November 11, 2010

ESPN: Cam Newton, Dad Sought Pay to Play: ESPN is reporting today that quarterback Cam Newton and his father Cecil said in separate phone conversations that his college choice would be part of a pay-for-play plan, according to two sources who recruit for Mississippi State. The conversations were reported to the Southeastern Conference in January. After committing to Auburn despite a prior commitment to Mississippi State, Cam Newton allegedly called a recruiter at the latter school to apologize, telling him "the money was too much" not to switch to Auburn.

posted by rcade to football at 01:56 PM - 14 comments

Sorry, but unless all of these conversations were legally recorded and I can see the transcripts, I am not having much faith in the reports.

posted by irunfromclones at 05:14 PM on November 11, 2010

I mean, really. "I'm not going to believe it until I see transcripts?" I'm more of a realist. Did anyone from Auburn come out and categorically state that "we did not pay for Cam Newton." Nope. Saying he's still eligible is just not the same thing.

Funny how January's "swirling rumor" turns into November's front page news. Talk about the SEC looking stupid. You can't really blame the media; this is the Heisman we are talking about here, and on the heels of the Reggie Bush scandal, no less. A few bad apples, presumably? LOL.

This is a bull in a chinashop type of issue for college athletics and I'm curious to see how far ESPN pursues this. Probably not very far. Frankly, I don't know how you solve it short of giving athletes a cut of the action.

posted by phaedon at 10:54 PM on November 11, 2010

I have to wonder about the games he's played in being in question. Nothing has been said about possible forfeiture of them ala FSU's athletic programs. The question being, of course, if the allegations are founded. Anyone know of that possible consequence?

posted by wildbill1 at 06:15 AM on November 12, 2010

It's pretty early to start talking about forfeits. Bush's investigation took five years.

The FBI is reportedly going to talk to former Mississippi State player John Bond, one of the sources for the claim that the Newtons sought money. I am beginning to wonder if Cam Newton will finish this season at Auburn.

posted by rcade at 06:57 AM on November 12, 2010

I'm curious to see how far ESPN pursues this. Probably not very far. I think ESPN is going to pursue this until Cam Newton, or his family, is found guilty of these allegations or is not. They cannot drop this story now. Whatever credibility they have is now solely based on these sources. ESPN is a joke sometimes but this time they cannot drop it. They are drawing the line in the sand and they cannot walk away from it. This is a pivotal story for them and their reputation, for what it is worth, is now on the line. This story will continue and I, personally, believe it will become very ugly for both a family and a university.

posted by gfinsf at 07:30 AM on November 12, 2010

I'm surprised by how much deep background anecdotal info has come out already on this. For instance, we already know that there was a meeting in a hotel room on a specific date between Cecil Newton, Kenny Rogers, and two MSU coaches (unnamed thus far), but so far I haven't seen any confirmation that Auburn may have paid for Cam Newton's commitment. As far as I can tell, the investigators seem like they are just getting started with the process of following the money.

posted by beaverboard at 08:19 AM on November 12, 2010

Per Matt Hinton, Yahoo's CFB blogger, if confirmed by NCAA, it means Cam Newton was ineligble throughout for this season, no matter if Auburn recruited him or not (which there is nothing indicating right now, incidentally).

If so, major bummer for Auburn (assuming they did nothing wrong), as they would have lost out on playing for the National Championship in 2004 and (potentially) this year as a result of player scandals over which they had no control.

And, considering nothing is likely to happen on this during the course of this season, too bad for a team like LSU, who might have had a shot for the national title game but for the loss to Auburn (assuming LSU gets past Ole Miss and Arkansas, certainly not a given).

posted by holden at 11:32 AM on November 12, 2010

... over which they had no control.

But they did have control, if the allegations are true. Somebody at Auburn paid him.

posted by rcade at 11:46 AM on November 12, 2010

too bad for a team like LSU

To bad for Boise and TCU is more like it.,

posted by Debo270 at 12:00 PM on November 12, 2010

posted by NoMich at 12:42 PM on November 12, 2010

Was Bob Barker photoshopped?

posted by BornIcon at 03:29 PM on November 12, 2010

But they did have control, if the allegations are true. Somebody at Auburn paid him.

I was responding to the scenario where he could be ruled ineligible for Auburn even if they did not pay him, per the Yahoo! article linked above my original post.

To bad for Boise and TCU is more like it.,

I was pointing to LSU specifically, both for reasons of fan affinity, and because they would be undefeated if not having lost to Auburn. Considering LSU currently has played the second most difficult schedule in the nation, I would say that an undefeated LSU team would merit a spot in the national championship game over TCU or Boise State. But it really is and will continue to be a moot point, more tedious than arguing Boise/TCU v. Auburn and Oregon if the standings hold.

posted by holden at 07:45 PM on November 12, 2010

The really interesting question, I think, is whether this starts a kind of gangland war across the SEC, where every institution abandons its code of silence on player-shopping and other dubious recruiting methods. I don't think it's far-fetched to assume that they all have dossiers addressed to the NCAA that only need a stamp.

posted by etagloh at 11:13 PM on November 12, 2010

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