Mississippi State did what it was supposed to do

 I’m not sure why, but a big deal was made yesterday when Mississippi State released a statement saying that it contacted the SEC office in January 2010 with information it had about the recruiting of Cameron Newton. Some thoughts here:

No. 1: Mississippi State was following the rules established by the Southeastern Conference. Any member school with information that NCAA rules may have been broken–by its institution or another institution–has the obligation to turn that information over to the conference office. Failure to do so is in itself a violation of SEC rules. So if it had sat on the information and not turned it in, Mississippi State would have had a problem.

No. 2: When Mississippi State first contacted the SEC the information was very general and lacked specifics. My understanding is that the initial contact between Mississippi State and the SEC on this matter was a very informal one. It was along the lines of “Hey, this happened and we thought you should know about it.” It wasn’t a formal report.  Logically, the SEC office wanted more information, including interviews with the staff people at Mississippi State who were involved before it could move forward. For example: The initial information presented to the SEC by Mississippi State did not include the names of John Bond and Kenny Rogers, whose alleged conversation back in December started this mess.

3. That additional information, I have been told, was not immediately forthcoming. Mississippi State confirms this in its statement: “Due to MSU dealing with ongoing and time-consuming eligibility isues in the winter and spring of 2010, the specific SEC request went unfilled. Some additional information was provided to the SEC during July of 2010.” Okay. So now we have the time line that answers the Auburn fans as to WHY this is coming out now. The SEC did not have the information it needed to move forward with the NCAA until this summer.

4. So the question now is WHY did it take until July of 2010 for the SEC to get the additional information it needed from Mississippi State? In its statement the school said it was busy with other eligibility issues not related to football. This begs for some clarification from both Mississippi State and the SEC. The SEC, I’ll remind you, is not an investigative body. It gathers facts, shares its findings with the institutions involved, and then forwards them on to the NCAA to be examined. There could be an entirely logical explanation for this timeline. Did Mississippi State drag its feet because it didn’t want to get that involved? Did the SEC not press as hard as it should have to get the information? Or is this timeline consistent with how long these things take?  Mississippi State jumped out there with its version of the events on Wednesday because I’m sure it was getting hammered from a lot of different directions. Does the SEC respond? I’m not sure it can or would want to other than to say that what happened is consistent with its policies.

5. Please, spare me the conspiracy theories. I love you guys (and you know who you are) but nobody can dream up conspiracy theories like an SEC football fan. Things don’t just happen in the SEC. They are always part of a huge Master Plan to put the screws to your school–especially when it is having a good year. 

They only drag the discussion of this topic down to an even lower level, which I’m not sure is possible at this point. There has been some good reporting on this story and there has been some downright lousy reporting on this story. There have been people who call themselves reporters who  have taken an ounce of fact and extrapolated it into a five pounds of rampant and unfounded speculation. Conclusions have been reached from alleged facts that are not in evidence. At times it has been damned embarrassing for those of us who do this for a living.

 Why? Because they know you’ll read it and react to it. It moves the needle and creates the web hits. Some of the discussion in the blogosphere has raised important questions and has been really thought provoking. But the vast majority of the discourse on the Cameron Newton case has been several notches below a cafeteria food fight.

Understand that regardless of how the Cameron Newton story is resolved,  there will no winners.  The biggest loser of all is those of us who love college football and still feel that, with all of its warts, it is a worthwhile enterprise that is a lot more good than bad. For the people who care about the game, this has been a very tough week.

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445 comments Add your comment

NoGaGator

November 11th, 2010
8:21 am

Tony-

Can’t agree at all with your defense of the SEC offices.

As Bob noted, how hard could it have been for MSU to provide a few specifics (dates and names) to the SEC at the time?

One of Slive’s major platforms was that he was going to clean up violations around the league. To sit on this for so long with no review is INEXCUSABLE. You want to talk about warts? This is cancerous.

kirk herbstreit

November 11th, 2010
8:21 am

Oh and Jason–Florida was heavily penalized in 2008 and somehow won the National Title. Some teams have the talent and coaching to overcome mental mistakes. Guess UGA doesn’t….

Jason

November 11th, 2010
8:22 am

Go back and watch the 2007 Georgia Florida game if you don’t believe the refs wanted Flrida t win that game. I’ve never een so many bad calls against a team in all my years watching Georgia.

maroonseedymon

November 11th, 2010
8:22 am

jason you need SERIOUS psychiatric help! i mean SERIOUS!!!!

MURPHY

November 11th, 2010
8:23 am

I heard yesterday on CSS that the SEC wants this Cam deal resolved before the SEC Championship game.The SEC doesnt want this story to be alive during that time.Think the SEC cant make this happen?

social circle dawg

November 11th, 2010
8:23 am

Wow…now the FBI is involved – the SEC and the NCAA had better get it together quick.

LTC Phil

November 11th, 2010
8:23 am

Same to fellow veterans and to those Americans presently in combat zones. I think that everyone would agree that college football is a mess and that this whole Newton issue has been handled in the most sloppy and ineffective manner possible. The fact remains that State didn’t report the “alleged” contact with Kenny Rogers until after Newton signed with Auburn. That is understandable, considering State was apparently the frontrunner for the best football player in the country. I think that all SEC fans would agree that the NCAA exercises a double standard with SEC schools when compared to national darlings like Notre Dame and USC. The bottom line here is the NCAA, conferences and universities make a huge amount of money, based completely on fan interest, down to the logo on my UGA baseball cap. We deserve better treatment. The fact that we are having this conversation about Newton demonstrates what a terrible job all of these entities are doing. (If) and when Kenny Rogers mentioned cash payments, he should have been turned in immediately, and the NCAA should have been right on it. They certainly have the money and resources to be more responsive.

JimD

November 11th, 2010
8:24 am

Jason, time to start looking for a job…this sitting in the basement in you jammies is getting old with mom and dad.

The Other Dog

November 11th, 2010
8:24 am

Also, please bear in mind that as of July 2010, hardly anyone knew anything about Cam Newton.. besides Florida & MSU. Yes, he was #1 JUCO transfer, but look at the Auburn media guide, he barely has a blurb in it. No one (outside of Mullen) knew he’d be as good as he is. He was just “Tebow & Brantley’s” backup at UF who bought a stolen laptop and had to go to Juco.

If he weren’t who he turned out to be, this would be a non issue.

JR

November 11th, 2010
8:24 am

I heard that an unnamed source in New York said that Cam Newton may have had something to do with the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa.

Jason

November 11th, 2010
8:25 am

Go back and watch the Georgia-LSU game where AJ got the bad call, and other bad calls were made against Georgia in that controversial game. Refs got suspended by the SEC, cover-up was exposed.

DawginLex

November 11th, 2010
8:25 am

First off, I want to say Happy Veteran’s Day to everyone.

To those of you who served our country:

YOU ARE THE REASON WE CAN GET ON A COMPUTER AND SAY WHAT WE WANT TO SAY!

FREEDOM IS NOT FREE!

A BIG THANK YOU FROM THIS GEORGIA BULLDOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

kirk herbstreit

November 11th, 2010
8:26 am

Come on Jason of course there were bad calls, but it goes both ways. We can all find holding penalties on nearly every pass play. Good Heavens, Alabama center Vlahos tackled Drake Nevis on almost every down last week. Start looking to your team and coaches as responsible for their failures, don’t put the blame on refs and mysterious las vegas gambling connections.

JimD

November 11th, 2010
8:26 am

And, oh by the way, that spelling check tab is under the edit menu. Your grammer school english teacher would be proud you used it.

War Eagle 30082

November 11th, 2010
8:26 am

Jason, you really need to take your Ritalin, your Prozac and your Oxycontin.

Worm

November 11th, 2010
8:27 am

Betcha’ North Carolina would have loved to be playing all their players and be judged LATER.

jeff

November 11th, 2010
8:27 am

thanks lexdawg. see dawgs and gators can get along!

Jason

November 11th, 2010
8:28 am

That particular ref crew, that called te LSU-Georga game, had made other controversial calls, like the one in the Arkansas game, nd they got canned by Slive. Only after the public outcry embarrased Slive.

http://www.ajc.com/sports/uga/sec-suspends-georgia-lsu-168860.html

This crew was in Vegas’ pocket.

fishtales

November 11th, 2010
8:28 am

Rx…I thought you were one of the sane ones. Did Jason get to you too?

RxDawg

November 11th, 2010
8:28 am

Look yall, I disagree with Jason in that I think the SEC is out to get UGA specifily. But his idea that the SEC kinda helps push along our top teams is very viable. As I stated before the fact is the SEC stands to gain a lot by allowing it’s undefeated teams to continue that way. It ups the ratings towards the end of the year and in the championship and it allows us to place 2 teams into the BCS bowl system which is where the big money is. Since the SEC divides up all of the money evenly amongst the schools why should any of the other schools blow the whistle on it?

I don’t want to believe that is happening… but our current football system would easily support an idea similar to this and I’ve seen some of those subjective calls helping out undfeated teams myself. I’m tellin ya, something smells rotten.

bull-gator

November 11th, 2010
8:28 am

Jason – if you are already on meds, please adjust the dosage, up or down ’cause what you’re taking now just ain’t working out. HELP! THE PARANOIDS ARE OUT TO GET ME!

Jason

November 11th, 2010
8:29 am

I don’t recall an ENTIRE SEC Crew being suspended by Slive recently. Just os HAPPENED to be against Georgia. What a coincidence!!

VININGSDAWG

November 11th, 2010
8:30 am

I call BS. Miss St. has an axe to grind and they are doing it. With the additional informationcoming out, it appears more and more that Miss St. is CYA. I have talked with friends at Auburn who know the ins and outs and say Auburn was aware of the situation in the spring, and started working on it. In July the SEC called and they already had most of the info. Heres the deal, sorry dog fans, but if Newton was a suspect in any way, Newton would hav enever been on the field for Auburn. Auburn is not that stupid. The compliance is run by a fellow named Rich McGlynn who is a former NCAA comliance director. They say he is the man and nothing even grey in the world of black and white gets approved. Chizik has $2,000,000 reasons why he would have made sure Newton didn;t play if he was not eligible.

Steve

November 11th, 2010
8:30 am

Jason-

Righton, couldn’t agree more.

Bucky

November 11th, 2010
8:31 am

I agree with everything Jason said.

Terrance

November 11th, 2010
8:31 am

Jason-

Do you have a radio show, this is great stuff. Seriously, you’re excellent analysis.

Who's Lying?

November 11th, 2010
8:32 am

MSU spin machine is on high, and it’s rotating backwards. So MSU, by its own admission almost, was too busy dealing with the bad seeds already signed up to put energy into its tattletale effort? That’s what consultants are for, right?!? They had the money…it’s not like they had to fork it over to Cam! This is rotten and time for all parties to apologize, shake hands and let it go.

Saint Simons

November 11th, 2010
8:32 am

Time to fire Johnson and bring in Rev Long!

n

November 11th, 2010
8:32 am

Auburn fans are the worst. First they actually (or at least pretend to) believe their program is completely clean. You play in the SEC, where if you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying. They cry about 2004, despite the fact that they played no one out of conference that year. Oklahoma and USC did, plus they were always ranked ahead of you. On top of that, does anyone really believe that Auburn wasn’t paying players in 2004, just like everyone else? Stupid, stupid, stupid. Be realistic.

[...] Conference. Any member school with information that NCAA rules may have been broken–by … back to school deals – Bing News He is acting out also by talking back, throwing things, destroying things his sister has made at [...]

BrunswickStateDawg

November 11th, 2010
8:33 am

Tony, you obviously pay no attention to hoops issues. MSU AD’s office and the compliance staff were embroiled in the Renardo Sydney saga at the time the Newton allegations surfaced – ironically, an impermissible benefits investigation. MSU began the eligibility process for Sydney about May of ‘09 and they did not rule until March 5, 2010. MSU appealed, and that wasn’t completed until the end of March. Google it for details – AAU stuff and the Sydney’s dealings are very similar to Cam’s issues. Frankly, from that experience I am sure MSU was not all that happy to be starting another investigation that could lead to lengthy dealings with the NCAA – especially something that was based on hearsay. Keep in mind too that MSU has the smallest athletic budget in the SEC – which means fewer people and resources to look into such allegations. Not defending the lack of timely follow up – just putting it in context.

JailedDawg

November 11th, 2010
8:33 am

I heard Newton was in trouble for speeding as he was running down the field against LSU.

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
8:33 am

@VININGSDAWG

I’m hearing the same thing from my Auburn friends. Strange coincidence, I suppose?

Jason

November 11th, 2010
8:33 am

Thanks guys for all the compliments. No, I do not have my own radio show, but it’s in the works, many have asked me to do one, so I’m looking into it.

I just ask or you to all watch the Auburn-Georgia game, and watch the number soflucky breaks that happen to go Auburn’s way. Especially penalties, recieved plays, etc.

Jason

November 11th, 2010
8:34 am

video replays is another are to watch thi week.

Auburn | MrSEC.com

November 11th, 2010
8:34 am

[...] Tony Barnhart of The AJC believes Mississippi State did what it was supposed to do… and he’s not buying any conspiracy theories.  “I love you guys (and you know who you are) but nobody can dream up conspiracy theories like [...]

Souljaboy

November 11th, 2010
8:35 am

There is no question that refs started calling more iffy penalties on Georgia after Richt sent the whole team dancing in the end zone against UF. That was the worst example of bad sportsmanship that I have ever seen, and it undercut what little control and discipline Richt had exhibited in Recent years. It was really the turning point for the program at UGA.

ARdawg

November 11th, 2010
8:35 am

Barnhart

WTF? Now you seem to be reaching for high ground? Wasn’t it just last week you were one fueling and perpetuating the Cam improper recruitment story. Have a change of heart Barnhart? Sorry Tony, that cow has already left the barn and you are miring in the muck of this story/non-story. I truly hope Newton gets exonerated so that you leeches that stoked this thing get your just due

Paula

November 11th, 2010
8:37 am

Last evening, SEC office said that they never received any information from MSU about any conversations between themselves and the Newtons. Oops…….

Paul in RDU

November 11th, 2010
8:37 am

Tony’s point 4 is a key one and I agree with Bob @7:59 on this. The reason Slive and the SEC instituted the “talk to us first, don’t tattle to the NCAA” rule was to stop allegations getting out of hand (ref. UT, ALA, Fulmer, etc) and protect the image of the conference. Taking 7 months to clarify the information does not make the SEC look committed to getting to the bottom of the issue.

Geoff Thomas

November 11th, 2010
8:39 am

One problem for Miss St. is the two coaches that provided information to Schad. This was deemed inappropriate by Slive. I would think they will be held accountable, if Schad really did get quotes from them.

Weagle Weagle!

November 11th, 2010
8:39 am

@ Jason – Wow, you really want some sympathy here don’t you? Ok, here it is….Georgia is a good SEC East Team…that’s all the sympathy you get. College Football is big business, everyone knows that. So of course Vegas will have its claws in it. But a conspiracy against UGA…then the Athens Police is on the payroll too. Until these allegations against Cam Newton are proven, we can only speculate. Until then, let’s just play football. We deal with so much politics in our society…can we leave Football Saturdays alone…

Paul From Milton

November 11th, 2010
8:39 am

We have friends whose son went through the recruiting process with Newton when he originally came out. They told us that none of this surprises them as the Newton’s always had an attitude of “what’s in it for us?”. They also said that Cecil Newton was the only parent they met during the process whom they neither liked nor trusted.

Curious George

November 11th, 2010
8:40 am

Would Mississippi State have blown the whistle if they had the winning bid for Cam Newton?

Would Mississippi State have blown the whistle on an ivory QB for doing the same thing?

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
8:40 am

@Paula

Really? Got a link to that story? Seems that the SEC would be in violation of their own rules if they made such a public statement regarding an ongoing investigation.

maroonseedymon

November 11th, 2010
8:41 am

“And, oh by the way, that spelling check tab is under the edit menu. Your grammer school english teacher would be proud you used it.” JD before you go criticizing someone’s spelling you might orta(sic) check your own. It’s GRAMMAR not GRAMMER! LMAO you musta goed to bammer!

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
8:43 am

@Curious George

An “ivory” quarterback? Lawd have mercy!

Paul in RDU

November 11th, 2010
8:43 am

The Other Dog @8:21 – You have good points on the problems at MSU earlier this year. The NCAA put the hammer down on Sidney in March, but the Bost case wasn’t resolved until September.

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
8:44 am

@maroonseedymon

Bammer don’t teach no grammer.

:-)

mrb

November 11th, 2010
8:46 am

Jason=Bucky=Steve. Do you really think we’re all so stupid to not realize you’re the same person? Or perhaps, multiple personalities is your issue. Either way, you need help.