Posted on: March 28, 2011 1:27 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Gene Chizik is coming off of the longest, most memorable season of his coaching career. The Auburn head coach led the Tigers to a national title, but he also had to spend just about the entire season dealing with the Cam Newton saga. In fact, since the NCAA hasn't officially concluded its investigation into Cam Newton's recruitment at Auburn, there's a good chance he'll have to deal with more questions about him in 2011 even though Newton has moved on to the NFL.
Not that Chizik plans on letting any of it be a distraction, or to let it all drag him and his team down. No, Chizik has no time for those "energy vampires."
“Whatever people want to say or whatever somebody is comfortable talking about in terms of talk radio or other places, we have absolutely no control over that,” Chizik told ESPN.com. “But here’s what we know: We are the national champions, and we were the best football team in the United States last year. There’s nothing I have to do to defend our honor for that.
“They’re going to say what they’re going to say and discuss what they’re going to discuss, and you have absolutely no control over that. I call those energy vampires. They’re not going to suck my energy out worrying about that. That’s how we work.”
This is where I wish I had Photoshop so I could produce a Twilight poster with Gene Chizik surrounded by Pete Thamel and Thayer Evans. Since there are werewolves in Twilight, as well, I'd have Dan Wetzel and Charles Robinson in the background in wolf form. I tried to do this in Paint, but frankly, I just don't have the talent to pull it off.
Which is a shame for all of us, really.
As for Chizik, while dealing with the energy vampires for another season may be a problem, I don't think it's going to be as big a problem as trying to replace Cam Newton.
Posted on: February 16, 2011 2:33 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2011 2:34 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Here's some more good news for Auburn today. Earlier on Wednesday we wrote about a report saying that the NCAA's investigation of Cam Newton is ongoing, but the good news for Auburn fans is that the NCAA hasn't found anything yet that could jeopardize its championship season. The problem for Auburn is that it seems that the recruitment of Cam Newton isn't the only investigation the NCAA is currently running involving Auburn.
According to a report on SportsByBrooks.com, the NCAA was in Louisiana to meet with Auburn recruit Greg Robinson and discuss his recruitment to the school.
Monday NCAA investigators descended on Thibodaux, Louisiana, to meet individually with Auburn football recruit Greg Robinson, Robinson’s mother Lydia, Robinson associate Sean Nelson and Robinson’s former Thibodaux High School Coach Dennis Lorio.
At issue in those meetings was Robinson’s recruitment by Auburn, which raised red flags after an investigative piece by Thayer Evans at FOXSports.com in early January.
In a private meeting held at Thibodaux high school on Monday, Lorio met with an NCAA investigator and a Thibodaux high school official.The original article by Thayer Evans can be found here.
According to the report, during the talk, Lorio was asked about the recruitment of Robinson and his Thibodaux teammate Trovon Reed. The NCAA also wanted to know about the role Sean Nelson played with the recruitment of the players to Auburn and his relationship with the Auburn coaching staff. While the NCAA was investigating the recruitment of these players, it seems its larger focus is on "street agents" like Nelson, and these investigations are "taking place around the country."
Whatever the case is, this certainly isn't another headache that Auburn wants to be dealing with right now.
Posted on: November 9, 2010 5:23 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Word came out late last night that according to a Foxsports.com report, Auburn quarterback (and Heisman frontrunner) Cam Newton had been involved in multiple academic incidents at Florida, and that he was facing expulsion if he had returned for the spring semester. Damning stuff, to be sure, but curious in its details. Why was that information coming out now, years after the fact and to no effect on Newton's eligibility? Why did the reporter, Thayer Evans, only have one source cited in his report? What was up with all of this, exactly?
One fact that was generally taken for granted, though, was that Evans' report was more or less accurate. The allegations were specific and of such little immediate consequence that it made no sense for Evans' source to make them up. And yet, if the story's accurate, what's up with this report from AuburnSports.com that Newton, in fact, never faced the Florida Student Conduct Committee?
Two independent sources with detailed knowledge of the UF academic discipline system during the period in question have disputed the Evans story. According to the sources, no allegations of academic impropriety regarding Cam Newton were sent to the Florida Student Conduct Committee at any time either during or after Newton's time at UF.
Now, it's important to realize that just because the allegations never made it to the committee doesn't necessarily mean they didn't happen at all, just that they never made it to that step, for whatever reason. But if they didn't, that's a pretty big deal all the same. It certainly undercuts the idea that Newton was on the brink of expulsion -- AuburnSports.com's sources indicated that nobody facing the type of allegations Newton reportedly faced ever got expelled in the 2-3 years that source was at the department.
At any rate, Auburn fans should breathe easy tonight. Evans' report is at best debatable and at worst lousy, and it shouldn't have any effect on Newton's eligibility, focus, or Heisman candidacy. Sure, the other investigation is still ongoing, but the NCAA hasn't even seen fit to investigate Auburn on that front yet. Things just might be okay, Tiger fans.
One last thing worth pointing out, however, is that the source of these leaks doesn't necessarily have to be someone who's at Florida right now, but someone who was at Florida while Cam Newton was there. Someone with intimate knowledge of Newton's athletic and academic situation. And someone with a vendetta against Newton for whatever reason. Let's see, who could possibly fit that bill?