Auburn quarterback Cam Newton boarded the team bus Friday in preparation for his team’s potential SEC West-clinching game Saturday against Georgia. But will he be under center when the offense takes the field for the first time against the Bulldogs?
According to a report from WSB-TV in Atlanta, the signal caller’s father, Cecil Newton, admitted to discussing with a former Mississippi State player the possibility of receiving money if his son signed on to play in Starkville. Cecil Newton did, however, maintain that cash never was exchanged and that no official at Mississippi State ever made a money offer.
ICONWill Cam Newton be under center for Auburn against Georgia?
A source close to the situation told Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne that Cecil Newton made clear that Cam Newton and his mother were unaware of any discussions involving money, and he said that Auburn also had no knowledge of such a request.
The reporter’s source said that Newton and his parents will willingly cooperate with the NCAA, even beyond the financial records turned over by the family.
Cecil Newton's contention that his son had no knowledge of his request for cash contradicts an earlier report in which two recruiters for Mississippi State said that Cecil Newton and his son admitted in separate phone conversations to a pay-for-play plan while the dual-threat signal caller was being recruited at Blinn Junior College.
According to the report, the Tigers quarterback phoned another recruiter to express regret about not going to Starkville, admitting that his father chose Auburn because “the money was too much.”
Even with the admission from Cecil Newton Friday night, it's still Auburn's decision on whether to play or sit Newton. One would think if he takes the field that the administration is supremely confident that his playing won't cost the program both short term and long term.
The administration, including head coach Gene Chizik, had maintained that Newton is and will be eligible to play the rest of the season. But Auburn’s official response to Newton’s eligibility Friday was “no comment.”
Is the school still confident after the admission of Newton's father that its quarterback's eligibility is not or will not be in jeopardy? With the information presented to the school by SEC commissioner Mike Slive and the NCAA up to this point, has the opinion of Chizik and Co. changed?
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