by Dyke L. Marler
(Atlanta, GA)

The Latest Update on this Story is at Cam Newton Controversy


November 25, 2010

Dyke L. Marler

Tuscaloosa, AL

Bama fans do not play nice at their house. “Ya’ll don’t have any class” rolls off their backs like water off Teflon. “$Cam Newton,” “Cam-ouflage,” “Cam for Heistman.” You’ve heard them, I’ve heard them and now Cam Newton and the Auburn Tigers have to venture away from their home field, where they have played 8 of their first 11 games, and they will hear them too. Yankee Stadium and the Bronx have nothing on Bama fans and the things they will be yelling at Cam Newton in the 2010 Iron Bowl. Auburn has played 3 away games this year, at Kentucky, at Ole Miss and at Mississippi State and that pathetic road schedule, in no way, has them prepared for what is about to hit them right in the mouth in Tuscaloosa..

Well here’s the deal as I see it-there will not be cowbells but there will be more than 45,000 opposing fans. There will be no graciousness, manners or candelabras (or Houston Nutt on the opposing sideline) before the game and I can assure you that nobody will be talking about basketball season. “FBI,FBI,FBI” will rain down on Auburn more than the Monopoly money that Bama fans will reportedly use to “make it rain” on the players when Auburn exits the tunnel. This one should be a classic and the final outcome could be decided in a Courtroom a year from now.

Alabama is a 4 point favorite in Vegas and has won 20 straight home games. Auburn is 11-0 and ranked #2 in the Nation and desperately wants to replicate Bama’s 2009 season of a State, Conference and National Championship followed by a Heisman Trophy. Quick note to Auburn fans - Bama followed that with placing an unprecedented 6 players on the AP All-America first team, but my experience is that Auburn fans simply block out what they don’t want to hear.

Bama comes into the game relatively healthy, possibly missing sophomore offensive guard Barrett Jones. Auburn also comes in healthy, although they will be minus defensive tackles Mike Blanc and Michael Goggans for the first half of the game. Both are suspended by the SEC for throwing punches at Georgia players in their game two weeks ago.

This game will come down to the play of 5 players and I will list them in descending order of importance; Courtney Upshaw, DeMarcus Millner, Dre Kirkpatrick, Onterrio McCalebb and Cam Newton. Courtney Upshaw must maintain outside containment to mitigate the effect of Onterrio McCalebb on the speed sweep. CB’s Millner and Kirkpatrick must do the same and defend the pass against a talented and veteran group of Auburn receivers. For Auburn, Onterrio McCalebb must continue his success with the speed sweep and Cam Newton has to continue to master the QB counter option. I guess you could call that his “money play.” Mike Dyer and Mario Fannin (or Herschel Walker and Marcus Dupree) are not going to beat Bama running between the tackles.

Contrary to what 99% of my colleagues are saying, all is lost if Auburn loses the Iron Bowl. Gene Chizik and his Tigers are very obviously facing an NCAA investigation with possible crippling sanctions. It has been widely reported by every major wire service that Cecil Newton has admitted to the solicitation of extra benefits for a signed LOI for his son. When your Coaching staff, star player and Board of Trustees are all lawyered up, you almost need a new prescription to see the glass as half full. Auburn loses 14 of 22 starters to graduation, their all time leading scorer, kicker Wes Bynum and Nick Fairley and Cam Newton are projected first rounders in the NFL Draft. It is also difficult to imagine that Auburn Offensive Coordinator Gus Malzahn will not be offered several Head Coaching jobs in the off season.

In Alabama, football championships work from the inside out. A state championship is almost as important as a National Championship. The last time Auburn tussled with that dilemma was 1957 when, while on probation, they won their last NC. If the Tigers lose to the Tide on Friday, their fans might want to move en masse to Boise or Eugene, because it’s going to get ugly in the Yellow Hammer State.


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Nov 26, 2010
Cam Newton To New York; Auburn to Glendale
by: Mo Johnson

Well, I don't know where Cam's dad is going; but I can tell you that Cam Newton will be in New York on December 11 to receive the 2010 Heisman Trophy.

And, then on January 10, 2011 -- Cam Newton will be in Glendale, Arizona at the BCS National Championship Game -- along with his Auburn teammates.

And, it's hard to see the Tigers losing that game given the absolutely amazing comeback we just witnessed as Auburn (as an underdog) came back from a 24-0 deficit to beat an incredibly talented Alabama team -- in Tuscaloosa. WOW! Really amazing performance.

As for Cam Newton and all the nonsense swirling around him. Here's the deal. There's no smoking gun; in fact there's nothing there.

Yes, Cam's dad did some bad stuff according to NCAA rules [check out this thoughtful piece about fairness and paying college athletes]. He needed money and tried to get it using his son as leverage. Really stupid and in violation of NCAA rules. Not sure anything criminal there, but either way, Cam had nothing to do with it. He won't be punished for "the sins of the father." And, he shouldn't be.

In fact, maybe he should get a slap on the back for overcoming adversity. He's done that over and over again. He sure as heck overcame as much adversity as anyone ever has on an Alabama football field. Cam Newton did that today on national TV in Tuscaloosa Alabama -- with maybe 90,000 Alabama fans screaming at him.

Go Cam; Go Auburn; Go SEC! Let's make it 5 straight.

Nov 28, 2010
I disagree
by: Dyke L. Marler

I completely disagree. Every major wire service in America has reported that Cam Newton told a "recruiter" (reportedly Judy Mullen) that he went to Auburn because "the money was too much." Maybe Judy Mullen is a liar. Maybe the wire services are making things up. Why would they do that? Were they just making things up about Brett Favre?
My son was recruited to play college baseball and he and I and his mother had every conversation together. Also, you may want to remember that I have lived in Atlanta all my life and Cecil Newton's church is about 20 miles from me and has been in the news for a couple of years regarding demolition, for lack of repairs. The congregation numbers 25 people and suddenly after National Signing Day the requisite $50,000 in repairs are made. Many eyebrows went up in Atlanta on that one and that was before most of us had ever heard of Cam Newton.
I appreciate the read and the comment but to think that the SEC office, the NCAA and the FBI are looking into the Cam Newton situation and that there is NOTHING, is a bit of a stretch.
I've been watching college football for about 50 years and EVERY time a school (Marcell Dareus, AJ Green, NC Tarheels)have the slightest hint of wrongdoing, they sit the player in question. In my opinion, Auburn knows they are average without Cam Newton, knows they are possibly/probably playing an ineligible player, knows they are losing 18-22 starters and probably Gus Malzahn and they are selfishly grabbing as much as they can. What they are not considering is the hundreds of kids who are 9th grade and above who have always wanted to play for Auburn, but may not be able to because of potential sanctions.
I've never seen any type of civil/criminal investigation, and not just sports related, with this much smoke and fire didn't follow.
Mark Winne, a long time Atlanta news anchor AND AUBURN GRADUATE AND FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTOR TO AUBURN (his disclosure live on that news broadcast and yes I was watching it so it was something I saw and heard and not a rumor I'm passing on) reported before the Georgia game that Cecil Newton had admitted to Auburn officials that he solicited money from MSU-$180,000. Remember, Sports Illustrated accurately reported that by Cam and Cecil's own admission, Cecil made the decision of where Cam would attend college. I simply do not believe that he solicited $180,000 from MSU, then decided his son would attend Auburn for free. I could be completely wrong or I could know more about this than most since it is happening in the city I have lived in all my life but I would suggest that anyone who believes that there is no wrongdoing by Cam Newton is intentionally wearing blinders.
Again, thank you for the read and the comment.

Nov 28, 2010
We'll See
by: Mo

Well, it will be interesting to see. As you say, Auburn has obviously decided to go "all in." I have a really hard time believing that Auburn football passed money to Cecil Newton and especially that Cam knew anything about it. I just think that's really a stretch.

Now, I suppose MAYBE we will find out that someone associated with Auburn (a booster of some sort) passed cash to Cecil. Could be. But, if so, unless there is some proof that Auburn football knew about this or Cam knew about it -- then I see lots of smoke (obviously we already have lots of smoke) and very little fire.

I also personally think the NCAA restrictions on paying athletes are pretty ridiculous in the first place. On the one hand you have the NCAA and Auburn University making millions and millions of dollars off of Cam Newton (for Auburn the payoff is potentially forever if they win it all) -- so, is a National Championship and Heisman trophy worth $100 million to Auburn University over the next 100 years? Probably.

And, the man who made that possible isn't entitled to a penny? And, he comes from a relatively poor family (I guess) whose father pastor's a crumbling church about to be shut down -- and Cam is expected to just let that happen when he can do something about it?

Hey, I'm not saying whatever happened was right. I am saying the NCAA is pretty hypocritical about it.

And, I'm also saying I wish the best for Auburn football and Cam Newton. We'll see.

Nov 29, 2010
I still disagree- Part 1
by: Dyke L. Marler

see that I have not done an adequate job of reporting this story.

First of all let me be real clear about Cecil Newton's church-it is my opinion that it is a shell. A scam. Not a real church.
Milton McGregor is an AU booster. He recently gave millions for a new AU basketball facility. He is also the owner of a horse track (Victoryland, formerly owned by Paul Bryant, Jr)and casino. He has recently been indicted by the Feds for attempting to purchase votes to make gambling legal in AL.
Larry Langford is the former Mayor of Birmingham. He has been indicted by the Feds for accepting bribes from McGregor. McGregor has allegedly rigged his slot machines for automatic wins for Mr Langford to the tune of 5 plays by Langford for total winnings of $220,000. This litigation is taking place now in the State of AL. The evidence to indict came from wiretaps by the FBI from the phones of Misters McGregor and Langford.
It is alleged that these same slot machines have been rigged for certain Auburn players and their families to win $1,000 at a time. Reportedly 4 or 5 players per year for years. This information literally fell into the laps of the FBI through the wiretaps while McGregor was being investigated for attempting to purchase votes and influence from Langford. That is why the FBI is interviewing John Bond and Kenny Rogers instead of the NCAA.
Further the money used to payoff Cecil for Cam's signed LOI was allegedly funneled through Cam's uncle, who lives in Michigan. That is reason number 2 that the FBI is the lead investigative team in the case. They are going after McGregor and Langford and really don't care about the football implications.
The NCAA rule that makes Cam ineligible states "if a player, or family member of the player, or anyone acting on the players behalf, WITH OR WITHOUT THE PLAYERS KNOWLEDGE, solicits extra benefits from a member institution, the player is ruled ineligible." So it really doesn't matter what Cam knew, the minute Cecil Newton admitted that he solicited extra benefits from Miss. State (and he has admitted that), Cam became ineligible. Auburn was aware of this before the Georgia game 2 weeks ago. Cecil Newton admitted to soliciting MSU in November of 2009. That makes Cam ineligible for all of 2010. In other words, every game he has played.
Cecil and Cam Newton both said in a Sports Illustrated article earlier in the year that Cecil made the decision where Cam would attend college.
I cannot believe that he would solicit $180,000 from MSU then make the decision that Cam would attend Auburn-FOR FREE.
Regarding the NCAA rules of not paying players, I and thousands of other parents of NCAA athletes have abided by those rules.

Nov 29, 2010
I still disagree-Part 2
by: Dyke L. Marler

Apparently I went over my 3000 characters

Lastly, the Newton family attorney who is also in Atlanta, made a statement last week saying "Cam did not accept money and his Father and Mother did not accept money." Those of us with "sources" already have heard that the money was funneled through the Michigan uncle, so we already knew that Cam and the Reverend Newton did not accept money.
I'm going to have to pull for the Gamecocks in this one because I believe Cam and his Father are both dirty and Auburn knows this. They are simply going to win everything they can and make the NCAA prove their case and take it from them. Ask Bama fans and USC fans about how little the NCAA likes to be lied to.

Nov 29, 2010
Cam Newton Controversy
by: Mo

Hey, great reporting on the Cam Newton Controversy. Honestly, I didn't know all the facts you laid on the table. I don't think many people do as you'd have to really invest quite a bit of time following the story in many different places to pick it all up.

But, I'm still not so sure. I still have a hard time believing that the NCAA or SEC wouldn't step in NOW to prevent what will be an obvious hugely greater problem down the road -- if all you say is as clear as you make it seem.

I'm not saying it isn't, just that it's hard to believe Auburn (and the NCAA and the SEC) would risk so much on what seems to be a losing hand.

And, I also still think the NCAA rules are ridiculous. Not that paying players is the answer either -- maybe there is no good answer -- still, the rules as they now stand are ridiculous. So, they'll be more scrutiny of that as well.

Thanks for all your work on this story -- I hope lot's of people read this.

Nov 30, 2010
I disagree...
by: cockychuck

Cam had nothing to do with it??! That remains to be seen, but when Cam alledgedly calls his MSU recruiter apologizing that "the money (at Auburn) was just too much", I think he may have been in the know. Furthermore, his actions at Florida shows that he has character issues: Possession of a stolen laptop (which he threw out of a dorm window to avoid being caught with it) and putting his name on another students work to get credit for it. Character should count when choosing the heisman, and I suspect if Newton is awarded the heisman, we will see another "Reggie Bush" scenario in a few years.

Dec 01, 2010
Get some facts before talking...
by: Tom

Even if Cecil asked for money, that is not a crime unless he intended to take the money and go elsewhere.

Everyone in the media who says "Cecil admitted" either added "sources, unknown sources or unnamed sources confirm" or left that part completely out. Which is based on comments by Rogers and Bell.

Even with the fact that the NCAA investigation has found that there is questions of "amateurism", Newton eligibility is reinstated. And, he has a right to a committee hearing. As you probably don't know, the NCAA and SEC have no powers to compel testimony or subpoena information. which is a good thing, because they are not an arm of the judicial system, and should not have that power.

Later Bammer!

Dec 01, 2010
oh tom...
by: dyke l marler

Were not talking about cecil committing a crime were talking about if he committed an ncaa violation.
Now put on your 2004 peoples national championship shirt and get your granddaddy to tell you that 1957 story again. The one where auburn was on probation.

Dec 12, 2011
by: John

I love that Cam is essentially outperforming Timmy Tebow in terms of stats this season. Although Tebow is getting the last laugh because the Broncos are 7-1 under him and are playoff bound.
Did Cam's dad committ anything illegal? Those accusations don't just come from anywhere. However, as involved as his dad is in Cam's everyday life, I wouldn't doubt it.

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