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

Bama

January 6th, 2011
5:05 pm

Alabama and Texas played in the real Rose Bowl last year, as I recall.

osubuck

January 6th, 2011
5:06 pm

Bama, are you a whiner? Very unbecoming of the South and I respect the hell out the South!

Something else to consider….Where did some of the best coaches in the country come from? That’s right Bama boy OHIO!!!!!!!

Bama

January 6th, 2011
5:07 pm

@Seriously?

Amazing that a man who doesn’t understand the meaning of the word “integrity” made CEO, huh?

Bama

January 6th, 2011
5:09 pm

Don’t tell me about Ohio. Been there, done that.

BTW: I stopped being a boy back when you were still just a twinkle in your Daddy’s eye.

Out of State Monkey

January 6th, 2011
5:12 pm

CMR is running a contest for UGAY fans this year. Whoever correctly guesses the total points Boise is giong to rack up on the puppies next season gets a new set of teeth.

East Atlanta

January 6th, 2011
5:12 pm

Every time I hear the OSU people come up with some lame, agitated defense about how it was truly fair that their guys got to play in that game, I’m reminded of Shakespeare: “Methinks the lady doth protest too much.”

In other words, you give yourselves away. OSU sucks.

CL

January 6th, 2011
5:12 pm

The NCAA is barely a step above professional wrestling, if indeed there is any separation. Had Auburn been a .500 team, the Lovliest Village would have been napalmed. But they weren’t a .500 team, were they? College football has become a multi-billion dollar boondoggle that, at its core, is sadly out of control. No wonder daddy wanted to get paid.

Pay the man

January 6th, 2011
5:17 pm

Another CYA story from Mr. Tony BS…..

Out of State Monkey

January 6th, 2011
5:19 pm

So Herschel was paid with Trans Ams back in ‘80 huh? Now they’re paying Scam’s Daddy $180K? It’s all good, just need to adjust for inflation. Those boys from OSU better start raising their rates.

osubuck

January 6th, 2011
5:20 pm

Thanks for the entertainment Bama, it’s good to disagree. You must be a good SEC / Bama fan so good luck to you, and I will continue to be a Big Ten guy and OSU fan through think and thin. Take care my man!!

Bama

January 6th, 2011
5:21 pm

You nailed it CL.

You can’t really blame a guy for wanting a piece of the action when the game is so blatantly corrupt to begin with.

Beast from the East

January 6th, 2011
5:26 pm

Tony,
I don’t always agree with your point of view, but I think you explained it perfectly. It may come out one day that Cam did receive soemthing from Auburn, but without any proof they did the right thing.
My problem is that the OSU players should have been suspended immediately just like AJ Green was. They did the exact same thing he did and they still got to play in the BCS game. That was a BS decision that I’m sure the Dawg Nation is fuming over. It appears the NCAA is very selective in it’s enforcement of the rules. I think Adams and McGarity have an axe to grind. This is from a die-hard Gator.

Bama

January 6th, 2011
5:28 pm

Same to ya osubuck. I recall some great games between our two schools. I had supper one night sitting under Archie’s Heisman Trophy at that restaurant (can’t recall the name?) across from the shoe. I’m just disgusted with the NCAA right now.

Mike Smith

January 6th, 2011
5:45 pm

Give it a rest, Tony. From what I understand, it is an NCAA violation for a father to shop his son…PERIOD. The Father cannot be punished, so as in many other cases, the NCAA punishes the student athlete. In this case, Cam should have had to sit at least a game or two…end of story.

You can make excuses and double talk all you want, but a rule was broken and NO punishment handed out. Mark my words, just like in the Ohio St. case, if big money for BCS conferences was not at stake, Cam would have sat a game or two. But Auburn was the last hope to stave off the dreaded mid-major TCU, and Ohio St. players needed to be on the field to be a draw for the Sugar Bowl.

Huh?

January 6th, 2011
5:50 pm

Mike Smith,

You are a breath of fresh air in this whirlwind of stank. Long live common sense!

MoneyBags

January 6th, 2011
6:43 pm

Could we possibly get two more appropriate teams to represent the NCAA in the BCS Championship game this year?

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-06/megamoney-comes-from-megadonors-at-ou-and-auburn.html

Show Me the Money!!!

Steve

January 6th, 2011
7:06 pm

OK… This is for all of you who think that Tressel should have kept those guys (who, I agree are stupid for doing what they did):

I, as a person who has no real say like a fan or a newspaper writer, feel that Mark Richt should have sat Green out of the liberty bowl for selling the jersey. I think that Mark Richt is a terrible dirty coach for not going above and beyond the punishment that the NCAA has imposed. How dare he not impose additional punishment because fans think he should!!

CatsFly

January 6th, 2011
7:13 pm

Know how to do the “Rocky Flop” (Tn)? Trail in the game for 50 mins., then go up 3 with less than 5 mins to go. Then get 3 15 yd penalties while allowing the opponent to drive 80 yds in 31 secs. Then throw an interception in OT. That folks is called the “Rocky Flop”.

Raiding Arizona

January 6th, 2011
7:16 pm

Why would the BCS schedule a college football game in an NFL stadium that is only designed to seat 63,400? Tickets are now being scalped for upward of $3000.00 and Auburn alumni have become irate to learn that, while their own purchase from the 16,000 ticket allotment via the Auburn Athletic Department is limited, Alabama state politicians have been purchasing unlimited tickets from them at face value for the purpose of gifting key constituents.

Meanwhile, many ordinary Auburn fans have naively hit the road for Glendale, sans tickets, hoping to “tailgate” at The University of Phoenix campus. Surprise! There is no campus — only vast stretches of barren desert. The mail-order/web-based U of P paid good money to own the naming rights for the stadium, but they have neither a campus nor any intercollegiate sports programs whatsoever.

Great job, BCS!

Bama Dude's Worst Nightmare

January 6th, 2011
7:24 pm

Price Is Fired by Alabama

May 04, 2003|

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Mike Price was fired by Alabama without coaching a game because of behavior including a night at a topless bar — another embarrassment for a once-proud football program.

University President Robert Witt said Saturday that Price failed to live his “personal and professional life in a manner consistent with university policies.”

Price, hired away from Washington State in December, lost his job because of his conduct on a trip to Florida last month for a pro-am golf tournament. Witt disclosed for the first time that Price was warned before that trip about his public behavior.

“To the university and the entire ‘Bama Nation, I admit making mistakes and at times inappropriate behavior, but I also ask for your forgiveness,” Price said.

Rocky Flop

January 6th, 2011
7:29 pm

I spent a nite in a topless joint and got a raise, or was that a rise.

Bama Dude's Worst Nightmare

January 6th, 2011
7:29 pm

CENTRAL ISLIP, New York — Former New York Giants receiver and Michigan State standout Mark Ingram was sentenced Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2008, to more than seven years in prison for bank fraud and money laundering. It’s a third term behind bars for the player who starred in the 1991 Super Bowl and first made a name for himself at Flint Northwestern.

The 42-year-old Ingram also was ordered in Long Island federal court to pay $252,000 in restitution. He is free on $200,000 bail until Dec. 5.

He said the criminal record he has had since his 1996 retirement is “not who I am.”

“It hurts me to my core,” Ingram said. “I made mistakes.”
Ingram pleaded guilty in November 2005 to laundering money he believed to be proceeds from narcotics deals and to bank fraud for cashing counterfeit checks.

PHIL

January 6th, 2011
7:33 pm

I think comparing them to the AJ Green situation is far more accurate than comparing to the situation at Auburn. The main thing is that the NCAA has no actionable evidence on Auburn and won’t until the FBI turns it over to them.

poopdawg

January 6th, 2011
7:38 pm

“There were NO FINDINGS that money ever changed hands.” Thats fine and dandy if the Newton’s financial records were completely examined and cleared. Its not good if NO FINDINGS did not include a thorough examination of financial records. Someone please clarify this!

Bama

January 6th, 2011
7:38 pm

Nightmare,

Mike Price was not a good fit for the state of Alabama. Where he was from, it was cool for the HC to hang out with students in local bars and have a few cold ones in the evening. That would probably be okay with a lot of Alabamians as well, truth be told, but the one’s who actually manage the public institutions of Alabama would, in the majority, tend to disapprove. Face it, this is the Buckle of the Bible Belt.

What Coach Price did on that night didn’t violate any NCAA rules, nor did it avail the University any competitive advantage. Still, as a Bama fan, I’m glad that he was fired. I have no particular animosity toward the man. I’ve been to a few topless clubs myself. I just don’t believe that he could have ever been successful at the Capstone after that little escapade became public. It’s a shame, but it is what it is… Ain’t it?

Bama Dude's Worst Nightmare

January 6th, 2011
7:45 pm

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The NCAA placed Alabama on five years’ probation Friday, jolting the program Bear Bryant built into a power with a two-year bowl ban and heavy scholarship reductions.

A recruit, identified in news reports as Kenny Smith, and his parents were given $20,000 in cash, lodging and entertainment by two Crimson Tide boosters beginning in 1995. The first payment of $10,000 was made in $100 bills delivered in a grocery bag. Smith signed with Alabama but couldn’t meet academic requirements.
An Alabama booster previously identified as Logan Young of Memphis, Tenn., gave cash to a high school coach who was seeking $100,000 cash and two sport-utility vehicles in exchange for directing star recruit Albert Means to Alabama.
An assistant coach, former recruiting coordinator Ronnie Cottrell, received two loans totaling $56,600 from Young in violation of NCAA rules. The loan was not repaid until the case became known.
Two boosters involved in repeated rules violations were known to the Alabama staff, coaches and fans and often were seen at the team hotel during road games.
A recruit, identified previously as Travis Carroll, was given the use of a car in 1999 for agreeing to attend Alabama. The car was repossessed when Carroll transferred to Florida.
– The Associated Press
The governing body said it considered giving the Crimson Tide the most severe punishment — the death penalty — under the repeat violator rules for a recruiting scandal in which boosters were accused of paying money for high school players.

“They were absolutely staring down the barrel of a gun,” said Thomas Yeager, chairman of the infractions committee.

“These violations are some of the worst, most serious that have ever occurred,” he said.

Bama

January 6th, 2011
7:48 pm

poopdawg,

What I’d like to learn from a reporter is just who, exactly, is responsible for investigating the SEC and the NCAA? I want to know every little detail of how this investigation was handled — from the time it was first reported to the SEC by MSU, up to the time that the stories about Cecil Newton began to break last Fall.

Who guards the gate of the Gatekeepers? Do they investigate themselves?

Bama Dude's Worst Nightmare

January 6th, 2011
7:48 pm

I agree Bama but it was still embarassing for the university to fire a coach before he ever coached a game, wasn’t it?

Bama Dude's Worst Nightmare

January 6th, 2011
7:53 pm

If Alabama is found guilty of further violations during the probationary period, Yeager suggested the death penalty — the elimination of a sports program — could result.

“God forbid, there’s ever another appearance — ever,” Yeager said. “Should there be one — particularly within the five-year period — I don’t know what’s left.”

Bama Dude's Worst Nightmare

January 6th, 2011
7:54 pm

All-America defensive back Antonio Langham admitted signing with a sports agent the morning after the Tide gained the national title with a Sugar Bowl win over Miami but returned to play his senior season.

Bama

January 6th, 2011
8:00 pm

Nightmare,

Everyone’s already seen your mega-pasting of ancient stories about Alabama football players getting into trouble. Alabama isn’t involved in Auburn’s current NCAA problems. As a Bama fan, I’ve been accused by Auburn fans before of living in the past. It appears to me that you don’t have much of relevance to say about the present.

Good Luck with the Ducks.

Bama

January 6th, 2011
8:10 pm

Yes Nightmare.

It was embarrassing. As it was when that (very talented) doofus Antonio Langham got tipsy after the Big Game in the Big Easy and signed his name onto a c0cktail napkin that a sports agent handed him in a bar.

Yes. It was embarrassing.

Now… Do you really want me to start asking you a bunch of embarrassing questions? I sure hope not.

Bama

January 6th, 2011
8:25 pm

@Steve

The problem, as I see it, is that these various Universities do a little dance with the NCAA in which they maintain a semblance of independence. What usually happens when a rules infraction occurs is that the “Institution” self-reports and proposes self-administered punishment, and the Committee either approves that, or modifies it upward.

The problem is that there has been no clarity established regarding the specific conditions under which the NCAA will accept the individual Institution’s suggestions. They have made efforts to establish precedents, but they have done a poor job of following their own precedents in every case. Therefore, they now lack credibility with anyone capable of walking and tying their shoes.

Raiding Arizona

January 6th, 2011
8:37 pm

This is a picture of University of Phoenix Stadium:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/42/Cardinals_stadium_crop.jpg

Don’t exactly look like Tailgater Paradise to me. :-(

Theaveragejoe

January 6th, 2011
8:58 pm

Barnhart is not going to upset the apple cart by saying anything negative against the NCAA or the SEC. He wants to stay in their good graces and to hell with his Integrity. It would have been nice if Greens suspension was put off until the 2011 season. The SEC and NCAA will continue to cover for Newton because they don’t want to interfere with the money stream. By their logic if the Newtons had robbed a bank and did not come away with any money then they should go free.

MikeP

January 6th, 2011
8:58 pm

PHIL
January 6th, 2011
7:33 pm
“….The main thing is that the NCAA has no actionable evidence on Auburn and won’t until the FBI turns it over to them.”
If you’re waiting for that don’t hold your breath. It’s illegal for the FBI to turn over the results of investigations to private interests. The NCAA is not a federal agency, it’s not a law enforcement agency, it’s a private entity. The FBI would have to be subpoenaed, and the NCAA does not have subpoena authority. Paying players to attend XYZ university is not against the law, so the FBI has no interest.

In any case, the FBI investigation of gambling and bribery in Alabama concluded in October. The findings were turned over to prosecutors and the persecutors have prepared their case and asked the court for a trial date. See your 10′clock news over the past three weeks for details. That’s over and done.

To answer other questions, the NCAA investigators met with Cecil Newton and thoroughly examined both family and church financial records. Nothing unusual was found.

Who polices the NCAA and SEC? Nobody. They are organizations composed of voluntary members and they answer only to their members. They police themselves.

Here’s some advice for y’all hoping against hope for the axe to fall on Auburn…Quoting Sports Illustrated writer Lars Anderson on December 2nd.: “Sources inside the NCAA say the Cam Newton issue is settled. It’s over, done, dead. People need to move on.”

And ESPN writer Joe Schapp on December 3rd.: ” The NCAA is very satisfied with the Newton investigation. That case is closed and the files have been put away.”

Sorry to rain on your parades, but the Cam Newton media frenzy is over.

Mike

January 6th, 2011
9:11 pm

The only reason that the ‘facts’ don’t support a cam newton suspension is because the inconvenient ones, such as a miss. state recruiter’s conversation with cam newton in which cam stated that he would be going to auburn because the money was too much. The simple fact is that someone representing Cam and his father attempted to get money from mississippi state. By ncaa and sec rules, Cam is ineligible.

Those are the real facts, not the facts of convenience of the SEC and NCAA.

Fan of the Game

January 6th, 2011
9:33 pm

Somebody should have been punished for the Sugar Bowl, either the players or the coaches for not educating the players. What a joke! But what is new, the NCAA is a joke. 11 and 1/4 scholarships for college baseball. You talk about discrimination!

MikeP

January 6th, 2011
9:55 pm

By Mike at 9:11 PM
“The only reason that the ‘facts’ don’t support a cam newton suspension is because the inconvenient ones, such as a miss. state recruiter’s conversation with cam newton in which cam stated that he would be going to auburn because the money was too much. The simple fact is that someone representing Cam and his father attempted to get money from mississippi state. By ncaa and sec rules, Cam is ineligible.”

There was no such conversation. The only place that reported that was some blog site called “leather poop” or some such. Had that conversation actually occurred, Cam would not be eligible.

Tom, Resident Georgia Fan

January 6th, 2011
9:59 pm

Tony no need to use all the caps. Use italics.

Poopdawg

January 6th, 2011
10:07 pm

Mikep, if your writings are accurate then good for Auburn. Where did you see that the Newton’s financial records have been examined and cleared? NO FINDINGS comment is just not enough detail.

War Eagle

January 6th, 2011
10:08 pm

All you bama fans are having a field day with Cam, but 24-0 or 28-27, take a pick and weep. Cam Newton, Herschel Walker, two greatest football players in SEC history and close in the NCAA.

Tal

January 6th, 2011
10:24 pm

Tony, you aren’t serious when you say that Cam did not know that his dad was negotiating for him. Or are you? It is against NCAA rules for anyone in the affected athlete’s family to violate NCAA rules and that should affect the athlete’s eligibility. The majority of people on God’s little green earth would surmise that an athlete would know if his or her father was illegally negotiating during the recruiting process. The whole process is about $$$$. However, I enjoy reading your articles.

SE GA Resident

January 6th, 2011
10:26 pm

Would everyone get over the fact that A.J. Green did not know that guy was an agent?? Now, he wasn’t too smart to sell the jersey in the first place and did need a game or two off, but neither A.J. nor the buyer knew he was an “agent.” The NCAA decided he was an “agent,” so I guess that makes him one. Everyone knows that Scam Newton and dad got off, as well as Ohio State. No respect for the NCAA.

Fan of the Game

January 6th, 2011
10:31 pm

NCAA = National Corrupt Athletic Association

SWGADAWG

January 6th, 2011
10:32 pm

Tony, the more you talk about Scam and Pryor the sadder you and the NCAA look. Just say it like it is and always has been….it’s about the money. Time to blow the whole thing up…..

SE GA Resident

January 6th, 2011
10:34 pm

Respect lost and gone forever for you and the AJC sports writers.

Fan of the Game

January 6th, 2011
10:37 pm

Sugar Bowl proved it is all about Money!

Bama Dude's Worst Nightmare

January 6th, 2011
10:55 pm

Don’t be so sure there’s no Bama involvement though. Jody Wright is a GA assistant at Bama under Saban and he held the same position at MSU while they were recruiting Cam. In fact he’s been interviewed by the FBI already, and he is more than likely one of Schad the hack’s sources on his Newton hit pieces. If you think the NCAA will come snooping around at AU and not find any dirt on Bama you are sorely mistaken. That would be your worst nightmare, everyone knows Bama boosters are paying players just like AU boosters did in the past. Except in your case it will be the hammer from which you will never recover. Be careful what you wish for…..

Gen Neyland

January 6th, 2011
11:14 pm

BAMA dude : You’re probably in bed by now (good for you..!) and tomorrow this blog will be an after-thought. Tressel (sic?) is now lobbying to reduce the ’sentence’ to 4 games. Even after the NCAA caved to pressure from the bowl, Tressel (sic..?) now wants more relief. Pyss (sic, but the censors won’t knock it down) on it and pyss on the osu…