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

nmdawg

November 11th, 2010
11:32 am

wes

I think we just look at it differently. I’m not sure that I have read that he KNEW the laptop was stolen. What I read was he got a good deal (although common sense should enter into the equation somewhere along the line.) Traffic violations, to me, don’t make you a “thug”, but rather a lousy driver, and probably in his case, someone who feels entitled because he is a major college football players. Entitlement also does not necessarily mean “thug”, either.

I am surprised, though, that you did not bring up the academic scandle portion. I take that part pretty seriously, because that is maybe the biggest of the violations that have been alledged. Anyone who actually worked their way through college on their own merit has to be sickened if that allegation is true. However, even if true, he could have gotten his grades (and eligibility) back through course work in Junior College and on line activities. A stretch, I admit, but possible. My point is that until there are anything other than “allegations” from unnamed or unreliable sources, we should give AU and the kid the benifit of the doubt.

If later it turns out that the allegations are true and can be proven, and that AU, the kid, and the coaches knew but lied or covered up, then I would be in favor of BIG TIME sanctions. At that point, they would be proven liars and cheats, not alleged.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

November 11th, 2010
11:34 am

We won the bidding war and there ain’t a damn thing any of y’all can do about it now.

WAR CAM EAGLE!!!

Paul in RDU

November 11th, 2010
11:34 am

Now we have rumors of taped phone calls? This would be a doozy if true – violations of the federal wire tapping laws! This is getting crazier by the day.

Paul in Memphis

November 11th, 2010
11:37 am

Taped conversations. Were they telephone calls?

Driving Ms Dooley

November 11th, 2010
11:38 am

Yeah Paul I heard that same rumor.

Your Honor, we have proof in the form of a taped conversation. Well it’s rumored proof.

And sir, we have also heard that Cam is actually Tam. That’s right sir, he’s a she. A fine football player but obviously ineligible because woman can’t play football.

Anonymous

November 11th, 2010
11:39 am

Will y’all please stop mixing metaphors?!!
The “horse” has already left the barn and I don’t have a dog in this “fight.”
Jeez!

Paul in Memphis

November 11th, 2010
11:40 am

Hit A Single

November 11th, 2010
11:40 am

Tim – I am like you, something happened and and if it happened then something is going to happen to the guilty party. Sh_t Happens!

BAMA dude

November 11th, 2010
11:40 am

Paul and Paul, those rumors have been around for days. Who knows what the NCAA has? I haven’t seen anything credible about tapes.

Paul in Memphis

November 11th, 2010
11:42 am

I don’t know about tapes, but they have pictures!

NothingNew

November 11th, 2010
11:43 am

RedNeck Bammer shows how stupid he is. It’s obvious by his name and where he received his education. Depressing.

how2fish

November 11th, 2010
11:43 am

@Anonymous truth to tell we have a heck of a lot more metaphors than we do facts on this issue.

Anonymous

November 11th, 2010
11:44 am

I STILL say Cam is responsible for the mystery missle shot off the California coast!

Driving Ms Dooley

November 11th, 2010
11:44 am

Does anybody care that the guy who started this mess lied about talking to Kenny Rogers? Bond. John Bond.

And the only other proof is heresay evidence by two other Ms State backers.

Again, it probably happened. But as long as the Newtons didn’t pull an AJ and deposit paper sacks full of money into the bank, then how is the NCAA going to suspend him.

NothingNew

November 11th, 2010
11:47 am

I just hate being pwned by a redneck.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

November 11th, 2010
11:48 am

You go Ms Dooley!

Everybody does it, but Auburn does it better!

BAMA dude

November 11th, 2010
11:48 am

The only reference I have seen to the conversations being taped can be found HERE. I don’t put much stock in it but it has been linked to from several places.

Paul in RDU

November 11th, 2010
11:52 am

BAMA dude – I haven’t seen any hard evidence anywhere that Cam Newton has committed a violation . I don’t think that this is going to end well for a number of people, but right now there sure are plenty of rumors, anonymous sources, etc.
This entire cluster#@*! is a fascinating cultural experience

BAMA dude

November 11th, 2010
11:57 am

Mo hard evidence, but Joe Schad seems awfully confident in his sources. It will be very interesting.

BAMA dude

November 11th, 2010
11:58 am

*No hard evidence…

BAMA dude

November 11th, 2010
11:58 am

TrishaDishaWarEagle

November 11th, 2010
11:48 am
You go Ms Dooley!

Everybody does it, but Auburn does it better!

Well, they do lead the SEC in probation.

ratherBgambling

November 11th, 2010
11:58 am

Laptops, 200K, cheating……………Somebody prove something or lets move on.

There is football being played this weekend!

TrishaDishaWarEagle

November 11th, 2010
12:01 pm

You can’t prove anything, so yes… let’s move on.

Cam is playing this weekend and Auburn will crush the Dawgs!

Driving Ms Dooley

November 11th, 2010
12:11 pm

Amen RatherB

ss

November 11th, 2010
12:12 pm

Noble = telling the truth and being honest. I am still looking for anything that MSU has done other than that. Auburn on the other hand…

Duckafawg

November 11th, 2010
12:13 pm

@Jason: it must be pure hell with the whole world against you, huh???

Don

November 11th, 2010
12:15 pm

The only thing that matters here is “was Newton payed to come to Auburn?” The cheating(tho serious) and the fact that he “May” have been about to be expelled from FL do not matter. He went to another school and they accepted him (after getting his transcript from FL) which is the normal way that colleges work. His transcript was accepted fro entry to school. He may have been on probation until he made the grades. Evidently they were good enough grades to get him into Auburn(which is a great school). Another question comes to my mind is this HOW MANY PEOPLE REALLY KNEW THAT NEWTON WOULD BE THIS FANTASTIC FOOTBALL PLAYER THAT HE HAS BECOME? It seems illogical to be paying money for someone who has never played for that school and would not know he would become the killer player that he is. They saw potential but Heisman quality, I doubt it. Let the guy rest and see what happens. He will HELP beat GA this Saturday and there will be a cast of players that will show up and they will HELP beat GA. Auburn is not a one man team but a TEAM.

Half Century Dawg Fan

November 11th, 2010
12:18 pm

@Jason, your an embarrassment to UGA, please quit posting.

Robbie E.

November 11th, 2010
12:19 pm

Cam’s recruitment to Auburn was legit, but he asked for $$ to play at Miss State,
so is Auburn in trouble? Is Cam ineligible?

Driving Ms Dooley

November 11th, 2010
12:23 pm

Don,

Auburn is not a one man team? Well maybe not, but without Cam, they are maybe 6-4. The only reason everyone cares so much is that this guy is a freak of an athlete. He’s actually a very pure passer but that takes a backseat to his power, speed and open field instincts.

My only conspiracy theory involves the Auburn offensive coaches. My theory states that they won’t let him throw alot because they want the NFL scouts to say that he’s just another running college QB. Then the coaches will say: ok Cam if you come back for your senior year, we promise to let you throw it 35 times a game. But that obviously won’t work because the man/child is eager to get a paycheck–a bigger paycheck.

ROLLTIDE 12

November 11th, 2010
12:24 pm

The penalties for ga started when all the ga players ran out on the field against fl.The refs said that was a very dangerous thing for a coach to get his players to do.They will keep finding stuff on newton because of the way he has acted in the past.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

November 11th, 2010
12:24 pm

I’m with Don. If you can’t prove it, then STFU!

Nobody had a clue that Cam could play ball. He’d still be at Florida if Urban thought he could play. Coach Chizek taught him everything that he knows.

WAR CAM EAGLE!!!

Atlanta Gator

November 11th, 2010
12:24 pm

“This mess has gotten way out of hand and everyone needs to just step back, take a deep breath and let the investigators do their jobs. Too many so-called ‘experts’ out there just trying to get a front page story with nothing but rumor and speculation.”

Exactly right.

Hit A Single

November 11th, 2010
12:26 pm

Is it true that Cam’s daddy is negotiating with the Dallas Cowboys?

Atlanta Gator

November 11th, 2010
12:27 pm

BAMA dude—-

Didn’t your mother ever tell you about “glass houses?” LOL

Better leave that one alone. Kharma is a b!tch with a very rich, ironic and rough sense of justice.

Coach O

November 11th, 2010
12:28 pm

@Atlanta Gator

You’re right. We’ll just have to wait for the investigation to play out — like we did with Reggie Bush.

Coach O

November 11th, 2010
12:29 pm

We should know something in four or five years.

Hit A Single

November 11th, 2010
12:30 pm

All kidding aside, it is sad that a kid can’t enjoy his high school years and then sign with the school he wants to and not the one his daddy wants him to. If this is true, this is nothing but child slavery. When a dad sells the services of his kid that is flat out wrong.

gdawginkalamazoo

November 11th, 2010
12:33 pm

God Bless our Veterans!

gdawginkalamazoo

November 11th, 2010
12:33 pm

Is it Saturday yet? The fan has too much sh!t on it to stay running much longer.

Atlanta Gator

November 11th, 2010
12:34 pm

Coach O—-

Let’s just be thankful that the NCAA isn’t in charge of investigating alleged nuclear bomb plots by Al Qaeda.

Driving Ms Dooley

November 11th, 2010
12:36 pm

Hit A Single,
You must have missed Tony’s “special place in hell” blog from a couple of days ago.

Please don’t feel bad for Cam Newton. The guy lives the life of a superstar college football player in the SEC and he will soon have a $50 million contract in the NFL.

There is a reason he smiles so much. And it’s not because he’s doing well in his classes

Coach O

November 11th, 2010
12:36 pm

Meh… Al Qaeda nukes are much less likely than payola in CFB.

Driving Ms Dooley

November 11th, 2010
12:39 pm

Coach O,
The NCAA is slow and almost powerless. Tony had one of their staff on one of his shows (he’s a multimedia guy and hard to keep up with). They are woefully understaffed and there is no way they can enforce the rules. In addition to that, they are toothless when it comes to making changes to the system–like a playoff.

Go figure. The NCAA lets a third party group–the BCS–determine its mythical champion.

Hit A Single

November 11th, 2010
12:41 pm

Driving Ms Dooley- I do not feel bad for Newton. I am referring to all the kids out there that are used by their parents and there are plenty of them. Kind of like having a child just to get a check. I knew Newton was trouble or he would still be at Florida. No sympathy for him, because this is just the beginning.

G8R GRAD

November 11th, 2010
12:42 pm

The 2011 gator schedule is out.
No “short row to hoe.”

FAU
UAB
UT
@UK
UA
@LSU
@AU
UGA (Jax)
VU
@USCe
Furman (Homecoming)
FSU

PonGT

November 11th, 2010
12:43 pm

Amen! Good Job Mr B. Emotions are always the enemy to truth and justice. Right now, everyone needs to take a chill pill and let the SEC/NCAA do its job.

Ed Huffington

November 11th, 2010
12:46 pm

Tony, you can poke fun at us so-called “conspiracy theorists” all you want, but if you don’t see Bush, Cheney, Haliburton, and the House of Saud’s role in all of this, then you must have flunked Strained Logic 101.

I also think that Tim Tebow and Cam Newton are alien plants designed to deny UGA from winning another championship in my lifetime. I mean, huge quarterbacks who can run and throw? Not in this solar system.

Prove me wrong.

Coach O

November 11th, 2010
12:47 pm

@Driving Ms Dooley

Exactly. Why worry about NCAA investigations? By the time they conclude an investigation, everyone involved in the original infraction is long gone and laughing all the way to the bank.

G8R GRAD

November 11th, 2010
12:51 pm

Sorry:

The 2011 Gator Football schedule is out.
No “short row to hoe.”

FAU
UAB
UT
@UK
UA
@LSU
@AU
UGA (Jax)
VU
@USCe
Furman
FSU