A guess: All the NCAA sniffing won’t cost Auburn its BCS title

Gene Chizik at Talladega: Is this a violation? (Birmingham News photo)

Gene Chizik at Talladega: Is the NCAA OK with this? (Photo courtesy of the Birmingham News)

SEC commissioner Mike Slive told a meeting of sports editors Monday he has received no word from the NCAA that it has closed its investigation of Cam Newton. This news — or non-news, depending on your slant — comes only days after Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News reported that Auburn admits the NCAA is investigating the (since-discontinued) Tiger Prowl.

A bit of background: The Tiger Prowl was initiated when Gene Chizik arrived in 2009 and involved Auburn coaches touring Alabama — and showing up at some of its high schools — in white stretch limousines. The NCAA has since passed legislation limiting the number of coaches who could visit a high school on the same day.

Another bit of background: The Tiger Prowl isn’t to be confused with Big Cat Weekend, an event staged at Toomer’s Corner involving fans and recruits that, in its 2009 manifestation, wound up being the source of five secondary NCAA violations.

The point being: When it comes to the NCAA and Auburn, you can’t tell the investigations without a scorecard. Solomon of the Birmingham News also reported last week that former Auburn player Chaz Ramsey — not to be confused with former Auburn player Eric Ramsey, whose tape-recorded conversations led to the fall of Pat Dye and deep-dish NCAA probation back in the ’90s — will meet with the NCAA regarding his allegations, made on HBO’s Real Sports, that he received money to play for the Tigers.

Oh, and there’s one more: It was reported by Thayer Evans of FoxSports in February that the NCAA has looked into Auburn’s recruiting of two players from Thibodaux, La.

And now you’re thinking: With all these probes ongoing, the NCAA has to be able to find something with which to hammer Auburn. Doesn’t it?

I’m not so sure. The Tiger Prowl thing could be another of those secondary-violation-spawners, and the Louisiana thing could amount to nothing. Auburn’s defense against the HBO-aired allegations was that none of the four ex-players has offered any proof, which isn’t the world’s worst defense. Which brings us back to Cam Newton, and here’s what I think will happen to Auburn regarding his recruitment:

Nothing.

At last check, men with ties to Mississippi State have admitted taking part in discussions with Cecil Newton, Cam’s father, about money. But the only suggestion that Auburn paid Cam/Cecil has taken the form of leaping logic: If  the dad wanted $180,000 to sign with Mississippi State, does it make sense that the son would enroll at another school for free? But a logical leap is not proof.

As I read it, the SEC school that should be worried isn’t the one that landed Cam but the one that didn’t. I say again: Men with ties to Mississippi State have admitted taking part in discussions regarding money and a recruit. This could well have been a case of boosters talking through their hats — meaning nobody actually intended to pay Cecil Newton a dime — but can the NCAA and the SEC let such an admission slide?

Many among us insist it’s only a matter of time before something is found that will stick to Auburn, but I’ve come to believe any such something will not — repeat, will not — involve Cam Newton. Unless/until someone offers evidence that he (or his dad) received improper benefits from Auburn, the Tigers will keep their BCS title. And I’m not sure such evidence exists.

By Mark Bradley

206 comments Add your comment

MatthewH

April 19th, 2011
10:51 am

Just go ahead and make D-I the minor leagues for the NFL. Save a lot of headache. And, first.

War Eagle 30082

April 19th, 2011
10:54 am

War Eagle 30082

April 19th, 2011
10:55 am

Oh, well. Another fail…

Mark Bradley

April 19th, 2011
10:56 am

Fail? I think not. There’s no dishonor in being first runner-up.

Mark Bradley

April 19th, 2011
10:57 am

And kudos to MatthewH.

War Eagle 30082

April 19th, 2011
10:58 am

OK, I’ll get in touch with my inner Duck…as in Oregon Duck.

Fact Checker

April 19th, 2011
11:01 am

Mark:

It was Eric Ramsey who taped Dye, et al in the ’90s, not Kevin.

Mark Bradley

April 19th, 2011
11:02 am

Ah, yes. Kevin Ramsey was the Georgia defensive coordinator. Sorry.

Mattyb

April 19th, 2011
11:04 am

Mark,
I sure hope you’re wrong on this one. It’s fairly obvious that this is a rotten egg and it will be a shame if they don’t find the evidence to prove it.

VININGSDAWG

April 19th, 2011
11:04 am

So you have been reading Stewart Mandel again. AS Mandel has suggested as with Gregg Doyel of CBS Sports, all of this is stirred by other interests. Tiger Prowl if anyhting would be secondary violations. The NCAA has already cleared anything you thought might have gone on in Louisiana and Arkansas. There will be nothing from the HBO hit piece. Where is the proof? MCClover gets a boag of caash and doesn;t know how much. Chaz Ramsey is a known con artist and the others have no credibility. I agree with Gregg Doyel there are others stirring this pot.

Glorious Day

April 19th, 2011
11:05 am

It will be a glorious day when all of UGA’s sins come home to roost.

THE MAJOR

April 19th, 2011
11:05 am

ONCE AGAIN LOSERS COMPLAIN THAT WINNERS CHEAT

War Eagle 30082

April 19th, 2011
11:06 am

Back to the subject at hand…all Auburn fans can do is hope that nothing is ever found to warrant punishment, which is really all that fans of any team can do. The NCAA always has their radar out looking for violations. Just because we know that Auburn is under a microscope right now doesn’t change anything for Auburn fans. It might cause a slight rise in blood pressure, but that’s about all.

devil dawg

April 19th, 2011
11:08 am

If it smells like cheating, and it looks like cheating, and its named Gene Chizik, its probably cheating. Auburn: The most dishonest SEC program for 30 years running. Be proud.

Bodda Getta

April 19th, 2011
11:11 am

Glorious,

I agree. Nothing wll come of this latest investigation. The NCAA has already investigated Auburn every possible way and has found nothing.

The NCAA is investigating the wrong school right now.

UGA is already at six NCAA violations so far this year with an investigation coming on the gifts to the Columbus recruits.

They are coming home to roost in Athens.

Prime Time

April 19th, 2011
11:12 am

I still would like to know more about the money that mysteriously showed up at Rev. Newton’s church. Have not seen much press coverage about that.

DawginLex

April 19th, 2011
11:12 am

dream on bodda getta.

Stealing stuff from lockers and the school is going to get an NCAA violation?

Dream on idiot boy.

War Eagle 30082

April 19th, 2011
11:13 am

Oh yeah, and the NCAA sniffing around someone else’s school causes a lot more excitement in the fans of other schools.

That’s you, devil dawg, foaming at the mouth. Me? I have no control overwhat happens, so I just have to wait and see.

Mike Jay

April 19th, 2011
11:13 am

Not so fast Shultzie. It took the NCAA years to finally drop the hammer on the Reggie Bush nonsense.

Bodda Getta

April 19th, 2011
11:14 am

…and AJ Green’s jersey was “stolen” ?

devil dawg

April 19th, 2011
11:14 am

What gifts? You mean the stolen stuff? Dude, you are straight retarded if you try and spin that any other way. And the other secondary violations were incurred by Ray Drew himself, not UGA. But UGA has to report it. You need to go back to your basement and get back to what ever World of Warcraft game is on. Freakin idiot, geez! Auburn, if you ain’t cheatin, you ain’t tryin.

Bodda Getta-= posterchild for birth control.

DC

April 19th, 2011
11:15 am

Thank you MB, I have been “preaching” this for a while now to these sad dawg and disgruntled bama fans…I’m sure this blog will be filled with Lowder, Colonial bank, smoke > fire, $cam, FBI, and a bunch of Dawg drool in a few hours…

As an AU fan, do I believe money passes hands after games?..YES..do I belive that all schools do this?..YES..doesn’t make it right and it doesn’t excuse past transgressions…but don’t act like your school is a bunch of saints…

Bodda Getta

April 19th, 2011
11:16 am

…and I suspect you are going to blame the illegal practice violation on Isaiah Crowell.

devil dawg

April 19th, 2011
11:17 am

War Eagle, when you watch another school cheat over and over, its not fun. Not foaming at the mouth, thatd be your wife. Im just tired of a second rate school getting heaps of praise when in reality, your just a bunch of losers and cheaters. Glad your trees died.

DawginLex

April 19th, 2011
11:18 am

bodda getta,

Are you so filled with hatred for UGA that it has turned you stupid?

Minor violations

Self reported

No further penalties

Read slow so you can comprehend.

devil dawg

April 19th, 2011
11:18 am

Nope, thatd be on Richt. Wow, you got me. One secondary violation. Geez, call the authorities. Your dad should have worn a condom, done us all a favor.

Accountabilabuddy

April 19th, 2011
11:19 am

do you people even read the articles? you have one guy saying that the recruits at UGA were “given” electronics (eventhough they were arrested for STEALING them). And then another goof replying to Schultz.

Bradley, can you require an intellect test to be authorized to post on these blogs? Sheesh

DawginLex

April 19th, 2011
11:20 am

That picture above:
Chizik on the cell phone with his wife talking into a mic:

Honey I’ll be right home. Practice is running a little late today.

Iam4AU

April 19th, 2011
11:20 am

I fear you are wrong. The NCAA already has a statement from Cecil that he was shopping his son’s services, a violation of NCAA rules. In both the USC and Tennessee Notices of Allegations, the NCAA said that the schools “knew or should have known” what was going on.

Another line of jeopardy is that the NCAA doesn’t need much in the way of proof. It is not a court of law and if they can demonstrate that a reasonable individual would conclude that wrongdoing had occurred, it’s proof enough and they nail you. I don’t think they ever found an actual money trail between Alabama and its rogue boosters back in 2001. But Bammer got the Hammer, anyway.

I won’t rest until the NCAA gives the “all clear,” but the media pressure for them to do something, anything makes Auburn too tempting of a target. I think we still keep the trophies but I worry more about the future impact of sanctions and penalties.

m

April 19th, 2011
11:23 am

Tech didn’t get any players good enough to get them in trouble.

No way Auburn skates on all this-their fellow cheaters in Tuscaloosa will not let it go. I predict both programs will be on big probation in the next 2 years.

jhughes

April 19th, 2011
11:27 am

being a Georgia fan i dont care but Mark you just Jinxed Auburn they are now in it deep!!!!

DC

April 19th, 2011
11:29 am

Also, NCAA stating that Cam was free to play was them saying “with ALL THE EVIDENCE, we feel that there isn’t enough evidence to do something to Cam or AU or Miss State”…thoughts?

juvenal

April 19th, 2011
11:29 am

Lex, got a friend’s an AU alum, made him laff by asking about his chiggers-CHeatingtIGGERS…course, haven’t lost to them this century, Reggie had his moments……

Ralph

April 19th, 2011
11:30 am

thUGA fans and the AJC sports writers are aghast that there is no fire for the NCAA to point to for all of the smoke they put out.

404

April 19th, 2011
11:33 am

Once again, the AJC…PURPOSELY…glosses over the glaringly obvious facts.

The CFO from Cecil Newton’s Newna, Ga church, Ms. Bobbie Blandburg,
has already stated in the NY TIMES, that she has no idea WHERE the money
came from to pay for all of the city-mandated repairs to the church.

She has no idea where the $60,000 for repairs came from ??

I’ll bet “Pastor” Cecil Newton knows.

As I have said before: Money ALWAYS leaves a trail.

And eventually, that money trail will lead back to Auburn.

So, the REAL question for Bradley, the AJC< and thos blog is this:

Why has the AJC refused to pursue this ??

m

April 19th, 2011
11:33 am

Tho only surprise is believing any decent players would choose to go to school in South Alabama without being paid

PAY4PLAY

April 19th, 2011
11:35 am

NCAA simply has to wait for the federal investigations of the current Board of Trustee members that are on trial for a multitude of felonies. The feds dont care about the NCAA trying to save face, they are a joke and Slive is the biggest clown of the bunch. Everyone in the nation knows Auburn is dirty although it may take years for these trials to wrap up and for the NCAA to get their hands on the evidence needed. By the time Auburn goes down (which they will go down) Cam Newton will already be out of the league and a non issue. Jamarcus Russel 2K11

Paolo Brutachelli

April 19th, 2011
11:37 am

I must admit it was I, I, Paolo Brutachelli, who outed Cam Newton. Well, I don’ta mean I outed him ifa you know what I mean’a. I simply suggesteda that he come’a to Auburn’a with a little extra incentive’a. Yes, a lifetime supply of Mama Brutachelli’s best ravioli, spaghetti and lasagna, with a side of prochut. A Mami Mia.. and that is whata happened’a. Miss State Bulldog’a no compete’a with Mama Brutachelli.

Alabama | MrSEC.com

April 19th, 2011
11:38 am

[...] 1.  Nick Saban has had to use two quarterbacks in a season before… and he may do it again — by choice — this fall.2.  Journalists and bloggers got to work first-hand with game officials at Alabama’s spring game.  A very interesting read.  In fact, a must read for all the ref-bashers out there.3.  Auburn’s quarterback race is too close to call.4.  Tiger offensive lineman Aubrey Phillips has something to prove on The Plains.5.  A few final practice notes from AU’s spring drills can be found here.6.  Here’s more on Ryan Mallett’s draft status.7.  Former LSU Tiger Patrick Peterson wants to be the first cornerback taken with the #1 overall pick in the draft.UPDATE — 8.  For all the NCAA investigations into Auburn, this writer thinks Mississippi State might have more to worry about than the Tigers. [...]

AthensDawg

April 19th, 2011
11:40 am

Of course they won’t get stripped of the title. The NCAA has been very shaky lately on some investigations. I do not trust them on anything anymore.

DawginLex

April 19th, 2011
11:47 am

The above picture:

“I am pleased to announce that Auburn University has already clinched another title. The 2011 Fulmer Cup where we have already set a record for points and we are not even into the summer trouble making months yet.”

bbutler

April 19th, 2011
11:48 am

Cry me a river Mark Bradley give it a break. Find something else to talk about. You are an Auburn Hater!

jarvis

April 19th, 2011
11:50 am

Bradley has made an official prediction. Given his prowess as a prognosticator, Auburn might as well hand the trophy back now.

electric78

April 19th, 2011
11:51 am

Enter your comments here

electric78

April 19th, 2011
11:57 am

This is the same guy who pleaded for Cam to sit when they played UGA. The same guy who said South Carolina had better coaches in the SEC championship game. HEADLINE: Mark Bradley is clueless when it comes to college football!!!!!! Stick to reporting on the Bravos

Tell The Truth

April 19th, 2011
12:00 pm

When a school has multiple investigation going on, the most common action is they will find something and once they find something the issues become large.
For anyone who thinks there are not coaches, administrators or investigators that are anxious to see Auburn get hit, think again. There are active and inactive coaches who are willingly turning over evidence to the NCAA of especially two coaches who have broken rules from Auburn.
Too much smoke and activity around the plains for them to walk away clean.

Once again ….none of the investigations at Auburn have been closed and that spell trouble.
It took 3 years to get bama, 4 years to get USC, 3 years to pop FSU …..tick tock tick tock

South GA Dawg

April 19th, 2011
12:00 pm

If AU was guilty there would not be all of this scutiny. Noone accused Alabama of Florida of paying players when they won the NC. They are quilty. The only question is can anyone prove it?

Bodda Getta

April 19th, 2011
12:06 pm

AU is not guilty and the truth is we have never cheated! EVER!
BAMA makes all this up to even the playing field.
We will repeat as NC

RxDawg

April 19th, 2011
12:06 pm

Auburn has become very very good at cheating throughout the years. We all know it’s rampant on the plains, but it will be hard to get hard evidence of it.

wxwax

April 19th, 2011
12:07 pm

The NCAA is a hopeless mess.

They lack the investigative authority to really uncover anything. They give the appearance of being capricious, arbitrary and craven.

And since the death penalty shocked them by killing football at SMU, they’ve refused to use their most potent punishment.

NCAA rules enforcement is a sham.