Daily Archives: November 13, 2010

This has to be a first.

Well, except for this:  Newton leads Auburn to its biggest win in several years and the school won’t make him available to the press afterward.

I doubt it’s because he has nothing to say.

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67 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

The lost season goes on

There are times I hate it when I’m right.

This team desperately needs find a consistent presence in the middle on defense.

That is all for now.

59 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Great moments in awkwardness, College GameDay edition

I had to roll my eyes, hearing Desmond Howard prattle on about “Georgia tight end D. J. Williams” during the Auburn-Georgia segment of the show.  The looks on the faces of his fellow panelists while he was analyzing were priceless.

Crackerjack work, my man.

27 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil

It’s so easy, because a lobbyist told him so.

Here’s a nicely disingenuous piece about the BCS by SI.com’s Austin Murphy, another scribe who thinks he knows a thing or two about antitrust law.

True, anti-trust lawyers at the Justice Department are seriously considering bringing charges against the BCS. But maybe they won’t! This is the thrust of a Sports Business Journal opinion piece forwarded to me by Hancock, and written by Gordon Schnell and David Scupp, partners at the New York City-based law firm Constantine Cannon, which specializes in anti-trust litigation.

First of all, the only person who claims that US Justice is “seriously considering bringing charges against the BCS” is the Utah Attorney General, who hasn’t exactly taken a neutral role as to college football’s postseason.  But anyway, the SBJ piece is a load of hooey, according to Murphy.  How does he know that? Well…

I ran that by Alan Fishel, a partner with the Washington, D.C.-based firm, Arent Fox. He and his colleagues described Schnell and Scupp’s analysis as “extremely superficial and one that ignores every argument for why it is actually an anti-trust violation.” Says Fishel, “The problem is that most attorneys have no idea of the facts behind this system. Once you fully know the facts, the conclusion that it is an anti-trust violation is an easy one to make.”

If it’s so easy to make, how come nobody will make it in court?  What is everyone waiting for?  And by “everyone”, I include Arent Fox, which Murphy conveniently fails to mention represents the Mountain West in its quest to get an AQ berth in the BCS.

One other thing about Fishel’s argument -

“… in many ways, the current system is worse than the old system.”

How? Look at the non-AQ teams now, and look at them 20 years ago. “Twenty years ago,” says Fishel, “Miami, Florida State, Penn State — those teams had chances to win national championships. Even BYU won a national championship” in 1984…”

- for anybody who doesn’t have a direct stake in seeing to it that the mid-majors get a bigger piece of the college football revenue pie, not allowing a repeat of the ’84 national title scenario is the BCS’ crowning achievement.  To consider that a bug and not a feature of the BCS should tell you all you need to know about where these guys are coming from.

3 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles

Camgate: something new every day

Let’s see if we can organize what news came out yesterday on the Cam Newton front:

  1. Mike Slive disclosed his unhappiness about Mississippi State failing to follow his precious reporting protocol.  Not because the conference would have done anything substantive, though. “Slive maintained that it’s not the SEC’s role to influence an institution’s decision on a player’s eligibility. That decision remains with Auburn.” No, he’s complaining because developments have made his office and the conference look bad.“Any time our process is not followed, it’s a concern and a disappointment because we have an expectation based upon the rules passed by our presidents and athletic directors that the process will be followed,” Slive said. That’s what passes for leadership.
  2. Mississippi State officially confirmed that Cecil Newton had his hands out during his son’s recruitment.  But the school was careful to limit what it disclosed to the SEC based on what it knew.  That didn’t include how other schools were interacting with the Newtons.
  3. And then, of course, last night’s bombshell“A source close to the situation exclusively told Channel 2 Action News investigative reporter Mark Winne that the player’s father, Cecil Newton, has admitted having conversations with an ex-Mississippi State University player about the possibility of under-the-table money if Cam Newton signed to play football at Mississippi State, though he’s steadfastly maintained that no money ever changed hands and said no official at Mississippi State ever made such an offer.”

So what conclusions can we draw from those developments?

  • First, everyone on the MSU side tells one consistent story about Cecil Newton’s solicitation of money in exchange for his son’s commitment.  And the SEC has confirmed that it was told at least that much in January.
  • It’s clear that Mike Slive wants to pass the buck for the lack of action taken between January and July to Mississippi State.  Since it’s unrealistic to expect MSU to have investigated contacts between the Newtons and other schools recruiting Cam, either Slive thinks the admissions alleged to have been made by the Newtons to MSU about Auburn offering cash had some basis in reality or he’s simply hoping that enough people direct their angry attention towards Mississippi State that the conference’s lack of guidance will be overlooked.
  • Unless the “source close to the situation” is Cam or Cecil, it’s prudent to take the disclosure skeptically for now.  But it seems to me that if it’s true, we’re supposed to accept a huge, steaming turd purely on Cecil’s word:  “Cecil Newton said his son’s hands are clean, and has made it clear that Cam Newton himself and his mother knew nothing about the money discussions, nor did Auburn University…” In other words, he was motivated to talk about money once, was turned down, and then never raised the subject with another soul throughout the rest of Cam’s recruitment.  Right.  If that’s the case, I sure would like to know why he was so insistent that his son reject his first choice of schools in favor of Auburn.
  • Speaking of which, does anybody wonder if Jay Jacobs, in doing the due diligence that we all are assuming he’s immersed himself in the past few days, has spoken directly with Cecil Newton?  Sure, Jacobs can’t force Newton to disclose what he did, but if Newton refuses to be forthcoming with Jacobs, knowing that ultimately it’s Jacobs’ call as to whether Cam plays the rest of the season, wouldn’t that confirm Jacobs’ worst suspicions about what happened?  And if Jacobs didn’t include Cecil Newton in his due diligence, wouldn’t that confirm the NCAA’s suspicions about Auburn’s role?

I still think Cam plays today.  Auburn’s way too invested in the “all in” mentality now to back down.   (I bet Jacobs wishes Chizik had not been so demonstrative about Newton earlier this week.)  But it’s hard to see how this ends well for anyone.  Except for Cam, of course, who’s going to make money at the next level regardless of how the 2010 season plays out.  Unless you’re Donald Jackson, it’s an incredible stretch to believe at this point that Cecil Newton didn’t ask MSU for money.  That’s a flat out violation of NCAA rules.  Going forward, Auburn is playing with fire with every game in which it allows Cam to participate.  And when the dust settles, that’s likely to make the SEC look even worse.

48 Comments

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