Cam Newton and Auburn in the clear? Not so fast, my friend

Just because Auburn chose to play Cam Newton against Georgia doesn’t mean Auburn or Newton is safe. The NCAA doesn’t work that way. The NCAA gears, such as they are, grind slowly. The NCAA has only begun to sniff around.

Phillip Marshall of Auburn Undercover reported Saturday that the Newtons and Auburn administrators met with NCAA representatives last Thursday. (Link requires registration.) That the school chose to play Newton has been taken by some as an indication that the NCAA has nothing on Auburn. That’s not necessarily true. The NCAA might have nothing on Auburn yet. But by now its investigators have, or should have, a growing indication that this player was put up for sale at least once.

ESPN.com reported yesterday that another Mississippi State former player, the Florida businessman Bob Bell, essentially confirmed the story Kenny Rogers told on ESPN 103.3 Dallas last week and even added a detail: There was a payment schedule for Newton – $80,000 on his commitment to State, $50,000 one month later and $50,000 more a month after that.

From ESPN’s latest report: “Bell said Cecil Newton [Cam's father] never specifically asked him for money, but that Newton was present during three-way calls in which Rogers discussed a pay-for-play scheme.”

Again, none of the former Mississippi State players — Bell, Rogers or John Bond, who was the first to go public — has implicated Auburn. But here again we ask the only logical question: If Cecil Newton wanted $180,000 from Mississippi State, did he really turn around and send his son to another SEC school for free?

And the NCAA isn’t the only investigative body at work. From a TMZ report yesterday:

According to sources connected to the probe … FBI agents looking into the Newton recruiting controversy are also asking about Milton McGregor — a dog track owner arrested last month for allegedly bribing Alabama politicians to vote pro gambling.
We’re told agents asked someone connected to the Newton case if he was familiar with McGregor or the bribery scandal.

McGregor is an Auburn booster and an associate of the infamous former banker Bobby Lowder. McGregor owns VictoryLand, a dog track located just down I-85 from Auburn. Message boards have been buzzing about a possible Newton/McGregor link for the past week, but this is the first real report of any possible connection.

It’s unclear why the FBI would care about Cam Newton, but anytime the Feds get involved, however tangentially, the pace of an investigation accelerates. (Reportedly the McGregor case involves a wiretap.) The FBI, unlike the NCAA, has subpoena power. The FBI, unlike the NCAA, has the means to put somebody in jail for something.

Last week was a wild week regarding Newton. This week has been quieter, which is understandable. Auburn doesn’t play again until the day after Thanksgiving. Then it faces Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and that is, as you might have heard, a fairly big game. Then it comes here to play South Carolina for the SEC title. We are, you can be assured, going to hear much, much more about this surpassingly strange saga.

(Oh, and speaking of Cam Newton … a talented artist named MoonPie has re-imagined “Son of a Preacher Man” to fit these latest happenings. Take a look/listen. You’ll be glad you did.)

– Mark Bradley

526 comments Add your comment

Roll Tide

November 18th, 2010
10:17 am

Not good for Barners.

Just Askin

November 18th, 2010
10:17 am

Mark, how come no article on the Tech football player being kicked off?

dap01

November 18th, 2010
10:21 am

Auburn chose to play Cam because if they are guilty, they are going to be forfeiting every game anyway.

I have a feeling that Auburn will spend a few years on probation and off of TV. If they paid for Cam, they should receive the DEATH penalty.

I am personally shocked though. Looking back on Cam’s history, I can see no indications of shady character.

YOU BETTER BELIEVE CHIZIK KNEW!

November 18th, 2010
10:21 am

Here’s the scary thing for Auburn regarding CASH FOR CAM. Pretty serious when the FBI gets involved. REALLY SERIOUS WHEN TMZ GETS INVOLVED!

PMC

November 18th, 2010
10:22 am

How sad is it at the end, if this guy tried to get money ended up with none and screwed all of these people including his kid in the process?

The seethy world of college athletics.

We need a semi pro league for an NFL feeder program so badly.

doggit

November 18th, 2010
10:22 am

you stay classy Auburn….

Miles

November 18th, 2010
10:23 am

You do realize the report came from TMZ right? Just hope we’re all clear on that.

The booster is being investigated by the FBI for an entirely seperate issue. In fact, its a much worse issue than recruiting a college player. Yet TMZ assumes that there must be only 2 or 3 FBI agents in the entire southeast and they’re all doing the cam newton case…

David C

November 18th, 2010
10:24 am

We all the reports coming out Auburn will be forced to sit Cam Newton.

Dawg_Mike

November 18th, 2010
10:24 am

Too Much Smoke

November 18th, 2010
10:25 am

With this much smoke, there is a blaze about to be uncovered. Can we please hope the race card won’t be wrongly played – again.

DP

November 18th, 2010
10:27 am

Mark, read the thread at Tiger Droppings that is linked several times on Barnhart’s blog today. That thread suggests that the FBI had wiretaps on McGregor and heard about Cam Newton (and other Auburn players) before the NCAA did.

Sammi

November 18th, 2010
10:27 am

The truly dirty team is, of course, UGA, the perennial winner of the Fulmer Cup and holder of the title “The Cesspool of the South.”

Truly a disgusting bunch on or off the field. I’m talking about both players, coaches, and fans.

Muddy32

November 18th, 2010
10:29 am

No one believes anything TMZ has to offer on this story. And, if you think that Alabama isn’t guilty right now of pay for play you are kidding yourself.
How soon you Bammer fans forget your recent past.
More pathetic reporting of hearsay ONLY!

And, the media hs tried to ruin a kids life. Never have I seen anyone go after a dirty politician the way the media has gone after this kid.

Auburn football RIP

November 18th, 2010
10:29 am

Patty Cakes

November 18th, 2010
10:31 am

Any more UGA players arrested this week?

juvenal

November 18th, 2010
10:31 am

Mark, what did you think of SI’s take on the bcs? a lot of $ stinking up the whole system……..

Hambone

November 18th, 2010
10:31 am

PMC

November 18th, 2010
10:32 am

Still no facts though, if they haven’t sit him yet, they shouldn’t sit him now. They are already royally screwed if he gets in trouble so they might as well enjoy the memories even if afterwards he’s found ineligible. They have already played the USC…we didn’t know anything and now that we do we think we’re good card.

There is no reason to bench Newton now.

DawginLex

November 18th, 2010
10:32 am

Sammi,

Do you and the other haters actually believe that this cesspool crap, red panties and the other juvenile posts actually bother any of us? We took care of the players involved witht he serious stuff, punished the others and fired the AD.

But if it makes you feel all cool, you keep wasting your time posting your inane drivel.

Loser
Idiot
Tool

DawginLex

November 18th, 2010
10:33 am

pattycakes,

Still can’t get a date this week?

Or ever?

Ralph

November 18th, 2010
10:35 am

Rumor mongering is not journalism – except maybe at the AJC.

DogEatDog

November 18th, 2010
10:35 am

Anyone hearing rumors of FBI wiretaps accidentally catching conversations involving trooper taylor, pat dye, milton mcgregor discussing payments, including $250,000 sent from a mcgregor PAC to Cam’s uncle in Michigan. chizik is going to be the ultimate patsy a/k/a Lee Harvey Chizik.

DawginLex

November 18th, 2010
10:36 am

Mark,

What the SEC should do(if they had any guts), is to go ahead and declare Newton ineligible for the season. They should then reverse all the wins into losses while the season is still going, thereby allowing the SEC Western division champion to be determined on the field over the next two weeks.

I know it is unprecedented but if the SEC is truly about doing things the right way, if the SEC is truly the best football conference in America, then this should not be a hard decision to make.

It also makes Georgia bowl eligible. :) :) :)

TL

November 18th, 2010
10:36 am

Mark – only 12 comments so far… this story is getting old. I click to read it and think there is something new in the story and boring same ol blah blah blah for old about out of work “newspaper” writers. The speculation is growing more bizzare each day over at ESPNquirer – a network that is stooping to TMZ for scoops – hilarious. Write about something else that has some semblance of truth to it or just maybe – some value to your readers.

pewwwwwwwwww

November 18th, 2010
10:37 am

A stench from the dirtiest village on the Plain …

LOL

Matanzas Gator

November 18th, 2010
10:37 am

PMC is correct. A semi-pro league is needed. The NFL and NBA must love the socialized “minor league system” that is college football and basketball just as they enjoy taxpayers paying for their stadiums. Only in America can millionaires support or become politicians railing against the welfare state all the while reaping untold millions from it. Baseball players having been turning pro as teenagers for over 100 years!!! Yet, when it comes to football and basketball, we must coddle them in our taxpayer supported universities and colleges until they are “mature” enough to handle the rough and tumble “real world” of profesional sports. What is most amazing though, is how ignorant our sports writers are of this situation and instead focus on how the universities should pay the players instead of calling fot the NBA and NFL to to begin a minor league system.

SquirlButt

November 18th, 2010
10:38 am

Hear the AU president and compliance chief wanted to sit Cam during GA game but got overruled by the Board. Why would the Board have a say in a football player playing in a game. Its a different world at Auburn.

Only reason they may still have to sit him is: its becoming much harder to claim “we didn’t know!” Difference is 11 forfeitures vs. 13 forfeitures and multi-year probation + reputation destruction.

Worm

November 18th, 2010
10:38 am

That Tigerdroppings link is a MUST READ!..Couldn’t make that stuff up!

whachagotloren

November 18th, 2010
10:38 am

Mark, help here with this one, isn’t Cam Newton declared inelgible when he was put up for sale to the highest bidder, no matter who does the selling?

DawginLex

November 18th, 2010
10:41 am

whachagot,

It is an NCAA violation regardless if auburn paid or didn’t pay. It has to do with the appearance of being non-amateur which the NCAA is in the business of enforcing. It is not a matter of if Newton will be ineligible, it is when it will happen.

That is why I posted above what the SEC should do now.

Bosshog

November 18th, 2010
10:41 am

Hey bradley this was the week to write about your whipping “boy” Mikey convick. I am surprised you ignored that little story.

Of course since you are a habitual hack and you can’t change your DNA you simply reverted to your mediocre level of writing.

look ahere guy. there is a lot of smoke but it seems if anything happened cam’s father really covered his tracks.

this dude can’t find his text. he lost his phone. where is the beef. seems like this rogers dude was all by himself trying to get rich and now he is trying to keep the bulldogs from being hammered.

Why would the newtons ask for cash from that backward state and then never ask for anything from AL?

Did those cretins from MS really expect cammy cam to live in a thir world country without being paid?

come on everyone is MS has not left because they don’t have the skills to leave.

circumstancial evidence he said she said, the doig ate my homework?

really.

AU FAN

November 18th, 2010
10:41 am

Mark- “you ignorant slut.”
Did you graduate from Alabama in journalism?

IT'$ AULLL ABOUT THE MONEY!!!!

November 18th, 2010
10:41 am

YOU CAN’T $PELL FRAUD WITHOUT AU!!!!!!!!!

AU FAN

November 18th, 2010
10:43 am

You can’t spell BAMA without “MA” as in, “Ma- Get me more meatloaf” you stupid hick.

beone

November 18th, 2010
10:43 am

Surpassingly ???

Will

November 18th, 2010
10:43 am

Get ready for the infamous NCAA “Death Penalty”.

Observer

November 18th, 2010
10:44 am

There is no indication that anyone other than these sleazy ex-MS. State players were involved in this. Talking among themselves and trying to feel important???

wareagle

November 18th, 2010
10:44 am

How disappointing it will be for all of you Auburn haters out there when the smoke clears and Auburn is found to have done nothing wrong. A lot of you are out there waiting with delicious anticipation for Auburn to get the death penalty and to get kicked out of the SEC. Just how would that benefit you, Georgia, to lose the oldest rivalry in the South and have to play Furman on the second Saturday of November instead of Auburn? How would that help you, Alabama, to lose the rivalry that most people in college football acknowledge to be second to none and to have to replace Auburn with McNeese State? A lot of this is generated by jealousy. How dare Auburn have a better season than the mighty Bulldogs. The audacity of Auburn to have a better season than Alabama for a change. I know that you’re out there licking your chops for the next hammer to fall. What if it doesn’t? Won’t that be sad for you……until the next time you THINK you’ve got something on us and come after us again. Get used to it, haters. We’re in with this team and we don’t give a damn what you think. I can just imagine the response this will get, and I don’t give a damn about that either. Auburn is here to stay and we are going to give you fits for years to come. Live with that, haters.

Patrick

November 18th, 2010
10:44 am

Where are all the Auburn fans that were beating their chests on the UGA blogs over the past couple of days?

[...] Cam Newton and Auburn in the clear? Not so fast, my friend [...]

Bosshog

November 18th, 2010
10:45 am

The FBI are nothing but soft little bullies with badges. Only fools who do not understand the legal system get scared when they hear the FBI.

where were those basta#rds on 9/11 along with the CIA? :) fast asleep.

Ralph

November 18th, 2010
10:45 am

Bark Madley, you were wrong here, without an admission:

Why Auburn can’t allow Cam to play against UGA (Updated)

9:35 am November 12, 2010, by Mark Bradley

Will you apologize for today’s rumor mongering, too, if Newton and Auburn are not implicated?

Gordon

November 18th, 2010
10:46 am

If Auburn has to vacate it’s wins, the opponents DO NOT get victories. UGA will not be bowl eligible until after 11/27.

Bosshog

November 18th, 2010
10:47 am

hey patricia

cammy cam just scored again. TD Auburn.

hey patricia you may want to take your red panties off and give them to aaron murray. what a bunch of pansies.

meh

November 18th, 2010
10:47 am

are college players even allowed to have agents at all?

AU FAN

November 18th, 2010
10:50 am

UGA doesn’t deserve to drink the sweat off of Can Newton’s brow… Georgia is HORRIBLE.

bb

November 18th, 2010
10:50 am

Not an Auburn fan, but, just to play devil’s advocate, is it possible that this Kenny Rogers character, wanting to get an in with a player like Newton, assumed that if he could get the Newtons ~200K they would take it? So he initiated everything. Then when he pulls in the father and discusses the plan via a 3-way call with the booster with the money, the father listens silently but tells his son to avoid MSU because they don’t want to get involved with anything illegal?

As the Plains Burn

November 18th, 2010
10:50 am

Ralph,

It is obvious that something is going on here as evidenced from FBI invovlement.
Don’t get your panties bunched-up and quit being such a d-bag.
No poster on here is required to post any sort of disclaimer.
You must be new around here because just about every blog is filled with speculation and unconfirmed “facts”

sCAM Newton "Camgate"

November 18th, 2010
10:50 am

The relevant NCAA bylaw governing a prospective athlete is as follows:

10.1 Unethical Conduct

Unethical conduct by a prospective or enrolled student-athlete or a current or former institutional staff member
(e.g., coach, professor, tutor, teaching assistant, student manager, student trainer) may include, but is not limited
to, the following:

(c) Knowing involvement in offering or providing a prospective or an enrolled student-athlete an improper inducement
or extra benefit or improper financial aid;

Violations of 10.1 are enforced as follows:

10.4 Disciplinary Action

Prospective or enrolled student-athletes found in violation of the provisions of this regulation shall be ineligible
for further intercollegiate competition, subject to appeal to the Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement for
restoration of eligibility.

Auburn knew they were in trouble, they knew the season was a wash, the NCAA did their part and presented the facts. Auburn made the final decision. Now, Auburn will pay the ulimate price. I hate it for the SEC.

wvgal

November 18th, 2010
10:50 am

dap01 – “I am personally shocked though. Looking back on Cam’s history, I can see no indications of shady character.” Say what??? He’s a thief and a 3-time cheat! And that’s not shady? It would be smart of him to “come clean” with “everything”. He’ll go pro with boatloads of money anyway. You truly don’t think he’s in it for a diploma, do you?