Cameron Newton story reaching critical mass

It was my hope this morning to take a break from the ongoing, sordid saga that as become the Cameron Newton story and write about what is going to be another great football weekend:

We have the No. 2 team in the nation (Auburn) trying to stay alive in the race for the national championship against a traditional rival (Georgia) which needs a signature win to save its season.

We have the drama of a winner take all game at Florida where Steve Spurrier, the former Gator coach, has a chance to take South Carolina to its first-ever SEC championship game.

But the Cameron Newton story has sucked all of the oxygen out of this college football season. It’s sad. But you can’t ignore it even if you want to.

So for the second straight week we will not do our Fearless Friday Forecast.  Here, based on a very long Thursday, is where I believe we are on the Cameron Newton Story:

We are quickly reaching critical mass. Two big events happened yesterday that make me feel this way.

 Remember that ESPN.com reported on Wednesday that: “Two sources who can recruit for Mississippi State  said that Cecil Newton and his son, quarterback Cam Newton, admitted in separate phone conversations to a pay-for-play plan while Newton was being recruited last year.” The claim was that Newton told Mississippi State coaches that he wasn’t coming to Starkville because his dad got a deal to ship him somewhere else. Let me also point out that there is no evidence and no one claiming directly that Auburn has broken any rules.

Yesterday we reminded you that Mississippi State originally brought the idea to the SEC that there might be some problems with Cameron Newton’s recruitment. The SEC asked for more information but that additional information was not forthcoming until July. So inquiring minds wanted to know why,  if Mississippi State had direct info that Newton had made this claim to staff members, wasn’t this dealt with this summer? That is a very serious charge.

But the SEC, through spokesman Charles Bloom, revealed that in the reports that it received back from Mississippi State on this issue there was no mention–none–of any such conversations between staffers and the Newtons. I independently confirmed that last night with the SEC office.

So on this matter we are left to draw one of three conclusions:

1. Mississippi State did not share that information with the SEC because it did not want to get that deeply involved in the case and hoped it would just go away.

2. The conversations that were reported by ESPN.com may have taken place but were not with Mississippi State assistant coaches or the head coach (the only people allowed to recruit under NCAA rules) but were with lower level staffers. Thus the Mississippi State brass was not aware of them.

3. The conversations never took place and were incorrectly reported.

Here is the second big item: Last night Kenny Rogers, the former Mississippi State player who started this story, decided to “come clean” on a talk show in Dallas. Accompanied by this attorney (who was on the phone), Rogers told host Ian Fitzsimmons that he and Cameron Newton’s father, Cecil, met with Mississippi State coaches in Starkville on Nov. 27, 2009. Rogers said Cecil Newton asked for money to sign his son and that one of the Mississippi State coaches said “No, no I don’t want to hear that.”

Rogers said later in the interview that Cecil Newton told him that it would take “Anywhere between $100,000 and $180,000″ for his son to sign with Mississippi State.

I spoke with Fitzsimmons last night and he confirmed that all of the reporting on Rogers’ appearance was accurate.

We now have a new name in this this mix. Bill Bell is a successful Mississippi State booster and  told ESPN.com last night that Cecil Newton did in fact ask for money to sign his son. Rogers said that he was referred to Bell on the issue of money.  Bell also said he has already discussed this matter with the NCAA.

Rogers also said that he first contacted Cecil Newton to offer his help when Cameron left Florida. Rogers said that Cecil Newton said, in so many words,  ”It’s not gonna be free this time.”

Folks, I’ve been covering this league a long time but it looks like were are definitely in some uncharted waters here. Just a few observations as we move forward:

**–I know Mississippi State has a game on Saturday with Alabama, but if I’m the SEC I want every coach on that staff, including the head coach, to look me in the eye and tell me if Cecil Newton or Cameron Newton actually made those claims. And if those coaches lie to me they will be fired on the spot and will never–EVER–get another job in college athletics again.

**–The FBI has gotten involved and we’re not sure why. But former Mississippi State player John Bond, whose contact with Kenny Rogers started this story, said yesterday that he’ll be talking to the FBI.

**–Cecil Newton is not talking to the media any more and has lawyered up.

**–This story has been going on for more than a week and there is not one allegation that Auburn has done anything wrong.  I am not saying I know Auburn hasn’t done anything wrong. We don’t know. I am familiar with the enforcement and compliance staff over there led by Rich McGlynn, and they are a pretty tough bunch. If they had some evidence that Cameron Newton’s father got money from anybody to sign his son, the school would have to sit him. It looks like a roll of the dice to me given all the smoke but you can’t sit the kid if you don’t have some evidence.

**–Does the mere solicitation of money, even if it was not acted upon, constitute an NCAA rules violation? There seems to be some debate on that. An NCAA spokesperson told Yahoo Sports that, in general terms, if somebody solicted money on Newton’s behalf, even if the solicitation was not acted upon, then that constitutes an NCAA violation. Attorney Don Jackson, who represents athletes in cases such as these, questioned that claim when he appeared on Paul Finebaum’s show yesterday. But if that is true and the NCAA has reason to believe that somebody solicted money for Newton, including Newton’s father, the NCAA can recommend that Auburn sit Newton down until the matter is resolved.

**–If that happens, Auburn will have a decision to make. Remember that it is the responsibility of the institution to sit the player if there are possible rules violations. That’s what Georgia did in the case of A.J. Green. Once the player is suspended, then the institution applies for reinstatement. In the case of Green the NCAA denied reinstatement until after Green served a four-game suspension. So this isn’t on the NCAA or the SEC. It’s on Auburn. And as of Friday morning Auburn appears to be ”All In” on Cameron Newton. If you love Auburn, and have a lot of friends who do, you had better pray Jay Jacobs and the rest of that staff are right.

Stay tuned. This story is moving fast and a lot could happen between now and Saturday’s 3:30 kickoff.

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746 comments Add your comment

BreakingNews

November 13th, 2010
9:57 pm

This just in – the FBI has received a tip that a large order (approx. 100,000) of blue headbands was placed in Auburn, AL at Wanda’s Hair & Weaves in June of 2010. The order was signed for by one Cameron Newton.

Looks like we have a paper trail!

TrishaDishaWarEagle

November 13th, 2010
10:03 pm

Hmmm great Coach Mark Richt quotations…

“…We looked at Cam Newton as more of a tight end.”

The End

Scam Newton

November 13th, 2010
11:14 pm

Yep. So according to WSB my dad has come out and said that he did ask for money from Miss State but that I of course knew nothing about my dad selling me like an 18th century slavetrader. And what’s really unusual is that I’m not even mad about it. Nope. Just moving all along being all happy go lucky even though my dad tried to sell me allegedly without my knowledge. Nope. Shouldn’t strike anybody as odd that I’m not at all upset at my dad selling me without my knowledge. Nope. That wouldn’t upset any young man that his dad tried to sell him now would it?

BreakingNews

November 13th, 2010
11:14 pm

Hmmm great Cam Newton quotations…

“…I can get all dees headbands fo’ $200,000? Aww SNAP!”

The End

waterst

November 13th, 2010
11:50 pm

13 traffic violations at Florida, 1 stolen laptop, and 3 times caught cheating…….and you people are going to tell me that this human horse is not a thug……..Puleez.

90 FAIL=RLY AT AUBURN A THUG

November 14th, 2010
12:31 am

THE SEC SHOULD SUSPEND THE AUBURN DEFENSIVE LINEMAN FOR NUMEROUS DIRTY HITS,HE WAS TRYING TO HURT GEORGIA QB AARON MURRAY,WHAT A JERK!!!!

90 FAIRLEY AT AUBURN A THUG

November 14th, 2010
12:32 am

Enter your comments here

daleandersen

November 14th, 2010
1:41 am

Not surprised. No doubt some boosters paid Newton the bucks he wanted. Auburn has been a dirty school for years >>> http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/14/sports/ncaafootball/14auburn.html

Not A UGA Fan But I Don't Hate You

November 14th, 2010
7:23 am

You know Tony, that was a very nice commentary you made at halftime of the Auburn, Georgia game yesterday; however, you really didn’t say anything, i. e., whether you think the rumors are t/f…..I know, as an on air personality you can’t afford to take sides and I appreciate that. That being said, I have a hard time believing that a human being (and I use this term loosely pertaining to the individual) would be that mean to start something about the young man if there wasn’t any truth to it…..he/she knows surely that he/she will be caught and, hopefully put away in a prison filled with ex-SEC football players :) All kidding aside, usually where there’s smoke there’s fire…..and I see a lot of smoke here. He’s a very talented athlete and my hope is he had nothing to do with the controversy surrounding him, but……………………?????????

SEC Analyst

November 14th, 2010
7:38 am

Richie

November 14th, 2010
8:08 am

Looks like the old man fell on the sword……..What a scam…..

Furman Bitcher

November 14th, 2010
8:39 am

SMOKE-FIRE SMOKE-FIRE SMOKE-FIRE

THIS GUY WAS A THIEF AND A CHEATER AT FLA AND WE ARE SUPPOSE TO GIVE HIM THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT??? NO FRIGGIN WAY.

Fan of the Game

November 14th, 2010
8:59 am

All I heard all game was the word Fairness by the commentators. Well when it comes to fairness, Fairley should have been ejected for his helmet first to the back of Murray after he took 3 steps to hit him after ball had been released. If all you get is a 15 yard penalty, then I hit every QB late helmet first. White Hat, what a joke. He must go to Cam’s daddy’s church.

ugadan

November 14th, 2010
9:16 am

This game will be a victory for UGA after Auburn has to forfeit all games this season because Cam Newton will be rulled ineligible to play this season. GO DAWGS!

Frank Oliver

November 14th, 2010
9:17 am

I kinf of felt sorry for ole Newtie till I saw him take a swing with his fist at a Gerogia Player and old Fairley driving the Ga quarterback in the ground late on every play,(Uncalled). And then at the end of the game the lack of class on Aubarns part. I’m sure some booster at Aubarn has made a donation to Mr Newtons church or some lame thing that will let Auburn skate by. It’s sad that the game is so full of liars, burglars and cheaters.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

November 14th, 2010
10:53 am

Oh dog fans, I tried to be nice, said good game, etc. Against my grain but i did it anyway…no more miss nice now!

. Cams eligibility is OUR problem to deal with..

THE FACT HE KICKED YOUR A** is your isue to deal with.

The BEST PLAYERS ON THE FIELD wiped up your team

YOUR team got 5 personal fouls ..and whine about Fairley? Fairely does NOTHING that the greats like Deacon Jones, Reggie White, Bruce Smith, Simeon Rice, and LT didn’t do.
The End

Rev. Chette Williams

November 14th, 2010
10:54 am

I wouldn’t underestimate The Family©.

They disappeared me from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special%3ASearch&search=Chette+Williams&button=

neutral fan

November 14th, 2010
10:55 am

Its funny to sit here and watch all the dawg fans whine and bitch about late hits, etc. after their latest asskicking. What are they now/ 5-6?

And then Auburn. What can you say about a program so protective of a thug qb who received a stolen laptop, was allegedly about to be booted from UF for academic cheating, and then whose father was bidding him out to Miss state allegedly without his knowledge whatsoever. What person in their right mind would believe the Scam had no idea what was going on? Only an AU fan could be that naiive.

Rev. Chette Williams

November 14th, 2010
10:57 am

All things are possible in the service of the Lord.

Scam newton

November 14th, 2010
11:00 am

trisha,

That cam newton sure does have a lot of character doesn’t he- laptop, imminent expulsion from UF for cheating, his dad allegedly admiting trying to sell his recruitment to MSU. And without his knowledge? uh-huh. Sure whatever you believe. And there’s a tooth fairy also. But that cam newton? One high character young man- yessirreeee.

j rev

November 14th, 2010
11:06 am

Barnhart- Stop being part of the problem. It is obvious from your interview yesterday that, despite what you say, you are basking in your new found glory and spotlight. On one hand you say the coverage is unfair to Newton, and on the other hand you are on every network showing your smug mug.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

November 14th, 2010
11:08 am

It’s football, as Al Davis says, JUST WIN, BABY!!!! and Thats what we ask of Cam and thats what Cam delivers!!!

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WAR CAM EAGLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

11-0 AU Tigers, 2010 SEC WEST CHAMPS!!!!

Dawg Fan

November 14th, 2010
12:09 pm

Would like to CONGRATULATE the DAWGS on the big win yesterday! Cam knew his Dad was selling him and history books will show a W for the DAWGS in 2010. Aaron Murray, AJ, Washaun – great win guys!

TrishaDishaWarEagle

November 14th, 2010
12:11 pm

No, vacated wins do not revert to a win for the LOSER team..it simply becomes as if the game was never played.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

November 14th, 2010
12:12 pm

But, I applaud UGA fans for TRYING to figure a way to win..since you couldn;t on the field!

Dawg Fan

November 14th, 2010
12:25 pm

If I was an Auburn fan, I’d be hiding under a rock right now.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

November 14th, 2010
12:28 pm

<–lifts rock…oops already a 5-6 team under there..oh well

Dawg Fan

November 14th, 2010
12:34 pm

And the dirty play yesterday will probably hurt Auburn in the long run. Now you got millions of Dawg fans upset, which could help drive this thing forward. You got all the Dawg fans praying and hoping (and helping) for sanctions. The decision by UA to play Newton was a disgrace to college football, plain and simple.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

November 14th, 2010
2:35 pm

Its GREAT to BE an AUBURN TIGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2010 SEC WEST CHAMPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 11-0

TrishaDishaWarEagle

November 14th, 2010
2:37 pm

Why do UGA fans always have excuses…

“SC was lucky”

“Florida is dirty”

“Auburn is dirty”

“Colorado is..uh uh uh uh uh..it was the altitude!”

Mindy

November 14th, 2010
3:02 pm

Trisha too funny!!! :lol:

ColumDawg

November 14th, 2010
3:14 pm

Tony,

What are the repercussions for Urban Meyer if he is indeed proven to be the leak and instigator in all of this? The timing is the odd thing to me. And the fact that the two NYT columnists with proven links to Meyer are involved so deeply in the story breaking.

I would think Mike Slive wouldn’t like a coach from another school being so deeply involved in a smear campaign against this year’s SEC poster boy and possibly the best player in CFB. Meyer appears to want to ruin the kid for making mistakes at Florida instead of just wishing him well and giving him the best chance at redemption and a future in the NFL.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

November 14th, 2010
4:28 pm

WAR EAGLE, Mindy!!!!!

Rando

November 14th, 2010
5:41 pm

Now that all of you experts have weighed in, here are some things for you to think about.
1. Cam Newton has never denied making a “stupid mistake” with the stolen laptop that he had. By the way, he did not steal it. He recieved stolen property which he did not know was stolen until later. That might be why he did not go to jail.
2. Cheating on a test is immoral but not illegal. Releasing a college students records, even verbally, IS a crime.
3. If I accuse you of having sex with a Giraffe that does not make it true. Though some of you Georgia fans would probably give it a try.
4. The Heisman is supposed to go to the best College Football player each yer. Reggie Bush was still the best in the year he won it. He should not have given it back. Cam is the best this year. Whether he did anything wrong or not does not change that.
5. Innocent until proven guilty is not just a legal concept, it is a fairness concept. That is what Slive was trying to say when said that we should not unfairly judge Cam Newton in this but should wait until the “evidence” is in and the investigation is complete. It just might be that Cam did nothing wrong but his father and Kenny Rogers did attempt to. People do bad things all the time that they hope their family never knows about. Sometimes it is an attempt to profit from the family member’s work. Parents of athletes sometimes think they deserve something for their child’s talents.

I hope that the idiots at Georgia don’t make the mistake of thinking that if bad things happen to Auburn it somehow minimizes their woes this year. I also hope they don’t make the mistake of firing one of the best coaches and finest human beings in College football. It would be their loss!

The Ole Ball Coach

November 14th, 2010
6:33 pm

ccc

November 14th, 2010
6:33 pm

cams dad picked the school ??? go war buzzards

ccc

November 14th, 2010
6:38 pm

rando does not know all auburn people. he should know those who lives in ga. i know some who are really stupid.

jhs61165

November 14th, 2010
10:36 pm

Mike Slive has totally disappointed – he is obviously trying to maintain the SECs latest shot at a BCS national championship game at all costs. The rest of the nation is disgusted at what is living up to their perceptions of the DIRTY SEC. If Slive had any cajones he would tell No Comment University to sit their 200K rent-mule until the investigation is over.

Rando's Lawyer

November 14th, 2010
11:47 pm

Rando,

Better stick to the “no comment” strategy. As your attorney, I have to advise you to shut your mouth since you have no idea what your talking about. It is indeed a crime to recieve stolen property whether you knew it was stolen or not. Additionally, getting caught cheating on a test at school is a violoation of said schools ethics policy which all students sign. As such, a student caught cheating can be dismissed from school.

Also, the Heisman goes to the most talented ELIGIBLE college football player. Notice the conditional clause in there. If these allegations prove true, Cam Newton will be deemed ineligible based on his father’s actions as listed in NCAA rules.

Now pay my invoice before I take your under-eduacated arse to court for breach of contract.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

November 15th, 2010
12:16 am

Slive is a retired Federal Judge..one smart cookie..He knows the rules and law inside out and he hasn’t put his foot down..thus I believe (until you show me proof otherwise) there is no fire to stamp out

Palladin

November 15th, 2010
7:19 am

Week 11
SEC Stock Report:

The Entire SEC – DOWN – All trading has been suspended pending the results of NCAA and FBI investigations.

Joe

November 15th, 2010
8:30 am

Is the SEC helping in the cover up so they will have a team in the BCS championship game and a player that wins the Heisman Trophy?

chazzo

November 16th, 2010
7:43 am

Anyone know: If did leave UF for academic cheating does that cancel all eligibility with the NCAA. He obviously screwed up at UF, but if he went to JC and got himself right, why is any of it relevant? If he working with someone acting as an agent, then he should be suspended. But, AU has one more game and THE game. He aint sitting, I assure you. If you bring the suspension now. He’ll just go pro which he will anyway. I guess a suspension could keep him out of the SEC champ. and Bowl game which would be kind of sad. I wouldn’t find much satisfaction in beating a Camless AU.

chazzo

November 16th, 2010
7:44 am

Good lord. I have to proofread before I post.

chazzo

November 16th, 2010
7:46 am

JC here means Junior College not Jesus Christ, although, that probably wouldn’t hurt.

chazzo

November 16th, 2010
7:47 am

Ultimately, I am just happy he didn’t play for Meyer. Urban would have started wearing a pointy hat and expecting people to kiss his ring.