Tag:ESPN Report
Posted on: November 28, 2011 9:09 am
Edited on: November 28, 2011 11:46 am
 

Meyer to be next coach at Ohio State

Posted by Chip Patterson

UPDATE: CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd confirms that Urban Meyer will be the next football coach at Ohio State, ending weeks of speculation about his future and the Buckeyes' coaching position.

The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that a football-related news conference is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. ET.



Weeks of speculation and denial have reportedly come to an end, and Urban Meyer officially will be the next coach at Ohio State.

Meyer's agent reportedly confirmed to ESPN on Monday morning the former Florida Gators coach had accepted the Ohio State coaching job, the first official confirmation after reports from local throughout last week were vehemently denied.

CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd confirmed that was no official deal in place as of last Wednesday. It makes sense that Ohio State would not move forward crossing "t's" and dotting "i's" until the Buckeyes wrapped up their regular season. Ohio State fell to Michigan 40-34 on Saturday in the Big House, their first loss in the last seven years of the rivalry.

The Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports that interim head coach Luke Fickell will have the opportunity to remain on staff, but the former defensive coordinator may choose to pursue other opportunities. Assistance coach Stan Drayton, a former Meyer colleague, is also expected to have the opportunity to stay in Columbus.

This is Meyer's second return from retirement. The former Gators coach retired then immediately returned in 2009, before retiring for good in 2010. Citing health and family reasons, Meyer decided to take some time away from coaching and has spent the last year serving as an analyst for ESPN. Ohio State is bowl eligible, though the Buckeyes will not be officially extended an invitation until after the Big Ten Championship Game on Saturday.

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Posted on: November 12, 2010 11:30 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2010 11:46 pm
 

Report: Cecil Newton admits to soliciting payment

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Is the conclusion of the Cam Newton saga coming into focus? While it's still too early to say with absolute certainty whether Newton will even be playing for Auburn tomorrow, much less at any point for the rest of the season, the actual nature of his misdeeds -- which are, at this point, purely alleged and based solely on the statements of a handful of Mississippi State-affiliated men -- seems to be less of a mystery today than it was earlier this week.

According to Channel 2 Action News in Atlanta, Cecil Newton has reportedly admitted to soliciting money from Mississippi State. Cecil Newton's alleged admission -- which comes without so much as a direct quote from Newton -- is apparently worded in a fashion that attempts to absolve all other parties of blame:

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.

According to Winne’s source, 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, with whom the Westlake High School grad from College Park eventually signed with out of junior college.

This isn't much of a new revelation in and of itself; yesterday, ESPN's Joe Schad reported that the Newtons admitted to soliciting money. The distinction here is that this is an admission to a news organization instead of the accusing party; it's one thing for an MSU source to say the Newtons made these statements to him, and quite another for a reporter to say the same. Moreover, this report comes from a new news organization, meaning the story is gaining traction. That doesn't make it true, necessarily, but it certainly lends it a higher air of plausibility.

The problem that Cam Newton faces is that his father's reported admission, while certainly nice-sounding, might not preserve Cam's eligibility; Mississippi State was led to believe that it would need to pay for Cam to play there. That in and of itself is an NCAA violation. And yet, as Alabama-based attorney Donald Jackson notes, the NCAA hasn't yet felt the need to take the relatively routine step of "strong-arming" Newton off the field:

Donald Jackson, an attorney in Montgomery who has faced off with the NCAA many times, said Thursday that the NCAA is apparently comfortable with Newton's eligibility.

"The NCAA never hesitates to strong-arm schools into taking athletes off the field if they have evidence of violations," Jackson said.  

On the latest round of charges, Jackson said that in his opinion, "the statements from Kenny Rogers and John Bond don't add up to anything that would justify taking him off the field."

So will Newton be playing Saturday? It's easily possible. Auburn has known about this potential issue since January and seems to be committed to riding Newton all the way through the season; the only thing that has definitively changed between then and now is public opinion, and that's not usually a metric by which a football coach guides the management of his team. Being that even SEC chairman Mike Slive is reminding people that Newton's status for Saturday is Auburn's decision, it's probable that unless Auburn has additional information that hasn't been made public (and considering the fact that ESPN has been getting information more readily than the SEC, that doesn't seem particularly likely), we should probably see Newton on the field on Saturday.



Posted on: November 12, 2010 4:23 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2010 10:49 pm
 

Auburn on Cam Newton's eligiblity: 'No comment'

Posted by Adam Jacobi

In light of Kenny Rogers' comments yesterday, it certainly seems as if Cam Newton 's eligibility could be in question. After all, Rogers directly implicates Cam's father Cecil Newton in a plot to secure payment from Mississippi State for Cam's recruitment, and that is itself a major NCAA violation regardless of whether any money changed hands.

It's important to note, however, that Newton has not been declared ineligible by anybody, nor has the NCAA publicly recommended that Newton sit until the end of the investigation -- as North Carolina did with its 13 players and as Georgia did with A.J. Green -- to begin the season. The one change in the situation, however, is that Auburn is now refusing to comment on whether Newton's going to play this week.

Of course, if Auburn is still planning on playing Newton for the rest of the season, as Gene Chizik had insisted earlier in the week, it might not be in the Tigers' best interests to maintain that stance. After all, the more uncertainty Georgia has about Newton's status, the more Mark Richt has to prepare his team for Newton's backup, likely sophomore Barrett Trotter.

And yet, Auburn runs a serious risk of incurring more NCAA wrath than necessary if it continues to play Cam Newton in the face of major allegations. It's one thing for the Tigers to maintain no role in funneling money to Cecil Newton or his church, and that may very well end up being the case. But if the school is aware of allegations of severe misconduct by people connected to one of its players and lets that player be on the field anyway, it won't have much of a case for leniency if the NCAA concludes the allegations were legitimate. That's the type of hubris that can cost a school wins, bowl eligibility, and scholarships -- not to mention cost a head coach his job.



Posted on: November 11, 2010 3:37 am
 

Why doesn't SEC know about Newton calls?

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Last night, the latest bombshell dropped on the Cam Newton ordeal was that Mississippi State recruiters had been specifically told by Newton and his father, Cecil Newton , that money had played a pivotal role in Newton's recruitment to Auburn over MSU. On its face, the charge is damning; if evidence exists of Newton and his father leading MSU to believe that it would need to pay money to recruit him, that's a serious problem, and the NCAA would need to know that immediately.

Except... here's the thing. Mississippi State acknowledged just today that it let the SEC know of the Cam Newton recruiting situation in January. That was 10 months ago. And yet, 10 months after that fact, here's what an SEC spokesperson said today :

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.

Okay, great, but those exact conversations were reported on a major media outlet when they were reported on ESPN last night. So here's what we're hoping someone at Mississippi State can answer: why is ESPN learning about incriminating conversations before the SEC?

If a school has knowledge and evidence of serious wrongdoing in recruiting, as we've all been led to believe Mississippi State has against Auburn, it is incumbent upon that school to divulge as much of that information as possible to the appropriate authorities. And indeed, Mississippi State has been on the offensive as far as representing itself as a responsible steward of the SEC's rules, reportedly declining to pay the Newton family any money and reporting the incident to the appropriate authorities .

And yet, it defies immediate logic that MSU could be this proactive in enforcing the SEC's rules and yet neglect to mention this, the most obvious and egregious flaunting of the of SEC's rules among what MSU has reported so far. Why?

 

Posted on: November 9, 2010 11:51 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2010 12:32 pm
 

Report: Cam Newton, father pressured MSU for cash

Posted by Adam Jacobi

More Mississippi State sources have come forward with information against Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, telling ESPN today that the Newton family admitted to receiving money from Auburn recruiters in phone conversations last year:

Prior to Newton's commitment to Auburn, one of the recruiters said Cecil Newton told him it would take "more than a scholarship" to bring his son to Mississippi State, a request the source said the school would not meet. Cecil Newton also referred the recruiter to a third person that would provide more specifics, the source said.

After Newton committed to Auburn, another source said an emotional Cam Newton phoned another recruiter to express regret about his change of commitment from Mississippi State, stating that his father Cecil had chosen Auburn for him because "the money was too much."

Obviously, the NCAA is going to want to hear more about this, and the days of Auburn being able to proudly claim that its football program is not a target of any NCAA investigation are probably close to an end.

It's worth pointing out, though, that this report in and of itself doesn't constitute enough to jeopardize Newton's eligibility today; it's simple hearsay more than anything else. Furthermore, since this new allegation is that the Newtons accepted money (and not that Auburn merely offered it), the NCAA is going to have to actually find some of this money (which sounds easy enough, considering the Newtons were asking for $200,000, but you never know what a, um, "creative" accountant can accomplish) before it doles out any punishment.

When reached for comment, Cecil Newton had little to tell Fox Sports.

"I’m not going to confirm nor deny nothing that has been taking place," Newton told Thayer Evans of Fox Sports. "I’ve answered what I need to answer. If they’re out there, go with it and make the decision or determination based on whatever you’ve got to say."

Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen may have denied the earlier reports that he was behind the allegations of academic misconduct by Newton, but considering MSU's heavy involvement with these two other reports, it's easy to wonder whether there's any point in Mullen keeping any distance from this scandal anymore. This is clearly the Bulldogs' fight right now, so they might as well be honest about it.

Moreover, if the academic allegations did come from Mullen (which would make sense, considering his position at Florida while Newton was there), then this is three-for-three on Cam Newton allegations that have come from Mississippi State ... and haven't been proven yet. That's not to say they can't or won't be proven true -- time will tell on that front -- but these reports aren't coming from the NCAA, they're just Mississippi State airing dirty laundry. Remember how true the academic allegations sounded when the report first hit? Those don't seem quite as credible now that AuburnSports.com has its own sources saying Newton was never involved in the Florida Student Conduct Committee for any reason. It would be wise to at least keep that track record in mind going forward until more definitive evidence arises.


 
 
 
 
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