Cam Newton Investigation: Careers on the Line at Auburn, MSU and the Media

Matthew Donaldson@MattDonaldsonAUCorrespondent INovember 11, 2010

AUBURN, AL - OCTOBER 23:  Quarterback Cameron Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers against the LSU Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

I think it's safe to say this Cam Newton story has been one of the most explosive in-season controversies ever.

Yesterday, some even predicted Cam Newton would be suspended in a matter of hours. I've never seen such strong reactions and around-the-clock discussion about off-the-field circumstances in the important month of November. 

To me, it's obvious that someone involved in this story is very guilty. Fans just can't be sure who's doing the lying yet.  

It could be Auburn. After watching how strong Gene Chizik and athletic director Jay Jacobs were in their response to these allegations, they clearly have gone "all in" with Cameron Newton. I tend to believe that they have no evidence or knowledge of any wrong doing. But if it comes out that they had anything to do with payments to Cam Newton or tried to cover them up, they deserve to be fired immediately. 

It could be Mississippi State. It seems that they withheld pieces of evidence from the NCAA until July. John Bond's story has changed a bit over time, first implicating Kenny Rogers, now saying there were intermediaries between the two. What if these two "recruiters" that Joe Schad reported about aren't on the MSU staff? That would be a violation as well. 

To me, it seems that MSU did things the right way in reporting their findings to the NCAA. They self-reported these things very early on. But there are still questions that need to be answered about their time line and their involvement. 

It could be members of the media. The timing of all this "news" seems interesting. How did this investigation (which was supposed to be a private NCAA matter) suddenly break into the news after it had been going on for months?

There have been many conflicting reports in the last week. ESPN released the initial story last Thursday, which in no way implicated Auburn (even if that wasn't made clear). Then just as things died down, Thayer Evans reported three instances of academic fraud while Cam Newton was at Florida.  

The unnamed source that released the student records that Evans reported on committed a felony. The allegations of academic cheating have been challenged by members of the UF Student Conduct Committee, who said that nothing was reported on Cam Newton while he attended Florida. 

At some point, SOMEBODY must go on the record about this story. These unknown sources and innuendo are getting a bit excessive. Obviously, those involved in an investigation aren't supposed to speak out too much. But can't someone from the NCAA release something that tells exactly where they are in the process and what they've found? 

Bottom line: the Cam Newton frenzy has turned up little concrete evidence so far. It's worth repeating that Auburn still hasn't received a letter of inquiry from the NCAA. The investigation of Cam Newton's recruitment continues, but for now, he is eligible at Auburn and will play on Saturday.

Someone is lying here. Whoever has been lying for the last week, releasing confidential information or driving this story into the media will have a tough time holding onto a job when all this is said and done. We all just have to wait for the truth to come out.