Here’s a nifty nine minute video from ESPN’s Outside the Lines, where a panel including Paul Finebaum, Wright Thompson and Bruce Feldman discuss the ongoing NCAA investigation of Auburn University’s recruitment of Quarterback Cam Newton:
It's well worth the time it takes to watch the whole thing, but it's also worth noting that ESPN, along with most other major sports media outlets, is discussing this matter as an ongoing probe. Consider also this story from USA Today's Steve Wieberg, covering NCAA President Mark Emmert's address to the NCAA National Convention in San Antonio.
SAN ANTONIO — Cam Newton is done with the NCAA and college football, announcing Thursday that he'll enter the NFL's April draft.
But the NCAA is scarcely done with him.
NEWTON LEAVING: Auburn quarterback declares for NFL draft
Its investigation into a pay-for-play scheme by Newton's father continues. And only hours before Auburn disclosed the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback's decision to bypass his senior season and turn pro, new NCAA President Mark Emmert vowed to work to close a loophole in the rules that allowed him to finish out this season on the field.
Very clearly, the NCAA is not done with Cam Newton or Auburn University. But the state media cartel—al.com and its affiliated newspapers—doesn’t tell you this. In fact, if you pick up any of the three papers affiliated with the website, this is the tripe you get from the Auburn Beat reporter, Charles “All In” Goldberg:
Newton won the Heisman Trophy in December and a national championship Monday, but it was not a perfect season.
His father's attempt to get money from Mississippi State boosters for him to play there made national headlines. The NCAA investigated, but neither the quarterback nor Auburn has been found [guilty] of any wrongdoing.
Through it all, Newton kept playing, walking away in his one year at Auburn with stats that no other SEC player ever achieved.
Goldberg and the rest of the media cartel are doing a grave disservice to its readers by refusing to acknowledge the ongoing nature of the investigation. Their narrative—that the NCAA has concluded its probe and found Auburn and Newton innocent—is both irresponsible and premature. While the NCAA might soon reach the conclusion that Goldberg et al seem to wish for, there is a very high likelihood that Auburn gets slammed with major sanctions and, if the federal probes continue the way they seem to be headed, a few high profile Auburn boosters and officials could be headed to a federal lockup.
The newspapers in the state of Alabama have a duty to keep the public properly informed about matters of such importance to the state. Football in this state is more than a sport. There are few other places in this country with the kind of passionate fanaticism that Alabamians follow their favorite program, and the media cannot continue to mislead the public into thinking that the Newton case is closed. It isn’t, and there’s not even an indication that it’s anywhere close to being finished.
With regards to the federal probes, the papers should also acknowledge that the FBI doesn’t go on fishing expeditions. They did not wake up on the morning of November 9, 2010 and just decide to go fishing in the Newton recruitment case just for kicks and giggles.
It is anybody’s guess where all of this winds up, but it is really lousy journalism for the state’s papers to not even acknowledge that “this” is nowhere near being over.