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

meh

November 11th, 2010
8:46 am

I think Tony Barnhart secretly controls the SEC. And he picks the champ each year by playing rock, paper, scissors with Jeff Schultz and Mark Bradley.

Paula

November 11th, 2010
8:47 am

Here ya go…

“”SEC spokesman Charles Bloom said Wednesday evening that there was also no mention of the reported conversations in either of the school’s reports to the league”.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/sec/2010-11-10-cam-newton-mississipppi-state_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip

swatguy

November 11th, 2010
8:47 am

Forward your next article to a proofreader for editing.

Gator Mike

November 11th, 2010
8:47 am

This weekend should produce some very exciting games in the SEC with a few subplots. Should be fun to analyze on Sunday morning even though none of us will be on the field or coaching the teams.
Happy Vets Day to all Vets, and thank you for protecting our rights to express our opinions.
Go Gators!

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
8:47 am

So, assuming that Cam plays next Saturday, how badly will Georgia need to lose in order to turn up the heat on Mark Richt? I’m surprised that nobody has fingered CMR as the culprit in this whole Camgate thing just to get the heat off of his own dilemma.

RxDawg

November 11th, 2010
8:48 am

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

lol thanks fishtales. I guess I’m just not sticking my head in the sand on this one. As I’ve said, they bowl system supports this idea. Think about some of those holding calls that do get called and think about some that don’t. Also, think about some instant replays that absolutely look obvious. For an example, look at this years Arkansas at Auburn game. I think Arkansas already had 1 or 2 losses.

Now don’t get me wrong, I REALLY hope this isn’t the case. But to ignore the idea would be naive.

BigTiger

November 11th, 2010
8:50 am

Tony: The most important information that came out yesterday that you are missing is that the SEC office confirmed that no information about alleged phone conversations was turned over in any of the information that was given to the SEC office or NCAA. Only three reasons that would happen…. 1. These conversations never happened or 2. They were damning to Miss State and were not discussed…. 3. They were looked into and found to be nothing but rumor and innuendo…. Meanwhile a young man and his family and school continue to be drug thru the mud by some very willing participants in the Media….. That I cannot understand… thx

Jeff

November 11th, 2010
8:51 am

Mike Slime…I mean Slive is from Georgia Tech….nuff said

Paul in RDU

November 11th, 2010
8:56 am

@Jeff – Mike Slive is not from Georgia Tech. Rogers Redding, the SEC’s head of officiating is however. Hey – don’t let facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory.

steverino

November 11th, 2010
8:58 am

Everbody stop pickin’ on Jason.

He Said: “Somebody…have a sht to win it all. Sometimes that’s Alabama, sometimes Florida, sometimes, Auburn, but never Georgia.”

Since 1980, truer words have never been never spoken.

WesDawg

November 11th, 2010
8:58 am

MSU is following the proper procedures and covering their ass. MSU clearly was not going to pay the Newton’s based on their actions unless Auburn just outbid them. It appears MSU wasn’t going to play the Newton’s game. Auburn is desperate to keep up with big brother Bama. MSU is desperate to keep pace with Ole Miss. The recorded phone conversations seem to damn AU. Time will tell. Future AU players will pay the price for Newton while he moves on to the NFL. Let’s see if the Heisman folks will embarass themselves as well.

JP

November 11th, 2010
8:58 am

Thanks to you guys and gals that served, and are serving in the Armed Forces. Because of your sacrifice I can sit here and blog about college football while here in my comfortable office.

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
8:58 am

@BigTiger

I read the article link above by Paula. This is the relevant paragraph:

SEC spokesman Charles Bloom confirmed MSU’s account. He also said there was no mention of the reported conversations in either of the school’s reports to the league. He declined to comment further.

He did say that the reported conversations weren’t mentioned in either of the schools reports to the SEC. That was more than he should have said, according to the SEC’s own policy regarding such investigations. He doesn’t confirm that the NCAA has not received such information. MSU is digging themselves a pretty deep hole if they are lying about this.

Paul in RDU

November 11th, 2010
8:58 am

I’m glad to read that Jason is going to be starting his own radio station. He won’t even need his own radio receiver, being able to absorb the radio waves directly with his brain.

Paula

November 11th, 2010
9:02 am

@Wesdawg…just where are these “purported” conversations?

Blue

November 11th, 2010
9:02 am

Jason, Burt, others; I used to look forward to the blogs after GA losses last year and the year before, because I could predict the crybabies talking about how the refs stole the game. Other than the AJ call for excessive celebration last year (which was a travesty), you guys are just pathetic in your thinking process. “The refs don’t like us”, “the refs are out to get us”, “the police are targeting our players”. How about a little cheese to go with the whine???

Blue

November 11th, 2010
9:04 am

Jason; “go back and watch the 1967 game against Tennessee…look how they robbed us”

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
9:05 am

@Blue

No need to wait for Sunday. Jason is implementing a new UGA strategy: Preemptive Excuses

jhs61165

November 11th, 2010
9:05 am

This has NOT been a tough week for those of us who care about the RULES and keep the SEC clean. Or at least ATTEMPTING to keep the SEC clean. If Pat DIE U. has been caught cheating again , they should get the death penalty. It would not hurt my feelings at all. BURN, BARN , BURN.

Brock

November 11th, 2010
9:09 am

“SEC spokesman Charles Bloom said Wednesday evening that there was also no mention of the reported conversations in either of the school’s reports to the league.”

Please elaborate on this if you can.

1eyedJack

November 11th, 2010
9:09 am

“There has been some good reporting on this story and there has been some downright lousy reporting on this story.”

You wouldn’t be referring to your AJC colleagues Tony Kornheiser Schultz and Mark “Ole Kentucky Home” Bradley would you?

GA Fan

November 11th, 2010
9:11 am

Seriously, Jason. Doing your best Joseph McCarthy impression are you? Wow.

Everyone else: Thanks for not believing that all UGA fans are like Jason. Most of us understand reality: A team wins or loses b/c a team is good or bad. Simple enough. Unfortunately, we haven’t been that good this year…

As for Cam, well, I just hope it all comes out that he and his dad were on the up and up and all this turns out to be nothing. I would hate to see him and AU go down like this.

BAMA dude

November 11th, 2010
9:12 am

Jason, your momma sitting and listning to you talk into a hairbrush does not constitute a radio show. Seriously, son, you may be crazy.

T3

November 11th, 2010
9:13 am

Enter your comments here

BAMA dude

November 11th, 2010
9:13 am

1eyedJack

November 11th, 2010
9:09 am
“There has been some good reporting on this story and there has been some downright lousy reporting on this story.”

You wouldn’t be referring to your AJC colleagues Tony Kornheiser Schultz and Mark “Ole Kentucky Home” Bradley would you?

No, probably the guy on ESPN radio who claimed Cam was going to be ruled ineligible yesterday.

Look in the Mirror

November 11th, 2010
9:15 am

Tony, I’m having an awfully hard time reconciling these two statements written by the same “journalist”:

“They will be talking about whether or not Auburn and Cameron Newton forged an alliance based on cheating. This, too, comes under the category of “Life’s Not Fair.” I will say this: If it can be proven that Cecil Newton was shopping his kid around to the highest bidder, there is special place in **** reserved for him. I don’t care if he runs a church or not or if he calls himself a preacher.”

“Why? Because they know you’ll read it and react to it. It moves the needle and creates the web hits.”

Tony, you are a huge part of the PROBLEM. Rather than letting this thing take its course, you’re condemning the kid’s father to you-know-where. All for web hits.

As I’ve said before, Tony: What place is reserved for you?

And for the record, I’m a season-ticket holding Gator fan, not an Auburn fan.

Emmy

November 11th, 2010
9:16 am

How many conversations are going on here? We have AU fans realizing that at least SOME people are listening. We have MSU fans who are coming down from their high and worrying a little bit now. We have GA fans who hope both schools get punished but just want to talk about a conspiracy against them. And then we have the bammers who defy all logic and just want AU punished. It’s not important whether they’re guilty or innocent, but they pose a threat and they must be destroyed. Talk about LBS! Thanks, Tony, for a good article, but I too would like to see you keep on reporting the truth. It becomes you not to join the bashing crew.

Ken

November 11th, 2010
9:20 am

Tony:

You negelected to mention that, based on his comments on the Buck and Kincaid show last Friday, John Bond said he never even talked to Kenny Rogers. Bond claims that he heard it from someone that heard it from someone. Bond was actually relaying 4th hand information and doing it like it was fact.

JP

November 11th, 2010
9:20 am

TB – I usually like your stuff, but let’s stop with the hyperbole – a “tough week?” Maybe for Cam Newton and his family. But for the rest of us, life goes on.

The view from on High

November 11th, 2010
9:22 am

Why is it UGA fans think that everyone hates them (other than it is true)? The Refs, ESPN, SEC, Holtz, Spurrier, Meyer, Saban, Mark May (well that is true) and Tony Blarnhart; everyone hates the U G A Y Humpers.

A Father's Perspective

November 11th, 2010
9:23 am

Aside from all the “he said she said” and speculation on what’s fact or fiction, the one thing that I find concerning is this:

If MY child were having the success and season that Cam is having and some turd came out and made a bunch of “false” accusations and none of it was true, I couldn’t find a mountain top high enough to proclaim my child’s innocence, and I suspect any parent that reads this would whole-heartily agree.

The fact that both Cam and his father are vague at best regarding this matter suggests SOMETHING wrong happened. Now to what degree seems to be the real question.

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
9:24 am

“It’s not important whether they’re guilty or innocent, but they pose a threat and they must be destroyed.”

That right there’s funny — I don’t care who you are!

;-)

The fish

November 11th, 2010
9:24 am

If Ms State is so innocent why did they wait until January to notify the SEC office. The original offer to Ms State was made around the first of December. Why did they wait until after Newton committed to Auburn to notify the SEC office. I believe they were still recruiting him until he committed to Auburn, even after the offer was made.

Paula

November 11th, 2010
9:25 am

@Father – does the fact that the NCAA has put a gag-order on Auburn and the Newton’s mean nothing to you?

DAWG

November 11th, 2010
9:25 am

I worked as an investigator for over twenty seven years and when a complaint is filed it needs to be addressed. There is no parity in punishment in the SEC, some athletes have minor issues and the book is thrown at them and when major issues are brought forth, little is done. What we do know is that FIG NEWTON had issues at Florida with cheating and then the laptop. Now we talk Heisman, it is about character and doing the right thing. Fig Newton strayed and will tarnish this award if given. The officials at Auburn call it garbage, if another school were involved, would they be calling it garbage. We all know the answer and it would be NO. My gut tells me there is something to this and it needs to be taken care of.

wardenerd

November 11th, 2010
9:26 am

Is it me or is Westlake a problem. They obviously have talent but…….

Emmy

November 11th, 2010
9:26 am

Look in the Mirror: I hear you about the sensationalism. It boggles the mind what has been said with no accountability by grown men. But I’m an AU fan, and IF Mr. Newton were shopping his son, there is NO excuse, NONE. There are very few things lower than that. If our program bit, then we deserve punishment. If I were Cam and knew nothing about it, $0 of my NFL money would ever make it back home. I have faith that none of this happened, but the statement about Cam’s father is not that out of line. All the blind assumption that he DID shop is son with no proof to back it up is what bothers me.

We’re just fans, and we have NOTHING to do with all this. It would be nice if we didn’t attack each other over something our coaches and boosters did or didn’t do. Now attacking the SEC office is something we all can join in, if you ask me.

Don

November 11th, 2010
9:26 am

Geez Tony, Thanks for the “breaking News” on MSU which I read about on ESPN several days ago. How about some real news on when Auburn gets the DEATH penalty and we learn who put the Cash into the Newton Family hole in the back yard – before the FBI reports it. This would clear up the bowl picture a tad.

g-money

November 11th, 2010
9:26 am

Barnhart: “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. ”

Yep, and there’s a special place in hell for them, right? …. What a hypocrite …..

JP

November 11th, 2010
9:26 am

Hey “The View from on High” – every SEC fan thinks everyone else is out to get their school. I am a lifelong Gator and we get crazy when anyone says something remotely critical about the team…

ga gator

November 11th, 2010
9:27 am

DAWG, no, all we know is what slimeballs in the media write and we dont know whether it is true or not.

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
9:27 am

@A Father’s Perspective

Good point. They stopped denying when the accusations of academic impropriety at Florida came out. They haven’t positively denied anything since that time. They’re lawyered up and have no comment.

BAMA dude

November 11th, 2010
9:28 am

Ken

November 11th, 2010
9:20 am
Tony:

You negelected to mention that, based on his comments on the Buck and Kincaid show last Friday, John Bond said he never even talked to Kenny Rogers. Bond claims that he heard it from someone that heard it from someone. Bond was actually relaying 4th hand information and doing it like it was fact.

Actually, area is a very intersting take that came out yesterday.This fella is speculating that Bond went to the media at MSU’s request so MSU wouldn’t be seen as the snitch. Joe Schad is claiming he has four sources, two with firsthand knowledge and two who know of the situation, and that all of their stories corroborate. The SEC also has now verified MSU’s timeline on the matter, acknowledging that they didn’t have all of the info in July. From Auburn’s standpoint, they initially claimed to have investigated all of it back in January. If they failed to consider the new evidence regarding the phone conversations in July then they may have hosed themselves.

sportsbybrooks.com/bond-msu-pawn-forcing-ncaa-to-act-on-cam-29227

Paula

November 11th, 2010
9:28 am

@Rednek Bammer – you realize that the Univ of Florida themselves debunked those cheating acccusations, right? Or do you just ignore any information that doesn’t fit with your agenda?

UGA VII

November 11th, 2010
9:29 am

I can`t stand it anymore. Auburn will beat us by a 100, Newton will take up with a Georgia cheerleader and get 50 million to sign a NFL Contract and then the bugs will beat us.

UGAVIII come on home son it, it is too much.

BAMA dude

November 11th, 2010
9:29 am

“The SEC also has now verified MSU’s timeline on the matter, acknowledging that they didn’t have all of the info in UNTIL July. ”

Fixed a typo.

Go Dawgs!

November 11th, 2010
9:30 am

RxDawg

November 11th, 2010
8:28 am

You’re DEAD ON!!

All you need to do is go back and look at last year’s Bama and Florida games.

In particular UF vs Ark and Bama vs Tenn

JB

November 11th, 2010
9:31 am

good day to be a Wake fan…no pressure…..Or Tech….

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
9:31 am

@Paula

The NCAA can instruct Auburn University to remain silent. They have no such jurisdiction over Cecil Newton.

BAMA dude

November 11th, 2010
9:32 am

Paula

November 11th, 2010
9:25 am
@Father – does the fact that the NCAA has put a gag-order on Auburn and the Newton’s mean nothing to you?

This never happened. The Newton’s attorney told him to keep his mouth shut, not the NCAA.