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

BAMA dude

November 11th, 2010
9:33 am

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?

Again, no they didn’t. Where are you getting your info? A barber shop in Lee County?

Barner Redneck

November 11th, 2010
9:33 am

We at auburn would do nothing wrong. Like have the number 1 recruiting class with a no-name coach and are hidding behind religion. We are family and are all in…whether we have to cheat or not!
Leave us alone we just want to win no matter how tainted it will be…

SuperB

November 11th, 2010
9:34 am

Usually (but not always,) where there is smoke there is fire. It would be a shame for Auburn to have to forfeit the season– long after it ends. Unless of course, they did pay for Newton’s services. The Reggie Bush saga is very fresh in people’s minds.

Jake

November 11th, 2010
9:34 am

Thank goodness the Vols are not in the middle of this,, they have their own issues. Look at USA Today,, Pearl on front page.

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
9:34 am

@Paula

I don’t have an agenda. I’m just watching this fiasco — I don’t have a dog in this hunt.

1eyedJack

November 11th, 2010
9:35 am

Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.
Mark Twain

All I know is just what I read in the papers, and that’s an alibi for my ignorance.
Will Rogers

1eyedJack

November 11th, 2010
9:37 am

We could use a good barber shop in Lee County.

PHIL

November 11th, 2010
9:37 am

This whole case looks like a sad, tragic story of an athlete being pimped and not knowing about it and worse yet, not benefiting. A few years ago, it was Albert Means. His mother is being evicted from an apartment, meanwhile his SCUMBAG coach is taking 100k cash and a new Ford Explorer to steer Means to Bama.. There’s no doubt that “Brother” Cecil Newton used his sons value to Auburn (football crazy, jealous of Bama, NO QB) for his personal gain by way of funneling funds to his church. We supposed to think that an anonymous donor gave 6 figures to a church that was on the verge of closing? Sad thing is, Cam appears to know nothing. Probably didnt get a dime, so now he could pass a lie detector that he indeed took no improper benefits. However, it ain’t that easy. This whole load of bricks will come down straight on to Cam. He will be this generations Eric Ramsey as the guy that got Auburn placed on probation, which surely will be just short of the death penalty SMU got and probably worse that USC. The slimebags responsible, Rev/Brother/Deacon Newton, Lowder’s henchmen, Rogers, or whomever the “3rd party” was didn’t count on the FBI getting involved… but they are and you know what that means: YOU BOYS ARE CAUGHT!

Paul in RDU

November 11th, 2010
9:37 am

Rednek Bammer – the NCAA may have no jurisdiction over Cecil Newton, but they sure as heck have jurisdiction over his son.

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
9:37 am

Hmmm…

Never got an answer to my first question. If Gene Chizik is forced out of Auburn over Camgate, will Pat Dye go with him?

A Father's Perspective

November 11th, 2010
9:38 am

Paula, you obviously don’t have children.

Gag order or not, if my child is innocent I’m not keeping my mouth shut regardless of what the NCAA, Auburn or anyone else says.

What would they do suspend Cam or punish the school for his father sticking up for his child and telling the truth?

If you’ve done no wrong say so. And you’re gag order suggestion makes no sense because they have not come out and said the NCAA has put a gag order on them. They have simply been vague. ex-when AJ Green had his incident there was a gag order and he and CMR said as much. I haven’t heard anyone from Auburn or the Newtons say as much. So you’re arguement holds little merit.

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
9:38 am

@Paul in RDU

Never said they didn’t.

SuperB

November 11th, 2010
9:38 am

After this column, you’d better hope there is nothing to it. You have put yourself and your credibility way out there. (And this observation comes from one of your fans.)

BAMA dude

November 11th, 2010
9:38 am

1eyedjack, your 9:37 made me chuckle.

tory

November 11th, 2010
9:42 am

A lot of forces at work here. I’m sure the SEC doesn’t want to risk losing their 4 year winning streak of national titles by losing Auburn to scandal, and I’m sure the NCAA would love nothing more than shutting down the presumed SEC champ. Guess we’ll find out who will win.

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
9:44 am

@tory

That’s the tinfoil hat version of the story.

If the Newton’s are innocent, then Auburn will win. If not — everybody loses.

RxDawg

November 11th, 2010
9:44 am

A Father’s Perspective
November 11th, 2010
9:23 am

That’s an exteremly good point. Enough to sway me over to the side that Cam probably did do wrong and him and his family held their hands out.

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
9:46 am

How many Auburn fans will be sporting paper bags on their heads next Saturday at JHS?

James

November 11th, 2010
9:47 am

Guys,

Rednek Bammer is a troll. I destroyed him on TB’s blog yesterday with facts, yet he still tried to spin his way out of his obvious humiliation.

Do not feed him

nostradamus dog....

November 11th, 2010
9:47 am

what i like are all the people who believe mississippi state has the power to see into the future and know that cam newton was going to be a bada$$ and that auburn would be unbeaten, so they hatched a plan to release some information in january and then follow up in july, knowing that it would hit the mainstream media the week before the mighty moccassins were heading to the plains, and that it would derail cam’s chances for a heisman. man, those guys are freaking futuristic genuis’s. can they tell me if i am getting a raise next year?

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
9:48 am

Massive fail James. The posts are still there. I suspect that your alter-ego is named Jason.

Robbie E.

November 11th, 2010
9:48 am

Mississippi State is for LOSERS.

I went to a game the other week, and saw this trivia question:

“What is the greatest moment in Bulldog athletics”

a. Final 4 1996 b. SEC West co-Champs c. College World Seriees participant

guess what, finishing anywhere close to the TOP must make those rednecks from starkville happy…..

for whom the cowbell tolls……perpetual losing

BAMA dude

November 11th, 2010
9:49 am

nostradamus dog….

November 11th, 2010
9:47 am
what i like are all the people who believe mississippi state has the power to see into the future and know that cam newton was going to be a bada$$ and that auburn would be unbeaten, so they hatched a plan to release some information in january and then follow up in july

Who said this? MSU and the SEC agree that much of the info wasn’t presented in January due to MSU’s compliance office being preoccupied with other matters.

Just Sayin'

November 11th, 2010
9:50 am

According my sources FSU could have had Cam for only $150K, except they wouldn’t let him ride the horse and throw the spear………………

Aubbie98

November 11th, 2010
9:51 am

Tony great writting. My husband came home lastnight and said it, this has been enough that I never want to watch college football again. I will still be an Auburn fan and have been for a very long time but this is unreal. Even if it was some other school I would feel the same way. This stuff just should not come out unless there is hard facts to back it up which I have not seen yet.

DC Braves Fan

November 11th, 2010
9:51 am

Lots of pontificating, very little new information. Typical Barnhart column these days. I wouldn’t be going after journalists for not doing their job when you claim to do this for a living and spend 90% of your column lecturing people rather than just expanding the universe of facts.

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
9:51 am

@nostradamus dog….

The Newton’s story that Cam left Florida because he wasn’t good enough to beat out Brantley for the QB position have already been proven false. He didn’t choose to leave — he was forced out.

Dan Mullen knew what kind of player Cam Newton was. Apparently Auburn did too, or they wouldn’t have taken such a risk to put him on the field.

Tee

November 11th, 2010
9:52 am

The suspension is coming down today. Its going to be an ugly day for the tigers. And it only gets worse from here. I actually feel sorry for them. It only takes 1 guy to bring a program down. Just ask Tony Cole and the Georgia Dawgs. Cam Newton’s Dad is going to take the Auburm football program down.

James

November 11th, 2010
9:52 am

Yes they are still there. Proving your pathetic nitpicking and demands for links blew up in your face. Anyone with a lick of sense remembers, and can clearly read the stories, that the NCAA investigated AJ for being at the South Beach party which proved to be a lie

Geoff Thomas

November 11th, 2010
9:52 am

And the SEC finally speaks. Sort of. sbn.to/agb8aw via @rollbamaroll Schads story of recruiters not a part of investigation

Tea Party Meber

November 11th, 2010
9:55 am

No way this is ture. The kids father is a relgous leader and a man of God. This must be cooked up by jellus fans.

captguitarman

November 11th, 2010
9:55 am

I love SEC football. It’s the best in the nation. But, this SEC hen house and all of its wild gossip and rumor mongering, as demonstrated by many commentators on this site, is disconcerting. Can anyone just wait five minutes until all of this hearsay is investigated and either proven or disproven? Yes, I know that Georgia is desperate to have something big break here fast so Newton won’t play on Saturday — so if they beat Auburn without Newton and Georgia Tech without Nesbitt, they can stop crying and tell themselves that they had kind of a good season again. Should Newton be eligible to play, or should Auburn be eligible to win the SEC and play in the BCS championship if Auburn paid for Newton? Absolutely NOT. Should Newton and Auburn be punished if all of these alleged statements are just hot air, statements held back and now timed with perfection by those wanting to disrupt things, call attention to themselves, etc.?? Of course not. Let the NCAA investigate this, and then make your comments when the facts are know. BTW, Redneck. Georgia suspended AJ Green to make a statement. Plus, they did not need him because they had enough guys for the game because of the State of Georgia’s weekend work release program.

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
9:56 am

Yep James,

You’re right. Everyone is out to get Georgia. Now who else are you going to accuse me of being today?

Dirty Dawg

November 11th, 2010
9:57 am

Hey Tony…why don’t you say something to Coach Cheese-it about your problem with the conspiracy theorists…you know the guy that’s suggesting that there are one, or ten, ‘men behind the curtains’ pulling levers and stuff.

McDawg

November 11th, 2010
9:57 am

the orange bowl use to have a direct link w/ Vegas and the mob

1990 ND-Colorado goal line stance mysterious fumbles in favor of ND

1991 ND-Colorado the rocket returns a kick to win mystery penalty

1994 FSU-Nebraska watch the last drive by FSU and penalties

LuvTheNoles

November 11th, 2010
9:57 am

@just sayin’

Now THAT is funny.

RxDawg

November 11th, 2010
9:58 am

@nostradamus dog

Actually, Dan Mullin knew first hand what kind of player Cam Newton was. He was very highly recruited… BOTH times. But still, that’s just a small piece of this very large complex pie.

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
10:01 am

@Just Sayin’

I would have thought that the free shoes would have clinched the deal anyway? It would be fun to ride that horse though…

;-)

JaxGator

November 11th, 2010
10:03 am

Jason:
The SEC_Vegas conspiracy started in 1990 when they got Spurrier to Florida. It continued when they got Meyer at Florida and Saban at Alabama.
Why do you think Richt is able to stay at Georgia? This is all part of the big conspiracy against the Dogs. You complain about the officiating in the 2007 game in Jax which is one of the games rarely won by the Dogs in the last 21 years. You have all the knowledge and insight. Now tell us who really shot Kennedy.

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
10:03 am

I just heard the a report on the radio that the conversations in question at MSU were, indeed, recorded.

nader taters

November 11th, 2010
10:03 am

@Rednek Bammer,

Just took a gander at the other blog. Were you seriously saying the NCAA didn’t investigate AJ Green being at the agent party? It was reported all over ESPN for weeks.

Dunwoody Journal Constitution

November 11th, 2010
10:03 am

Tony–You feel badly about all of this happening in college football? Really? There is no stronger booster of the scandal-plagued SEC than you. If you really want to see this type of behavior to stop, then do something about it. Given you access to the insiders and your credibility as the face of the SEC, you may have more ability to expose this stuff than anyone else. Why don’t you take positive action, rather than wringing your hands and profiting from the drama?

Further, I remember a conversation you and Wes had on your radio show earlier in the year. You were talking about the problems Butch Davis and UNC were having with eligibility and agent issues. Both you and Wes agreed that we shouldn’t be too hard on Butch and his coaches because UNC knew that if they wanted to be serious about winning, that some of this stuff was bound to occur. In essence (and I fully admit to paraphrasing) you said that if you want to win in college football, you better expect some scandal now and again.

You may be correct, Tony. But don’t opine about how badly you feel now when only a few months ago you were rationalizing similar types of behavior. You can’t have it both ways.

If you’re not a part of the solution, then you’re a part of the problem.

Lex

November 11th, 2010
10:03 am

Recorded? Why were they being recorded? Do coaches record all their conversations? Definitely not a supporter of Auburn or Cam, but I do find that odd…..

Steven

November 11th, 2010
10:04 am

“At times it has been damned embarrassing for those of us who do this for a living.”

As was your article regarding Grantham and the choke sign and you wrote because “Why? Because they know you’ll read it and react to it. It moves the needle and creates the web hits.’

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
10:04 am

@JaxGator

Haven’t you heard? Cam Newton shot JFK. That’s the real reason for his expulsion from Florida.

south eastern chumps

November 11th, 2010
10:07 am

you do not know what the big deal is Tony? Your the one ranting and raving yesterday threatening whoever and whatever to “Lawyer Up”. It was pretty funny….

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
10:07 am

@nader taters

No. I said that the fact that he didn’t attend the party didn’t clear him of any and all NCAA violations. Jason (or James) was arguing that the NCAA just “made up” the charges against AJ because they were angry about not being able to tie him to the agent party in Miami.

James

November 11th, 2010
10:09 am

Everyone out to get UGA? Are you capable of posting a single honest statement? I never said that, as well you know. I just simply provided with you with the evidence you requested (even though it is common knowledge to everyone else) and you had a hissy fit because you were proven wrong.

Just take your beating like a man move along.

Vol4Life

November 11th, 2010
10:09 am

I hate to say it but… IF we had a PLAYOFF system, none of this would matter. 8 teams (usually 2 or 3 from the SEC) would get a chance to win it on the field. Until then, BCS is just like the heistman, it’s just a 100% complete JOKE.

I personally am for a TCU 13-0 versus Boise St 13-0 NATIONAL TITLE GAME. That will certainly END the BCS madness.

BAMA dude

November 11th, 2010
10:09 am

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
10:03 am
I just heard the a report on the radio that the conversations in question at MSU were, indeed, recorded.

That has been rumored but not verified by any remotely credible source I’ve seen. If that DID turn out to be the case then you have your smoking gun, Cam is ineligible, and Auburn is 0-10. For those asking why they were taped, perhaps someone at MSU decided to record all future conversations with the Newtons after the first attempt at extortion. But again, this hasn’t been confirmed anywhere that I’ve seen.