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.

Please follow me on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/MrCFB

746 comments Add your comment

schmeckdawg

November 12th, 2010
1:03 pm

@ 75-76 DAWG

It looks like we just lost Driving Ms Dooley the War Eagle/Tiger whatever the hell they are.

Douglas Quaid

November 12th, 2010
1:05 pm

mr. newton’s financial records:

http://twitpic.com/365s93

Mark

November 12th, 2010
1:10 pm

ESPN is now reporting that two unnamed White House sources have confirmed that Cam Newton sold nuclear secrets to Iran. TMZ is also reporting that Cam is, in fact, the father of Nicole Richie’s latest child.

Tony, good article. Thanks for pointing out that the MSU side of this story is a mess and may pose more problems for MSU than Auburn or Cam Newton.

WDE no matter how this turns out!

chuck

November 12th, 2010
1:11 pm

They have to hate because they can’t be this great. Do you know why cam wears #2. Because the #2 in navy blue is gonna beat you. People make up all these allegations because no one else could have him. Auburn is gonna clean there schedule of all these losers we play and they claim to be former national champions. And the other team has a big fat over weight mutt in a dog house. Is that how the people in geogia do to their over weigt mutts when they can’t beat auburn.

schmeckdawg

November 12th, 2010
1:12 pm

Douglas Quaid

November 12th, 2010
1:05 pm
mr. newton’s financial records:

Now that is pretty damn funny!!!

Delbert D.

November 12th, 2010
1:15 pm

Driving Ms Dooley – “There was definitely another gunman on the grassy knoll.”

That was Charles “Chuck” Rogers.

merculf

November 12th, 2010
1:16 pm

Bama Dude I know the story about how Auburn and Alabama got their respective nick names. I was trying to explain it to the slower UGA fans. It wasn’t a poke at Bama. WDE!

OkefenokeeDawg

November 12th, 2010
1:18 pm

“If he said the obvious, then it could be one mans word against another. Not enough to convict.”
**********************************
What if it’s one man’s word against 4 or 5 men’s words?

Vance Duuley

November 12th, 2010
1:18 pm

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!

A lot of people are thinking the same thing. UGA is simply a football factory, with all of the students and buildings just backdrops for the real purpose of UGA – fielding a powerhouse football team.

The problem with all of this is that football factories are supposed to be good, really good, certainly in the top 25 if not in the top 10. But UGA sucks, so what’s wrong?

Two words: Mark Richt.

Auburn 49, Georgia 17. Newton will have a career day, and Murray will look like the rookie he is. Mercifully, it will be over after the first quarter, and dawgtards can relax and watch a first-rate team at work – Auburn, of course.

schmeckdawg

November 12th, 2010
1:18 pm

chuck

November 12th, 2010
1:11 pm
They have to hate because they can’t be this great. Do you know why cam wears #2. Because the #2 in navy blue is gonna beat you. People make up all these allegations because no one else could have him. Auburn is gonna clean there schedule of all these losers we play and they claim to be former national champions. And the other team has a big fat over weight mutt in a dog house. Is that how the people in geogia do to their over weigt mutts when they can’t beat auburn.

Just curious Chuck, have you been living under a rock for the past 4 years because I could swear The DAWGS have OWNED the war chickens during this time!!!

picasokat

November 12th, 2010
1:19 pm

From NY Times 1993

“Two years after Eric Ramsey, a former Auburn defensive back, revealed that he had spent three years secretly taping various coaches discussing illicit payments to him and other players, the National Collegiate Athletic Association imposed heavy penalties on the school’s football program yesterday, including a two-year ban on post-season play and a one-year ban on televised games.

Relying heavily on Ramsey’s tape recordings, the N.C.A.A.’s Committee on Infractions cited a series of “very serious major violations” in placing Auburn on probation for two years.

In a scathing introduction to its 18-page report, the committee chastised Auburn for becoming one of only three universities — the others are Arizona State and Southern Methodist — to have been placed on probation six times, in Auburn’s case a total of 12 years on probation since 1956. Persistent Offender

Auburn has been such a persistent repeat offender, the report noted, that the new two-year period of probation will not even begin until Nov. 23, when its most recent two-year probation, for basketball and tennis irregularities, expires.

The school did manage to escape the N.C.A.A.’s so-called death penalty, which shuts down a program. David Swank, the infractions committee chairman, said the death penalty did not apply in Auburn’s case because the football wrongdoing occurred before the basketball program was placed on probation. ”

http://nyti.ms/b8qebK

merculf

November 12th, 2010
1:21 pm

@Bama Dude They started using an Elephant as a simbol because the trunks the team used when traveling was made be a company that used an Elephant for a logo. It didn’t have anything to due with “a herd of elephants” ….google is a great thing..try it.

OldFan

November 12th, 2010
1:22 pm

Look at this from Auburn’s point of view. Why bench Cam, increase the liklihood of losing this Sat, and then be out of the NC picture. Play him, and if the NCAA slams them later, they’ve lost only what they would have lost anyway by benching him. And the possibility remains that nothing will come of this. This assumes of course that Auburn’s done nothing on its own that warrants NCAA penalties. What Cam’s dad did with MS is another matter for the NCAA and Cam.

ratherBgambling

November 12th, 2010
1:26 pm

In a symbolic show of support for Cam, I’m going to put 10 stacks of high society on Auburn Saturday.

BAMA dude

November 12th, 2010
1:27 pm

merculf

November 12th, 2010
1:21 pm
@Bama Dude They started using an Elephant as a simbol because the trunks the team used when traveling was made be a company that used an Elephant for a logo. It didn’t have anything to due with “a herd of elephants” ….google is a great thing..try it.

I don’t need to Google anything. They were referred to as red elephants because the players were huge and they resembled a herd of elephants on the football field. I have known this for many years now.

sCam Newton

November 12th, 2010
1:27 pm

I will keep denying this until you actually find where I have the $200k hidden!

BAMA dude

November 12th, 2010
1:30 pm

Driving Ms Dooley

November 12th, 2010
12:30 pm
Bama Dude:
Schmeckdawg get it. Really? Gets what? That the MSU coaches stalled when the SEC asked for details because the details incremenated them instead of Auburn? Do you think the SEC office is throwing away the info that MSU gave them and watching espn as a means of gathering facts?

No, Bill Bell claims that he already sat down with the NCAA. Kenny Rogers is supposed to sit down with them next week. If their stories check out then Cam is ineligible. Period.

bill

November 12th, 2010
1:31 pm

OK, lest see? he is guilty of academic fraud x3, he had a stole lap top he painted, and hey I need to paint mine, have any recommendations for a color or particular paint? he threw the painted laptop out the window when the cops came calling. Hey he is a model citizen, a great example for all young athletes right! he just made a few mistakes is all.

There are few mistakes made in life, people make choices and decisions. when you make bad decisions, knowing the consequences, just like Michael Vick, you pay the price oif caught. To even consider someone with a histroy of intentional misconduct, crime and fraud for an award such as the heisman, indicates the morals and character of those suggesting such.

There is to much smoke not to be a fire. Lets not forget Auburn hold the record for most major violations. Carnel Williams would have been the 9th major violation if his drug deal had not been outside the time frame for being able to enforce penalties.

Camo Newtoni

November 12th, 2010
1:33 pm

“They were referred to as red elephants because the players were huge and they resembled a herd of elephants on the football field.”

Maybe they were all Republicans.

Well no, there weren’t any Republicans in the South in those days.

schmeckdawg

November 12th, 2010
1:35 pm

You go BAMA dude!

Monica

November 12th, 2010
1:36 pm

Auburn is a one man team right now. Take out Cam and everything they have shown this year would have never happened. Auburn is and will always be “Alabama’s little sister” and that will never change with or without cam but let’s get to the issue. Auburn has shown their true colors and what they are about. They would rather support someone who has lied, cheated and stolen and keep playing him to win a game, then risk making fools of themselves out on a field by not having him out there playing and showing morals and class. Shame on you auburn and your staff. These allegations are not made up, they are on public record and are facts. That is fine, play your boy now but your team will suffer 3 years from now while cam is off to the NFL.

schmeckdawg

November 12th, 2010
1:40 pm

@ BAMA dude

I sent the paragraph from the above artcile stating the same thing about this Bell guy to Driving Ms. Dooley, he bailed after that. It’s like Jack Nicholson’s line in A Few Good Men, he can’t handle the truth!

OkefenokeeDawg

November 12th, 2010
1:41 pm

“Is that how the people in geogia do to their over weigt mutts when they can’t beat auburn.”
****************************************
chuck, chuck, chuck (shaking my head),

most Dawg fans don’t give a damn about Cam Newton. I’d hate to play Auburn this season without him playing, cause we’d have to hear about that for the next 10 years.

I mean, we now know he is a cheater, as far as tests, and term papers go. We also know he dosen’t mind getting deals (wink, wink) on laptops, but we don’t know yet if he and his father got money from Auburn boosters.

With Auburn’s past wrongdoings with the NCAA (7 times on probation for major infractions), plus Terry Bowden’s admissions of Auburn boosters paying recruits $15,000 to sign with your school, while on probation in the 90’s, it seems likely that if Cam and dad DIDN’T get paid, they should be outraged . . .

AU BUSH

November 12th, 2010
1:42 pm

I love AU and it’s athletics, but Aubbie is screwed and they better react quick!!

BAMA dude

November 12th, 2010
1:45 pm

@ BAMA dude

I sent the paragraph from the above artcile stating the same thing about this Bell guy to Driving Ms. Dooley, he bailed after that. It’s like Jack Nicholson’s line in A Few Good Men, he can’t handle the truth!

I don’t know about that, he’s a Tennessee guy. Of course, being a UT fellow, I’d imagine he’d be interested in Clay Travis’s thoughts:

ClayTravisBGID‎: Yep, @slmandel, the focus on “reliable” witnesses is a distraction. Rhodes scholars don’t testify in criminal trials that often.
Twitter – 1 hour ago

ClayTravisBGID‎: People screaming “evidence” have never been in a court room. There is more than enough evidence here. Far more than needed.

npgator

November 12th, 2010
1:46 pm

Funny how this story came about the week of the Georgia game. If he ends up getting suspended I hope it is after they tear apart the lowly bulldogs.

BAMA dude

November 12th, 2010
1:47 pm

Oh, and Stewart Mandel’s response was interesting too:

slmandel‎: @ClayTravisBGID You are correct. USC, Reggie Bush were “convicted” largely on the testimony of an ex-con.

schmeckdawg

November 12th, 2010
1:51 pm

Good stuff BAMA dude!

More CAM @ UF

November 12th, 2010
1:51 pm

Auburn was in a tough spot. BAMA had gone undefeated, won the SEC championship, and was about to play for the national championship. Everyone was proclaiming Saban the greatest coach ever and Auburn was finishing the year losing 5 out of the last 7.

I can certainly understand why some Aub booster paid for Cam. BAMA was not in nearly as bad a situation when our idiot boosters were buying players.

dawg

November 12th, 2010
1:51 pm

NPGATOR: And you don’t think that the Urban Crier dropped this dime on Newton?

Randy

November 12th, 2010
1:53 pm

WE ARE FAMILY,

Next week you can change your screen name to WE ARE ON PROBATION.

Beth

November 12th, 2010
1:55 pm

Just wondering if the super-booster Bobby L’s name has come up yet?

Cecil Newton

November 12th, 2010
1:57 pm

I have $180,000 that I need to invest before NCAA comes to my door. Please call using code word “laptop”. See you in church this Sunday..Praise the almighty dollar.

BAMA dude

November 12th, 2010
1:57 pm

Serously, check out Clay Travis’s Twitter page. He’s a bit dooshy but is all over this. Just retweeted that Ian Fitzsimmons, the reporter who interviewed Rogers, now says that Rogers wanted to sit with the NCAA today but the NCAA can’t do it until Tuesday.

twitter.com/claytravisbgid

BAMA dude

November 12th, 2010
1:58 pm

Nah, Beth, this time they’re blaming Milton McGregor.

Beth

November 12th, 2010
2:00 pm

@Bamadude…LOL he seems to be the one to blame for anything these days

YellowJacket

November 12th, 2010
2:03 pm

The dawgs are about to get one serious beat down.

amitch34

November 12th, 2010
2:04 pm

This story didn’t get big until Cam Newton started winning games.

Alphare

November 12th, 2010
2:05 pm

If Cecil Newton indeed got the money to repair his church, I am all for the Newtons regardless how much money he might receive. But like TigerTown said earlier, this whole thing is really about sour grape.

Auburn is about to win an NC, and some people just got their true nature exposed.

Border Town

November 12th, 2010
2:09 pm

Funny UGA fans passing judgement on another school’s team. Maybe you should focus on getting the Dogs act cleaned up first. Has the Clark County Work Release program arrived in Auburn yet?

BAMA dude

November 12th, 2010
2:09 pm

OK, one more then I’m done with the tweets. From Jay Tate @ the Montgomery Advertiser:

@HABOTN: Auburn’s current, official stance on Cam Newton’s eligibility: “No comment.”
Twitter – 7 minutes ago

@HABOTN: Asked to confirm if that represents a change from the school’s earlier stance, spokesperson said: “No comment.”
Twitter – 10 minutes ago

Douglas Quaid

November 12th, 2010
2:10 pm

Auburn’s got a bye week coming up…….. I suspect this gets settled next week.

Evansdawg

November 12th, 2010
2:10 pm

Where is Mike Slive in all of this? He failed to step in on the Rainey situation. Why that guy is even wearing a NCAA uniform is beyond me. Slive should’ve intervened. Now, three programs in the SEC are under fire for Cam Newton, Miss State, Auburn, and Florida, but Slive seems disengaged. I am starting to think the man has no spine.

merculf

November 12th, 2010
2:11 pm

Bama dude…so you know it was written in a newspaper (the AJC as a matter of fact) and not an announcer right?

Monica

November 12th, 2010
2:13 pm

That is the problem today. People support those who do wrong regardless of how bad it is. He and his family broke the rules. Rules that are known to everyone who follows football. I would not want college football to be tarnished by having someone of his nature and class winning the heisman trophy nor would I want to see a team win a NC simply becuase of one person on their team who is a true liar, thief and cheat. I think auburn fans like you Alphare, are forgetting one thing and that is you still have to play Alabama and if you know the Iron bowl you know anything happens there. One step at a time. I would not get to confident just yet…

Alphare

November 12th, 2010
2:15 pm

BAMA dude, what the hell about the “no comment” speculation? Could it be Auburn people so tired of the whole thing and don’t want to comment on it? Could it be Auburn people want to keep UGA in the guessing game?

Famous Quotes

November 12th, 2010
2:16 pm

“I didn’t do anything wrong” – Cam Newton

“Laptop? What laptop?” – Cam Newton

“I did not have s@x with that woman” – Bill Clinton

“I was hiking on the Appalachian Trail” – Gov. Sanford

“I’m retiring” – Urban Meyer

“I’m retiring” – Brett Farve

“Michael Vick is a falcon for life” – Mr. Blank

“I’m your coach” – Bobby Pig-Sooey Patrino to Mr. Blank

“We are on track to keep the House” – Nancy Pelosi

“You don’t know who you are dealing with – he has the power to beat this” – Damon Evans’ girlfriend

“It was just a one car accident” – Tiger Woods

Alphare

November 12th, 2010
2:24 pm

Monica, are you really a girl or a guy with a girly handle?

“a true liar, thief and cheat”? are you kidding me? A preacher’s son turns rebellious, does that sound familiar to you? Heard of Phil Jackson? his dad is a Jesus man but he becomes a Buddhist. Life is not always a straight line, sometime some people have to make a turn.

Andrew Manis

November 12th, 2010
2:27 pm

Quite apart from allegations of “play-for-pay,” Cam’s performance at UF is enough to deny him the Heisman. Did he deserve a second chance after he bought a stolen laptop? How about when he submitted someone else’s research paper? How about a third chance when plagiarized a paper a second time? Plagiarizing just twice gets one kicked out of most colleges. Grant him the chance to transfer and get an education ON SCHOLARSHIP and play football at Auburn University. But a “student-athlete” with this sort of record in college does not exhibit the “integrity” that is mentioned in the criteria for the Heisman Trophy. Does he deserve a second chance to “grow up?” Of course. But attending and playing at Auburn WAS his second chance–or third or fourth or fifth, depending on how you count.

But his achievements on the field do NOT entitle him to the stamp of approval of the most famous individual award in all of sports. To withhold Heisman votes from Cam Newton is not, as Tony Barnhart has said, “fundamentally unfair.” It is not only fair, but even merciful, to Cam Newton, whose record deserves expulsion. To vote for Newton is actually unfair to other players with both athletic prowess on and integrity off the field. More important, however, voting for Cam Newton is unfair to the rest of us who deserve better than the “win at all costs” society that major college football is trying to foist upon us. Frankly, I think the ESPN gurus who say his record at UF will not affect their Heisman votes ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Alphare

November 12th, 2010
2:29 pm

When do you know who your true friends are?

It’s when you have success, when the jealous coming out against you.