Little did he know that Auburn University would channel its inner Barack Hussein Obama and comply with an open records request on a Friday afternoon. The records pertain to the recently concluded investigation into the recruitment of Cam Newton.
The school has released details of the NCAA’s findings as well as correspondence between the school and the NCAA and communications between the
perpetrators of the scheme people involved.
• The NCAA found evidence that Cecil Newton and Kenny Rogers, the agent/non-agent, communicated a total of 275 times prior to Newton’s commitment to Auburn.
• Rogers was working on MSU’s behalf.
• Rogers told Bill Bell, an MSU booster, that Cam Newton would commit to Oklahoma if a cash payment wasn’t made on MSU’s behalf.
• Cam Newton, Auburn investigators concluded, “only knew Rogers as an MSU alumnus who provided information to Cam’s father about MSU and, in particular, his perspective on being an African-American male in Starkville, Miss.”
• Auburn told the NCAA, in its letter requesting Cam Newton’s reinstatement on Nov. 30, 2010, that “it is clearly established that Cam didn’t hire and agent and didn’t receive any benefit from individuals alleged to be acting on his behalf. The facts do not support that Cam was aware of any such alleged activity.”
• Kenny Rogers also contacted UNC assistant coach John Blake about Cam Newton, saying “I have three kids that love UNC.” The first was Newton. Rogers also mentioned DL Donald Langley and RB Justin Rogers.
• The NCAA affirmed MSU’s findings earlier this year that Rogers, despite all this, wasn’t a representative of MSU’s athletic interests. MSU cast Rogers as a rogue and the NCAA agreed. Rogers officially has been disassociated from MSU.
That last item should give Mississippi State Bulldog fans a reason to sigh loudly in relief. While every indication was that Starkville did it right, there was still some nervousness about whether the NCAA would eventually turn its spotlight back on the Bulldog program.
If you closely followed developments of roughly one year ago this week, you may also recall that Mississippi State not only played by the book, they also held a little somethin’-somethin’ back from the SEC (shared with the NCAA) just in case the suits in Birmingham decided they needed someone to throw under a bus.
It’ll be interesting to see exactly how much of the material actually reaches public hands. Specifically, there are still some questions in lots of minds about the breadth of the NCAA’s query into Auburn’s recruiting and allegations of improper benefits.