Mr. Conventional Wisdom says it’s time for Mike Slive to lay down the law in the Newton matter. No, not in response to rogue boosters offering recruits cash. Or runners offering players to schools for cash.
It’s time to put a stop to rumor mongering.
… Somebody leaked some information that caused a story to be written that Newton faced multiple academic incidents while he was at Florida and was on the verge of expulsion before he left in 2009. We don’t know if that story is true or not. There have been subsequent reports, from unnamed sources, that the story is not true.
But if the story is true, somebody just broke federal privacy laws in releasing that information. And if that person works for an SEC institution and if the leak ever gets traced back to them, I have a piece of advice: You better lawyer up, buddy, because your life is going to get really complicated. Federal judges don’t really care that much about college football. They do care about people violating federal law for their own amusement.
If the story is not true, and if it came from an employee of an SEC institution, then the leak it represents the worst kind of behavior that cannot be tolerated. The person who gave misinformation to the media, knowing that it was misinformation, should be fired on the spot if they are ever caught.
Now I certainly don’t condone Newton’s academic issues being leaked, but Barnhart’s column is too rich. He references the SEC’s policy on reporting compliance violations in his column. That policy was put in place for one purpose and one purpose only: so that the conference could control the spin.
Well, guess what? If Joe Schad’s story is accurate, Mississippi State put Slive’s office on notice of what Newton’s dad was up to in January. Yet here we sit ten games into a season in which Auburn finds itself on the precipice of playing in the SECCG and being in line to play in the BCS title game with no authoritative word from the conference about whether there’s anything to what’s swirling about Newton this week. That sucks for Auburn, but it’s also not good for its Western Division competitors which are still in the SECCG hunt. Nor is it fair to the two undefeated mid-majors hoping for a shot at the national title game.
But coaches need to shut their mouths. That’s the big problem Mike Slive’s got to handle right now.