Million Dollar Smile?
Perhaps Cam Newton's million-dollar smile only cost Auburn $200,000.
John Bond, former player at Mississippi State released a statement today claiming that he had been approached by a former teammate representing Cam Newton during the recruiting process last year and the going price for Newton's services would be $200,000.00.
Bond reported the incident to Mississippi State's Athletic Director who allegedly told Bond not to respond to the request for money but to continue recruiting Newton.
Auburn's Head Coach Gene Chizik has not commented on whether or not Newton was paid but said emphatically "Cam Newton IS eligible to play".
The NCAA is investigating the situation to determine whether or not they agree with Chizik. Newton's father Cecil has been asked to turn over financial records and has denied any wrong doing. According to certain reports, Newton the elder's church, where he is actually the Pastor has recently been blessed with a complete renovation, which kept it from being condemned.
The Auburn faithful is praying that their season hasn't been condemned. If Newton is suspended then upcoming games against Georgia and at Alabama just got a lot more difficult.
Consider this; the LSU Alabama game just got a lot more serious. At 7-1 (4-1 SEC) both teams could now be playing for front runner status in the hotly contested SEC West race.
If Alabama wins in Tiger Stadium on Saturday their destiny is completely within their grasp regardless of what happens with Newton.
For LSU on the other hand, beating Alabama is just the first, if not very big, step in fighting it's way to Atlanta. What had been all but a pipe dream, Auburn losing twice, could be a possibility without Newton but even more interesting is what happens if Newton is deemed to have been ineligible this year.
Auburn would likely have to vacate it's wins on the year and Saturday's game in Tiger Stadium is suddenly the de-facto SECW Championship.
The answer might not be known for sometime, given the NCAA typical 'deliberate' manner by which it paces such investigations. However, fresh off of Reggie Bush vacating his Heisman Trophy the NCAA is not likely to allow the current Heisman's frontrunner's status to be in question for long.
Imagine this, Auburn could end up undefeated but unable to play in the post season and could therefore, for a third time (1994, 2004, 2010), have the best team in the country and not a single Championship to show for it.
Meanwhile, LSU—which became the first 2-loss Champion in the Modern Era in 2007 when the were 'undefeated in regulation' but winless in triple overtime—could be the first team ever to lose two games in regulation (Tennessee, Auburn) yet wind up undefeated and playing for a National Championship.
Scott Van Pelt said that Les Miles has mystical powers, do you still doubt him?