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.

Please follow me on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/MrCFB

“Barnhart and Durham:” Wes Durham and I are back in the 790 The Zone studio today starting at 10 a.m. We’ll break down the latest coaching changes, including the Rich Rodriguez firing at Michigan. We’ll also look back to Mark Richt’s presser conference on Wednesday and how Georgia will move forward. Please join us. www.790thezone.com.

581 comments Add your comment

BAMA dude

January 6th, 2011
4:01 pm

Good grief

January 6th, 2011
4:00 pm
Bama dude,

If it’s all the same to you I’ll just accept your non-answer as my answer

What was the question?

Good grief

January 6th, 2011
4:03 pm

Paul in RDU –

It’s a completely hypothetical “what-if” scenario, and it would be quite boring if EVERY stud kid stayed at home CA, TX, FL, GA, OH and PA, but it is valid to point out which states are producing all the best talent. I just find it funny that most Alabama fans (of either school) like to razz Georgians (not just UGA fans), when fact of the matter is a large portion of their athletes (and hot chicks mind you) are from the state of Georgia.

Good grief

January 6th, 2011
4:04 pm

LOL, come on Bama Dude, don’t play coy with me

Tell the truth

January 6th, 2011
4:05 pm

This blog is either full of lawyers or wannabe pharisees

Good Grief

January 6th, 2011
4:06 pm

Okay… I’ll repeat the question.

Would you prefer to have railroad spikes driven into both ears simultaneously, or have bamboo shoots injected under each and every finger and toe?

Come on man… It can’t be that hard for you to decide?

Good Grief

January 6th, 2011
4:07 pm

Sheesh… You Bammers are sooo dumb!

Bama

January 6th, 2011
4:09 pm

GG,

I’d never razz a Georgia fan. You guys have enough problems on your own. You don’t need any grief from me.

kool$kat

January 6th, 2011
4:12 pm

Bulldoggies won NC in ‘80 because of Herschel Walker, no way they win it without him, and its well known that Herschel suddenly acquired a brand new TransAm about the time he signed with UGA. So lets investigate that and then talk about taking away some trophies, OK???

Got Crack Bama? Monkey Says Edition

January 6th, 2011
4:13 pm

Too bad you can’t spell “narcissism” LoL You are calling me illiterate?

Buckeye

January 6th, 2011
4:13 pm

What to watch:

GoDaddy.Com Bowl tonight, ESPN 8PM ( Primetime, right?), Middle Tenn State vs. Miami (OH)

Was the Liberty Bowl play in Primetime? No, didn’t think so.

osubuck

January 6th, 2011
4:15 pm

Enter your comments here

gcs

January 6th, 2011
4:17 pm

The rulings might be different but they are both guilty liars.

.

BAMA dude

January 6th, 2011
4:17 pm

Good grief

January 6th, 2011
4:04 pm
LOL, come on Bama Dude, don’t play coy with me

I’m not. If the question is a choice between recruiting exclusively one state or recruiting no one from that state but recruiting the other 49, give me the latter every day and twice on Sundays. I thought I already said that.

Good grief

January 6th, 2011
4:17 pm

Tell the truth –

Did you really call me a biblical Jew? That’s a new one. And I must be onto something I guess. I have achieved having my moniker stolen status now. I’m proud.

Good grief

January 6th, 2011
4:18 pm

Bama dude,

But I think in that scenario the other states are keeping their own as well.

Bama

January 6th, 2011
4:19 pm

We all need something to be proud of, don’t we? :-)

BAMA dude

January 6th, 2011
4:21 pm

Good grief

January 6th, 2011
4:03 pm
Paul in RDU –

It’s a completely hypothetical “what-if” scenario, and it would be quite boring if EVERY stud kid stayed at home CA, TX, FL, GA, OH and PA, but it is valid to point out which states are producing all the best talent. I just find it funny that most Alabama fans (of either school) like to razz Georgians (not just UGA fans), when fact of the matter is a large portion of their athletes (and hot chicks mind you) are from the state of Georgia

Uh, I think you have that backwards chief. Taking football completely out of it, I’ve never heard a single Georgia joke from anybody in Alabama. Many of them hate the traffic, etc. that comes with a big city but I’ve never heard them slamming the state. However, I must have heard a few thousand Alabama jokes in my life.

BAMA dude

January 6th, 2011
4:23 pm

Good grief

January 6th, 2011
4:18 pm
Bama dude,

But I think in that scenario the other states are keeping their own as well.

Oh, then we just award the national title to Texas every year? They absolutely get the cream in the best state every year. The Florida and Cali schools split theirs a little more; not Texas.

Nance

January 6th, 2011
4:24 pm

@Buckeye,

My response to you mysteriously disappeared, so I guess I need to repeat it. Going 6-7 is the price you have to pay sometimes when you play in a real conference. I’m sure you have no complaints, and why should you? As I stated earlier, you essentially have to play only one real game a year, and if you win it, no matter how ugly or how close it is, the Big 10 homers on ESPN will automatically proclaim you frauds national champions.

So why would you care if every other CFB fan in the other 42 states realizes you guys are nothing more than paper tigers thanks to a biased media?

Good grief

January 6th, 2011
4:25 pm

But you’d have to admit a GA, OH and PA could occasional slip in there and win it. Texas just have a knack for producing qb’s. I was blown away to learn that even Andrew Luck is a Texas kid. They are a QB factory.

Good grief

January 6th, 2011
4:26 pm

And I can’t really combat your Bama joke statement….

BAMA dude

January 6th, 2011
4:26 pm

Andrew Luck’s father just said that he’s returning to Stanford for another year. Guess Cam is singing, “I’m goin’ to Carolina…”

Bama

January 6th, 2011
4:26 pm

Good grief,

Here’s Bama’s Roster: http://www.rolltide.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/alab-m-footbl-mtt.html

Wanna show us yours?

osubuck

January 6th, 2011
4:27 pm

Lot of good points here and I really can’t disagree with any of them. However; as a Buckeye fan we feel that the national media mainly the likes of Mark May gives no credit to OSU. The first few games are not against the nation’s power house teams but rarely are any other top schools. The difference is the league play, no doubt about it the Big 10 has been a little weaker or at least looks that way at Bowl time. Keep in mind that Big Ten teams are built for the colder weather, they still have a lot of speed, but none the less they are typically built for cooler weather. The Bowl games are almost always in the warmer climates and in OSU’ case 2 of the last 3 Bowl games were played against SEC teams in SEC territory with an SEC dominated crowd…almost like a home game. If we go to a Rose Bowl and play a team from the west coast league, guess what…another home team environment. No excuses just a fact. I would love to see a Alabama, LSU or Florida team play a bowl game at the shoe or at the “Big House” in January and see how it turns out. Would that team built for speed play the same, how would the Big Ten team that is built for that environment look? Food for thought before y’all kick the northern teams under the bus!

BAMA dude

January 6th, 2011
4:28 pm

I don’t think anybody but Texas would ever win it. You could go in the NFL right now and put together a Super Bowl champion from kids that grew up in Texas.

valentino

January 6th, 2011
4:32 pm

nance -

Bingo!! Did you notice how the sh*theads on ESPN magically forgot about the SEC prisonrapings OSU suffered in recent championship games by BARELY defeating a very overrated Arkansas team with their SUSPENDED players? And it was as though the SEC domination from Saturday never occurred. ESPN is as spineless as you get.

Bama

January 6th, 2011
4:32 pm

@osubuck

Why would anybody want to play a bowl game in a slop-bucket?

Is that really the best excuse that you guys can dream up?

Bama

January 6th, 2011
4:35 pm

valentino,

It’s not fair. Those Big10 teams had to play in the South. They ain’t built for that kind of abuse!

Good grief

January 6th, 2011
4:36 pm

Ahh yes, another “but it’s warmer” copout. Half, if not more, of the college football schedule is played during warm/comfortable temperatures in Big 10 country. I have plenty of family there. You rarely get snow before Christmas. And it’s not as though the BCS bowl games are being played in the middle of summer. 65-75 degrees is NOT hot, that’s room temperature.

Good grief

January 6th, 2011
4:37 pm

Bowl games are REWARDS. There is nothing rewarding about playing a football game outdoors in Minnesota in January.

Gen Neyland

January 6th, 2011
4:38 pm

BAMA dude : Yeah, I’m serious cause if the NCAA was also serious about stopping crime in it’s tracks it wouldn’t allow the ’special favors’. osu CT says the NCAA erred correctly because, and I paraphrease here, ‘Why should our Seniors suffer because of the actions of the underclassmen’. I made the analogy last night : I rob a bank, get busted and sentenced to 10-20 but the judge sees special considerations because I’ve got a 2 year old to raise to the age of majority. Sentence delayed and I get to live the life I shouldn’t be allowed. Headlines should read Sorry kid, Daddy screwed up…

Bama

January 6th, 2011
4:42 pm

Hmm…

Did the “right people” get punished when Albert Means got shopped around? Several schools were shopped, but Bama wound up with him, so…

I guess the guys who suffered through the probation years later were just as guilty as the Memphis coaches shopping Albert and the Memphis “Bama Booster” who paid up?

Bama

January 6th, 2011
4:43 pm

BTW: Nobody, including the NCAA, disputed that Albert Means was unaware of the shopping on his behalf.

The Karl Childers

January 6th, 2011
4:44 pm

Amen, Brother osubuck.

osubuck

January 6th, 2011
4:45 pm

As far as the C.Newton and OSU players involved in problems this year goes. In my humble opinion Cam’s deal has the look and taste of a real NCAA violation where as the OSU 5 was a violation of Buckeye pride and personal character and it angers and embarrasses OSU fans. I would almost classify it as sacrilegious and just shows how much some of today’s kids display a general lack of respect for everything and everybody. This is not an OSU thing it’s the generation of I want what I want and I want it now, and I don’t care what anybody thinks. Look around your place of employment, some of the younger kids think that they should have the job that you worked 20 or 30 yrs to get.

Bama

January 6th, 2011
4:46 pm

Nor did the NCAA provide “proof” that the University had any knowledge of the alleged shopping.

They aren’t required to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt — they aren’t a court of law.

Bama

January 6th, 2011
4:48 pm

@osubuck

They aren’t being suspended for hurting the fans’ feelings. They are being suspended (or not) for violating NCAA rules – doesn’t matter if you agree with the rules or not.

BAMA dude

January 6th, 2011
4:48 pm

Gen Neyland, I look at it completely differently. The Sugar was nothing more than an exhibition and a reward for all the players on a good season. It’s not like the school would get any less money by playing without those kids. By suspending them next season they will have to play five games that actually will affect their prospects at making it into the BCS. That, to me, is a much more severe penalty than a Bowl. In most cases where a player skips a bowl (Andre Smith for one), it’s the school’s decision based on team rules or what not.

Bama

January 6th, 2011
4:53 pm

BAMA dude,

You really are beginning to sound like Bill Clinton. I’ll give you the fact that the Sugar Bowl “Championship” no longer has any real meaning, but do you honestly believe that losing that game wouldn’t have affected OSU’s recruiting or pre-season poll placement next year?

BAMA dude

January 6th, 2011
4:54 pm

Bama

January 6th, 2011
4:53 pm
BAMA dude,

You really are beginning to sound like Bill Clinton. I’ll give you the fact that the Sugar Bowl “Championship” no longer has any real meaning, but do you honestly believe that losing that game wouldn’t have affected OSU’s recruiting or pre-season poll placement next year?

Go back and see how getting waxed by the SEC in bowls has affected their preseason rankings the last few times and you’ll have your answer.

Too tough 44

January 6th, 2011
4:56 pm

ncaa is should disband! What a load of junk they didnt do their job. I have no respect for that govening body any longer. sold their souls to the devil!

BAMA dude

January 6th, 2011
4:57 pm

Oh, and Bama- using my Andre Smith example, I think we did OK after the whole Utah debacle. Don’t you?

Bama

January 6th, 2011
4:57 pm

There was tangible value for OSU in winning that so-called “meaningless” game and there is little chance that OSU would have won the game had the suspended players actually have been, you know… Suspended.

Out of State Monkey

January 6th, 2011
4:59 pm

Bowl games ARE rewards, just ask the teams that played the Bugs and UGAY this year. On a different note, I saw OSU’s first 5 games next year — they’re all cake. Especially that one against Colorado. Now what self respecting team could possibly lose to Colorado…hmmm..I wonder…

Oh wait, I know. Maybe it was that 6-7 team that only has a bad record because they play in the big bad SEC — and not because they also lost to last place Big 12 teams and Conference USA schools.

Bama

January 6th, 2011
5:00 pm

Sure. We did just fine.

Then again, we actually suspended our suspended player, didn’t we?

osubuck

January 6th, 2011
5:01 pm

C’mon Bama, don’t get defensive and start calling names or insults. We got our asses kicked a couple of times can’t deny that. As I recall over the past few years Oklahoma took it on the chin as did Florida by Michigan not to mention others and not a hole lot was made of it. The SEC has been the better overall league, but don’t forget that Auburn should have lost a game or 2 but some dumb luck emerged as did LSU (remember the team that couldn’t count to 11) so c’mon Bama y’all didn’t exactly have a season of no doubt victories. Oh yeh, lets see if Auburn can match what OSU did to Oregon last year or did you forget about that.

Out of State Monkey

January 6th, 2011
5:03 pm

I also propose a rule change where the Ay She She Champ and the Big Least Champ are sent to the Liberty Bowl each year to match up with UCF from here on out. The winner gets the key to the State of Georgia.

Bama

January 6th, 2011
5:03 pm

Names? Insults?

I only questioned your logic. Luck is always a part of winning a National Championship. Cheating, however, need not be involved.

BAMA dude

January 6th, 2011
5:04 pm

Oh yeh, lets see if Auburn can match what OSU did to Oregon last year or did you forget about that.

You mean beat them by 7?

Seriously?

January 6th, 2011
5:04 pm

The Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan, lobbied for the suspensions of the Ohio State players to be delayed until next year:

“I made the point that anything that could be done to preserve the integrity of this year’s game, we would greatly appreciate it,” Hoolahan was quoted by the Columbus Dispatch.

TOO FUNNY!