Could TMZ report be a game changer in Cameron Newton case?

Five burning questions questions as we head into the weekend:

1. Could the TMZ report be a game changer in the Cameron Newton investigation? Everyone was all a-Twitter yesterday when TMZ reported that the FBI is asking questions about an Auburn booster in relationship to the Cameron Newton investigation.

Understand that TMZ (which broke the Tiger Woods story) did not say there was a connection between dog track owner Milton McGregor and Newton. Specifically:

“It’s unclear what, if any, direct connection McGregor has to Newton. Back in 2008, McGregor did donate a million bucks toward construction of a new arena at Auburn.”

 
The report  said that the FBI was asking people in the Newton investigation if they were familiar with the fact that McGregor was one of 10 people arrested last month in a bribery scandal. Through his attorney McGregor denied any contact–”direct or indirect”–with Cam Newton or Cecil Newton.

So we need more information. But it is the first time outside of the chat rooms that a direct connection between Auburn and this investigation has been suggested.

Meanwhile, the very good reporting of Mark Schlabach, Chris Low, and Pat Forde of ESPN.com continues to paint the picture that, at the very least, Kenny Rogers was asking Mississippi State for money on behalf of Cecil Newton. Does this story increase the pressure on Auburn to sit the kid down or, is it still just a deal involving one runner and one father trying to get paid? Here is the ESPN.com story.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=5818428

Now let’s talk about football.

2. How long does Nick Saban go with his starters against Georgia State? Winning the game tonight is not the issue for Alabama when Bill Curry’s Georgia State team (6-4) comes to Tuscaloosa. This is an opportunity for Alabama to work on some things that will be helpful in next Friday’s Iron Bowl with Auburn. Don’t be surprised to see the ball in the air a bunch tonight on ESPNU. The secondary is where Auburn in vulnerable.

3. What is the over and under on the number of carries Marcus Lattimore will get against Troy? South Carolina’s freshman running back carried it 40 times in the win at Florida last Saturday. The Gamecocks  still have two non-conference games–Saturday at home versus Troy and Nov. 27 at Clemson–before the SEC championship game with Auburn on Dec. 4. For coach Steve Spurrier this is all about keeping Lattimore fresh and healthy until they get to Atlanta. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lattimore gets the ball fewer than 10 times. I would be tempted to sit him but you can’t mess around with a team like Troy. They have good athletes and Larry Blakeney is a good coach.

4. What happens at Miami if the Hurricanes beat Virginia Tech? Freshman quarterback Stephen Morris will start this third consecutive game in place of Jacory Harris when Miami hosts Virginia Tech in a big ACC Coastal game. Harris has sat out two games with a concussion and in the meantime Morris has played very, very well in wins over Maryland and Georgia Tech. Harris told some people during last week’s game that he would be ready to go against the Hokies, who could clinch the ACC Coastal with a win on Saturday. Harris was informed this week that he is not ready to go and that Morris will get the start. Coach Randy Shannon had previously said that Harris would not lose his starting position to an injury. To win the division, Miami has to beat Virginia Tech and hope that the Hokies lose to Virginia next week.

5. Is Georgia Tech going to take Duke seriously? It better.  The Yellow Jackets have dominated Duke in recent outings but we now know that this is not a vintage Paul Johnson team. Duke, on the another hand, is playing much better recently with wins over Navy, Virginia, and a game it should have won against Boston College (21-16). Duke got down to the BC four-yard line at the end of the game and could not score. We had Duke coach David Cutcliffe on the “Barnhart and Durham” radio show on Wednesday and he was very upbeat about the direction his team is heading going into this game. Just thought I would mention it.

Please follow me on Twitter:

www.Twitter.com/MrCFB

456 comments Add your comment

Ack

November 18th, 2010
7:44 am

I thought this was a CAM-free zone.

Ack

November 18th, 2010
7:46 am

MURPHY

November 18th, 2010
7:50 am

MSN.com Article on the payment plan to Cam Newton. Interesting read.

Saint Simons

November 18th, 2010
7:51 am

(((( 49 – 31 ))))

HAHAHAHAHAHA

dap01

November 18th, 2010
7:55 am

If you sleep with a dog, you get fleas. I believe that Auburn is itching right now.

Dawg_Mike

November 18th, 2010
7:55 am

This is also a child free zone. Go away Saint Simons, your breakfast is ready…a nice bowl of fruit loops and a sippy cup full of high fructose corn syrup…errrr…grape juice.

SOUTHGADAWG88

November 18th, 2010
7:55 am

Aub may as well ride it out now….all or nothing…maybe they are hoping nothing comes down for a couple of years

Rodney Dangerfield

November 18th, 2010
7:56 am

So Cam is a top rated QB and his daddy, Cecil, is a preacher? Hrm sounds alot like Christian LeMay and his preacher daddy.

82Dawg

November 18th, 2010
7:57 am

Why wouldn’t you play him? If something comes out of it what does it matter if you forfeit 11 or 12 the season would still be a loss.

CFB Fan

November 18th, 2010
7:57 am

1. Another notch. The game changed when the reporting started. We now merely await the finish.

2. Not very long.

3. 40

4. Miami fans get wasted.

5. I can’t take either of these teams seriously.

Finchdawg

November 18th, 2010
7:58 am

TMZ, Tony? Will their reporting be a future inspiration for your blogs? I hope not, but I also hope the FBI gets some hard evidence on this Newton story. It’s time for it to be resolved, one way or another.

VictoryLand

November 18th, 2010
7:58 am

Come on Tony. This Newtown story is just the tip of the iceberg for Auburn boosters paying AU players. How often does the FBI get involved in NCAA investigations. Last time I checked, the two usually don’t work together on investigations until this one. McGregor is an AU booster and part of the Colonial Bank Mafia (Lowder, Dye, McWhorter, etc.) I know you want this story to go away because you think the game of college football is an innocent sport. There is way too much money involved for that to be the case.

VA DAWG

November 18th, 2010
7:58 am

Sounds like there may be more truth to this than I thought……

http://www.tigerdroppings.com/rant/messagetopic.asp?p=22778676

david

November 18th, 2010
8:01 am

Miami fans are still waiting for Shannon to win a big game. His biggest win was last year against OU, with their backup QB. Shannon has chocked against Wisconsin last year on Ohio State this year. If J12 can play, I could see him abandon the running game and use the predicable passing game.

Mike Mills REM Bassist

November 18th, 2010
8:01 am

I know I usually post on Bradley’s blog because we’re good buddies but my neck hurts.

shane

November 18th, 2010
8:02 am

Hey Murphy head over to tigerdroppings.com and read the post titled AS THE PLAIN BURNS. If half of what that post states is true then Auburn will get kicked out the league.

Beast of the East

November 18th, 2010
8:02 am

Where have I been? Why aren’t I beating my chest under these articles anymore? Work ‘em, you silly Gators!!!

CFB Fan

November 18th, 2010
8:02 am

The Colonial Bank failure is what prevented this story from being swept under the rug. You’re right, VL, the FBI doesn’t normally intrude into NCAA investigations. This particular NCAA investigation just happened to accidentally crash into a pre-existing FBI investigation.

RomeDawg

November 18th, 2010
8:03 am

EVERYONE knows Cam got paid, now it’s just about finding out how and how much. I hope Duke beats the brakes off the bees.

RomeDawg

November 18th, 2010
8:06 am

Cecil Newton is EVERYTHING that is wrong with religion today. I would love to hear the sermon he preached Sunday. What a hypocrite.

SOUTHGADAWG88

November 18th, 2010
8:07 am

AUB wont be going down quietly I bet you…look for all kinds of dirty dealings to be exposed.The SEC is about to get a black eye here soon.

[...] Could TMZ report be a game-changer in Newton case? asks Tony Barnhart of the AJC. [...]

Dawg_Mike

November 18th, 2010
8:08 am

As soon as they connect the dots from Mcgregor’s (now closed) bingo machines….err…casino in Shorter to AU it’s game over.

SOUTHGADAWG88

November 18th, 2010
8:09 am

All I can say is wait until Jan…from what I have been hearing from some of my Aub friends is that there will be some bombshells dropped if they get hammered.

sitting back

November 18th, 2010
8:11 am

Aubrun knows what gone down if they continue down this road they WILL get the death penalty !

Bdawg

November 18th, 2010
8:11 am

Tony,
Does LSU need to prepare for the SEC Championship? Do you think if Cam is declared ineligible, all AU wins vacated, how would the SEC handle this? I guess what I’m asking is how many days before the game can they realisticly say LSU wins the west? I would think no later than Mon. after Thanksgiving to give LSU time to prepare and make arrangements in Atl. This truely could be huge in college football to expose atheletes that take money. So many times nothing happens to the player like R. Bush they move on and the university is left to clean up there mess.
Thanks

ATL is TigerTown

November 18th, 2010
8:13 am

The vast majority of the out and proud “Christians” are hypocrites. That’s nothing new, it’s very, very common. Just sayin’.

Buford T. Justice

November 18th, 2010
8:15 am

The good thing about Cam Newton when he gets to the NFL, after prison, is that he and Michael “DogKilla” Vick will able to compare notes, learn from one another’s hardships and talk about their romantic encounters behind bars in male-only facilities.

Jim

November 18th, 2010
8:16 am

Don’t worry AU fans…the best is yet to come…stay tuned to a major national news outlet (NOT ESPN) for more information about how this all unfolded and how it involves a certain towel waving, backwards hat wearing coach.

Just Wonderin'

November 18th, 2010
8:17 am

South Dawg —We might not have to wait until Jan for Auburn to get hammered – they still have two very tough games to play before January…

CFB Fan

November 18th, 2010
8:17 am

Does a mere request for improper benefits violate NCAA bylaws?

You will find no precedent for NCAA sanctions being levied against a player who received no actual, tangible benefits.

Then again, it is not impossible for a new precedent to be established in this case. That is, of course, if one assumes that the Newtons actually didn’t receive any improper benefits.

That is the final straw to which the Auburn Family© now clings.

82Dawg

November 18th, 2010
8:17 am

@ATL is TigerTown …are you talking about Preacher Newton??

pceasy

November 18th, 2010
8:20 am

4. What happens at Miami if the Hurricanes beat Virginia Tech?

Who cares?

dean

November 18th, 2010
8:20 am

SS must have a truly miserable life.

Anyway, I think Saban lets bettors win against the spread tonight. :)

Best of the Blogs | MrSEC.com

November 18th, 2010
8:21 am

[...] Could TMZ report be a game-changer in Newton case? asks Tony Barnhart of the AJC. [...]

DC

November 18th, 2010
8:22 am

Again, another story with basically one side of the he said/he said tale…Mark Schlabach is feeling the heat from AU supporters no doubt…who 3 ways an article nowadays? I feel like this is all a broken record with these reports…SHOCK..kenny rogers has been stating for while about being paid for play…oh so now the new story is a a payment play…*GASP*..there is also texts of him stating this *OH MY*..get the texts! get this evidence! Get proof that Cecil told Rogers to do this! Just b/c rogers is barking doesn’t make it true…

Not saying that it can’t be..probably is..but you think that will fly in the legal system?? HECK NO! Get me proof about cecil or stop putting up this crap..

Thoughts?

Jakeau24

November 18th, 2010
8:22 am

Tony, So you have lowered yourself to letting your lead story be about TMZ………..wow!

CFB Fan

November 18th, 2010
8:23 am

@dean

Coach Saban will not intentionally run up the score. Coach Curry actually has a pretty decent football team for year one.

Jaybird

November 18th, 2010
8:23 am

The FBI is NOT involved in the NCAA investigation. The FBI’s investigation has crossed paths with the NCAA’s beacase it concerns money as related to gambling/insurance/NFL. The FBI could not care less about a college football player. Supposition of “breaking the rules of the NCAA” is not a LEGAL issue.

dean

November 18th, 2010
8:24 am

Jakeau24. Ask Tiger Woods how accurate TMZ can be at times.

MURPHY

November 18th, 2010
8:26 am

shane,

Read the article you mentioned. WOW-Alot of hand’s in the Auburn pot-uh?

DC

November 18th, 2010
8:27 am

dean, look at the women involved with Tiger..that was right up TMZ’s alley..

De Nile

November 18th, 2010
8:29 am

@DC

The NCAA does not operate a courtroom, so any reference to the “legal system” is moot. Were the NCAA limited by legal rules of evidence, then Alabama would have never been sanctioned for the Albert Means case, and Tommy Tuberville would therefore not have been able to secure a state pension for the BBQ Mafia before leaving Auburn.

Gen Neyland

November 18th, 2010
8:29 am

In the catagory of If Ands or Buts, the issue isn’t that Cecil asked for money. The issue is did he get it and if he did, with what knowledge did Auburn have of it..? Also in the catagory of If Ands or Buts, if Cecil did take a payout, Cheesestik will have to shoulder his share of blame (HC you know, and it’s his program to control, be that right or be that wrong). We of other programs should be thankful it ain’t us under the scope or in the crosshairs on this one…

cajdawg

November 18th, 2010
8:31 am

Wow, I honestly hope that none of the speculation in Tiggerdroppings.com is true. Even if some of that is true the NCAA will rain fire on AU.

Jethro Bodeen

November 18th, 2010
8:32 am

Duke will win! Worst coached team at Tech since Bill Lewis! Tech couldn’t beat Bugtussle right now!

De Nile

November 18th, 2010
8:32 am

Cheesestick isn’t the Head Coach of Auburn any more than W was the President of the United States.

In this analogy, Pat Dye = Dick Cheney.

dean

November 18th, 2010
8:33 am

DC,
TMZ=National Enquirer. A whole lot of B.S. Sometimes they get lucky.

BAMA dude

November 18th, 2010
8:34 am

If ya got 20 minutes and want some insight into the politics of all this Cam business, I highly recommend the link below. The story is salacious and not necessarily one bit true, but the descriptions of the “old money” players at Auburn is spot on.

http://www.tigerdroppings.com/rant/messagetopic.asp?p=22778676

Rodney Dangerfield

November 18th, 2010
8:35 am

Where there is smoke there is fire and in Auburn’s case, an inferno!