NCAA right to end investigation into Cam Newton, Auburn

Cam Newton can celebrate another victory. The NCAA has closed the book on its investigation.

Cam Newton can celebrate another victory. The NCAA has closed the book on its investigation.

(MOST RECENT UPDATE: 6:30 p.m.)

The conspiracy theories won’t end.  But the NCAA says its investigation into Cam Newton’s recruitment by Auburn is over.

College’s football’s relative governing body announced Wednesday it was closing the book on Newton and Auburn after conducting “more than 80 interviews,” apparently none of whom claimed — and could verify — that they were offered money, took money or had a cash register receipt for somebody who did.

Go ahead and whine. But I’m not sure how you can fault the NCAA on this. There is little question the NCAA, for all of the criticism it has received over the past several months on how it has handled this, would have nailed Auburn and/or Newton if it could have.  The NCAA is not above wanting to make a big show of things.

The problem: There’s simply no evidence of wrongdoing.

Here’s a copy of the NCAA’s statement:

After conducting more than 80 interviews, the NCAA has concluded its investigation into Auburn University.  The NCAA enforcement staff is committed to a fair and thorough investigative process.  As such, any allegations of major rules violations must meet a burden of proof, which is a higher standard than rampant public speculation online and in the media.  The allegations must be based on credible and persuasive information and includes a good-faith belief that the Committee on Infractions could make a finding.  As with any case, should the enforcement staff become aware of additional credible information, it will review the information to determine whether further investigation is warranted.

Yes, we know that Newton’s father, the pastor Cecil “Huggy Bear” Newton Sr. tried to pimp his son out to the highest bidder. The NCAA found back in December of 2010 that Cecil attempted to solicit a large payment, reportedly $180,000, from Mississippi State in exchange for assurances that his son would transfer there from a junior college, bringing his football talents with him.

For this NCAA violation, Newton was ruled ineligible — unbeknownst everybody at the time. He then was reinstated in time for Auburn’s SEC championship game three days later, when the whole bizarre chain of events was disclosed. The NCAA was criticized at the time for not declaring Newton ineligible for the season. But it ruled that there was insufficient evidence that Cam Newton was aware of his father’s actions.

Now, if you wish to debate the logic of that, that’s fine. But what you think you may know is not exactly considered admissible evidence in a court of law. And there certainly never has been a evidence of wrongdoing by Auburn in all of this, despite what buffoons like Danny Sheridan might claim on radio shows.

Jackie Thurns, the NCAA’s associate director of enforcement, sent an email to Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs on Tuesday that outlined its 13-month investigation into the Tigers, not just regarding Newton but allegations of impermissible inducements and extra benefits connected to four other players: Raven Gray, Stanley McGlover, Chaz Ramsey and Troy Reddick. All made allegations on HBO’s “Real Sports” show called, “Dirty Money,” but nothing could be substantiated.

If anybody committed a crime, they did an excellent job wiping away the finger prints.

College football stirs emotions here in the South, and nobody stirred them more last year than Newton during Auburn’s unexpected run to a national championship. But the contention of many that Newton should not have been eligible to win the Heisman Trophy (which he did) and Auburn should not have been allowed to play for the SEC and BCS titles (which it did, and won) were baseless.

Many will vent about this, as they have for months. There will be angry comments from fans and flaming comments from a few major media outlets that quoted double-secret sources of Newton’s guilt and Auburn’s finger prints.

But the NCAA made the right decision here. The last time I checked, we don’t convict in this country on a juicy theory.

By Jeff Schultz

558 comments Add your comment

Eric

October 12th, 2011
5:33 pm

Eric

October 12th, 2011
5:35 pm

First time commenter, and I get the first. Sweet. No need to whine…they tried and just couldn’t find anything. Just makes me wonder if in like 4 years or so somebody finally spills the beans….

War Dam National Champs

October 12th, 2011
5:35 pm

So what happens to all the idiots who have been on here for over a year screaming “Death Penalty” and “Asterisk”? Can they crawl back under their rocks now? My guess is they will be on here piling on anyway…

Free Cam Newton

October 12th, 2011
5:36 pm

Thanks Julie Roe Lach for “letting us know”.

glacialspeed

October 12th, 2011
5:37 pm

Dave in Buford

October 12th, 2011
5:39 pm

I’m not sure it matters any more … the NCAA loses credibility every time something happens (or, as the case is here, “doesn’t happen”) due to the uneven punishments they hand out. What the local schools ought to do from here on out is lighten up the self-imposed penalties … next time somebody sells their jersey, they ought to be told they can’t buy ice cream from the dining hall for two weeks. I’m sure the Infractions Committee will buy that … what the hell, they bought this.

War Dam National Champs

October 12th, 2011
5:41 pm

Flashback to last Fall where the “Bingo Trial tapes” were going to “expose everything”…. Turns out the tapes had nothing on Auburn and the boosters got acquitted!! LMAO at these clowns like “Bamzo Dud” and “DawgInLex” ! How’s that crow taste boys! WDE!!!!

Skitty Fritty

October 12th, 2011
5:42 pm

I will now tell Auburn fans congratulations on winning the National Championship last year.

The Truth

October 12th, 2011
5:43 pm

Not exactly a “Clean Bill of Health” press release is it. When you cheat so often it becomes your finest tradition (how many times on major probation? Is it 5?) to the extent two undefeated teams sat home during bowl season on probation, then you evidently become so good at it you don’t get caught any longer.

Auburn didn’t cheat, OJ didn’t kill Nicole, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Mark MaGwire didn’t juice, and Bill Clinton did not have sexual relations with that woman.

Urban Meyer

October 12th, 2011
5:44 pm

Is Cam an Auburn or Florida man?

Gorilla Biscuit

October 12th, 2011
5:45 pm

Crime does pay!!

Rev. Newton says thanks for the new church. He ain’t sure how he got it but he’ll take it.

tiger7_88

October 12th, 2011
5:45 pm

HAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

The poor, poor little raggedy pups? WHATEVER SHALL THEY DO NOW?

Well, I know actually… they’ll hold on to their little conspiracy theories like a wino grasps his bottle because THEY KNOW! There may be no proof, there may be no violations, and their dang sure ain’t gonna be no punishment, but THEY KNOW!

LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL!

KISS THE RING, PUPS!

The Truthful Guy

October 12th, 2011
5:46 pm

Whew! Good riddance. What’s done is done. Let’s play football and enjoy the weekly victories by the impressive defending National Champions.

Bobby Petrino

October 12th, 2011
5:47 pm

Did Auburn win the National Title last year? They sure have gotten worse since last year.

Dabo Sweeney

October 12th, 2011
5:47 pm

I agree with Bobby

NCAAEnforcement?

October 12th, 2011
5:47 pm

So weak. Basically a player’s family get’s 200,000 bucks and four seperate players admit to HBO they cheated, with no penalty. At Miami ridiculous things like purchasing several escalades to buying prostitutes for recruits goes with a one game ban for the quarterback. However at Baylor a kid’s mom gets a loan from a coach when the kid is a sophmore in high school, pays the loan back immediately, but the kid (Perry Jones III) gets suspended for 6 games.

They are all about money. The NCAA is just as clean as Auburn for example…

Gene Chizik

October 12th, 2011
5:48 pm

We are very proud of our “Moral” victories against Clemson & Arkansas.

Jackie Sherrill

October 12th, 2011
5:49 pm

I’ve seen cheatin’ –that wern’t cheatin’

Lane Kiffin

October 12th, 2011
5:50 pm

I agree with Jackie

Weather Channel Expert

October 12th, 2011
5:50 pm

And AJ Green gets 4 games for selling a jersey. The NCAA has got it all botched up.

Danny Ford

October 12th, 2011
5:50 pm

If you ain’t cheatin, you ain’t trying to win.
IPTAY

Hackjobs

October 12th, 2011
5:50 pm

The Truth, I’m sure the NCAA would love to hear what you know. They ran out of ideas.

Pat Dye

October 12th, 2011
5:51 pm

I done seen cheatin’ too –that Cam thang aint cheatin’

Danny Ford

October 12th, 2011
5:51 pm

IPTAY
I Pay Two Athletes A Year

Dan Mullen

October 12th, 2011
5:52 pm

What happened to our $200,000?

Tommy Tuberville

October 12th, 2011
5:52 pm

Hey, have there been any calls for me?

GR82BAG8R

October 12th, 2011
5:52 pm

Congrats again, Auburn on your BCS NC. You would have won in 2004 as well, had you been given the chance. No SEC team has ever lost a BCS NC game. Pity the team that does….

NYCDAWGFAN

October 12th, 2011
5:52 pm

Does anyone really care anymore? I’m not saying that he was guilty or not but, let’s be honest, the NCAA is bought.OK. Any institution that has enough money to keep them quiet and out of their backyard will walk clean with a slap on the wrist and a wink. Think I’m lying? Then tell me how a program like THE Ohio State University doesn’t get the death penalty after evidence shows a lack of control for almost a decade(especially when you consider the fact that they were already on probation during the time… and yes their kids still broke the rules after the scandal broke… I mowed your lawn, gimme bout $300)? How does UNC not get buried for Butch’s transgressions? How does USC escape, yeah I don’t think their punishment was hard enough, with only probation and a loss of scholarships… Meanwhile Tech (and you know I hate those nerds) gets smacked hard for like a couple hundred dollars by only 2 players?…. Look at the revenue stream Tech generates when compared t the other schools!.. Rule of thumb, money rules everything, even one of God’s chosen people… Aint that right Cecil?

Red and Black til Death

Tommy Tuberville

October 12th, 2011
5:53 pm

Seriously, any at all? It’s HOT out here in the desert

Here's the real story.....

October 12th, 2011
5:53 pm

Papa Newton cut a deal with Auburn to pay Cam $200,000, which beat out the Miss St offer by $20k. After Cam signed, Auburn paid with Confederate money which Papa couldn’t cash nor could he cry foul to the polcie otherwise Cam would be ineligible.

And now you know the real story. Want to hear how OJ took steroids so that his hands wouldn’t fit the gloves?

Najeh Davenpoop

October 12th, 2011
5:53 pm

Pay the players.

Joe Paterno

October 12th, 2011
5:54 pm

Tommy– Call me. I need someone to push my chair around

george

October 12th, 2011
5:54 pm

an anonymous source says isaiah crowell was paid $180,000 by the University of Georgia. See how easy that was.

There will always be an "Asterisk"

October 12th, 2011
5:56 pm

There will always be an Asterisk next to the Auburn NC title. We know they dodged a bullet, and even the Auburn fans know it. That is why you get the loud comments from Auburn fans. They think if they defend the NC loud enough, maybe it will convince themselves that it was a deserved title. But they know the truth, and they will have to live with their decision to accept it.

EW

October 12th, 2011
5:57 pm

Good for Cam and the Auburn Tigers. He was OBVIOUSLY the best player on the field every time he played…and in the best football conference no less. He deserved the Heisman and the Nat’l Championship. Haters be gone.

joe

October 12th, 2011
6:01 pm

HAHAHA..all u dawg fans were so sure, smack mouth, blow hards etc..now eat your own words.

NCAA is a joke

October 12th, 2011
6:02 pm

NCAA is telling the world that selling jerseys is a greater crime than schools buying players. A truly corrupt organization.

bamaonline

October 12th, 2011
6:03 pm

Look for the shoe on the other team in Alabama as they suited up all there player. The NCAA will be announcing there penalties before signing day per Paul Finebam.

Jack

October 12th, 2011
6:04 pm

Joe doesn’t get it. All this proves is how corrupt the NCAA truly is. Its even more likely that Newton sold his services. NCAA is in its last stand of defending the BCS money machine so they will cover anything that might tarnish its championship.

Chris

October 12th, 2011
6:05 pm

Auburn a lie

EW

October 12th, 2011
6:05 pm

@ JOE GA fan here, see comments above, and don’t lump us all into the same category. And you aren’t doing much for Auburn fans yourself.

Julie Roe Lach

October 12th, 2011
6:07 pm

We’ve let them know.

LakeDawg

October 12th, 2011
6:09 pm

Auburn got by with it.

RTD

October 12th, 2011
6:09 pm

Well…Well…Well…if Jeff is not kissing Tech’s backside enough, now it’s those of War $cam Eagle and $cam Newton!

Titus

October 12th, 2011
6:10 pm

Way to re-open pandora’s box NCAA and make it open season for every third party middle man in the USA. Oh wait, they tightened up the ambiguous language AFTER the Newton affair.

Follow the money…the NCAA will cling to revenue streams, tax exempt status and fall under the guise of their “free” employees, i.e., the players. What a joke…the sheer mockery of amateur athletics

$CAM 'figment' Newton

October 12th, 2011
6:10 pm

you guys suck

EW

October 12th, 2011
6:10 pm

Do we REALLY care if the kids are being paid…I mean REALLY CARE?

Cecil Newton

October 12th, 2011
6:13 pm

HAHAHAHA Suckers!!!

Beeg Boy 25

October 12th, 2011
6:13 pm

Meanwhile, investigations have also now revealed that JFK was killed by only one bullet…

UGA 92

October 12th, 2011
6:14 pm

If you sell your soul to the devil, he is going to collect. It may not have been today, but one day.