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

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
10:10 am

@Lex

I would not be surprised to learn that they started recording conversations after a pay-for-play scheme was presented to them.

Anyway, that’s the first time that I have heard an actual news report that recordings existed.

Sean

November 11th, 2010
10:11 am

Please wake me up when there’s actual proof Newton cheated. “Sources” can say anything.

Read good bowl projections and let’s take football:
http://thebubblescreen.blogspot.com/2010/11/bowl-projections-still-auburnoregon-for.html

how2fish

November 11th, 2010
10:11 am

To all the VETS on the blog today, Dawgs,Gators,Vols, Buckeyes etc..THANK YOU one and all !

Sean

November 11th, 2010
10:11 am

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
10:15 am

Bowl projections are far less fact-based than the Cam Newton reporting. We’ll know who’s playing where in a couple of weeks. It could take years to learn what happened in Camgate — unless the FBI speeds the process along.

MURPHY

November 11th, 2010
10:19 am

The SEC is making a hard push towards the NCAA to get this matter resolved before the SEC Championship week. They do not want this story stealing the spot light from the game.

Wes

November 11th, 2010
10:19 am

Tony,

Not sure if you actually read the comments to your articles, but I will go ahead and say this to you anyway. You say there has been some good reporting, but to this point there has not been ONE SINGLE SHRED OF PHYSICAL EVIDENCE PROVIDED!!!

BAMA dude

November 11th, 2010
10:20 am

Hey, look! It’s Sean the spammer! Nobody is gonna give you page hits around here buddy. You can find your google ads money elsewhere.

Here's Hoping

November 11th, 2010
10:20 am

When these allegations are proven false, Cam and his family will sue these character assasins until their noses bleed.

BAMA dude

November 11th, 2010
10:21 am

Wes

November 11th, 2010
10:19 am
Tony,

Not sure if you actually read the comments to your articles, but I will go ahead and say this to you anyway. You say there has been some good reporting, but to this point there has not been ONE SINGLE SHRED OF PHYSICAL EVIDENCE PROVIDED released to the media!!!

Fixed. We don’t know everything, you can bet on that.

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
10:25 am

@Here’s Hoping

Oh they would… Rest assured.

That’s why this is a story. If all of these rumors were only popping up on football forums, I wouldn’t give them a second thought. Major media outlets have substantial legal departments and they don’t expose themselves to liability without having some solid evidence to back up what they are reporting.

A Father's Perspective

November 11th, 2010
10:30 am

how2fish

November 11th, 2010
10:11 am

Thank you for reminding us what’s truly important on this day.

To all who have served our country and those who have lost loved ones in the course of defending our nation THANK YOU.

Words will never be able to truly express the appreciation for all the sacrifices our brave men and women and their families have made over the years. Whenever you see someone in uniform or a veteran be sure to take a second to go up to them and thank them for their contribution.

GO VETS!!!!

AU Rules

November 11th, 2010
10:30 am

Alabama fans and big boosters are behind all of this==count on it. they are spreading rumors like wildfire to get newton ineligible to avoid a beatdown in the iron bowl. It will not work—Cam will play every game and AU wins the BCS title—mark it down.

Sam Floret

November 11th, 2010
10:31 am

Tony, you certainly have not gone nuclear on Cam Newton like others, but to be fair, should you not point out that if there was any evidence he is not eligible he would not be playing and that this kid who has been crushed by national media has not even been accused of doing anything wrong? Isn’t that the least you and others could do?

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
10:32 am

I want Cam to play against Alabama. Auburn is nothing without Cam Newton.

J Chapman

November 11th, 2010
10:32 am

As a MSU alum, this was the talk all spring, not Cam Newton.
From the Jackson, MS, Clarion Ledger
MSU’s compliance office likely was sidetracked in the spring with eligibility issues regarding basketball player Renardo Sidney, but school officials were not in an explanatory mood on Wednesday.

gatorman770

November 11th, 2010
10:33 am

Tony, thanks for for being “politcally incorrect” by showing you’re proud to be a citizen of the United States by wearing a American Flag on your lapel.
God bless all you Veterans!
Remember: If you’re reading this, thank a teacher and if you’re reading this in English, thank a Veteran!

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
10:35 am

@Sam Floret

I’m sure that Tony would do everything that you recommend, if what you said was true. The matter is being investigated and the evidence will not be released to the public while the investigation is ongoing.

Wizard Behind The Curtain

November 11th, 2010
10:35 am

To me, the bigger issue is what the SEC spokesman officially announced yesterday: that neither of MSU’s reports on this matter to the SEC disclosed any of the supposed conversations now being reported by ESPN by anonymous “sources,” presumably from within MSU. This is not getting alot of coverage, but doesn’t this tend to cast doubt on whether these conversations actually occurred? Or at least as to the credibility of unnamed MSU “sources”? If these conversations happened last winter, why not ever report them in any of the reports to the SEC?

BAMA dude

November 11th, 2010
10:35 am

AU Rules

November 11th, 2010
10:30 am
Alabama fans and big boosters are behind all of this==count on it. they are spreading rumors like wildfire to get newton ineligible to avoid a beatdown in the iron bowl. It will not work—Cam will play every game and AU wins the BCS title—mark it down.

OMGZ it mus be dem jellus Bammerz they jus wish Camz wuz on they’re team cuz he iz tha gr8est playr since Bo Jackson.

how2fish

November 11th, 2010
10:36 am

@A Father’s Perspective your 10:30 post was right on target..I’ve lived 57 years and raised a family in safety due to these brave men and women.

nader taters

November 11th, 2010
10:37 am

Hmmm…..no, that’s not what I read on the blog at all. James said the charge of AJ being at the party was made up and the NCAA just kept digging until they found anything on Green. You said there was no proof that the NCAA ever investigated Green as being at the party and he provided you a link proving you wrong.

Not really sure what you are talking about.

You don’t need to be so mad, we all make mistakes.

Alabama Jack

November 11th, 2010
10:40 am

Dumb delusional dawgs think anyone outside Clarke County cares. Sorry, no way. BTW, Auburn by 50 on Saturday.

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
10:40 am

I’m not mad tater. I just don’t have much patience for folks who can’t differentiate between rumor and fact.

Maybe you need to read the SI article again — carefully.

Have a nice day James.

nmdawg

November 11th, 2010
10:43 am

Innocent until proven guilty. Auburn has apparently cleared him to play relative to his standing at their institution. What happened at Florida is not even relevent, except to smear the kid. He screwed up, he’s a kid…kid’s do that, not just football players or quarterbacks. If and when the money trail is confirmed, THEN you have a story. Until then, you basically have a bunch of media types who do not have to do any thinking, becasue they have a “hot topic” they can write about, regardless of accuracy in their article. These are the same media types that write about Bret Favre every day during his “retirement”….they just file a “report”, then have finished their assignment for the day.

Regardless of the outcome, Auburn has nothing to lose at this point. He is either eligible or not, and if not, it would be retroactive. So, if they know what is going on, they would still play them, trying to win the mythical national championship (mythical becasue it is decided by vote rather than on the field), and then brag for all eternity that they were “national Champs”. After all, USC did the same thing, and did not forfiet the mythical championship, just the Heisman that the slime ball running back from San Diego, who has millions of dollars from the NFL….how heartbreaking for all thse involved!!! Bush has millions to compensate him for his lost trophy. Big deal.

With all the money at stake, college football is not completely “clean”. Deal with it!!! Go DAWGS!

wes

November 11th, 2010
10:44 am

Ok, so it seems like now it’s just a matter when, not if, this bomb officially drops on Auburn. Do you think they will get the almost obsolete death penalty for their arrogance and defiance?

wes

November 11th, 2010
10:47 am

nmdawg,

Hmmm….”screwing up” is not calling back the pretty girl you met last weekend. Screwing up is going to a party when you should have been home studying for that test you have in the morning. Willingly buying what you KNOW is a stolen laptop isn’t screwing up, it’s being a thug. Nevermind his 13 traffic violations in the span of a year.

nader taters

November 11th, 2010
10:49 am

Rednek,

Maybe you are the one that needs to read it again, several times even. Nowhere does it say anything about a jersey, it only discusses the agent party and the other players alledged to have been there.

It’s ok to be wrong you know

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
10:50 am

Auburn had to understand the risk involved in allowing Cam Newton to play.

Is it better to win and have the records stripped retroactively, or to not win?

Stripping records is an ineffective punishment that is not taken seriously by anyone. These players who make a fortune in the NFL while their college football stepping-stone institutions pay the price for their infractions should be punished after they leave college. Taking away a trophy is inadequate punishment.

Penn Wages

November 11th, 2010
10:50 am

To determine if a team is an SEC favorite all you have to know is whether Penn Wages is the head official. Check out the Florida vs. Arkansas game last year. Arkansas clearly outplayed Florida and Wages and his crew had to work a little magic. (remember the personal foul on the defense when Pouncey clearly instigated the altercation?)

More SEC Cheating

November 11th, 2010
10:51 am

Hey Tony, can you get me tickets to Fat Phil’s Fish Fry that replaced the SEC championship? Could Colorado win the SEC Least?

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
10:52 am

@James

I really don’t have time for your nonsense. I have work to do.

Later Guys!

how2fish

November 11th, 2010
10:53 am

wes I’m a Dawg fan and I admit I’m lost what exactly do you mean by Auburn’s arrogance and defiance? WTF we don’t even have any hard evidence of wrong doing…by Auburn or anyone else…keep your shirt on there is no need for a rush to judgment.

Jdawg

November 11th, 2010
10:58 am

The reason Scam didn’t go to Ga. is he’s scared of dawgs, just ask the Coweta Co. police.

nader taters

November 11th, 2010
11:00 am

So by “work to do” you mean we can expect to see you on your other handles? Thought so.

But really, it is ok to be wrong.

1eyedJack

November 11th, 2010
11:01 am

What is amazing is that a kid without the common sense required to drive a vehicle or the intelligence to write his own term paper could be so important.

Anonymous Source

November 11th, 2010
11:03 am

Yes, State is truly heroic. They did nothing for one month, then called the SEC the day after Newton signed with Auburn. John Bond was (allegedly) called by Rogers “right after the Egg Bowl” in early December. Newton signs with AU on Dec. 31. MSU calls the SEC in January. I guess it takes the conscience about 30 days to kick in. And I’m sure MSU would have done the same thing if Newton chose MSU. You “journalists” are killing me! :)

Where there is smoke...

November 11th, 2010
11:06 am

If you put an absolute dog at quarterback, don’t be surprised if the whole team ends up with fleas.

OkefenokeeDawg

November 11th, 2010
11:13 am

“For Georgia fans, the link between SEC power players and Las Vegas, becomes more real each year.”
*********************************************
Speak for yourself, dumbass, not for “Georgia fans.”

Nuttin But the Troof

November 11th, 2010
11:15 am

@ Rednek Bammer

Correcting your post:

That’s why this is a story. If all of these rumors were only POOPING up on
football forums, I wouldn’t give them a second thought. Major media outlets have
substantial legal departments and they don’t expose themselves to liability without
having some solid evidence to back up what they are reporting.

Driving Ms Dooley

November 11th, 2010
11:16 am

Question on Mr. John Bond: Here’s a guy who throws all this crap to the media starting with a statement that HE had a conversation with Kenny Rogers. This is where the fire storm started. Then John Bond flips and says he’s never met Kenny Rogers or had a any conversations with him. But the firestorm has already started. Everything else we have of any significance is from Ms State Recruiters saying they had conversations with Cecil and Cam. Where’s the credibility in this story? How in the world is this going to make Cam inelible?

I’m not saying it didn’t happen. I’m saying it happens every day–or every year with top athletes and unless they are stupid enough or blatant enough to leave a paper trail, then nothing will come of it.

I think John Bond is kicking himself for not raising the money because they didn’t know how good Cam would turn out to be. He’s like a little boy telling on his brother for something he wishes he could’ve done.

My point: This sh-t happens every year in college football. If you don’t have your head in the sand, then you know this. There’s no story here becasue there is no proof.

I’m still rooting for him Saturday because he’s a hell of a player. On the take? Maybe. Probably. But he’s darned fun to watch.
Bank statements have been provided. Do they look guilty. Sure. Can you hang em for that? No.

techgirl

November 11th, 2010
11:18 am

Tony, do some research. MSU was tied up FOREVER in trying to get Renardo Sidney cleared to play basketball last season. Why would they waste time on Auburn’s problem when they were attempting to get a 6′ 10″ player get cleared so they could pair him up with Jarvis Vernado? A simple google search would’ve cleared that up for you.

Top recruit

November 11th, 2010
11:19 am

Puzzled why Coach Richt and Coach Bobo commented on the recruitment of Newton. Recruited him to be a TE. That says something about evaluation of players for the “system” or “sets”. Does not make any sense to say anything. In the future it would best for the UGA coaches to never comment on any player involved in this time of situation. Why get your name and program even mentioned by the news. Just coach your players and prepare them to play.

GeorgiaBoy

November 11th, 2010
11:21 am

FOOD FIGHT!!!!

tigertracker

November 11th, 2010
11:23 am

Tony, I know it is common practice to quote only portions of a conversation or sentence to write an article. It just seems like if the smoking gun was actually there they would quote the whole thing.

GreggieN

November 11th, 2010
11:24 am

@Redneck:

lol, good one

G8R GRAD

November 11th, 2010
11:24 am

Jason:

“Hard ot beat the Gators when the refs are on Vegas’ pocket.”

:-D

tigertracker

November 11th, 2010
11:26 am

@techgirl, the SEC should have pushed them harder if they thought it was credible. By the same token when the SEC office asks for something it shouldn’t take 6 months to produce it regardless of what else is going on.

Hit A Single

November 11th, 2010
11:28 am

Wow! Auburn undefeated again and no NC title. Could happen if rumors are found to be true. How much can Tiger fans take?

Tim E

November 11th, 2010
11:32 am

I’m hearing that something happened, but they’re not quite sure what happened. Hmmmm…..something is happening.