Daily Archives: November 11, 2010

“What do you think is going to happen? You think it’s going to go through?”

If you’re an Auburn fan following the Newton saga, what has to be scary is the speed at which the next shoe drops.  The regular news cycle can barely keep up – Barnhart’s column this morning didn’t even mention Schad’s allegations about what Cam and his dad were alleged to have said to MSU’s recruiters and much of the chatter today has been about the SEC’s response to Schad’s report.

Meanwhile, Kenny Rogers speaks.

Kenny Rogers, the former Mississippi State player who ESPN.com reported allegedly sought money to sign Cam Newton to a national letter of intent with Mississippi State, said Thursday that Newton’s father, Cecil, put a price tag on his son.

Rogers, in an interview with ESPN 103.3 in Dallas, was asked if Cecil Newton ever told him how much money it would take to get his son to play for Mississippi State. “Yes he did,” Rogers said. Asked how much, he said: “Anywhere between $100,000 and $180,000.”

Later in the interview, Rogers said he and Cecil Newton first talked after Cam Newton left Florida following the 2008 season. In the course of their conversations, he said Cecil Newton told him “it’s not gonna be free this time.”

Hmm… “this time”.  I guess that’s good news about Florida.

Rogers is careful to state that he has no knowledge of Cecil Newton’s dealings with Auburn, but if the above is correct, Occam’s Razor suggests that it’s getting harder to conclude that Newton pushed his son towards the Plains out of the goodness of his heart.  Who or what that has consequences for may be the next shoe to drop.

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UPDATE: Feel free to take it with a grain of salt, but if you’re wondering why Mr. Rogers has chosen to speak out about this, here you go.

… One of Rogers’ reasons for coming forward on radio today, he said, was because of reports saying he was the one seeking payment.

“No, I didn’t,” Rogers said, “and that was another reason I wanted to talk. … It made it look like the Newtons didn’t know anything about anything, but here I am just asking for money. That’s another reason, that’s another thing that had been bothering me.”

Note also in the interview that Rogers doesn’t refer to “recruiters”, but “coaches” hearing about Cecil Newton’s demands.  You can bet the NCAA has.

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UPDATE #2: And just to be clear

… NCAA spokesperson Stacey Osburn told The Birmingham News by email that “the solicitation of cash or benefits by a prospective student-athlete or another individual on his or her behalf is not allowed under NCAA rules.”

In other words, if the NCAA finds Kenny Rogers credible, Auburn’s magical season goes up in smoke.

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37 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Recruiting, The NCAA

Mystery to me

Once we get past the disappointment after the season ends (well, some of us, anyway), all we’re going to be left with is puzzling out why this team struggled with becoming bowl eligible.

28 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

An interview I wish I could have heard.

Succinct, yet awesome.

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UPDATE: It’s even more awesome than I hoped, in a definitely NSFW kind of way.  He got his money’s worth.

7 Comments

Filed under College Football

Day four: still thinking thoughts about Auburn

Will Collier is one of my more favorite bloggers out there, so I hope he won’t mind if I use something he posted yesterday as a foil.

… Georgia is going to score some points.  Star receiver A.J. Green has a big mouth, but he’s got big-time skills to go with it; he’ll find the end zone against Auburn’s secondary.  UGA’s problem is, beyond Green, they’ve got a lot of issues.  Georgia has a lot of trouble on third down, on both sides of the football.  Their running game has been suspect all year, and I don’t think Georgia’s offensive line can stop Nick Fairley any more than LSU’s could, meaning freshman quarterback Aaron Murray is likely in for a long and painful day.

I also don’t think the Georgia defense has a prayer of slowing down Auburn’s offensive machine, either on the ground or through the air.   They’ll have a chance if the game is a shootout in the fourth quarter, but if Auburn can get to Murray, it probably won’t come to that.

Some of that I don’t disagree with.  Push comes to shove, I see Saturday’s game as Jacksonville with more touchdowns.  Nick Fairley is a beast.  And logic suggests that having home field advantage and the most transcendent player in college football makes Auburn a deserving favorite (if you could find anybody to take your bet, that is).

Buuuutttt… I think Will is being overly dismissive about Georgia’s offense.  On the topic of third-down conversions, for example, the Dawgs are middle of the pack in the conference on offense and separated on defense from the Tigers by a whopping four-tenths of a percent.  (Here’s the link to the SEC’s stat pages.)

It’s pretty much the same story with the rest of the stats he cites.  The suspect running game ranks seventh in the conference.  Is it anemic in comparison with Auburn’s?  Sure, but whose isn’t?  And while Nick Fairley is a scary dude, that hasn’t prevented the Tigers from ranking eleventh in the conference in pass defense or sixth in the SEC in sacks, one behind Georgia.  My feeling is that Aaron Murray is going to get his yards and more respect when the day is done.  At least he will if the offense avoids the turnovers that killed the team’s chances against Florida.

49 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football

Hunker down, you dogs.

After a week plus of intense media scrutiny/speculation, it’s inevitable that we enter the next phase of Camgate.  That’s right, bring on the institutional ass covering.

… In a statement, Mississippi State’s athletic department said Wednesday that it first contacted the Southeastern Conference regarding “an issue relating to its recruitment of Cam Newton.” The statement said the SEC asked for specific information including interviews with university staffers. Mississippi State didn’t provide more information until July, citing “time-consuming eligibility issues” related to other sports, presumably those involving basketball players Renardo Sidney and Dee Bost.

The statement said Mississippi State has “cooperated fully” with NCAA investigators, but did not make any reference to the alleged phone calls between recruiters and the Newtons.

SEC spokesman Charles Bloom said Wednesday evening that there was also no mention of the reported conversations in either of the school’s reports to the league.

You’ve got to love MSU’s excuse there:  people, you can’t expect us to spend much time on the eligibility of a player who didn’t sign with our school when we’ve got our own players’ eligibility problems to handle!  (Maybe if we were a school with greater resources, like Alabama, who knows?)

One thing of interest there is the money talk alleged to have involved the Newtons which Schad reported, that the SEC claims to have no knowledge of until they were made public, while the school kind of dances around whether it informed the NCAA about that in July when they made contact.  At best it sounds like MSU wasn’t following official league protocol, which will no doubt lead to another Mike Slive-inspired Tony Barnhart scold column.

At this point, I’ve lost track of who’s deserving of being held credible here, but there’s way too much smoke now for somebody or some institution not to have been burned.  One thing’s for certain, with the NCAA and the FBI involved, something’s going to turn up.

And while you ponder that, here’s an interesting counterpoint to consider:

… As for Newton supposedly being shopped for up to $200,000 … well, nobody who follows college football is surprised. That doesn’t mean Newton got paid. It means players get paid all the time.

What I find remarkable is that, if all of this is true, the under-the-table payments are what would upset people the most. I mean, yes, it is against NCAA rules. But in any other segment of society, if a college kid found a way to use his talents to bring in money to support his father’s church, he would be a hero. There would be glowing newspaper profiles and probably a few humanitarian awards. If a kid does it in college football, he’s a villain.

Not exactly.  There is that pesky little “it is against NCAA rules” thing.  I wonder if Rosenberg would paint the same picture about a drug dealer who took the profits from his trade and did something similar.

33 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, The NCAA

Worst playoff pitch ever

Shorter Ivan Maisel:  a college football playoff would help prevent the Floridas, Penn States and Texas A&Ms of the world from being cheated out of their just rewards for having mediocre seasons.

22 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles

Dodging a (poorly thrown) bullet

One of the funnier things Mark Bradley has written:

… And what of Georgia, which needs one victory in its final two games to become bowl-eligible? Could the underwhelming Bulldogs face Georgia Tech without quarterback Joshua Nesbitt, who broke his arm against Virginia Tech, and Auburn without Newton? If so, wouldn’t that make Mark Richt the luckiest man alive?

Not that that’s going to happen, but if it did, it wouldn’t even make him the luckiest coach in the SEC this year.

But the idea that there’s some equivalency to missing Nesbitt and Newton is what’s comical here.  No doubt Richt is still haunted by Tech’s final series in last year’s meeting.

Of course, when you compare Nesbitt’s and Newton’s stats this season, it’s easy to see how Bradley lumps the two together.

In the end, I expect Bradley to come to his senses in the next two weeks and remind us that when it comes to Tech, it’s not about the players, it’s about Paul Johnson.  At least until the Jackets lose in Athens, that is.

10 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Kiffin watch: the world turns all around me.

You knew that sooner or later somebody would ask Junior what he thought about the Newton kerfuffle.  Fortunately, he doesn’t disappoint.

Cam, he feels your pain.

… Kiffin said his experience in the football-crazy SEC — “You hear so many things down there” — gave him a unique perspective.

“I remember so many things said about me that weren’t accurate,” Kiffin said. “It was a good lesson learned. If something comes on the radio or in print, I don’t think there are any facts to it at all until someone shows some proof. This is a perfect example.”

Not to mention the many things said by him that weren’t accurate.

6 Comments

Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin