Cam’s the man in college football, and now he’s free to play

Another precinct heard from. (Rainy-day photo by M. Bradley)

Yet another precinct heard from. (Rainy-day photo by M. Bradley)

BREAKING NEWS: The NCAA has ruled Cam Newton eligible. Technically the NCAA ruled him ineligible for one day and has reinstated him. Another post is upcoming.

Auburn, Ala.  – The wayfaring journey of Cameron Jerrell Newton has turned for home: From College Park and Westlake High to Florida and Auburn with a Texas junior college in between, and now back to Atlanta for Saturday’s SEC championship. It should be one of the happiest stories in the history of the sport, but its hero has gone missing in plain sight.

Auburn’s coach was asked Tuesday when the best player in college football might again be made available to the media, something that hasn’t happened for two weeks. Said Gene Chizik: “I’m going to stay on the path of commenting directly on his play.”

A reporter noted that  SEC rules call for every player to be available for interviews after the title game and asked if Auburn would comply with league policy. Chizik: “I’m going to stay on the path of making comments on the championship game or the previous 12 games.”

More intriguing was how often Chizik, in the course of a 33-minute briefing, mentioned his best player by name — once. (He called him “Cameron.”) Asked  by this correspondent if playing such a massive game in his hometown might heighten the pressure on Newton to an unbearable level, Chizik didn’t even deploy the third-person singular, meaning “he” or “him”, in his response. He went plural, both in the first and third person, all the way.

Chizik: “We’ve had a lot of big moments to get to this point, in my opinion, as a team and individually … We’ve all kind of been here before at some point in the other games. I think that’s big for us, and I think that’s big for our players individually. I’m hoping that this would not be any different. They don’t give me any reason to believe they’ll respond differently.”

Weird. You cannot take two steps in the Loveliest Village of the Plain without hearing or seeing some mention of Cam Newton. (See the example above, photographed outside Momma Goldberg’s Deli — home of the “Pastrama Momma” — on Thach Avenue.) No serious discussion of college football can commence anywhere in these United States without lip service being paid to the irresistible Tiger quarterback. Yet it’s as if the man who coaches Newton dare not speak his name.

Given the twists in this tale, Auburn’s skittishness is understandable. Since the first ESPN report on Nov. 4 that the former Mississippi State quarterback John Bond (formerly of Valdosta) had been told it would cost serious money for Newton to play for the Bulldogs, the Tigers have awaited the next shoe dropping. Who knew Newton’s story housed more shoes than Imelda Marcos’ closet?

We’ve heard from two more MSU voices, the ex-players Kenny Rogers and Bill Bell. We’ve been informed by FoxSports.com that Newton left Florida under suspicion of cheating. We’ve heard, via Mark Winne of Channel 2 Action News, that Newton’s father Cecil has admitted to someone that he sought money from Mississippi State. The air (and airwaves) became so charged it wasn’t clear if Cam Newton would play against Georgia on Nov. 13 until he took part in the pregame Tiger Walk, leaping and shouting and high-fiving, and entered Jordan-Hare Stadium, pausing to kneel at the goalpost.

Newton was great that day, greater still against hated Alabama in Tuscaloosa last week. The Tigers trailed 24-0, won 28-27. Asked if Newton’s performance had been “one for the ages,” Chizik again took the big-picture tack: “At some point we’re going to have a chance to breathe and look back and realize how monumental that was … I don’t know how many teams in the course of history would have been able to do that.”

Win Saturday and Newton’s team will play for the BCS title in Glendale, Ariz., on Jan. 10. That is, however, a long way off — plenty of time for more investigative work, more  allegations. Newton will surely have to break his silence when he wins the Heisman Trophy, which is announced Dec. 11, but even then the man of the year in college football is apt to remain a man of mystery.

On Tuesday, the tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen, who’s from Lassiter High in Marietta, spoke of and essentially for his quarterback. “Business as usual for Cam is basically straight goofball,” Lutzenkirchen told reporters. “He’s always joking around, always messing with everyone. That hasn’t changed at all throughout this year.”

As for Newton himself: The son of a preacher is holding his peace. Asked if the most valuable and visible Tiger was planning to address the media, a helpful Auburn staffer pointed to the entrance of the Athletic Center and said: “He’s going to walk through that door … and keep on going.”

452 comments Add your comment

You can't handle the truth!

December 1st, 2010
12:00 pm

SCAM Newton & Awbarn WILL go down in flames after the FBI investigation is complete. They will get beat by USC before that by 10 points. Of course….I could be wrong.

You can't handle the truth!

December 1st, 2010
12:01 pm

Wow…I was first.

Mark Bradley

December 1st, 2010
12:03 pm

Wow, indeed. And kudos, You can’t handle the truth!

Hog

December 1st, 2010
12:04 pm

The sad part is that Arkansas should be playing in the SEC Championship this Saturday, but are not. Auburn will be stripped of this whole year & probably get the SMU treatment once all the smoke clears.

Ted M

December 1st, 2010
12:05 pm

Mark,

No one would ask questions about the game. You know that. I’m looking forward to the game and rooting for Cam and Auburn. Cam because he’s exciting and Auburn because I’m a fan of the SEC.

I don’t care about the recruiting crap.

SCAMRUN NEWTON

December 1st, 2010
12:10 pm

The truth will set you free according to my Dad, but I don’t listen to him. GO LAPTOPS!

Paul N Destin

December 1st, 2010
12:10 pm

Congrats to the Auburn Tigers for a great year. I watched my team fold (Bama) like have never seen but I have only been following the Tide since 1958.

Ted M

December 1st, 2010
12:13 pm

The media doesn’t care about the game; The media only care is the scandal. That’s the genesis of Chizik demeanor.

Gonna End

December 1st, 2010
12:13 pm

I want Auburn to win Saturday because I can’t stand South Carolina and I’d like to see another SEC National Champion, but this is all going to end terribly. It will come out that Cam was paid. So then who gets the SEC title if they win? South Carolina? Really? By far not the best team. Auburn football is going down and that smiling qb could careless. He’s off to get a real check. So conceited. Sometimes I feel bad for Auburn fans, but hey, you get what you pay for.

Sleeper Service

December 1st, 2010
12:14 pm

Not to worry Mark. As in all other things, Auburn people think they are better than everyone else. Where this false sense of higher being comes from is anybodys guess.

42-34 Dawgs STILL Run This State

December 1st, 2010
12:15 pm

Mike Slive and the SEC have too much money at stake to allow sCam to be investigated now. While all of the facts presented on the epic “As the Plains Burn” thread on TigerDroppings.com may be true, Slive and the NCAA are in fear of what the reality of these allegations would do to now only the Barn but the SEC as well. Millions of $ lost, and we all know NCAAF is all about the money.

#1 BAMA FAN

December 1st, 2010
12:16 pm

I will be rooting for Auburn the rest of the way (ouch). I still cannot believe what happened on Black Friday but I guess I will get over it (with some permanent marks). As far as CamGate the truth will come out, sooner or later. My sources in Alabama tell me it’s all according to how much info the FBI releases to the NCAA from the Milton McGregor/Lowder scandal. As always…RTR.

Nate the Great

December 1st, 2010
12:17 pm

I think Auburn is going to get out physicalled by S Carolina and lose.

AU 21 – SC 31

Bob

December 1st, 2010
12:17 pm

“plenty of time for more investigative work, more allegations. Newton will surely have to break his silence when he wins the Heisman Trophy, which is announced Dec. 11,”

nice biased comment Mark, the sting from the Ga loss must still hurt:(

Cobb Dawg

December 1st, 2010
12:22 pm

Ted M, would you “care about the recruiting crap” if it were happening at Bama?!?! Of course you would. Cheating is cheating is cheating. And it has to be dealt with or else you can stick a fork in college football. I’ll venture to say that many schools bend the rules. But Auburn has taken it to levels that boggle the mind. All in an attempt to be seen as “as good as Bama”. From all of the WDE’s I hear from Aubies, I’m not sure most of you realize how serious this is.

Jim

December 1st, 2010
12:22 pm

I wonder if the reason Cam is not talking to anyone is because he has been told by his attorney to keep his mouth shut. Who knew that ATM machines had cameras that kept video files for such a long time….hmmmmmm.

Thanks for a paper for my puppies to poop on

December 1st, 2010
12:23 pm

Wow, an article basically about the no comments coming from the Auburn camp. Keep up the good work!

RammerJammer84

December 1st, 2010
12:24 pm

We all know Nick Fairley is the biggest CHEAP SHOT ARTIST in the SEC and that the Barn cheats with the Son of a Preacher Man, sCam – I agree with 42-34 above that the SEC and NCAA have too much money to lose to expose sCam and the Victoryland/Lowder scandal at this point even though it is true. An epic cover-up to protect the cheating Barners at all costs.

Hope you enjoy that $200,000 championship you bought Chizik and the Barn!

Sleeper Service

December 1st, 2010
12:24 pm

Case in point, old Bobs comment. Au and fans refuse to accept the fact that these are serious allegations that warrant a lot of attention. It has nothing to do with another team. Don’t get me wrong Aubbies, I am pulling for you to win but that doesn’t mean I find you any less culpable.

Level headed

December 1st, 2010
12:25 pm

It would be nice if reporters actually did some reporting. For all you who are hoping and wishing for wins to be vacated, etc. It’s not gonna happen. Why don’t you ask SI what they found when they put every ounce of effort to find dirt. Nothing. Nothing to see folks. Hey Bradley, how about a story on how much trouble MSU is in?

Saban4President

December 1st, 2010
12:27 pm

Cecil admits to soliciting for money. From the SEC bylaws that makes Cam ineligible.

Period. End of story. The rest is just a cover up – no more, no less.

robodawg

December 1st, 2010
12:27 pm

Lots of time for investigations. What happens if something definitive comes out, say, in mid-December, and Auburn is already booked for the BCS championship game? Does the BCS have a process in place for something like that?!

T-Bone

December 1st, 2010
12:27 pm

For the life of me, I can’t figure out why this has become the story that it is. To this point, there is no indication of money being paid to Newton. If evidence surfaces to that effect, then we have something. But until then, to me this seems like nothing but talk and empty promises.

Mark, is it true that Auburn knew about these issues this summer? If they did, they surely would have investigated it and would not have let him play if there was more fire than smoke.

Renee T

December 1st, 2010
12:28 pm

When he wins the Heisman? Didn’t realize it was a “sure thing”. I think some of the voters still have questions about his integrity. He is a great football player but that does not take that little line out of the voting that deals with the example he has set or his integrity. I guess that all depends if you feel honestly is important or not. Of course, that could depend if you are the are the person stealing the laptop or the person having your laptop stolen.

Cobb Dawg

December 1st, 2010
12:29 pm

I have to disagree with anyone who says that the NCAA will not bring the facts to light that the FBI and their own investigation uncovers. They have to. The facts will come out and if the NCAA has buried them because of money, they will no longer be an effective governing body. They’ll release the findings and they’ll have to punish accordingly. And what punishment can you delve out to a program with as many major inftactions as AU that will make them finally adhere to the rules?

Aubie in the house

December 1st, 2010
12:31 pm

Cobb Dawg

What levels has Auburn taken cheating to? Auburn has NOT been accused of payforplay. THAT is what happened at MSU. Oklahoma and Tennessee had well known coaches come forward and tell the whole media world that nothing was amiss when they tried to recruit Cam. Guess you missed that report though, huh. You only see and hear what YOU want to hear so that it fits YOUR agenda.

49-31—you’ll still be enjoying it 10 years from now so get used to the memory. It ain’t going anywhere. Stop crying you leghumper. Waaaaaahhhh.

FireAddazio!

December 1st, 2010
12:32 pm

I have to admit, my Gators were right to let that Laptop-stealing thug go. I know for a fact Coach Meyer did not pay Cam like Miss State offered to and Auburn did.

The truth will come out and all of Auburn’s wins will eventually be vacated but this won’t happen until after the MNC game and the SEC and Auburn cash in – ALL IN.

Level headed

December 1st, 2010
12:33 pm

NCAA is investigating Cam’s eligibility, not Auburn. Huge difference. If the NCAA were to investigate Auburn (would have to have some actual evidence to do that) it would take years. Thats not the case here. They have found nothing to make Cam ineligible. They arent gonna make him ineligible for what Pops did, I can tell you that.

Aubie in the house

December 1st, 2010
12:34 pm

Renee T

December 1st, 2010
12:28 pm
When he wins the Heisman? Didn’t realize it was a “sure thing”.

**********************************

Honey, I need you to finish making my lunch for me. BTW…your soap opera is on. You may want to scoot on and let the men talk.

The Heisman IS Cam’s. The whole sports world is talking about it now that we rolled the Tide. Boise State lost and so Kellen Moore has slipped a wrung on the ladder.

Hal Combo

December 1st, 2010
12:34 pm

Auburn was going to get beat every week this year, until the game started…

Hal Combo

December 1st, 2010
12:36 pm

Even if Auburn is forced to vacate their wins, you people know who won those games: that’s why you’re such big losers–you want the government to win your games and not your teams!

HottyToddy

December 1st, 2010
12:37 pm

Wow – I had not read all those allegations as published on TigerDroppings, thanks for that 42-34. If even a portion of those allegations are true, this could be that last we see of All-barn football for quite some time – potentially SMU type death penalty could be dropped on them if the NCAA finds this to be true.

This saga runs much deeper than what the media is attempting to cover up based on those details.

Tail-Gator

December 1st, 2010
12:37 pm

FireAddazio – you’re an embarrassment to Gator Nation. Go back to that double wide in South Georgia and stop posing as a Gator fan. You are an uneducated moron. AU is NOT under investigation of anything illegal in regards to Cam. It’s his eligibility associated with what happened at MSU – NOT AU. Get your facts straight or don’t post at all.

Ted M

December 1st, 2010
12:38 pm

I’m a UGA fan. Perhaps I would care a little more about “the recruiting crap” if UGA was banned from bowl games or something. But ultimately the NCAA is hypocritical to the highest possible level. They wield a monopoly over HS and college FB players and exploit it to the highest possible level for their own gain.

Tail-Gator

December 1st, 2010
12:38 pm

BTW…I hope the Tigers go all the way. They proved us all wrong each week and deserve to be #1. Anyone wishing for Oregon to win is just a sore loser. Grow up.

Just Sayin'

December 1st, 2010
12:38 pm

T-Bone, have you read the history of Auburn football? If so none of this should suprise you. At the time of Tuberville’s firing Auburn was stacked with talent from top recruiting classes. SEC powerhouse. If you are an SEC powerhouse you can pretty much pick a top rated coach from anywhere in the country and pay him. Where did Auburn go? Iowa State to get Chizik (5-19 record). Why? Because Chizik was former DC under Tuberville and was well aware of the “Auburn Way” when it came to getting top notch recruits.

Renee T

December 1st, 2010
12:38 pm

You’re really not thinking level headed. If they find that Pops was acting on Cam’s behalf, they have no choice but to punish Cam. Think about this, Cam wanted to go Mississippi, had a scholarship but Daddy said no, you are going to AU. Do you think he didn’t ask his daddy why he didn’t get to go to the school he really wanted?

Columbus Dawg

December 1st, 2010
12:40 pm

Hey level head, why on earth would anyone who has followed college ball for any length of time believe that Auburn has done no wrong? The program on the plains has been hit by the NCAA for PROVEN violations as much or more than ANY program in America over the years. Even the only recognized National Title was not won on the field because of major sanctions way back then. I’m not here to say that many, many programs including UGA do not commit violations, but you have to admit that Auburn is being judged a little more harshly because of past PROVEN major violations. All of you Auburn people who are offended have nobody but your own program’s past deeds to blame for the scrutiny, whether these allegations are proven or not. Might as well get over it.

Ted M

December 1st, 2010
12:40 pm

Actually I’m a UGA fan and GT fan and a fan of the SEC and the ACC.

Am I the only one?

Buckeye

December 1st, 2010
12:40 pm

M O R E AND M OR E L A T T I M O R E

Go ‘Cocks!

Buckeye

December 1st, 2010
12:41 pm

Go ‘Cocks!

Renee T

December 1st, 2010
12:42 pm

Guess you are right Aubie. No one cares one way or the other if he is a liar, cheat and thief. Just as long as he can play football. I will go watch my soap, just as soon as this reporter finishes talking about Reggie Bush.

Aubie in the house

December 1st, 2010
12:43 pm

Just Sayin’

Exactly. Auburn did not just reach and pull a name out of their a$$ when they named Chizik head coach and those particular idiots posting otherwise know it. They just refuse to acknowledge that they’ve been outcoached, outplayed, outrecruited, etc. Chizik is the man and if anyone caught the sports talk shows, he is also up for SEC Coach of the Year.

Unbelievable

December 1st, 2010
12:43 pm

Lets see these FACTS! I am an Auburn fan and if there are FACTS out there I am ready to see them too. Until then shut it down and root for another SEC team to bring the crystal back to the south. Biggest bunch of sore loser whiners I have ever heard.

DC

December 1st, 2010
12:44 pm

MB,

You will hear Cam….

When he is lifting the heisman trophy and having a 13-0 record…

I know you like to go for blood in these kinds of situations but your thirst will have to be parched for another week..

People please remember that these players are 21 and under on the field..

Just remember that before you say some of the things you do say…

Cobb dawg..you sure do have an axe to grind with AU..I’m sure you wouldnt have these issues if UGA was 10-2..

Renee T..I can tell you now..IT IS A SURE THING! Any sports fan or writer can tell you that he is the BEST college football player this year. Period. Unless anything NEW comes out that aren’t allegations he should/will win it.

Also, people drop the whole laptop story…that was 3 years ago..charges were dropped..he did a stupid thing…he was 18 years old…LETS ALL THINK ABOUT ALL THE STUPID THINGS WE DID WHEN WE WERE 18…

Time for people to get off their high horse…Mark Bradley, you first!

Aubbie

December 1st, 2010
12:44 pm

I just soiled my costume again.

McLagman

December 1st, 2010
12:45 pm

Cam Newton is the rented mule of a handful of middle aged white guy sports writers who are using Cam’s success to generate publicity for themselves.

Aubbie

December 1st, 2010
12:46 pm

Damn Chizburgers!

WinderDogg

December 1st, 2010
12:48 pm

I hate Auburn for the following..

1) stealing the hedges idea
2) stealing our fight song
3) spraying me with water
4) Pat Dye
5) Orange
6) Fans are so stupid to not see a crime in front of their face
7) Scam
8) Bo is not better than Herschel
9) Having two mascots
10) Making a mockery out of college football this season….0 wins and a staff full of cheaters

Love Auburn because I was there when sugar fell from the sky….

I Got Your Facts...

December 1st, 2010
12:48 pm

This goes way beyond Cam. They say the FBI, while monitoring the Bingo mess in Montgomery and also investigating the misappropriation of TARP funds by Colonial Bank, uncovered many, many things. Such things include guaranteed winning slot machines for AU players at Milt’s (Colonial Board member, AU Booster) Casino, unmarked ATM cards issued to AU players from Colonial Bank (Bobby Lowder-AU Board Member and Booster; Pat Dye-Colonial Board member, AU employee and Booster), forgiven loans to families, friends, donors, etc.

If true, big time jail time, loss of SACS accreditation which means expulsion from the SEC, huge financial implications for AU, removal of Dye’s name from the field and so on.

RTR