself Goo.

Driving Ms Dooley

November 10th, 2010
12:13 pm

@ Bama Dude and Cam Watch
My apologies. I just took a break a saw the first few minutes of Sports Center. Ok, I’m thinking he’s guilty of asking for the money and probably taking it but I doubt they will ever be able to prove it.

Man he looked guilty in his non denial. And to say those things on the phone were pretty stupid. Hmm. I still say that nothing will come of it because saying something like that on the phone isn’t the same as acting on it and so far, that’s all they’ve got.

And was the phone conversation actually taped?

Driving Ms Dooley

November 10th, 2010
12:17 pm

@Bama dude:
ummm there are at least 2 taped phone calls and MSU sent a letter to the NCAA revealiong that Cam and his father called asking for money

Sports Center just reported the calls but I don’t think they said they were taped. Just one mans word against another. But the stink is starting to get pretty bad.

Still don’t think they’ll nail em. Now it’ an opinion thing with the Heisman. I’d say give to Charles Woodson again.

How2fish

November 10th, 2010
12:17 pm

Anyone have a link to the “taped” call where Cam is talking money? I can’t find it… or is it yet again” I saw or heard about it on the internet” but haven’t seen or heard it myself ???

BAMA dude

November 10th, 2010
12:19 pm

They’ve been reporting on the calls all along, the “taped” part is what hasn’t been reported. But yeah, there’s something there. The FBI doesn’t show up to investigate rumors.

Driving Ms Dooley

November 10th, 2010
12:20 pm

AND Bama Dude,

I’d have to see the dead kittens video. But I’d rather not.

Is he the best player in college football??????

Is he elgible to play this year???

Yes and Yes. Still got my vote. (unless the kitten thing is true)

Stanley

November 10th, 2010
12:22 pm

I understand why Auburn fans are defending this criminal and his crooked family, because they have no souls, but why are some UGA fans doing the same? If someone wanted to make up a hit-piece story of this guy they could have been a lot more creative than this. There are too many questions and the connecting of the dots has already begun. Why do you refuse to acknowledge reality?

Stanley

November 10th, 2010
12:23 pm

Driving Ms Dooley,

Let’s give Cam a remedial math test for a high school sophomore with all the cameras on him and see just how “eligible” he is.

xacers

November 10th, 2010
12:25 pm

Hopefully Auburn University will donate their field to Auburn High School once their program is shutdown.

Driving Ms Dooley

November 10th, 2010
12:25 pm

Stanley you’re kidding right. Let’s give the same test to all SEC football teams except for Vandy. My guess is that 25% fail.

Plus, Cam did all the heavy lifting academically at Blinn–a school that is well know for…well not really anything except Cam.