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

Ed (The Original)

November 11th, 2010
12:51 pm

I see that UF has scheduled themselves a guaranteed three wins. Four if Richt is still the Georgia coach.

G8R GRAD

November 11th, 2010
12:52 pm

Have any other programs released next year’s schedule yet?

MURPHY

November 11th, 2010
12:52 pm

G8R GRAD,

LSU and AU back to back away-woha! nasty stuff

SOUTHGADAWG88

November 11th, 2010
12:54 pm

Thing that get’s me about this situation is the father’s mysteriously saying he can neither conform nor deny some of these allegations.His father being a minister just makes that CIA stance a bit strange

Coach O

November 11th, 2010
12:54 pm

No “short row to hoe”?

Nope. It’s 12 games. Six of them aren’t cupcakes.

SOUTHGADAWG88

November 11th, 2010
12:55 pm

confirm that is

Coach O

November 11th, 2010
12:58 pm

G8R GRAD

November 11th, 2010
12:52 pm

Have any other programs released next year’s schedule yet?

http://www.secfootball.itgo.com/2011schedule.html

scott

November 11th, 2010
12:58 pm

I am a big dawg fan…and the last few season have been hard to stomach. But Jason …you’re an idiot. I assume you’re a student so go to class. Your comments are giving dog fans a bad name.

Vegas must have paid off A.Murray too for throwing 4 interceptions and a fumble. Caleb and Ealey’s key fumbles lost the CU, SC, MSU games…along with bad coaching.we may have had more roster talent than most SEC teams the last two years and have way under-performed.

The TCU coaches have done a lot with a little…UGA has done little with a lot.

But….with that said…a mediocre team trying to make a bowl in 2006 went to auburn and beat the 5th ranked tigers pretty good. So lets see what happens.

Jason…I said go to class we can all cry about the refs over a beer after you done with classes.

Coach O

November 11th, 2010
1:00 pm

@SOUTHGADAWG88

I wouldn’t get too caught up in the whole “minister” thing.

gdawginkalamazoo

November 11th, 2010
1:02 pm

Whoa people, 2006 has absolutely nothing to do with 2010. I would rather stake the possible outcome of this game based on the 100+ years that it has been played, close very close.

SOUTHGADAWG88

November 11th, 2010
1:03 pm

I’m Old school coach…being a minister is not some trivial thing IMO.I hear you though.

Coach O

November 11th, 2010
1:04 pm

If Georgia wins it, will there be a hose party after the game?

Not So Fast

November 11th, 2010
1:18 pm

Hey Coach O:

The Reggie Bush case should show us other important presedent. The only “evidence” against USC was provided by the would be agent who acted against the interest of USC trying to lure Bush out of USC to the NFL. When Bush didn’t pay the money back he made charges. Bush/Cam and his daddy?Cecil mirror each other. The guy who will blow this open is the dude who represented papa Newton. he will sing and the Auburn house will fall.

SOUTHGADAWG88

November 11th, 2010
1:21 pm

Well at least we haven’t gotten caught up in this type of foolishness during Richt’s tenure.

ADL

November 11th, 2010
1:25 pm

Gene Chizik will take over the HC position at UGA after Mark Richt leaves for Miami. Auburn hires Dan Mullen and Mike Shula replaces him as HC at MSU.

Who takes Saban’s place when he leaves to coach the Cowboys next year?

KR

November 11th, 2010
1:28 pm

I’m still waiting for some concrete evidence before I form my opinion. However, I find some things intrigue me:

1. Why did MSU wait until after Newton signed with Auburn to report the alleged improper contact? They would look much more altruistic if they had done so when it is alleged to have occurred.

2. Why did the SEC allow MSU to delay their submission of the additional information for 6 months?

3. Why did John Bond feel the need to stir things up again last week, after it had been sent through the appropriate channels months earlier?

4. Why bring up the academic issues and the driving issues? They aren’t relevant to his eligibility. Doing that makes the process seem like a personal attack on Newton rather than someone trying to look out for the good of college football.

Coach O

November 11th, 2010
1:30 pm

Coach O

November 11th, 2010
1:32 pm

@KR

Isn’t it obvious? Everyone’s out to get Auburn.

Except for the one’s out to get Georgia — right Jason?

jumbeauxtiger

November 11th, 2010
1:35 pm

G8R Grad, That’s an October gauntlet you have in 2011 with Alabama, LSU, Auburn and UGA.

I’m afraid the trainers for any team would be busy after that stretch.

Monkey Says

November 11th, 2010
1:35 pm

Tony..very nice article, I guess anytime you do not write anything negative about the state schools it is a good day.

Now onto the Cameron Newton saga and a more realistic version of events even if it is filling in some holes.

Gene Chizik was not a popular initial hire at Auburn. There were fans greeting Coach Chizik at the Airport with cat calls and heckles. Gene Chizik knew he needed to make a splash in Auburn immediately. He had just left an atrocious Iowa St. program no better than he had found it. So what does he do? He hires an Offensive Gunslinger in Gus Malzhan. Gus Malzhan runs an offense that is very unorthodox and relies on big plays made with diversion and misdirection. Coach Malzahn started off the 09 season with 5 straight wins and life on the plains was good and he had bought himself some time with the Auburn Family. Then the wheels started to fall off the Tiger Train and he loses 5 OF 7 and the Auburn Family starts rumblings, even after keeping the Iron Bowl in Auburn game close with Alabama winning in the final minutes. Gene saw Alabama go on to win the BCS TITLE and he knew he needs some major additions to keep the boosters in Auburn happy.

We all know the story of Cameron Newton at Florida, we thought, until someone leaked the story about the grades and being brought up on cheating charges. We found out that the reason for leaving campus in Gainesville at little to do with backing up Tim Tebow or Lap Tops. The possiblity of more bad press and expulsion added fuel to the flame. So he goes to the JC and leads his school to the NJCAA Title game. Cameron Newton was hot property to any Division I program. We all know that his former position coach – Dan Mullen was now at Mississippi St and he had the inside track to garner Newton’s signature on National Signing Day. What we did not know was a character named Rogers got involved with the the Newton Family to aid in placing Cameron with the best program. What has come out now is the good possiblity that it would take more than a scholarship to land the 6 foot 6 inch Monster Quarterback. As we are finding out now, it was going to take CASH.

Back to Gene Chizik and Auburn, after looking across the state in Tuscaloosa he saw the PROGRAM that was being by Nick Saban and knew the fan base in Auburn could not and would not like seeing any more domination by a Crimson Tide program and becoming a little brother of the Uof A program. Everyday that passed the Alabama program was stretching that lead with Athletes, facilities, coaches and wins. Gene Chizik spoke with boosters, supporters everyday and at some point he probably stated that he need a playmaker to run his offense and he knew the quarterback position was the main area of concern. The Cameron Newton name was brought up and the cycle of recruitment intensified. At some point one of the family friends or Rogers got in touch with the the Auburn recruiters and the thought of landing a 6 foot 6 inch machine was too good to pass up. Negotiations began and anyone thinks for a second Cecil Newton did not spear head this process are not familiar with Religion and Politics in the deep south. Money passes through both like water passes through a 18 inch water main.

Cameron Newton knew he could run the Mullen offense and be the center cog in the wheel as Tim Tebow had done at Florida. But money offered changed that in a last minute negotiation he ends up at Auburn.

Now we have seen in the past 25 years programs in the SEC that have taken shortcuts and where they fell on the NCAA investigative side. UF with Charlie Pell, Miss.St. with Jackie Sherril, Auburn with several coaches before Tommy Tuberville, Ole Miss with several coaches prior to and after Tommy Tuberville, Alabama with Mike Dubose, Kentucky with Hal Mumme, UGA with Ray Goff, and now Tennessee post Lane Kiffin. Taking shortcuts does have its advantages, but in the long haul the cheaters take more and more and the talk among high school recruits spreads and the word soon reaches the offices of the NCAA. High School kids can not keep their mouths shut, look at every high school boy who beds a hot female teacher, they run their mouth and the teacher gets fired and sent to jail. Dumb high school kids talk.

Did Gene Chizik know what was going on with Cameron Newton..you can bet your home on it, but as good adminstrators and CEO’s do, they always have “plausible deniability”.

Auburn, Cameron Newton, Gus Malzhan, DT Fairley, the offensive linemen and Auburns best defensive players will be gone and the SEC CG will have been played, the BCS CG will have been played and Gene Chizik will have bought himself some time and some good memories of a great season to think back on. The biggest question will be what consequences will that lead to future sanctions to a program that took those limo shortcuts and high stylin an profiling wins?

KR

November 11th, 2010
1:43 pm

Coach O: I never said anyone was out to get Auburn. I just posted the questions I have in my mind based on the sketchy allegations that have been released so far.

Any conclusions you came to were your own.

I Like Concise

November 11th, 2010
1:46 pm

Monkey Says

That was like reading Tolstoy

Coach O

November 11th, 2010
1:47 pm

I concluded that you are an Auburn fan. Did I get it right?

Monkey Says

November 11th, 2010
1:49 pm

Concise…..I like Tolstoy…..wanted to be more like Lewis Grizzard but the Auburn Fans could not get the humor…

Monkey Says

November 11th, 2010
1:51 pm

Pat Dye stated on Monday night on Finebaum that “EVERYONE WAS OUT TO GET AUBURN AND NO ONE WANTED TO SEE AUBURN DO WELL OR WIN …EVER”

Pat Dye always the victim….

petemil

November 11th, 2010
1:53 pm

miss. st. says they reported it in jan. but the sec has no record of that report? if miss. st. lied about reporting it what elese have they lied about?

KR

November 11th, 2010
1:53 pm

Coach O: Yes, I am an Auburn fan (Class of 1985). Does that mean I’m not allowed to ask questions?

How about you? You are a fan of which school?

Monkey Says

November 11th, 2010
1:53 pm

Something that will be settled on Saturday Night…

Pacquiao beats Margarito even after a poor training camp….

Monkey Says

November 11th, 2010
1:59 pm

petemil……where did you get the story that Miss. St. reported in January but the SEC office had no report of it? The SEC did have the information and requested more but the Compliance office was working on eligibilty issue with players already enrolled in the institution.

I guess everyone is lying but Auburn and Cecil Newton and Cameron Newton…..there are now 5 independent reports that it was going to take “more than a scholarship ” to get Cameron Newton to sign. The KEY Players…..Miss. St., Auburn, Tennessee, Oklahoma and in post script Florida, but even the Florida thing is a reach and that was only his academic standing issues while at Florida.

Once again…Auburn is the victim….right?

The latest...

November 11th, 2010
2:12 pm

OK, take this with a grain of salt but here’s what’s being speculated around town (if there’s any truth to it then it’s a whopper):

For those who have never heard the story, a casino owner named Milton McGregor (he owns the VictoryLand track) was arrested and charged a month ago in an alleged vote buying scheme to legalize gambling. Can anyone guess where he went to college? One Auburn University, to whom he just donated $1MM in 2008 for the purpose of building a basketball arena. Needless to say, he is a MAJOR booster for the program. In any case, the FBI had all of his phones tapped starting sometime in the Spring of 2009. All of this is verifiable, recorded information. Here’s the speculative part:

The rumor around town now is that there ARE Cecil tapes, but not necessarily between the Newtons and MSU. These tapes are supposedly between Cecil and McGregor, the source of whatever money actually got paid to lure Cam to Auburn. The FBI is in possession of the tapes and turned the info over to the NCAA about a month ago upon finishing their surveillance- they stumbled across the conversations while monitoring McGregor.

Again, grain of salt at this point but this is something that’s just ramped up.

Driving Ms Dooley

November 11th, 2010
2:13 pm

KR:
KR

November 11th, 2010
1:28 pm
I’m still waiting for some concrete evidence before I form my opinion. However, I find some things intrigue me:

1. Why did MSU wait until after Newton signed with Auburn to report the alleged improper contact? They would look much more altruistic if they had done so when it is alleged to have occurred.
A: They kept recruiting him but couldn’t raise the money. Cam was not a proven entity at that point

2. Why did the SEC allow MSU to delay their submission of the additional information for 6 months?
A: Because this didn’t look like much on the surface. Still doesn’t. John Bond watched Cam dominate the college landscape week after week and it was killing him. So he had to go tattle tale to the media because the reports to the NCAA weren’t stopping Cam just like LSUs defense couln’t.

3. Why did John Bond feel the need to stir things up again last week, after it had been sent through the appropriate channels months earlier?
A: Because had a chance to get Cam and it’s killing him that Cam turned out to be that good.

4. Why bring up the academic issues and the driving issues? They aren’t relevant to his eligibility. Doing that makes the process seem like a personal attack on Newton rather than someone trying to look out for the good of college football
A: that ones easy. It IS a personal attack on Newton. My gosh, people on here yesterday wanted him suspended for unpaid traffic tickets.

This is an accusation–probably true–that has no hard evidence. And it happens all the time. It’s just killing Bond, John Bond, that he let this one slip through the cracks.
One last thing: I don’t think that every school in the SEC has a booster pay-for-play system in place. Especially if the coach hasn’t been there long enough to be golfing buddies with the wealthy ones. But it does happen and NCAA doesn’t have the staff to police it. End of story.
Weagle Weagle War Cam Eagle.

[...] Mississippi State has done exactly what they were suppossed to do and will face no charges and will be praised for their honesty… Mississippi State did what it was supposed to do | Mr. College Football [...]

messenger

November 11th, 2010
2:16 pm

Early in 2010, MSU changed Athletic Directors. Greg Byrne resigned to go to Arizona. Scott Stricklin was hired a few months later. So he steps in, has things to catch up on, has some urgent things to deal with in the basketball program, and then moves his attention to Auburn.

That’s why it took from January to July for MSU to respond.

gdawginkalamazoo

November 11th, 2010
2:26 pm

I can’t wait until Oliver Stone makes the movie for this thing. Or would Michael Moore be better?

Mindy

November 11th, 2010
2:28 pm

Monkey says: Now onto the Cameron Newton saga and a more realistic version of events even if it is filling in some holes.

Monkey, tha was sooooommmmme yarn you spun!! I got out the popcorn and everything!! Now, if only any of these alleged conversations/scenarios/plots that you’ve put in / made up, were remotely true!! Wow! think of the major sports novel you could’ve written!! Instead, it’ll probably be more of a skit on MAD TV.

Mindy

November 11th, 2010
2:31 pm

That’s why it took from January to July for MSU to respond.

Quick question, when did all the negotiations / jockeying for Newton take place? Shouldn’t it have taken place before January? And if so, why did MSU wait unti January to tell someone? Just asking…….

gdawginkalamazoo

November 11th, 2010
2:36 pm

Did anybody ask Kodi Burns about this yet?

G8R GRAD

November 11th, 2010
2:39 pm

Coach O:

“Nope. It’s 12 games. Six of them aren’t cupcakes.”

And your team’s schedule?

BAMA dude

November 11th, 2010
2:42 pm

Well, looks like speculation is still rampant. Who knows what will come of this? Milton McGregor and Bobby Lowder were business partners and are always the first names tossed out if Auburn is accused of cheatin’. Will be interesting to see what comes of all this.

monkeys says

November 11th, 2010
2:46 pm

Mindy….I know you have on your orange and blue colored glasses, but I can guarantee you that I am alot more closer to the truth than even you want to admit and on top of that the entire case is going to blow up in the face of the ones who did actively use monetary influence to buy Cameron Newton and Cecil Newton.

Apparently Mindy you have not been active in College Athletics as I have been for the past 30 plus years and have witnessed the issues related to collegiate recruiting in various sports and the inappropriate conduct of coaches, boosters, and support personnel. So dear if you think this Auburn thing is some kind of vendetta, keep on wishing and praying every night because if that soothes your imagination good for you, but in the real world this whole thing is going to create a major problems for the University of Auburn and another black eye for the SEC..

East Side E

November 11th, 2010
2:51 pm

i thought auburn rednecks said urban meyer turned them in to the ncaa? Now, they are blaming miss state? who paid off newton–lowder or some other millionaire booster?/

G8R GRAD

November 11th, 2010
2:53 pm

Coach O:

Can I presume your loyalties lie with an SEC West team?

G8R GRAD

November 11th, 2010
2:55 pm

Esat Side E:

“i thought auburn rednecks said urban meyer turned them in to the ncaa?”

It just KILLS you to think otherwise doesn’t it!

:-D

northern sympathizer

November 11th, 2010
2:59 pm

MSU was probably slow in reporting to the SEC on Newton because they didn’t want to be accused of torpedoing Auburn the way Fullmer was accused years ago by Bama. SEC fans harbor grudges.

It seems like respect for the rules in on the downward slope among players and possibly programs.

The Watergirl

November 11th, 2010
3:01 pm

As a true UGA fan I want Auburn’s best and win or lose Newton is their best. Why would you want a lame ass suspension because if we beat AU then it wont mean anything at all.
The only comical part will be AU back on top just to forfeit a season away and a heisman away and back on probation!!!

ManUp...

November 11th, 2010
3:01 pm

This is a shame. Auburn wants a MNC so badly it hurts them. So many close calls and not much hardware. But you gotta do it the fair way. I almost kinda feel for them a little…almost.

On one note, I’m kind of ready for some SEC parity to give them the same bad-tasting post season medicine it gives some other conferences. I’m hoping to see Oregon vs. anyone in the BCS-NCG. I’d love it if all SEC teams had a loss and couldn’t make it to the big dance. Maybe Oregon vs. TCU? I’d watch. I mean I’d watch Oregon win, that is.

Sure hope for the sake of sweet Southern football that the allegations aren’t true, though.

G8R GRAD

November 11th, 2010
3:05 pm

I can’t believe the Gators are favored by a TD in Saturday night’s game!
What do the guys in Vegas know that the rest of us don’t?

G8R GRAD

November 11th, 2010
3:08 pm

And they’re taking UGA and anywhere from 7.7 to 8.5?

G8R GRAD

November 11th, 2010
3:08 pm

Sorry:

“7.5 to 8.5″

Robbie E.

November 11th, 2010
3:12 pm

DAN MULLAN going to the media…..CLASSY … enjoy the liberty bowl loser