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

Yawn

November 12th, 2010
11:24 am

Falcons? Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

NFL = National Felons League

TrishaDishaWarEagle

November 12th, 2010
11:27 am

I stand where I stood yesterday and the day before..Show me any PROOF beyond other peoples words, and I will look at it.

“he said, they said,she said, we said”, doesn’t cut it in any court or in my mind either.

WAR DAMN EAGLE 10-0 Freaky Friday prediction AU 42 UGA 21

Driving Ms Dooley

November 12th, 2010
11:27 am

@ Kenny Rogers

I’m not going to address what may or may not have happened, 2 weeks, 3 months… Ah hell I’m not going to address anything. I was the driver. That’s all I know.
And I want to be played by Morgan Freeman (again) in the movie

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY!!!

November 12th, 2010
11:27 am

NEWS FLASH:A CONVOY OF DUMP TRUCKS HAS BEEN SPOTTED COMING OUTTA OF FLORIDA LOADED WITH SAND!!! SEEM’S LEE CO.HAS RUN OUTTA THE STUFF FOR THE “ALLBARN FAMBLEE” TO STICK THIER HEADS IN!! I THINK IT WOULD BE CHEAPER JUST TO STICK THIER HEADS UP THIER BACKSIDES LIKE THEY ALWAYS DO!!!!!!!!!!!

Kenny Rogers

November 12th, 2010
11:28 am

NCAA don’t got no courtroom.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

November 12th, 2010
11:28 am

YAWN at the Falcons? You may not like the NFL but that game too 59:40 seconds to be decided, hardly a yawner! I can barely talk today.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

November 12th, 2010
11:28 am

Kenny Rogers

November 12th, 2010
11:30 am

But Michael Vick got to see one up close.

Driving Ms Dooley

November 12th, 2010
11:31 am

I think that the only school that will be punished by the NCAA is MSU because now they are going to have to inerview the coaches. And they will ask them, “when Cecil asked you for money, why didn’t you say no, instead of “No, no I don’t want to hear that”? And then why did you continue to recruit him while your money boosters were in contact with him?

MikeP

November 12th, 2010
11:33 am

According to “unnamed sources” Cam Newton is now being investigated on criminal charges related to intentional cruelty to animals!
Apparently video evidence has surfaced that he has intentionally applied beatings in recent weeks to rebel bears, wolves, bulldogs, tigers, chickens, hawks, wildcats, hogs and snakes. He has publicly stated that he intends on beating more dogs, elephants, gators, and ducks in the coming weeks!

Sit the rascal out!

Kenny Rogers

November 12th, 2010
11:35 am

Something’s Burning.

I can smell it.

Maddawag

November 12th, 2010
11:35 am

I am not an Auburn fan, I am actually a still proud UGA Alum, but I seriously doubt that if Auburn were not in contention for the Title game and Cam Newton wasn’t the front runner for the Heosman Trophy that we would be hearing any of this stuff. I think it is sad and dirty sports politics at its worst. I am waiting for a guy who will say they were sitting at a table in a restaurant seated next to table with Cecil Newton and a Miss Sate booster and he overheard the “play for pay” request. Unless and until there is proof, actual proof that the things alledged accured then leave the Cam Newton alone!!

MikeP

November 12th, 2010
11:37 am

Tomorrow, the atmosphere at Jordan-Hare stadium will be the most electric since Bammer came there for the first time in 1989.

AUBURN~45
UGA~~20

WE ARE FAMILY

November 12th, 2010
11:37 am

I knew you guys wouldn’t let me down!

Back2Boro

November 12th, 2010
11:40 am

These allegations have already been investigated. We are all just hearing leaks at this point. If anything had been found, we would have heard about it already.

DIT

November 12th, 2010
11:40 am

I feel sorry for the Auburn people. To me it has been a lot of hearsay. Have we seen any real evidence about this? Being a Dawg person I hope that it’s just a bunch of talk from people just trying to stir the pot. I would hate to see this come to fruition.
Plus, if my Dawgs have any chance of beating Auburn I would prefer they do it with Cam in there under normal circumstances.
I hope for all of college football this is just a nasty rumor and nothing else!

[...] Good article that sums up all the issues to date. Cameron Newton story reaching critical mass | Mr. College Football [...]

dawgfacedboy

November 12th, 2010
11:41 am

IF found guilty wouldn’t they have to forfeit the games in which he played?? And if so, why stop playing him now? They will lose every game he doesn’t play if they sit him. IMO you might as well play him and hope for the best.

At this point it sounds like a “he said, she said” and if that is the case how will they ever prove it one way or the other??? Unless there is a taped phone conversation or physical evidence of money changing hands they have no hard evidence.

I say play him, if he’s ineligible then your season is down the drain anyway.

Back2Boro

November 12th, 2010
11:41 am

Good point by Driving Ms. Dooley.

Back2Boro

November 12th, 2010
11:43 am

How do you prove the allegations? The word of MSU coaches who are bitter they didn’t get Cam?

dawgfacedboy

November 12th, 2010
11:43 am

The whole thing sounds sketchy. The timing particularly is sketchy.

Back2Boro

November 12th, 2010
11:44 am

The word of Kenny(don’t call me country) Rogers. Who told one story and then another

Delbert D.

November 12th, 2010
11:45 am

Meet the Newtons: Did anybody mention in any stories that Bishop Cecil Newton and older brother Cecil BOTH have played in the NFL? I don’t think so.

————————————————————————————————–
The oldest Newton son, Cecil of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tenn. St.:

Source:
“NFL Draft Bible Q&A with NFL Draft Prospect center Cecil Newton from Tennessee St.”

“Interview was conducted on 3.16.09 by Small School Insider Josh Buchanan. Newton currently ranks as the 41st player on Buchanan’s latest Small School Top 50.”

“Newton: I live with both of my parents–we are vey close. I have two younger brothers–Cameron, 19, who is in college, and Caylin, 10. My dad is a bishop with an independent church organization. He is also the owner of a construction company. My motivation and initiative comes from the fact that as the oldest son I was always called upon to get things done. A lot of my traits, such as my strong work ethic and good character, come from my father.”

“Newton: My agent is Tony Paige with Perennial Sports and Entertainment. My father did a lot of background on potentially 10-15 other agencies that were recruiting me. Tony was a great selection because of his knowledge and experience in the industry. ”

————————————————————————————–
From the Wikipedia on Cecil Newton:

“His father, Cecil Newton, Sr. played college football for Savannah State and later for the Dallas Cowboys.”

Back2Boro

November 12th, 2010
11:46 am

I agree. Meyer and Mullen arer pissed. Their motivation is revenge. Guarentee the people leaking these stories to Schadd and others are tied to Meyer or Mullins.

Back2Boro

November 12th, 2010
11:47 am

Delbert,good info,didn’t know that.

Don4654

November 12th, 2010
11:48 am

This is similar to Bama in 1999.Started out with rumor,no evidence.We all know how that ended.

Delbert D.

November 12th, 2010
11:50 am

You might have missed these statement by Cam’s brother if you didn’t closely read the previous post:

“My dad is a bishop with an independent church organization. He is also the owner of a construction company.”

“My father did a lot of background on potentially 10-15 other agencies that were recruiting me.”

Mark Richt Voted for Democrats... he what???

November 12th, 2010
11:51 am

Auburn 45, UGA 17.

Even wearing their lucky red panties won’t help the dawgtards. It’ll be a long afternoon with Auburn’s hobnail boots grinding into their faces.

This is your Beatdown Special presented as a public service.

Jeff

November 12th, 2010
11:51 am

OH GEEZ…what a bunch of crap….we cant do the Friday forecast because of Cam……OH GOD…they world comes to a stop because of Cam……

G8R GRAD

November 12th, 2010
11:52 am

Tsk,tsk,tsk.

The most prophetic words of the day:

“If UGA wins then Bama is only a LSU loss at Arky from controlling their own SEC destiny again.”

Here we go!

long-time dawg

November 12th, 2010
11:52 am

Why do so many take pleasure in the misfortune of others? Because this is a very sick world.

BAMA dude

November 12th, 2010
11:54 am

Delbert, neither Cecil has made a lick of NFL money yet.

Terry Bowden

November 12th, 2010
11:55 am

Hey ya’ll Auburn brothers & sisters. Don’t sweat the NCAA ‘probabtion’ thing, you can still win games going forward, even without all your scholarship and stuff. Seriously. War Cam Eagle!! TrishaDishaWarEagle, call me!

BAMA dude

November 12th, 2010
11:55 am

You like that one G8R Grad? You know dem jellus Bammerz iz behind all dis.

Charlie Bama

November 12th, 2010
11:56 am

@ Jeff — Funny! Thanks CB

123

November 12th, 2010
11:57 am

Before this year, had Newton ever done anything to make him worth that kind of money?

BAMA dude

November 12th, 2010
11:59 am

You wanna read something funny? Check THIS out. Be sure to vote so you can see the results. Talk about delusional.

Observer Only

November 12th, 2010
12:01 pm

Sitting him now would not save Auburn’s season; if there are violations, every game he played in would be forfeited; so no win any way.

If Auburn has evidence, then they are in major trouble. If Auburn has no evidence; then they need to back the kid at this point until there is proof.

Let the NCAA and the SEC sort it out. Leave it alone till then.

Delbert D.

November 12th, 2010
12:02 pm

Bama Dude – Yes, but Cecil Sr. is very experienced in the business side of college and pro football. Checking out agents for his son Cecil, and maybe doing the same a bit early for Cam.

Art

November 12th, 2010
12:02 pm

Prediction:

Auburn has faced this sort of investigation, before and know how to cover up the trail. They’ll continue to deny, Cam plays the remainder of the regular season, and they finish undefeated. NCAA Hammer comes down in December, no Bowl this year, or for the next 3 years for Auburn. Auburn claims this was nothing but a witch hunt, and proclaim themselves as the True National Champion.

schmeckdawg

November 12th, 2010
12:03 pm

Here’s the thing a lot of folks aren’t getting. Once The Rev. from The Church of What’s Happening Now pimped out his son, he became ineligible. That’s according to the NCAA-holes.

BAMA dude

November 12th, 2010
12:04 pm

schmeckdawg gets it…

OkefenokeeDawg

November 12th, 2010
12:07 pm

“Let the NCAA and the SEC sort it out. Leave it alone till then.”
***********************************
So, you are closing this blog, Observer Only?

D Fence

November 12th, 2010
12:08 pm

Ahhhh – how we long for the simpler days of Fire Hoses and UGA VI snapping at Robert Baker.

How Bout Them Dawgs

Tech75

November 12th, 2010
12:09 pm

OK, so if you’re AU, why wouldn’t you ask Cam to take a polygraph, then ask him whether he actually said what is being reported that he said? If he won’t do the polygraph, or it shows he is either lying or deceptive, sit him until the NCAA finishes the investigation. If he does and passes it with flying colors, let him play.

AU football is risking everything in its greed for a possible NC…

I’ve looked at AU for a long time as a way-over-the-top football culture with a college attached; if all this turns out to be true, AU will be SMU redux…

Elrond

November 12th, 2010
12:09 pm

“schmeckdawg gets it…”

I think so too. Buh bye, Auburn.

wakers

November 12th, 2010
12:10 pm

Between the creep at New Hope and this sleaze ball Daddy Cam, black Rev’s in Georgia are giving us a bad name

Hang Down Your Head Vince Doodley

November 12th, 2010
12:11 pm

“We can beat Auburn with Newton.” I rolled over laughing so hard, I thought I’d never stop. This ain’t Florida’s anemic offense, that scored 34. Nor Colorado’s that scored 29. And they’re not the juggernauts of Vandy, KY, Idaho State, LA-Monroe or Tennessee that gave you morons such excitement over beating 5 of the worst teams in college football. Auburn will put up at least 50, if it’s with Kodi Burns it may just be in the mid 30’s…..but Newton will play. And it’ll be a rout. 51-24, after a garbage TD in the 4th by the backup QB. Stay on course Athens Correctional, you’re well on your way to 5-7.

Perhaps the NCAA should investigate an entire program full of criminals. 11 arrests is quite a few in one offseason. Not to mention a QB recruit who thinks he’s Big Ben, another one coming in who thinks the same thing, and an AD running around with red hooker panties in his lap getting a DUI after a “school” event!

Commonsense

November 12th, 2010
12:13 pm

Cecil was demanding 180K from Miss St. and the Barners are wanting us to believe that he did a complete 180 and allowed Cam to go to Auburn for free??? Seriously???

merculf

November 12th, 2010
12:14 pm

Let me explain it to the Bulldog nation for the last time….It is the Auburn Tigers. War Eagle is a fight cry. Just like UGA is known as the Bulldogs but when they rally the team they yell “Hunker Down”! Now to really confuse some of you….Alabama is the Crimson Tide but have an Elephant as a mascot….figure that out.