Cam Newton, Terrelle Pryor rulings are completely different

Nobody asked me but:

The Cameron Newton and Terrelle Pryor rulings are completely different: Since Ohio State’s Pryor has already played (and won) the Sugar Bowl and Auburn’s Newton will (probably) play in his last college football game Monday night, I’m going to make this point one last time and call it a day.

I had more than a few people from Big Ten country write and tell me that Pryor should get to play inthe Sugar Bowl because Newton got to play in the SEC championship game and beyond. It’s the same NCAA and fair is fair.

First of all, I thought Pryor played great Tuesday night. There is no question that he still has some maturity issues to work through but he is a marvelous athlete playing the quarterback position.

But, in a nutshell, here is the difference in the two rulings:

Pryor: There was a finding of FACT that he and four other Ohio State players exchanged stuff that was given to him by the school for something of value (like money and tattoos). Money did change hands. There is a clear penalty for that in the rule book: four game suspension. The NCAA tacked on another game because it happened a year ago and the players did not report it. You may think it is a stupid rule (a lot of people do) but the rule is clear. The goofy part is that the penalty starts next season, but that’s a completely different argument.

Newton: There was a finding of fact that the father, Cecil Newton, had a conversation with a former Mississippi State player (Kenny Rogers) not affiliated with the school, about the POSSIBILITY of getting paid. There was no finding that money ever changed hands. There was no finding that those kinds of discussions took place with anybody connected to Auburn.

And here is the key component. Unlike the Ohio State case, there was NOT a specific rule in the NCAA manual to deal with the Newton case. There was a lot of speculation in the conventional media and the social media that SOMETHING was going on here. But when it came time to make the decision, the only facts the NCAA had were that Cecil Newton had a conversation with Kenny Rogers and that no such conversations had taken place with anybody connected to Auburn.

Bottom line: If the NCAA could have proven that Cecil Newton had a similar conversation with somebody who had Auburn ties, the son would not be playing today. If the NCAA could have proven that Cecil Newton had taken money from somebody with Mississippi State ties, the son would not be playing Monday night. There was a helluva lot of speculation that SOMETHING took place. And I have heard from people who believe that it simply defies logic that there wasn’t more to this story.

I understand and sympathize with that point of view. But what you BELIEVE and what you can PROVE are different things. It’s a tough case.

And here’s another point. A lot of people have written that the reason Cam Newton was not punished was that he did not know what his father was up to. In retrospect the NCAA should have not included that factor because it only clouds its ruling. The fact that Cam Newton did not know was a MITIGATING factor but not a DECIDING factor in the ruling. There is a big difference.

The NCAA could not sit Cameron Newton because it did not have a specific rule to address this specific case. That’s it. I feel confident in saying that there will be such a rule in the future.

I hope that settles it but I have a feeling this case will never be settled.

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581 comments Add your comment

Dawg_Mike

January 6th, 2011
8:45 am

Never ? No, it will be settled and someone will not like it.

JB

January 6th, 2011
8:46 am

RattlerGator

January 6th, 2011
8:47 am

Very good breakdown of the obvious differentiation, Tony. I don’t expect it to satisfy the lynch mob Tony but that, too, is another story.

JB

January 6th, 2011
8:47 am

Second is good

Chris

January 6th, 2011
8:47 am

I can’t be first but if I am, then it’s a magic day. I do love the way you clarify things and write rationally while still being passionate about College football; particularly southern football.

JB

January 6th, 2011
8:47 am

I think it’s dead. I think the NCAA doesn’t want to go there. Just me

Southside Dawg

January 6th, 2011
8:48 am

Look. It’s as simple as this: Pryor got busted when he broke the rules and Newton didn’t get busted when he broke the rules. Done.

m

January 6th, 2011
8:48 am

Tony, what a pathetic defense of the Cam Newton ruliing.

Bottom line is the NCAA sucked up to the secESPN power structure.

Cam told numerous of his friends that he wanted to got to Miss St “but the money was too good at awBARN”.

Tony, if you honestly believe that Cam Newton did not know, then you are more than tool…you are a fool.

bo

January 6th, 2011
8:51 am

actually it is already settled.

TONY B ROCKS

January 6th, 2011
8:52 am

Tony, please compare the Tat 5 ruling to the suspension of Aj Green and explain why the OSU players were allowed to play this season while AJ was not.

http://thegeorgiasportsreport.blogspot.com/

crabapplejoe

January 6th, 2011
8:53 am

Did they play the Orange Bowl yet….still waiting for an article in the AJC about the game….

Herschel Talker

January 6th, 2011
8:54 am

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Alphare

January 6th, 2011
8:55 am

Tony, good points.

When you are making a ruling, you base your decisions on facts, not speculations. Logic tells people a parent would never kill his/her own child, but it happened. Logic tells me Newton’s dad must have told his son what he is doing, but he could have killed Cam as well.

Loran, whatdayagot?

January 6th, 2011
8:57 am

. . . . . . 6 points and a cloud of bobo.

Ed

January 6th, 2011
8:57 am

In my opinion the NCAA has lost all credibility. They really need to take a step back and develop a more consistent approach to this subject. I am sure there are many more examples out there that have not surfaced.

Colonel Rebel

January 6th, 2011
8:58 am

Newton got paid and everyone in this part of the world knows it. Fact is, Auburn has a banker and a casino owner to launder their payments to players (which they have been doing since the 80’s) and when you have a “Preacher” on the other end you have an even easier way to launder the money! Auburn decided what the hell lets play this thing out and if we win they cant take the fact that we won it on the field away even if they do come and take away the Crystal ball. Hell Tuberville gave his players FAKE National Championship rings in ‘04. its the Auburn way!

Still, $200,000 for a National Championship is still a good return on investment.

The rest of us

January 6th, 2011
8:58 am

When will the stench of the 2010 college football season just go away? It started with the Miami trip that crippled UNC and continued with A.J. Green selling a bowl jersey to an agent. The whole Cam Newton situation probably will never be solved. Six Ohio State players breaking rules two years ago got suspended for the first five games of next year, of which most will never serve. Now multiple Auburn players getting their grades changed so they will be eligible for the BCS Championship game. When can we finally put this sordid season behind us?

Mtn Dawg

January 6th, 2011
8:58 am

Fine Tony. The distinction has been made for those two cases although I don’t agree it’s that simple. My question, why can’t the NCAA be consistent in handing down those penalties. If the Alabama lineman who was proven to have accepted gifts (money?) gets a 1 game slap on the hand, why does A.J. get 4 games and OSU guys get 5 games. It doesn’t make sense and it never will. The infractions committee lives in a black box and works in a smoky room so those deliberations that determine fate of student athletes are by design, secret. It’s BS plain and simple.

Common Sense

January 6th, 2011
9:01 am

The NCAA isn’t going to find any “facts” when they refuse to investigate. Were it not for the few remaining investigative journalists out there (TB obviously not included in this group), nobody would have ever even heard of Cecil Newton’s shenanigans. Who will investigate the NCAA?

Mtn Dawg

January 6th, 2011
9:01 am

And Mike Slive is on a witch hunt.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ajc sports editor, Tony Barnhart. Tony Barnhart said: Cam Newton, Terrelle Pryor NCAA rulings are completely different. http://tinyurl.com/2ad8pkh [...]

THEGAME

January 6th, 2011
9:03 am

m Where did Cam say that? His father starting making more and more of these decisions once Cam continually screwed up. (Laptop, Driving, School) Cecil made the decision to go to Blinn JUCO. Did Blinn pay him? Auburn has the toughest compliance department in the SEC. The biggest fact in this case is that if Auburn was not winning and beating UGA and others as bad as they did, the fans of these schools would not be spending their time dreaming up conspiracy theories.

The NCAA has already said they are happy with the findings and are satisfied. Anyone who thinks the wording of teh release leaves the investigation open, needs to realize it is the same wording used in the AJ Green release also. So if this is the case, the AJ Green case is still opne.

MR

January 6th, 2011
9:03 am

“Agent may refer to one who acts for, or in the place of, another, by authority from him; one intrusted with the business of another.”

Why is Cam’s dad not considered an agent at this point ?
Wouldn’t having an agent be against the rules of his eligibility?
Didn’t Cam already admit his Dad made the decision for him ?

So in essence we can Say Cam said. “I have an agent and he made my college decision for me.”

And that agent in turn said “Yes, I have solicited money for my client.”

What's a d a w g?

January 6th, 2011
9:04 am

If you think you are a victim of Cam’s football prowess and there are plenty of you out there, your point of view on this subject is clear. You hate Cam and you hate Auburn and you want only what’s worse for them. If you’re an adult and you take an adult view of this whole mess, you don’t feel that way. You’re interested in the truth, but you have no desire for hateful retribution. How sad that there are so many out there just hoping against hope for some pain and suffering to visit Cam and Auburn. I personally feel pretty confident that those of you who feel that way will be disappointed yet again. I think Cam and the Auburn family deserve to be where they are, in Glendale, getting ready to win a National Championship. War Damn Eagle!

Taint

January 6th, 2011
9:04 am

Taint no NC for 2010 — just a bunch of asterisks.

MAJORPAYNE

January 6th, 2011
9:05 am

Losers always complain that winners cheat.

DC

January 6th, 2011
9:05 am

WOAH eagle baby!

Chomp!

January 6th, 2011
9:06 am

The goofy part is that the penalty starts next season

Not “goofy”, just hypocritical. The NCAA wants to slap a penalty on a student for taking a little money but also protect the bowls that are taking in a LOT of money by using those same students as free entertainment for high-dollar crowds.

wesleywhatwhat

January 6th, 2011
9:06 am

what a joke.

i don’t mean the ncaa. i mean this article and all of tony barhart’s SEC *ss kissing.

Taint

January 6th, 2011
9:07 am

Winners don’t cheat — cheaters do.

Sam Floret

January 6th, 2011
9:08 am

Common Sense: The “journalists” you speak of did not uncover anything other than the NCAA was already looking into the allegations. The NCAA was involved before any story broke. You can go back to hating now.

Mtn Dawg

January 6th, 2011
9:09 am

@MR – Good point. That makes perfect sense. So, the NCAA has these hard and fast rules but a tremendous amount of leeway as to how to enforce/interpret the rules. Sure. Cecil is acting as Cam’s agent but that was not even considered? What kind of precedent does that set? WTF?

RCB

January 6th, 2011
9:09 am

Let’s just deal with the FACTS then. The NCAA did say the son did not know what the father did. Your comments about whether that was “mitigating” or “decisive” are opinion and not fact. It is also a FACT that the son said he did not know what his father did. And it is also a FACT that the son said he never talked to his father about what the father did up until just days before the Heisman announcement. It is also a FACT that the son said his father did nothing wrong and was only trying to do what was best for the son. This is the moral code that you now have repeatedly rationalized, excused, endorsed , and now adopted. You (and the rest of the commentators who make a living off of these sons) have made your beds. Its is time you accept the consequences.

Aubie's Time

January 6th, 2011
9:09 am

Honestly one of the best, well-written posts I’ve read from Tony on here. Not just as an Auburn homer but he makes several great points here. You can only go by what you KNOW!

1)Bottom line: If the NCAA could have proven that Cecil Newton had a similar conversation with somebody who had Auburn ties, the son would not be playing today. If the NCAA could have proven that Cecil Newton had taken money from somebody with Mississippi State ties, the son would not be playing Monday night. There was a helluva lot of speculation that SOMETHING took place. And I have heard from people who believe that it simply defies logic that there wasn’t more to this story.

I understand and sympathize with that point of view. But what you BELIEVE and what you can PROVE are different things. It’s a tough case.

2) Unlike the Ohio State case, there was NOT a specific rule in the NCAA manual to deal with the Newton case. There was a lot of speculation in the conventional media and the social media that SOMETHING was going on here. But when it came time to make the decision, the only facts the NCAA had were that Cecil Newton had a conversation with Kenny Rogers and that no such conversations had taken place with anybody connected to Auburn.

Bishop Cecil

January 6th, 2011
9:09 am

Thanks Tony.

I knew I could count on you. Enjoy your steak dinner.

DC

January 6th, 2011
9:10 am

Colonel Rebel – you are dumb. That’s all I got. That’s all I need. That’s all I want to say to you. Hope it helps you in the future.

dawgfacedboy

January 6th, 2011
9:10 am

Still doesn’t explain why Pryor and the others were allowed to play in the BCS game. AJ was suspended for the same thing.

Actually I know why they weren’t suspended: They aren’t going to sabotage the Sugar Bowl by suspending all of OSU’s best players. The BCS would lose ratings and money. ONly way to keep the hype up is to let the players play. That being said; they should be 5-0 when the starters come back, their first 5 games are a joke.

How can they play a schedule like that and get a tug job by the national media every year?!?!?! It’s amazing!!

Dawg Man

January 6th, 2011
9:13 am

Tony- I feel like this story is far from over. Eventually, down the road Cam and Cecil will cost Auburn the national and sec championship and also bowl probation and a number of scholarships. The truth I think will come out but it will take quite a while for the smoke to clear.

JWalker

January 6th, 2011
9:15 am

What is the difference between a FACT and a FINDING OF FACT?

Also, I thought there was a specific rule that addresses the Newton case that says you can’t solicit on behalf of a student athlete and that if you do he is ineligible? Or did the media make that rule up?

Mtn Dawg

January 6th, 2011
9:15 am

This isn’t about ‘hating’ a particular athlete or university. This is about unaccountability at the NCAA. It just floors me at the power they have. Coaches and athletes alike and universities cower at the mere suggestion that they might be on the NCAA radar screen. This is more like the McCarthy era than anything. ‘O.k. boys and girls, lets go find some violations and make up some rules and penalties to fit the crime’.

pay for play attempt

January 6th, 2011
9:15 am

Cecil Newton is going to be “Loud and Proud”
while attending the BCS Championship game..

Schad Is A Scab

January 6th, 2011
9:16 am

Even if his Dad is considered an agent it doesn’t matter. You have to prove KNOWING involvement from Cam Newton himself, then you have to prove that money actually changed hands. Of course right now, you can’t even prove this had anything to do with the school Newton signed with in the first place.

NCAA

January 6th, 2011
9:17 am

We’ll investigate after the Bowl Season ends. We have a whole cabinet full of asterisks — just ask Reggie Bush.

Kevin

January 6th, 2011
9:18 am

If there was no proof of wrongdoing by the Newtons, then WHY DID AU SUSPEND CAM, even for one day? That makes no sense.

Miles

January 6th, 2011
9:19 am

Mr Barnhart…GREAT EXPLANATION!

Any thoughts on Manny Diaz bolting to Texas?

Good grief

January 6th, 2011
9:20 am

The OSU boys should have sat out the Sugar Bowl, no doubt about it. Even the most diehard of Suckeye fans realizes this. But the Little 11 has always been, and will always be, the prettiest girl in the room in the eyes of the NCAA, so naturally they can get away with murder. Also tack on the shameless Sugar Bowl executives that did everything possible to make sure the NCAA and OSU coaches wouldn’t take the most fair and appropriate action. Most would agree that the Suckeyes are still winnless against the SEC in bowl games since this “win” has a one big a$$ asterisk beside it.

Paul in RDU

January 6th, 2011
9:21 am

I agree with Tony that there are major differences between the OSU and Cam Newton situation and that according to the letter of the NCAA laws (and Mike Slive’s interpretation of SEC by-law 14.01.3.2) Newton is eligible to play. The OSU players should have been ineligible for the bowl. However, if Tony thinks that the NCAA didn’t play favorites in both of these cases I have some land in Florida to sell him.
Cam Newton was declared eligible within 24 hours of being declared ineligible – and by one of those magical coincidences, this occurred less than a week before the SEC CG. It took the NCAA weeks to make a ruling on AJ Green and in the UNC case it took weeks to make rulings on players, some of whom were cleared without any NCAA penalty. They still had to sit out games though. The NCAA waited so long to rule on Ryan Houston, the starting RB going into 2010, that he missed what should have been his entire senior year.
The creative enforcement by the NCAA to have the OSU 5 eligible for the Sugar Bowl was driven by $ as was the rapid resolution of the Cam Newton case immediately before the SEC CG.

NCAA

January 6th, 2011
9:21 am

@Kevin

Isn’t having the DUCKS in the BCSCG embarrassing enough? Did you really want TCU in the game as well?

NOBODY would watch that snooze-fest. Do you know how much it costs to lose that much market share?

Good grief

January 6th, 2011
9:22 am

The $cam Newton case will go exactly the way the Reggie Bush ordeal did. Years down the road after he’s already made his millions the NCAA will come out and say “whoopsie!! actually, something just crossed our desk and Auburn really did pay for Newton’s services. Our bad!!!”

DawginLex

January 6th, 2011
9:23 am

the bottom line is this:

Pryor and his 4 buddies should not have been allowed to play in the Sugar Bowl. Period. end of discussion.

Cameron Newton should not have been allowed to play college football this past year. What his father did was basically attempt to prostitute his son to play intercollegiate athletics. Whether or not money changed hands is irrelevant.

Substitute “Cam Newton” with “John Wall” and substitute “Gene Chizik” with “John Calipari”.

Do we have a different result?
Would John Wall have played?
Would John Calipari still be coaching?

The NCAA is a freaking joke.

No one with an ounce of credibility in their bones can defend their actions and decisions.