The Cam Newton Debacle

Quote of the Day:

It’s Auburn.” –Cecil Newton

Rumors that Cam Newton, or rather his father Cecil Newton, received $200,000.00 to play football at Auburn have been swirling since December of 2009. As anyone who follows college football knows, the story has now blown up. Check that–the rumors, innuendo, assumptions and, did I mention rumors?, have blown up. So far, here are the facts: a former MSU player has stated publicly that another person approached him who was in turn previously approached by another former MSU player offering to send Cam to State in return for a discounted price of $180,000.00. Cam has stated on the record that he wanted to go to State, but his Dad chose Auburn for him. MSU reported the financial demand to the SEC, who six months later informed the NCAA.

But the fun part is the rumors. Did I mention there are a bunch of ’em? The rumor du jour is that MSU made tapes of Cecil demanding money and of Cam apologizing to a coach because Auburn offered too much so he had to take it. A sub-rumor is even beginning to circulate that Cam will be held out of competition Saturday. The way things are blowing up on the web in fact, these rumors may be passe by the time I hit “publish.”

Meanwhile, MSU seems to be taking more of a public flogging than Cam himself. At least so far. If those tapes exist, and lord I hope they do, this thing is gonna turn against the Tigers in a hurry.

But there is a bigger story here. Does anyone….ANYONE….think Cam is the only player being paid in the NCAA? Is he or Auburn more guilty than anyone else because he got paid more than the going rate AND he’s worth it? But on the other hand, does the fact that “everybody does it” mean Cam should skate free? I don’t think so.

Because what TB really wants to see in college athletics is consistency. Either pay the players or keep the current amateur requirements in place and enforce them fully and evenly against everyone. Impossible, many people say. Balderdash! College football and basketball are flush with money. Charge each school a fee based on a percentage of their revenue and hire an army of investigators who don’t merely respond to allegations, but who monitor each and every school and athlete. Drive through the parking lots and document all the vehicles. Go to their homes and photograph their houses. The house and the car don’t match up? Dig deeper.

That’s just one simple idea. There are a thousand ways to uncover illegal benefits and if the rule is to remain and if it is to be enforced at all against certain teams, then enforce it uniformly. Otherwise, pay the players based on a salary cap and a wage scale and take some of the booster involvement out of the game. Well, come to think of it, we’ll still need the enforcement army even in that event. But at least some of the hypocrisy of the game will be lessened.

In the meantime, the NCAA, MSU, Florida, Alabama, ESPN, or whoever in the hell is accusing Cam needs to step up with the proof or let this story die and get on with the awarding of the Heisman to Cecil and son. We all can be reasonably confident he got paid, just like a lot of other players on a lot of other teams. But as the game is played today, that’s not enough to bring him down.

One other thought on Cam….if any of you saw the Marcus Dupree special on “30 for 30” last night (and if you missed it I recommend you catch the rerun), (a) does Cam not remind you of Dupree in his running style and dominance? and (b) did you catch that Dupree got something like 160K to go to Oklahoma? Thirty years ago! That cat was something else, and Cam, well, he was a bargain. If those tapes are just rumors that is.

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About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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28 Responses to The Cam Newton Debacle

  1. irvineredd says:

    I’m not suprised he might have taken money. It also doesn’t outrage me either. SEC football players deserve it. The amount of money these guys make the school is huge. And they desereve a cut. I always hear people make arguments like, well they are getting a free education. But does that really compensate them? Where are they supposed to get money for the usual living expenses of a college student? I went to school and had a job, because that was the only way to have any money, and even with that I was usually scrubbing the bottom of the barrell. So what is a football player to do? Unless your last name is Manning, you probably didn’t arrive at school with a nice chunk of change in your pocket. And you definitely won’t have extra time for a job.

    I also find it interesting that State and the SEC have known about all of this since January, but yet the sporting news establishment is just now reporting on it. So I am curious about who is releasing this information and why? Do they just want to follow the rules, or is there an alternative agenda as it relates to Cam Newton? And what is the end game here? Will this ultimately uncover the SEC’s rule-breaking underbelly? If so, could this lead to the downfall of the best college football conference in the land?

    Or will we just find out that this is just BS?

  2. tinyd says:

    No one should be surprised that the story is not “breaking” until now even if the SEC has known since January. It would not have been as big of a story if it had started “flying” in say September before AU was 10-0 and Cam was a Heisman candidate. I’m with TB though, if they have the proof put it out there and settle the matter, if not shut up and let the kid play football. SOTDay – Dirty Laundry

  3. JW says:

    The riddle for today? What do Cam Newton, Richard Nixon, and OJ Simpson all have in common?

  4. irvineredd says:

    Each made 200,000

  5. Jessie Lou says:

    I saw parts of the Marcus Dupree show and got the recap – I thought it was pretty sad to say the least. I’m not sure if I could watch the whole thing knowing how much he got screwed by someone who was supposedly a Rev and helping him. I think a hotter Hell awaits someone like that.

    Cam Newton could be in a similar boat if he is not careful – ole Cecil is also a preacher with more than one church so I understand. One of which just got a nice makeover as the story goes. One more for the rumor mill that is churning overtime. I hope he can come out of this unscathed but only time will tell.

  6. TDW says:

    I think the solution to this whole situation is fairly obvious and that’s Auburn should have to forfeit the Ole Miss game, and Auburn and State should be placed on 10 years’ probation. Further, Croom should be reinstated as State’s coach.

    Beyond that, this situation is debatable.

  7. Bobby Pitalo says:

    Didnt Cam also steal computers at UF?

    • tkh says:

      He bought a stolen computer he said he didn’t know it was stolen, but he also threw it out a window when the campus police where coming.

  8. ZEEK says:

    OK, first off, I missed the Marcus Dupree story and I’m pissed. I did see a coupla clips, and he was talking about the days after the big hit that knocked him out in 83. He said, “We had lost and I didn’t have a good game, so I knew, there goes the Heisman. So I just went home and….I never went back.” I hope there was more I missed cuz that is a horrible attitude. But no doubt he was a stud. Shoulda gone to Ole Miss or State and he’d probably be in HOF.

    As for Cam, somehow I think if AU was 7-3 and he was only doing really well, instead of phenomenal, this wouldn’t be an issue. But, some dumba$$ who can’t keep his piehole shut, or is just pissed he’s not at State (or Bama)(or FLA) is out for vengeance. I wouldn’t be surprised if all this did not get started by a big Bama booster who got wind and ran with it. That rivalry is pure hatred. The thought of AU going undefeated and winning BCS right after them kills Bama. And is quite a feat for the state if you think about it. I would love to believe that Cecil Newton, being a man of the cloth, would be impervious to the lures of ill-gotten gains. But in this day and age, it would only disappoint, not shock.
    The media is the biggest culprit along with the NCAA and schools themselves. We should not be bombarded with all the maybes, mights, and could be(s). If there is real proof, then run it, if not, shut the f**k up!!! Peoples’ careers and lives are at stake. Not to mention million dollar losses for probation is possible. Which could lead to years of rebuilding after loss of scholarships.
    These schools make enough money that they should be allowed to give small stipends to scholarship players. They get a free education, room, food, etc. But $500-$1000 a month for players who really need it makes sense and would only cost the school about a million bucks or so a year. I wish the game was pure and totally amateur, but no matter what, a system to rid the game of the scum and predators of youngsters and the programs is imperative.

  9. Jessie Lou says:

    I second that emotion.

  10. tkh says:

    I think the leak is from UF boosters. Since everyone is dealing in rumor I’ll make one up. The going assumption is if the Newtons wanted $$ from MSU they must have gotten it from Auburn, well what did it take to get Cam to UF in the first place? And if it did take $$ I’d be pretty pissed if he took my money and was now leading another team to potential greatness while my current team could really use him.

    Just saying…

  11. face says:

    Kenny Rogers, the guy allegedly shopping Newton around just gave a radio interview and admitted to being in a meeting with Mr. Newton and two Ms. St coaches the night before the Ole Miss game last year. He said Newton told the coaches it would take money to get Cam to State. He also said Mr. Newton told him it was not going to be free this time. He had a lawyer on the radio interview also. This fits the story from Joe Schad that reported two Miss St coaches told him the same thing. This is not going to end well for Auburn, its just a matter of when.

    Its a little early for my anti-BCS rants, but I’m getting in the mood. Supposedly, State reported the Newton situation to the SEC in January. Why is Kenny Rogers just now getting a lawyer? Mike Slive and the SEC sat on the info and did nothing until they had to. I guess this is standard operating procedure in the SEC. “We’ll handle it in house, and not let the NCAA in on it.” It sounds alot like the old Southwest conference. I can only hope all these SEC tems start turning each other in.

    The NCAA, the conferences and the teams are going to mess around with these agent issues, payments to players, and the BCS and not do anything and Congress is going to invite them to some congressional hearings. Just like MLB and steroids. They better get this under control, because I don’t think these commisioners, coaches, players and agents would have much fun testifying before Congress, just ask Roger Clemens.

    • tkh says:

      The Newtons gave their financial records to the NCAA months ago as part of the investigation so I’m not sure how the SEC sat on it. If anything State’s compliance office was probably more concerned with Renardo Sidney than worrying about a player that didn’t even come to State.

    • Face says:

      Sorry kemp, when there are accusations of a player demanding 6 figures, you do more than request mr newtons financial records. Kenny Rogers gave an interview last Friday without a lawyer and said he didn’t know anything. Today he gives an interview to the same reporter with an attorney present and comes clean. Sounds to me like someone finally got around to talking to him after only 11 months. Was it the sec, the ncaa or the Feds? I don’t know but it should have been done in January or February.

  12. face says:

    I agree with TB on the Marcus Dupree show, it is a must see. Zeek, he did have a bad attitude, but the show explains how his relationship with Switzer was bad from Day 1 and made me feel sorry for Dupree. I also heard a rumor he’s working in Goula right now, on the oil spill cleanup.

  13. Madd Dawg says:

    I agree that, in theory, giving the football players $1000 a month in spending money would help the situation somewhat by relieving the immediate financial pressure on them. However, it will never happen because Title IX (gender equality) would mean that colleges would then have to pay all college athletes (tennis, swimmers, wrestlers, etc.) the same thing, and when you start talking about ALL colleges paying ALL of their athletes $1000 per month, you are talking about BIG BIG money. Do the math===won’t happen.

    The fundamental problem with college football and basketball (because those are the sports that make the money) is that you are trying to combine two diametrically opposing situations, one being a fantasy and the other being reality: (a) merit-based college admissions standards and our ideal of the pureness and innocence of scholar athletes playing a game on the side while they focus on their studies (yea, right) with (b) the big business and money involved in these sports. The two just do not mesh which leads to: (1) all of the illegal recruiting violations that occur with payments, benefits, etc. that are being discussed in this blog; and (2) letting a kid who has neither the intellectual capacity nor the interest to succeed in college enroll just because he is good at sports while some kid that is much smarter gets left out. Everyone involved knows that the kid will never graduate and is just there to play sports.

    Then you throw in agents trying to recruit the players, and that is a whole new can of worms.

    You can hire all of the investigators that you want, but you’ll never stop all of the under the table payments and other benefits from boosters and agents and will never stop the grade manipulation that goes on to keep some of these players eligible. If you are Star player X’s history professor, are you really going to give him an F in December which keeps him out of the bowl game? I think not.

  14. ZEEK says:

    As much as it pains me to say, I’m afraid I agree with you, MD. There is no way to totally stop illegal payments. I’ll never forget back in 86 after an Ole Miss game in Jackson seeing two “pillars” of the Goula community (one a lawyer) slyly slip a hundred dollar bill each into the back pocket of a rebel player from Goula. We were tailgaiting in that big field owned by Millsaps where everyone used to park. Ole Miss won, spirits were high, Dog Brewer was turning things around, just some pocket change right? But, $200 or $200,000, wrong is wrong, right?
    I was talking the Rebels’ troubles on and off the field with an ex- Rebel player who is still “in the loop” and when I asked about a highly recruited and talented receiver named Patterson who was booted from the team in the off season, he kinda grimaced. ” Refused to quit smokin weed. They kept warning him and testing, until they got sick of it.” I made a comment about blowing a free education and possible pro career which elicited this response. ” A lot of em don’t care. As long as they can play enough to piece together a good highlight film, they think they’ll get a shot at the CFL or UFL, make some money.”
    Wow, a far cry from Rudy, huh?

  15. Madd Dawg says:

    Yea Zeek, you cannot stop a booster or an agent from getting a student on campus to slip an envelope of cash to players in class, at a frat party or under their dorm room door or delivering them a case of beer on Saturday night. No way to monitor it.

    Also on the monthly payments, that still would not stop the stars (at least the ones with dishonest folks handling them) from seeking that $180K payment to play as they think they are worth more than that monthly chump change everyone else gets.

    Another problem with football: If you are really good at some sports, you can go into Olympic training (gymnastics, boxing) or go pro (baseball and basketball) early and pursue that sport while skipping college, so that helps the kids that are not smart enough to succeed in college. But if you are really good at football and are a moron, there is really no place for you to go as not many 18 year olds can play professional football against 25-30 year old men.

    I was talking to a buddy the other day who played football in high school with an absolute monster he was telling me about, but the guy was as dumb as a rock. After high school, there was no place for this guy to play football since no college would touch him, so that was it. Football was that guy’s only shot to make it in life, but he never had the chance.

    Why is continuing to play football after high school tied to attending college? There should be some type of minor league or developmental football league for those guys that have no business being in college.

  16. face says:

    Slive speaks, and my opinion has not changed. The full article is at http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2010/11/slive_discusses_cam_newton_cas.html

    “Mississippi State has said it informed the SEC of concerns about Newton’s recruitment in January and supplied more information in July. Slive said the SEC office did not report the accusations that started the NCAA investigation. Asked who did, Slive replied, “I can only speak for myself and the conference office.”

    Slive said the original phone calls from Mississippi State in January generated enough information for the conference to seek more about what was said and to whom.

    “We got some limited information,” he said. “We said we need more information, go back and interview people.”
    ________________________________________

    In this article Slive criticizes State for not following procedure. He says the SEC did not report it to the NCAA. So, who did? It had to be State, and that is why he is pissed at them for not following procedure. He wanted it to stay at the SEC office where he could bury it. Once State calls and says Cam Newton is asking for money, shouldn’t the SEC send investigators to Stakville and Auburn to start poking around?

    • travellinbaen says:

      And Cecil just admitted on Atlanta TV the MSU version of facts is true. He asked for money, State said no. He goes on to claim Cam was in the dark and Auburn paid nothing.

      MD, I can’t even begin to debate this issue with you. Just don’t have the energy. I’ll just say, if we are not going to stop/slow the cheating, let’s do away with the falsehood of amateurism entirely and let the schools bid. That’s what they do in the pros, and occasionally a small market team actually wins, unlike in the SEC. Who knows, if we planned and budgeted sagely, MSU could actually go to the Sugar Bowl in my lifetime under such a system.

    • face says:

      Looks like I’m not alone. Slive should lose his job over this one.

      http://m.commercialappeal.com/news/2010/nov/18/time-to-open-door-on-ethics/

  17. Bobby Pitalo says:

    The NCAA needs to do a better job of cleaning this kind of stuff up. This isnt the first time this has happend. It isnt right for the highest bidder to have the best team. This is not what recruiting is about. Recruiting is about the football player finding common ground with the college,the team, and the coach.

  18. Madd Dawg says:

    just finished watching the Marcus Dupree 30-30 show. wow.

    what a tragedy. this guy needs to be speaking to high school kids. lots of lessons to be learned from that story.

  19. Jessie Lou says:

    MD maybe Marcus Dupree (another MD BTW) could make a living speaking to kids – from what I saw he doesn’t have alot of options. You would make a better agent for this guy – maybe a new sideline for you.

  20. Madd Dawg says:

    that would be better than this billable hour stuff….

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