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.