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
7:38 am

Will this finally bring an end to the Pat Dye era at Auburn?

Mike

November 11th, 2010
7:39 am

Where there is smoke, there is fire. 2010 will be remembered at Auburn as an 0-12 season with a bunch of forfeits.

Redneck Barner

November 11th, 2010
7:42 am

Everybody’s out to get us! You can’t prove anything…

JWalker

November 11th, 2010
7:44 am

Tony, no comment on the two MS St coaches who allege Newton called them to say “the money was too much” and Cecil Newton saying it’s going to take “more than a scholarship?”

Saint Simons

November 11th, 2010
7:48 am

(((( 34 -31 ))))

HAHAHAHAHAHA

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
7:50 am

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.

Poetic Justice Prevails!!!

Jason

November 11th, 2010
7:52 am

Facts are, AJ got suspended for 4 games for taking $1200. Darius for Bama only got 2 game suspension, Newton allegedly takes $200,000, and get 0 game suspension, they’ve know about this since JULY.

Somebody, somewhere, doesn’t like Georgia, all I’m saying. We all remember the LSU game against Georgia where the whoel ref staff got suspended for bad calls. Somebody likes for the front runner in te SEC to have a sht to win it all. Sometimes that’s Alabama, sometimes Florida, sometimes, Auburn, but never Georgia.

Beast from the East

November 11th, 2010
7:53 am

Well said, Tony. 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.

Unnamed source

November 11th, 2010
7:54 am

Sorry, Mike. I had to leak it.

Jason

November 11th, 2010
7:54 am

MSU reported it to payback Cam Newton for changing his mind, and goign with Auburn. They threw Cam under the bus. Nothing noble about what MSU did. If they knew more, and withheld info, nothing noble there.

Beast from the East

November 11th, 2010
7:55 am

Jason,
Get a grip. Poor, poor UGA. Nobody loves us.
If your theory is true, then just put a winner on the field and you’ll get all the breaks, too.
Grow up!

Jason

November 11th, 2010
7:56 am

For Georgia fans, the link between SEC power players and Las Vegas, becomes more real each year. Each week Newton’s still playing only fuels the SEC/Vegas connection.

Gen Neyland

November 11th, 2010
7:56 am

Veterans Day…

Jason

November 11th, 2010
7:56 am

2007 Georgia finished #2, but didn’t get aid from SEC, LSU got the breaks.

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
7:57 am

@Jason

The NCAA didn’t suspend those players. If a player is the subject of an NCAA investigation, then it is up to the player’s school to determine whether he plays. If a player under investigation is not suspended, then any games in which that player participated must be forfeited if the player is later determined by the NCAA to have been ineligible to play.

Georgia should have gone ahead and played AJ. They forfeited the games anyway by not having him on the field.

Jason

November 11th, 2010
7:58 am

THE LSU game, with the call against AJ, where all the refs got suspended, showed me the link between VEAGAS & the SEC was very, very real.

Bob

November 11th, 2010
7:59 am

Tony,

You don’t see anything wrong with Miss State reporting this in January and finally finding the time to get back to the SEC in July????? Seriously????? July????

It does not seem like it is very hard to answer some questions like, who called and talked to whom? Or how about the date time group on this contact? And what took Mike Slive’s office so long to get them to answer? I would have been beating them with a cowbell to get answers to avoid this very thing. The SEC offices were asleep at the wheel here and Miss State has bogus excuses as to why it took them 5 freakin months to answer.

I find plenty wrong here….and right now it lies in Birmingham and Starkville.

3rdN8

November 11th, 2010
7:59 am

To all of my fellow vets….have a good Veteran’s Day!

dd

November 11th, 2010
7:59 am

Jason…… we are all so sorry everyone is out to get poor little UGA. The Athens police, the SEC, just everybody. Soooooo sorry for you.

Jason

November 11th, 2010
8:00 am

Auburn will win, Georgia will get some bad calls, watch the game, andtell me something isn’t amiss. I’ve seen it too many times The way the SEC is protecting Newton tells me Auburn is his year’s Vegas darling.

smc

November 11th, 2010
8:02 am

jason is already making excuses

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
8:02 am

Go Dogs

November 11th, 2010
8:03 am

Jason

November 11th, 2010
8:04 am

The cmmissioner tries to get an SEC in the Natioal Championship each year. Last year, by some of the bad calls, you could figurethe commissioner hand picked Florida & Alabama to be the 2 teams that got the breaks. This year, Auburn is the one because they’re undefeated, LSU is the other team. The commissioer acts like he doesn’t even know Cam Newton.

JLS

November 11th, 2010
8:04 am

Look out Jason – the boogy man is right behind you! RUN!

Jason

November 11th, 2010
8:04 am

Watch for bad calls against Georgia on crucial plays o crucial situations in the AUburn game Judge for yourself, happens every year.

big hoss

November 11th, 2010
8:05 am

The Dawgs-the biggest wehiners and losers and definitely the biggest redncks in the country. No you won’t get any help from the SEC until you can beat the Gators. This may not happen for a t least a decade. If you could not beat them this year with maybe the best offensive line in the country-it will be a long time coming. So suck it up and get ready to watch some bowl games that the dawgs won’t be involved in.

Jason

November 11th, 2010
8:06 am

Georgia has been the mot penalized teams since 2007, before that, Richtonly avraged 5 penalties a game, then he SUDDENLY baloons to 9 or 10 penalties a game?? Something’s amiss.

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
8:06 am

@Jason

You really need to do some research to find out why the commissioner never “picks” Georgia. ;-)

Jason

November 11th, 2010
8:07 am

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

Jason

November 11th, 2010
8:08 am

ESPN is in the Vegas vine too. ESPN threw Georgia under the bus in 2007, trying to get Vegas darling LSU in the National Championship.

SG AU FAN!!

November 11th, 2010
8:09 am

Jason I promise…you will not lose because of bad calls by the ref’s this Saturday. Now the bad calls from Bobo are gonna hurt….

MSTDAWGINGA

November 11th, 2010
8:09 am

Keep in perspective the facts that were reported, At no time has anyone ever implicated Auburn, MSU did have an obligation to advise issues in recruiting this student. In so reporting it everyone has immediatly jumped taht Auburn did something wrong, Never has it been stated that Auburn or MSU did anything wrong but the whole issue is the stuedent and his parents. With this I would say each institution is clear, but the student and family may pay for the issues. Speculation has blown this whole thing out of proportion.

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
8:09 am

@Jason

They suddenly have a lot more arrests as well. Maybe the Athens PD is in on the conspiracy?

Remember, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you!

Jason

November 11th, 2010
8:11 am

I find it extremely weird, that Richt went form 5 penalties a game, for his first 7 years at Georgia, then baloonerd up to 9 or 10 after that. Somthing’s going on, Vegas style. So much corruption in the SEC it makes you sick.

Bama Dude

November 11th, 2010
8:13 am

Indeed, Happy Veterans Day to those who served voluntarily so that the rest of us could enjoy freedom.

Also, somebody get Jason a tinfoil hat.

Jason

November 11th, 2010
8:15 am

Georgia, all of the sudden, finishe 12th in penalities in 2008 & 2009. Both years when Georgia could have won it all. But in a year like 2010, where Georgia’s down, the SEC stop calling penalties n Georgia, and Georgia’s SUDDENLY #2 IN LEAST PENALTIES IN TEH sec.

Sure, that’s NORMAL.

jeff

November 11th, 2010
8:15 am

thank you 3rd and 8. back at you

Gen Neyland

November 11th, 2010
8:16 am

Bama Dude : And to those who served via the draft…

Jason

November 11th, 2010
8:16 am

SEC sent officials down to Georgia, based on NOTHING BUT RUMORS, and AJ got suspended for 4 games.

Cam Newton’s not been suspended fr 1 game.

Reggie

November 11th, 2010
8:17 am

Jason-

I agree with your facts. Surprised more writers arn’t writing about the conipracy against Georgia. Good posts, excellent stuff, very factual.

Rednek Bammer

November 11th, 2010
8:18 am

@MSTDAWGINGA

You’re wrong on two counts. The reported conversations between MSU coaches and the Newton family indicate that Auburn did, indeed, pay for Cam Newton’s services. MSU has not made this information public — they are not allowed to make public comments regarding the details of an ongoing investigation. Either the reporter is lying, or his sources at MSU lied to him, or Auburn paid the Newtons.

Assuming that no payments were made by either university and that this incident only involved shopping Cam Newton, the universities would be less culpable, but Cam Newton would still have been ineligible to compete in the NCAA. That would mean that Auburn would have to forfeit every game in which Cam Newton played — in other words, all of the games in the 2010 season.

Burt

November 11th, 2010
8:18 am

I agree with Jason on the AJ thing, and on the penalties. 08′ & 09′, Georgia got flagged for phantom calls.

maroonseedymon

November 11th, 2010
8:19 am

thanks tony for some realism here and to put out the fact that MSU did what they were supposed to. Why did it take so long? Because the MSU compliance department was busy. WHY? can you say Renardo Sydney?

Dawg_Mike

November 11th, 2010
8:19 am

This whole thing is such an unspeakable human tragedy.

G Fan #1

November 11th, 2010
8:19 am

Hey there Jason-

You better believe there’s a connection between the SEC & Las Vegas. You’d have to be awfully naiive to not think somebody’s gettn paid some big extra dollars for some of the going ons.

kirk herbstreit

November 11th, 2010
8:20 am

Jason–Did you ever stop to think that maybe some refs just missed some calls. It goes both ways. Or that maybe new asst. coaches weren’t doing a very good job holding players accountable for penalties? Newton hasn’t yet been clearly proven to have done something that warrants a suspension, AJ Green did (although the penalty was clearly excessive). Jason–there are medications that can help you get a grip on reality. See your Dr. today if possible.

Beast from the East

November 11th, 2010
8:20 am

Jason,
It’s called lack of discipline….on and off the field. I know that’s just too logical for a conspircay theorist like you. Anyway, keep on feeling sorry for yourself. Someone may join your pity party one day.

RxDawg

November 11th, 2010
8:20 am

“Somebody likes for the front runner in te SEC to have a sht to win it all.”

I hate conspiracies too… but come on Tony. There is some truth to that ring. Here is the facts, with the current setup the SEC stands to lose a LOT of money if they do not get a team into the BCS championship game AND a BCS at large. Our system is complex, and easily corrupted. It can’t be ignored and it’s a huge gorrila in the room.

The Other Dog

November 11th, 2010
8:21 am

From what I’m hearing from Starkville, the reason the additional info was delayed to the SEC was because the MSU compliance office was still working full time on the year long Renardo Sidney eligibility issue and the recent (at the time) Dee Bost NBA issue. Both of these are well documented and easy to learn about on the web. MSU is a small school and has basically one NCAA compliance officer, Bracky Brett, and he was working tirelessly on the Bost & Sidney issues until July of 2010.