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November 10, 2010

Thoughts on Cam Newton's saga

I'll start by saying that I find it highly unlikely that Mark Schlabach, Pat Forde and Chris Low would all put their names on the original story involving Newton and Mississippi State if they didn't have it cold. Joe Schad's a different animal entirely. I'd put his willingness to put himself out on a breakable limb as pretty high, but I digress.

It's important to remember that Forde, Schlabach and Low didn't say Auburn paid for Newton, and that's an enormous issue in this story. They simply said that a representative for MSU stated that someone representing Cam Newton tried to sell Newton to MSU.

Yes...Schad is reporting that the MSU recruiters say they were outbid. However, I wouldn't put much stock into that as the MSU recruiters have nothing to lose by lying or exaggerating to Schad. And I think Schad may be the weakest link in the entire ESPN news organization .

Hello, I'm Agent Killjoy:
However, the FBI getting involved as TMZ is reporting makes it an entirely different thing. Ask yourself why and how the FBI gets involved in a case like this? They certainly don't care about college football's integrity or NCAA violations. So why get involved?

Well...laundering money through a entity with non-profit tax status like a church...that's on their radar. Using cross state phone lines to commit fraud or other crimes is also on their radar.

But again...the FBI doesn't get involved with a lot of wild goose chases. They simply don't have the time. So why this case?

Consider these three facts:
1. The NCAA has no subpoena power. They can't make a Church(es) reveal documents they don't want to reveal. Nor can they make "runners" or "agents" cooperate with them.

2. Contributing to non-profit organizations in a non-quid pro quo manner is not an NCAA violation. Take a look at a some of the big name AAU basketball programs' web sites and notice that several have very visible "Donate Now" pay pal buttons that anyone can hit. Routing money to AAU coaches via their non-profit AAU status is very common and tough for the NCAA to prove without subpoena Same with routing money through a church I'd imagine.

3. NCAA investigators are often retired/former FBI agents who love sports and hate being lied to.

So,What's more likely? That MSU, Bama or UF called the FBI into this saga? Thereby increasing their own legal costs and creating distractions for their personnel. Or that an NCAA investigator called a former co-worker at the FBI and shared his information to date.

Bringing in the FBI is perfect for the NCAA. They can then let the Feds do the heavy lifting regarding the money trail and leverage their subpoena power to find dirty secrets. Then the NCAA can read the testimony and discovery documents after the fact.

The NCAA wants real meaningful change in the recruitment of student athletes and what better way to facilitate that change than to have the parents, runners, agents and/or coaches involved in high profile cases go to jail?

So is Auburn in real trouble?
Maybe. Maybe not. If I were betting, I'd suggest that Cam Newton's dad was more likely to end up in hot water than anyone at Auburn. But Auburn officials should be sweating bullets. Just remember, there are five people that you never want to see in your front yard:
1. Jim Cantore
2. An IRS Agent
3. An FBI Agent
4. Greta Van Susteren
5. Chris Hansen

If Cam and Auburn want due process, well..they are going to get it. Sadly, just not fast enough for Georgia to benefit on Saturday.



Anonymous said...

Above all things, remember, If Aubarn is winning, they are cheating.

Anonymous said...

It makes me wince when I see all the UGA fans hoping for this to be true, so it will in some way influence the game this weekend. Can't we let it go and discuss the game? It's not going to get resolved this week or even this year. Look how long it took to get USC on the hook for Bush.

I want Cam Newton on the field so we can take away their dreams this week. I want to see Christian Robinson flying through the air and destroying him. The Dawgs will be up for this one. I guarantee.

Anonymous said...

I had to look up Jim Cantore, and now knowing who he is I see why you have him at #1.


Shoaib Ashraf said...

Not to make light of a serious subject but the "five people you don't want on your front yard" segment is hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Jim Cantore reference really made my day. That guy is the kiss of death.

Anonymous said...

I know you supposedly are innocent until proven guilty, BUT if proven guilty...

I just don't understand the reasons behind this and for that matter the USC/Bush controversy. Cam is an unbelievable player as was Bush, why not wait the one (in Cam's case) or two (in Bush's case) to get drafted and really hit the jackpot. I mean if the allegations are true what is 200,000 to his family if/when he gets drafted and signs a multi-million dollar contract and bonus. I just don't understand it, they know they are great yet they cannot wait those one or two years? Absurd to me.

Tommy said...

Has anyone besides TMZ confirmed that the FBI is actually investigating? I get that Joe Schad practically introduced Kirby Smart as the new Georgia DC, but TMZ ... geez.

The flipside of that is, assuming TMZ's reporting is accurate (again, quite an assumption), the IRS can't be far behind, can they?

Bryant said...

pwd- what are your thoughts on the recent comments from CMR on Newton? Specifically, the "we had him pegged as more of a TE prospect." comment??

What seriously?!?! I realize that we run a pro-style offense and all, but is our talent recognition that bad that CMR and co couldnt see cams potential? For Gods sake, college footballs best player this year wouldve never gotten a chance at UGA?

CMR gave a scholarship to a certain missouri native as a QB, who ended up getting free education for calling fair catches.. shockley got a chance as the same type of QB, why not CAM..

its discouraging to me that our staff couldnt see his potential.

Yes, i realize that if he acted like he did at fla then he wouldnt have last at UGA and couldve made all this a mute point.. but come on man.. thats the equivalent if dooley recruited H. Walker as a LB..

Unknown said...


It was a stupid thing for Richt to say. Stuff like that is a big part of why I don't blog more.

Because ripping into stuff like that would only make me look mean.

I think CMR's 3 big issues are lack of a sense of urgency, lack of a meritocracy and a tragic personnel utilization decisions.

I've said my piece about all 3. To keep railing on those points makes it look like I'm campaigning against the guy.

He's not going to change. So why bother brow beating him about it.

I'll leave that to others.

Ginny said...

Oh lawd. This "Richt saw him as a tight end" is getting wayyy too much attention. The kid was riding the bench at Florida behind John Brantley because he WASN'T GOOD ENOUGH. No one could have foreseen him being a Heisman frontrunner. He was primarily a running QB in high school, and we already had Matt Stafford. I think Florida showed us what happens when you try and force a QB into a system he's not suited for. Why can't we just be happy with our absolutely stellar QB, Aaron Murray, who we cherry-picked from the state of Florida?

Anonymous said...

Just FYI, unless the case becomes public, the FBI isn't going to be sharing any subpoenaed information with the NCAA or anyone else. Yeah, it could get leaked, but unless there is a public trial, this information isn't and can't be given over to the NCAA.

Tony D said...

"I wouldn't put much stock into that as the MSU recruiters have nothing to lose by lying or exaggerating to Schad."

I have to disagree agree with you on this comment. How about their credibility in the business? I find it hard to believe that two recruiters would put their good names on the line and fabricate a story to settle some petty grievance they may have with Cam and his Dad.

They may be anonymous at the moment but if it turns out they made up a story like this they would be exposed and I can not imagine them keeping their jobs.

Overall great blog as usual.

Hunkering Hank said...

Auburn lies, cheats and steals.

End of story.

DawgFan22 said...

The reason it gets attention is it shows Richt's recruiting. If we don't sign 2 of the top 3 left on our board (and one HAS to be Crowell) then our class sucks. Without them this class is terrible, and the dawgs have a way of under recruiting kids. I know Richt doesn't want to lie to kids about their position or side of the ball in college, but he should.

We lose a lot this year. Our best player and by far most important, our by FAR second WR, our by FAR best Defensive player. Not to mention on the OL, and on D. So you think this season is bad. You saw how truly terrible we can be without AJ for four games. And really him cramping hobbled us at CU.

Like PWD I think the biggest Richt problem is his lack on urgency which I think is really more of complacency. We have had teams under Richt that WAY under preformed, and never had a team over achieve. Last thing I will say is also that the talk about no one better being out there is absurd. There are plenty of candidates. I love how no one recalls Richt wasn't exactly the hottest item on the market when we got him from FSU as their OC. If next year goes as I think it will, it is time to start calling others, and giving them a chance.

Anonymous said...

2005 team overachieved. Preseason 3rd in division. Without a injury to Shockley, we likely run the table.

Bryant said...

Ginny- what are you talking about Cam Newton wasnt sitting behind John Brantley, newton was at auburn 4 seasons ago. Brantley is a rsJr so brantley was a redshirt that year, newton was number 2 behind tebow. Also, he obviously had alot of people thinking he would be very good. Wasnt he a very highly touted prospect out of HS? Apparently he couldve went to just about any school he wanted to play qb(except GA bc we wanted to give our scholarship to a full time fair catcher.)

PWD- Yeah, i understand that, the more i listen closely to the things he says it just makes me wonder where his head is at.

for ex he was asked the other day what he knew about cam newtons backup at auburn. and his response(paraphrased) was "I dont really know, I dont know much about his backup(didnt even know the kids name), we are preparing for cam newton"

the last part of that statement is fine, i agree you should prepare as if cam is playing. but damn CMR do you really not know anything about whoever their backup is? You are the head coach of our program, arnt you supposed to be somewhat prepared for all situations.. im not saying gameplan for the guy, but at least know something about him.

then another quote was something about how the team was wanting to play the game of football the right way, want to have the right mindset, dont want to disrespect the game and then at the end of that little quote he says "or at least thats how im approaching the game"...

CMR-- that quote was fine, until the last part. you came across as someone who doesnt really have much of a handle on anything within your program. If thats the way you want to approach the game, then by god you should make sure thats how your team is approaching the game.

he sounds like a man defeated, when im watching sportscenter, if it werent for the fact that i already knew UGA is irrelevant nationally, Id have a hard time telling the difference between a certain old timer qb who just sounds defeated every week(#4) from CMR

Anonymous said...

If Auburn was 4-4 there would be no news about this. Florida got rid of him and now they are looking for a reason for letting the best player in the country get away to another SEC team. The entire SEC wants Cam gone, so hopefully for them he will jump to the pro's the end of the year, because there is nobody that can beat Auburn with Cam calling the plays. This is a bunch of jealous cry babies looking for an excuse

Anonymous said...

let's see if Auburn was 0-8 would this even make news, smell a bunch of jealous SEC loosers trying to throw mud, but it won't stick

Mike said...

lol @ the Chris Hansen reference.

BoingRat said...

Anon 604:

Mud may not always stick, but it leaves a long, doo-doo brown stain.

Go away, Auburn troll.

Tom said...

I agree with this

The NCAA is losing credibility.

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