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Just like a NASCAR driver celebrating a win, the wheels on the Cam Newton story keep spinning, but all that's being generated is a bunch of noise.
The latest jab thrown in Newton's direction comes from Scott Moore, a radio host for WZZN 97.7 in Huntsville, Ala. Moore gave an interview to WNSP 105.5 in Mobile, Ala.on February 25 claiming to have heard tapes of Cam Newton's father, Cecil Newton, discussing money with representatives of Mississippi State during Cam's recruitment in 2009. According to Moore, these tapes are in the possession of John Bond and Bill Bell, two of the key figures in the NCAA's investigation into Cam Newton's eligibility in the fall of 2010.
In these tapes, Moore claims to have heard Cecil Newton say that he has received an offer from Tennessee for $200,000 for Cam Newton's services, but that he'd give Mississippi State a $20,000 discount. Moore goes on to mention that he thinks that Cam Newton was in the room during one of the discussions, but can't confirm that. Furthermore, there is no mention of Auburn offering any money on any of these tapes.
Just like Bond, who contradicted himself regarding his contact with agent Kenny Rogers when the Cam Newton story broke, Moore has also already contradicted himself. In an interview on Mississippi-based 1st Call with Matt Wyatt on February 24 – one day before the interview in Mobile – Moore says that Tennessee offered $150,000 for Newton's services, not $200,000.
According to Moore, the NCAA has heard "some" of these tapes, urged Auburn to sit Newton before the Georgia game, and Auburn disobeyed that request. So, if that timeline is accurate, the NCAA urged Auburn to sit Newton, Auburn didn't, two weeks later ruled him ineligible, and the NCAA, after having heard the tapes, reinstated him.
On what planet does that timeline make sense? Apparently the NCAA didn't think that these tapes were as incriminating as Moore claims that they are.
This is not news. There were rumors of the existence of these tapes back in November of last year when the Newton saga was dominating headlines. So why weren't they released then? If you recall, some of this info was on Bill Bell's cell phone, which had suffered water damage. Did Bell's cell phone suddenly have its service restored? Did Bond and Bell withhold data? If so, why would they? Could some of these recordings and data implicate Mississippi State?
The NCAA already ruled that Cecil Newton solicited money from Mississippi State. So what's the point of Moore's ramblings and insistence to keep this story going?
It's simple really. In the state of Alabama, college football lives all day, every day, with no exceptions. Unfounded accusations don't just fly on message boards and blogs, they fly on the radio and in newspapers. But for the first time in the Internet age, both Auburn and Alabama have achieved the ultimate level of success on the football field at the same time, bringing the national spotlight on the state, its players and, in this case, the media.
In addition to being a radio host, Moore is known to be an Alabama fan. He is simply doing what several other people before him have done – throwing jabs at the other side in this 24/7/365 battle of fandom in the state of Alabama. The difference now is that, with the increased spotlight and worldwide accessibility of the Internet, people from outside the state have access to Moore's accusations and don't know how to take them.
I'll help you out a bit – take them with a grain of salt.
If there are tapes that incriminate the Newton's that the NCAA hasn't heard yet, John Bond and Bill Bell need to bring them out. When (if) they do so, they may want to answer the obvious follow up question: "what took so long?" If the NCAA has already heard the tapes, Moore, Bond and Bell need to get over themselves and move on.
Right now, Moore, Bond and Bell sound like whiny children stomping their feet because they didn't get their way.
Barrett Sallee covers the SEC for www.CollegeFootballNews.com. He can be reached at email@example.com, or on Twitter at @BarrettSallee
2010/2011 Off-Season Column Archive:
Wheels On Newton Saga Keep Spinning – February 28, 2011
Six SEC West Spring Storylines – February 24, 2011
Kiffin and the Tennessee Issue – February 23, 2011
Six SEC East Spring Storylines – February 17, 2011
CFN Analysis – The SEC Schedule – February 10, 2011
Ealey Suspension Leaves Georgia In A Bind – February 9, 2011
SEC Signing Day Review – February 3, 2011
CFN Analysis – Signing Day 2011 – February 2, 2011
Dream Team Won't Save Richt – January 31, 2011
Five Thoughts On Kragthorpe – January 24, 2011
Ridiculously Early SEC West Rankings – January 23, 2011
LSU Hires OC Four Years Too Late – January 20, 2011
Ridiculously Early SEC East Rankings – January 19, 2011
CFN Analysis: Cam Turns Pro – January 14, 2011
BCS National Championship Review – January 11, 2011
CFN Analysis: Cotton Bowl – January 8, 2011
Five Thoughts On Why Auburn Wins – January 7, 2011
Five Thoughts On Dan Quinn – January 5, 2011
Tuesday Question: Should Rich Rod Be Fired – January 4, 2011
Five Thoughts on Charlie Weis – January 4, 2011
CFN Analysis: Charlie Weis as the Florida OC – January 3, 2011
CFN Analysis: Outback Bowl – January 1, 2011
CFN Analysis: Gator Bowl – January 1, 2011
CFN Analysis: Capital One Bowl – January 1, 2011
CFN Analysis: Liberty Bowl – December 31, 2010
CFN Analysis: Music City Bowl – December 30, 2010
End Of The Season Accountability – December 27, 2010
Pryor Can't Be Compared To Newton – December 23, 2010
Ranking The SEC Bowl Games – December 19, 2010
Malzahn Makes The Right Move – December 14, 2010
Five Thoughts on Muschamp – December 12, 2010
CFN Analysis: Florida Hires Muschamp – December 12, 2010
CFN Analysis: Cam's Heisman Landslide – December 11, 2010
Five Thoughts On Urban Meyer – December 9, 2010
Meyer Leaves Legacy, Question Marks – December 8, 2010
Click here for the 2010 regular season archive
Click here for the 2010 Three & Out archive