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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

ESPN: Newtons discussed pay-for-play plan with Mississippi State recruiters

The Cam Newton story is not losing steam.

ESPN reported late Tuesday night that two sources who recruit for Mississippi State said Cecil Newton and his son asked for a pay-for-play plan from the school in separate phone conversations during the quarterback's recruitment last year.

Mississippi State compliance officials relayed the alleged conversations to the SEC offices in January, according to the report. What is not clear is how this would not have affected Newton's eligibility prior to the season.

The SEC and, presumably NCAA, have known about the matter for 10 months. Neither ruled Newton ineligible.

Auburn has not received a letter of inquiry from the NCAA and has said it did its due diligence in investigating claims about Newton's recruitment this summer. The school found no reason to hold Newton out of games.

According to the report, one of MSU's recruiters said Cecil told him it would take "more than a scholarship" to bring his son to Starkville. The source said the school refused.

After the quarterback committed to Auburn, a different source said an emotional Cam phoned the recruiter to say he was sorry about changing his commitment from Mississippi State. Cam allegedly said Cecil had chosen Auburn for him because "the money was too much."

Of the allegations thrown at Newton in the last week, this is the first directly linked to the quarterback's family and to specifically mention Auburn.

It's been widely reported that Newton's preference during the recruiting process was to go to Mississippi State, while his father chose Auburn for him.

UPDATE, 12:34 a.m.: Fox Sports' Thayer Evans was able to reach Cecil Newton late Tuesday night. Here's an excerpt from the article, detailing Cecil's response:
"I’m not going to confirm nor deny nothing that has been taking place,” Cecil Newton said.

Asked if he had seen the report, the elder Newton said that he knew “nothing about this whole thing.”

“I’ve answered what I need to answer,” Cecil Newton said. “If they’re out there, go with it and make the decision or determination based on whatever you’ve got to say.”

He described all of the recent allegations involving his son as “a witch hunt.”

“They can continue doing whatever they’re doing, sir,” said Cecil Newton, who added, “I’m just in support of my son.”


Our Family said...

Andy, couldn't this be part of the same allegations that Auburn has known about and done their due diligence on it? If it was reported, Auburn had to have known about it and yet Cam still plays. Does that not tell anyone something?? Hasn't the NCAA state Cam and Auburn are not under investigation?

Andy Bitter said...

Honestly, at this point, I'm not sure what to make of this whole mess.

Anonymous said...

Sources? Will we ever know who these "sources" are? This whole thing is a complete and total mess and I don't like it.

RW said...

I'm trying to think impartially here, as hard as that is to do.

Okay let's say Cam is as guilty as everyone says he is. Does this still not stink to high heaven as some sort of coordinated plan that has been unleashed against Cam from all sides? Does something like this ever happen to an athlete in such quick succession? Are there any parallels in college sports for something like this?

Andy Bitter said...

I"m not sure what to make of this report for a couple reasons:

* If the SEC knew about this, why would Newton ever be allowed to play this year?

* If this is true, why has Auburn not received an NCAA Letter of Inquiry?

* As Our Family said, could this be part of the original allegations that Auburn felt it did its due diligence clearing up?

So many questions about this latest report. Again, not sure what to think about it.

James said...

I find it hard to believe that Auburn's compliance guys would let Cam play if they had heard something like this, unless it had already been investigated and dismissed. This could also be the first they've heard of it, which I would find equally hard to believe since "sources" said it was reported in January. And then of course there is still the ultimate super nightmare scenario where they did hear about it, didn't find anything, and then a voice recording of Cam and Cecil asking for money and implicating Auburn in the same sentence turns up. I think it's probably the first.

AUsome04 said...

I haven't seen any RW.

Couldn't it be possible that the Newtons went the other way because MSU offered money? It seems to go in line with the father's quote of he didn't want his son to be a "rented mule" at MSU. Isn't it quite possible that this is what MSU's shady bunch of recruiters thought they had to do to get a player of Newton's caliber? Hell, Newton wasn't even the highest rated player in our class and the fact of the matter is no one could predict he would be as good as he would be. Chris Low's fat azz had him as the 7th best QB in the SEC coming into the season.

I guess the real question for me is does this affect his status at Auburn or involve Auburn University in any way. My gosh Trovon Reed, Michael Dyer, Shon Coleman, Corey Lemonier, and others were rated just as high or higher in all the different rags. At this point it's a huge f'n distraction that's for sure!

Anonymous said...

I just think it's interesting that Cam's father said it would "take more than a scholarship" to get Cam to Mississippi State and Cam said "the money was too much". These are put into quotation marks. This makes me wonder if we aren't getting the entire quote. Cecil Newton saying it would "take more than a scholarship" could refer to the guidance and mentoring of Cam on and off the field. Cecil Newton is a father whose son has been through issues at a previous school (the laptop), why wouldn't he tell the school he wanted more than just a scholarship for his son? Cam had a scholarship at Florida, but it doesn't seem like there was much guidance being given on helping him succeed off the field (especially if he was caught cheating and no one affiliated with the football program spoke with him about it).

I have also read reports that say Cam left the final decision about where he'd attend school to his father. Cecil Newton chose Auburn. One reason given for this is that he'd be closer to home. Being closer to home would most likely mean saving money. If Newton is from Georgia, it stands to reason that he could drive home for a weekend to have his parents buy groceries. The Newton family would also save money by not having to travel to Starkville to watch their son play, this in itself would save money...so maybe Cecil Newton felt the "money was too much" for Cam to attend Mississippi State. I mean, the poor kid drives a scooter around campus. Sure he says it helps him get to class faster, but my guess is it's more of a financial reason than practical reason. Why would an athlete risk driving a scooter when they could have a car?

I am tired of hearing all of this nonsense and wish the NCAA would make a ruling. I find it hard to believe Gene Chizik or anyone on his staff would have willingly participated in a pay for play scheme. Guys like Trooper Taylor, Curtis Luper and Gus Malzahn are all great coaches who more than likely have a future as head coaches. Being caught up in a pay for play scandal would be tantamount to career suicide. Auburn's Athletic Department has supposedly been aware of these allegations for months and they've allowed Cam to put on an Auburn uniform, so until I see concrete evidence that a pay for play scheme was proposed I'm not believing it.

WokDontRun said...

So Cecil wanted money, yet Miss St kept recruiting Newton. Something about that does not add up....Also ESPN is reporting hearsay now. There is no mention of recordings of these converstions.

Clint Richardson said...

I feel the same as James does. But there's something about all these 'reports' that are starting to make me nervous. I'll stick behind Cam as long as I can. I just can't follow this either way. Why would Cam be low enough to even ask for money, even if his brother is a Jaguar backup? And if Bond and Rogers were trying to make money off of him, how did they not know they would get caught? It just seems as though noone can win in this situation. Its just really stupid.

Justin said...

All I can say is, never in my young life do I remember so many sequential allegations coming out, nor ever this many anonymous sources.

Not with Kobe, not with Duke Lacrosse, not with Tim Donaghy, not with Barry Bonds.

We can at least say that this certainly is unprecedented.

James said...

I feel like we have a great compliance department and great coaches who are good people. Above and beyond that I think they are all very smart. Until I see actual, solid proof, I refuse to think of Cam as anything but a kid being strangled by the national sports media.

AUsome04 said...

If MSU was willing to pay for Newton and were mad he didn't commit doesn't that set their school up for sanctions? (Ok, I promise this is my last post for a while)

RW said...

I think I understand now...

MSU probably feels the walls closing in now that the FBI has taken the case on.

Initially, they were trying to create plausible deniability if any wrongdoings were to be uncovered in Cam's recruitment. They felt like they could deal with NCAA investigators. With the FBI on the scene, they are panicking and we can probably expect them to spew unsubstantiated stories until the truth comes out.

Write it down.

Carl said...

Good and interesting to read about the SEC and, presumably NCAA, and their information is pretty good to read.


dissertation Writing

Anonymous said...

So Bond said that a former teammate through two levels said it would take $180K-- NOW, we hear from "sources that recruit for Miss. St." that both Newtons talked to them directly. Which is it? And if the strongest quote is "more than a scholarship", that's pretty vague. I recall hearing Cecil say that he thought the supporting cast at Auburn was stronger. Couple that with Auburn's higher profile, closer proximity to home, there are good solid reasons for the choice. Cam had a sense of loyalty to Mullen and a desire to go with what he knew-- what was familiar. Dad could see the bigger picture. The crux is, there is either evidence of money changing hands or there isn't.

John Stubbs said...


Any thoughts on why Auburn refused to comment on the story. If they knew about this, which the report alleges, you would think they'd have a prepared response for this.

Why is Miss St allowed to let all these sources talk. Is there any penalty from the NCAA for school reps leaking info to the press?

AUsome04 said...

Wow,just watched Joe Schad's report and it doesn't look good. He's reporting that Cam basically said that Auburn paid them more money than MSU. That's not good. But they say the source told them this. They didn't say they heard the tapes. I guess the bammers might get what they want after all. This sux. Surely those quotes are being taken out of context. For some reason I just don't see Auburn having to pay him to come here. Wow, my uinversity is being trashed all over the airwaves.

Syl said...

It seems really strange to me that when it's stated that the FBI is going to interview Bond officially, suddenly the story coming out of MSU is changed to eliminate Bond & to include the Newtons,asking for money by telephone, again something that has no evidence what so ever. Again, the unnamed "sources". This story is so unfair!

Anonymous said...

Somehow, I'm still very skeptical about this report. The last time they used sources from MSU, they had to walk back the entire story. How is this one any different? And the two "sources" recruit for MSU -- are they coaches or boosters? Too many loose ends here. And as others have posted, there's more than one way to read each of the quotes used "more than money" etc.

Roman said...

Andy, in reference to your questions, the reason the SEC allowed Newton to play and the reason there has been no LOI from the NCAA is that what you see in this latest smear/news report is not actually news to them. They knew about it, looked at it and found it to be not credible.

Let me repeat the salient points:

1. This is not news. These are the same allegations that were forward to the SEC more than 10 months ago.

2. The SEC looked at these allegations and found them to be not credible. That's self evident, because if these claims were credible, Newton would not be on the field.

From the ESPN story:


Mississippi State compliance officials relayed the alleged conversations to Southeastern Conference compliance officials in January, according to two other sources close to the football program.


There is nothing new here, at least not to anyone (AU, the SEC, MSU, the NCAA) that matters.

Anonymous said...

I can't look at this as anything other than MSU calling Auburn cheaters. They are being complete cowards about it, but when "recruiters" (coaches) tell the media that Auburn offered "more money," then that is blatant. The SEC needs to get a handle on this situation. They wouldn't put up with coaches calling referees cheaters (on or off the record), so why is this any better? Someone needs to man up or MSU should be punished severely for this.

Anonymous said...

If AU did this (pay the Newtons which is what is implied by the Articles out there), they would be committing football program SUICIDE in year 2 of Chizik's rebuilding from Late-Stage Tubby's Disease.

Granted, football in the south makes people do stupid things but ... this would be completely beyond the pale.

If it's true, wow. How colossally stupid. If it's not true, wow, how easy it is to completely MURDER some kid's reputation.

As usual, I imagine the truth is somewhere in the middle. What that means for us as fans, who knows. I may have to switch to my GSU Panthers. Guess they could use a beat reporter, AB! Lord knows if AU gets sanctioned there won't be a lot to write about on this end. Ugh.

Moose said...

What I am most worried about now is that it appears there is some serious damning evidence mounting up against Newton and his involvement at Miss St. So it appears Miss. St. and Newton both could get waxed pretty hard over this.

The TCU message board thing was saying a booster had tapes of the phone calls. If a booster is involved with recruiting to that level then Miss St. will also face some serious trouble.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible the reason the responses given by both the Newton's and Auburn are so, shall we shall calculated and measured, is because of the legal nature this may all be taking on. Before some of the stories thrown out in the last couple days, I was told they didn't have much in the way of a case for slander. I think somebody may have managed to jump that line with the seeming desperate hurling of stories after being discredited.

Nancy said...

What do we have now...the "allegation de jour". The Bond-Rogers connection looks like it isn't holding water so some other unnamed sources are trotted out with phone calls from the Newtons....anyone checked any phone records for these sources to see that they actually got such calls before running this story out? I haven't tracked the story via ESPN but who in that organization is putting his name of this story?

tptoomers said...

Georgia Bulldogs.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I think there is a definite argument that the actual malice standard has been met. Just look at all of Thayer Evans' pieces.

Anonymous said...

Patience, Grasshopper, patience. The truth will come out in the end. The innocent will be vindicated.

Anonymous said...

Bottom line.......Give him all the money in the world....Money didn't make him a great athlete. He is the real deal. Sad for the sabatoge by whomever. Red Elephant Club?

Marmot said...

Our only hope is that this info has been available to decision makers all along and they still didn't sit Newton. Sitting Newton would be the first thing that would happen if there was any concern of this effecting Auburn. But not sitting Newton shows extreme confidence, because if dirt is uncovered and the NCAA suspects Auburn knew anything or chose to turn a blind eye to violations then we'll be vulnerable to the "lack of institutional control" accusation.

I just wish the bombs would stop falling and we could get a resolution to all this.

D. Stephen Hollis, MD said...

The headline on the front page of the Ledger Enquirer is not a proper place for this story. I left Columbus, Georgia 10 years ago, but I do not forget the lies about me in this paper. The attack on Cam was created because of fear of him on the field. Cam is one of the finest men I have ever met. Leave him alone. D. Stephen Hollis, MD

Anonymous said...

These Miis St recruiters need to come forward and own their accusations. It is so easy to trash someone while you hide like a coward. They should put their name out there in the open and own it. Cecil does confuse me a bit. If I was innocent of this, I would be screaming it from the rooftops for the sake of my Son. His behavior is odd at best.