Auburn coach Gene Chizik had one thing he wanted to say unequivocally on the SEC coaches’ weekly conference call with the media today.
“Cameron Newton will be playing Saturday against the Georgia Bulldogs,” Chizik said, “and I want to get that off the table.”
Amid various reports of alleged improprieties in Newton’s recruitment and academic record, Chizik declined to answer questions about the matter, saying he would entertain only queries related to Saturday’s game.
Earlier on the conference call, Georgia coach Mark Richt said the Bulldogs are preparing to face Newton, Auburn’s Heisman Trophy-contending quarterback.
“We really haven’t tried to keep up with that at all,” Richt said of the controversy swirling around Newton. “I think it could be a distraction to us, so we’re keeping our blinders on and studying the film and getting the plan and making sure we’re prepared for him being the quarterback.
“As much as some people think it might could be a distraction to them, it could be a distraction to us if we’re ‘Is he in? Is he out?’ type of thing. We’re planning on him being in, and we’re preparing that way.”