Auburn Tigers: Should They Worry About Newton the “Bagman” and the NCAA?

Ian BergCorrespondent IApril 1, 2017

AUBURN, AL - OCTOBER 23:  Aubie, masot 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

Danny Sheridan, University of Alabama graduate and gambling aficionado, launched a cruise missile at the Tigers program yesterday as he brought a new twist to the assumed ongoing NCAA investigation at Auburn.

The response has been mixed nationally at the allegations but at the end of the day should the Tigers be worried about the new supposed twist in the Newton saga?

Sheridan spoke with Paul Finebaum of the The Paul Finebaum Network yesterday at SEC media days and what seemingly started as a standard Sheridan appearance, Finebaum began to lead Sheridan into talking about his sources and information regarding the Newton case.

Sheridan began by reiterating his information of the continued investigation into Auburn. He now basically spoke on behalf of the NCAA and stated that Cam Newton was involved in a pay for play scheme with Auburn and that money had changed hands with Cecil Newton, Cam’s father.

He also went on to say that the NCAA was confident that there were nefarious deeds that occurred and that they knew who the “bagman” was and they were waiting on them to come forward. According to Sheridan, the NCAA has also pinpointed the funder of the operation.

Sheridan continued the conversation to even name the amount of $200,000 dollars of which $20,000 to $30,000 went to church renovations. His knowledge of specifics in the case is quite impressive and would stand to raise concern for Auburn fans if true.

After taking a step back and thinking a bit, some questions rise when you analyze the interview and statements by Sheridan.

The first question that anyone should ask themselves is who are Sheridan’s sources inside the NCAA and why are they sharing critical investigation material with a person not involved in the NCAA or its investigation arm?

The second question that you should ask yourself is why would the NCAA have a cozy relationship with a Vegas oddsmaker and would his suggestions of allegations have any bearing on his business?

To think that the NCAA would allow pertinent information to be leaked about an investigation is extremely questionable. Anyone with a basic understanding of investigative technique knows that the investigating party will not and should not share vital information to their cause. To assume that even an employee with the NCAA is talking to Sheridan about any investigation is a problem that needs to be addressed by the NCAA.

Secondly, to assume that anyone involved in the NCAA is sharing information with an odds maker adds concern to an obvious problem. There would be some deep issues if a Vegas odds maker had ins with the NCAA.  The likelihood that Sheridan is on the inside scoop is slim to none and slim just left the building.

The third observation would be concerning the supposed heated conversation regarding the investigation between Coach Gene Chizik and NCAA enforcement director Julie Roe Lach. If Sheridan was on the inside of the NCAA investigation game, wouldn’t he have known about this exchange well before Pete Thamel?

It seems as if he would so why would Sheridan not drop the news? Sheridan was on the radio with Finebaum after the incident occurred and one would think he would have released this appalling information then, but who knows other than Sheridan.

With that being said, should the Tigers worry about the allegations and the, according to Sheridan, “revved up” investigation into the Cam Newton recruitment? Sheridan said in the interview that “the investigation revved up since Coach Chizik had the discussion with the NCAA lady.” That lady was NCAA enforcement director Julie Roe Lach.

The details that have surrounded the case so far have been shoddy at best but there is no doubt that the powers at be looked into the situation and have continued to have open ears to new information. Whether the discussion between Chizik and Roch rekindled the investigation is anyone’s guess but to assume that a private conversation made the NCAA start the fire again would seem surprising.

Unless there is new information that has been discovered this investigation is nearing an end if it hasn’t already. One definitive action points to that fact. Auburn compliance director Rich McGlynn went on an interview and speaking run in June. A part of that was an interview with Auburn Undercover where McGlynn spoke openly about the Newton case.

The last I checked, if a school was currently under investigation they could not openly discuss the details of said investigation. Simply ask LSU or Oregon about Willie Lyles, you will get a “no comment.” If Auburn is still under investigation for Cam Newton’s recruitment then Mr. McGlynn made a major error by commenting. That seems highly doubtful.

So what would Danny Sheridan stand to gain from going on national radio and announcing the findings of the NCAA and their investigation plans? Outside of blowing the case for his alleged buddies in the NCAA your guess is as good as mine. Would it possibly show proof of his ability to gain insider information which helps his betting business? Or could it be that he is a graduate of the University of Alabama the bitter rival of the Auburn Tigers and doesn’t mind stirring the pot?

Whether or not the investigation has indeed heated up is anyone’s guess if you are not employed by the NCAA but according to Sheridan if they don’t get what they want in the next three to six months then the investigation will be closed. Sheridan told Finebaum “I will let you know when it is finished.” It is good to know that he will give the all clear for the boys in Indianapolis. 

Editor's Note: You can listen to the entire Paul Finebaum interview with Danny Sheridan here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.