While the NCAA has temporarily rendered Cam Newton eligible to play football for Auburn, the governing body has made (somewhat) clear that its investigation into Newton’s recruitment is ongoing.
(Dan and Megan Mullen)
Though there’s a good chance none of the controversy involving Newton’s recruitment ever would’ve come to light had Pat Forde, Chris Low and Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com not broken the news on November 5 that a third party, later identified as Kenny Rogers, solicited money from Mississippi State in exchange for Cam Newton’s enrollment at MSU.
During the height of star quarterback Cam Newton’s recruitment out of junior college last year, a man who said he represented Newton allegedly was soliciting a six-figure payment to secure his signature on a national letter of intent, ESPN.com has learned.
Rogers later said that he had asked for the cash after he was directed to do so by Newton’s father Cecil. Rogers also subsequently noted that Newton made his solicitation known to Mississippi State coaches during an in-person meeting in November, 2009.
Less than a week after ESPN.com broke the Newton story, Joe Schad of ESPN.com reported the only story to date that points to Cam Newton having direct knowledge of the “pay-for-play plan” concocted by his father and Rogers for his football services.
Two sources who recruit for Mississippi State said that Cecil Newton and his son, quarterback Cam Newton, said in separate phone conversations that his college choice would be part of a pay-for-play plan while Newton was being recruited late last year.
Mississippi State compliance officials relayed the alleged conversations to Southeastern Conference compliance officials in January, according to two other sources close to the football program.
The SEC office later disputed that it had been made aware by MSU of such phone calls.
In its ruling yesterday, the NCAA essentially confirmed the original Nov. 5 ESPN.com report that Cecil Newton and Kenny Rogers actively marketed Cam Newton’s football skills to Mississippi State. But the NCAA did not comment on ESPN.com’s story that Cam and his father acknowledged taking money in phone calls to two MSU recruiters.
Of course, if the NCAA were to find that those calls took place, Cam Newton’s college football career would be over.
Since the ESPN.com report of the alleged Newton phone calls, no one affiliated with Mississippi State has questioned the veracity of the report, but clearly Schad’s claim has gotten little to no traction from the NCAA and the media.
Why? Read more…