Enjoy that Crystal Ball while you have it Aubie


Guess who's back? Hoffman's back

An NCAA official told Auburn coach Gene Chizik that it is not done investigating the Tigers' football program and the recruitment of Cam Newton, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Chizik asked NCAA vice president for enforcement Julie Roe Lach several questions, including why the NCAA had not announced that the Newton investigation was finished, during a presentation at the Southeastern Conference meetings in Destin, Fla., last month.

"You'll know when we're finished," Roe Lach told Chizik, according to several coaches who were at the meeting, the Times reported. "And we're not finished."

Vanderbilt basketball coach Kevin Stallings, LSU basketball coach Trent Johnson, Mississippi basketball coach Andy Kennedy and Arkansas basketball coach Mike Anderson all confirmed the exchange to the newspaper.

Kennedy told the Times he believed Chizik "was trying to get some finality to when the process was over, and it was an interesting debate, to say the least. I think the format of the meeting was set up to be generally about the lay of the land going forward. When he got into specific questions regarding their situation, I think we were all sitting back saying, 'I didn't know that we were going here.'"

Newton won the Heisman Trophy and led Auburn to a perfect season and national championship last season, his only one with the Tigers.

Late in the season, the NCAA ruled that Newton's father, Cecil, had tried to get Mississippi State to pay $180,000 for his son to play for the Bulldogs. Cam Newton ended up choosing Auburn instead of Mississippi State when he was being recruited out of junior college.

The NCAA also ruled there was no evidence Cam Newton or Auburn knew about Cecil Newton's pay-for-play scheme, so neither was punished.
I think the two quotes I bolded there say QUITE a bit.


Guess who's back? Hoffman's back

Paul Finebaum had the USA Today's Danny Sheridan on as a guest this afternoon, and Sheridan says the NCAA thinks it has found the bag man who helped Auburn pay for Cam Newton. I didn't catch the whole thing and the replay's not up yet, but this is news big enough to post it now and update later.

Most of what I have to go on right now is a series of tweets from Finebaum's Twitter feed. Here are the bullet points:

The NCAA investigation of Auburn ramped up after the Destin incident. Be careful what you wish for, Gene Chizik.
This is a quote from Sheridan: "As I understand it, the NCAA is trying to get an alleged 3rd person or bag man to come forward."
Sheridan reports that the investigation is all about Auburn and not about Mississippi State.
If the NCAA can put it all together, major sanctions will come along with vacation of the national championship and Heisman.
Sheridan closed by reiterating that the NCAA thinks it knows the "third party" who put up the money to pay for Newton's signature.
Obviously this is huge news. I'll try to update this as soon as Finebaum's web site posts the audio from the interview.


The interview is up in Part 1 and Part 2. Only Part 1 has Newton talk, though in Part 2 Sheridan expresses annoyance throughout that Finebaum is doing the interview while also fiddling with his smartphone.

The following is all according to Sheridan.

The NCAA thinks Newton was bought and paid for; it's all a matter of proving it now. Some amount of money went to Cecil Newton, while another amount went to Cecil's church. This money was handled by a "third party". The investigation has "revved up" since Chizik's outburst in Destin. The total amount is approximately $180-200K, with $20-30K having gone to the church. Sheridan has "no idea" if this is true.

This is a direct quote: "They're trying to get a third person, allegedly the bag man, to step forward, and if he steps forward, it'll be a bad situation. But I don't know that he will step forward. I don't know if they have any evidence. I don't want you to misquote me." This "third party/bag man" would be someone doing the work so the someone else's fingerprints are not on the transaction. This third party is not a "rogue alumni".

Sheridan's sources at the NCAA are "25 years old" (as in, he's had a sources there that long; it's not a twentysomething feeding him info) and have never mislead him. [Edited to add: Sheridan later said his sources are not inside the NCAA but rather know people inside the NCAA -Y2] There are also 15 other schools being looked at, but he will not name them. They feel money changed hands in the Newton case, but if it can't be proven, the case "will be dropped in probably three-to-six months." Sheridan is not aware of any ongoing investigation of Mississippi State.

Confusingly, Sheridan later says that "Auburn had nothing to do with this" and that this third party "I won't say was working for a rogue alumni." I don't get what he's hinting at here. If the third party didn't do this with the school's knowledge and wasn't working for a rogue alumni, who is he and why did he get involved? Is he some sort of non-alumni booster? Two questions later, he says "if they are guilty of paying a student, not they but the alumni..." Huh?

Sheridan closes by saying the "they [the NCAA] think they know the third party, and they think they know the party that put up the money." That means the NCAA is looking at two entities here: someone who allegedly financed this alleged deal and someone who allegedly carried out this alleged deal. If the NCAA can remove the four "allegedly" instances out of that statement, Auburn's in deep trouble.


In a later segment, Sheridan calls the alleged financier of the deal a "wealthy supporter of Auburn." That means someone the NCAA will define as a booster, and that means (if true) we're in Albert Means territory at the least.


Silence, you mortal Fuck!
College football stinks.