If Nancy Grace had a show on ESPN, she would begin it: “The devil is dancing in Alabama tonight.”
A few moments later ESPN’s Joe Schad would Tweet this: “Sources: The devil is dancing in Alabama tonight.”
That’s because Cecil Newton proved the NCAA is the most worthless organization in America. Step a hair across the bylaw line and the NCAA will chase you to kingdom come. God forbid somebody buy you groceries or give you a ride in their car. Shred the entire rule book, light it on fire, and dance on the ashes — which is exactly what Cecil did — and you can skate free and clear.
Somewhere even Ohio State’s biggest fan Casey Anthony had to think, “Damn, he got off?”
If you gave an NCAA investigator video tape of Cam Newton accepting bags of cash, the NCAA investigator would trip, crush the tape, and subsequenly find out that the nurse who put a band-aid on his hand once got three boxes of free cereal on her daughter’s official visit to Sam Houston State’s volleyball program.
Voila, the death penalty for Sam Houston State!
The NCAA makes traffic cops look honorable. (And I hate traffic cops with every fiber of my being so you can imagine what I think of NCAA investigators).
We learned many things — mostly illogical — from the NCAA’s investigation of Cam Newton. (By the way, the investigation is closed for now. It can still be reopened. So Auburn fans can’t celebrate until four years from October 11, 2011. That’s when the statute of limitations should be complete. So don’t party like it’s 2015 yet).
Here are ten things we all learned from l’affaire Cam:
1. On September 9th, 2010 Cam Newton did the impossible: he was eligible to play for one SEC team and ineligible for the other SEC team.
Talk about splitting hairs.
If Cam Netwon had jogged out of the Mississippi State locker room in a Bulldog jersey, he would have been ineligible to play football in Davis-Wade Stadium that night. But because he jogged out of the stadium in an Auburn uniform, he was eligible.
I’d love for someone to point me to a game in the history of collegiate athletics when a player would have been ineligible for the entire season if he’d been in one SEC uniform, yet he was eligible for the entire season in the same conference while wearing a different SEC uniform.
I don’t think you can because it’s never happened before.
2. If your family lies, you better be damn good if you want the fan base to be, “All in.”
Imagine that news breaks this year that Barrett Trotter’s family attempted to sell him to another SEC school. (Asking price $4.87).
How many candlelit vigils do you think Auburn fans would hold for Barrett Trotter’s eligibility?
Auburn fans would kick him to the curb faster than Harvey Updyke.
They’d wag their fingers and talk about the sanctity of athletics, the honor of Auburn, and say that they were better than cheating.
That’s because Barrett Trotter stinks.
3. Greed is, as Gordon Gekko said, good.
The only reason Cam Newton was eligible for the 2010 season is because his dad demanded too much money.
The irony of this is just mind-boggling. Where else can the intent of the crime be so great, that it’s impossible to achieve? And that very failure leads to an inability to punish? I can’t even think of an example.
The attempted violation here was so great and substantial that no one in Mississippi could put together enough money to buy Cam.
If Cecil Newton had asked for, say, $5,000, Mississippi State would have found a way to get the money to him and if this payment ever became public Cam would be been ruled ineligible. Instead Cecil asked for $180,000 which, as anyone who as ever been to Starkville knows, represents 120% of the GDP for Starkville.
How many places can produce 120% of their GDP on demand?
4. Auburn journalism grads think I’m “retarted.”
The only thing more entertaining than Auburn fans being “vindicated” was reading their Tweets to me.
The real loser here was Alabama’s education system.
Here were my two favorites:
5. The Cam Newton Bag Man needs to become the SEC’s own Amelie gnome.
Despite what some people — such as my wife — might tell you, I neither saw nor cried during the French film Amelie.
Since I neither saw nor cried during this film, I can’t be certain, but I believe there was a scene in the movie where a gnome started to appear all over the world.
How funny would it be if people dressed up as Cam Newton’s bag man and started sending in pictures of themselves — face covered — holding bags of cash all over the world?
“Hey, look, Cam Newton’s bag man is at Mecca!”
6. Cam Newton at around $180,000 a year is the greatest buy in the history of college athletics.
How many games does Auburn win last year without Cam? Seven, tops? Even the most biased and “retarted” Auburn fan out there wouldn’t go with more than eight games, right?
With Cam Newton Auburn won 14.
Leaving aside the tens of millions in actual earnings, millions more in television exposure, goodwill, increased university donations, jerseys sold, joyous spirit from seeing Nick Saban blow a 24-0 home lead, and sundry other revenue produced, that’s a cost of just $30,000 per additional win.
For a return of, potentially, over a hundred million dollars.
Hell, it’s possible Cam Newton is the best buy in the history of American sports.
The Chicago Cubs have spent billions since 1908 and still don’t have a title to show for it. Auburn spent $180k.
Where else has a championship ever come this cheaply?
7. Danny Sheridan’s “sources” are not, in fact, impeccable.
I know, I know.
Next thing you’re going to tell me hot women don’t really crave gang bangs.
8. Every single parent of every single top recruit in America should be asking for money.
Neither of my boys can read. (This means they have something in common with SEC defensive tackles).
Of course they are also three and one.
Let’s be honest, both boys are unlikely to be five-star recruits given my lack of athleticism and their mother’s lack of size. But right now I will commit them to any school in the country — yes, even you Alabama — for $1 million.
Consider this an open and entirely legal solicitation under NCAA rules.
How is this legal? My boys can’t know about it if they can’t read.
9. Ignorance is not a defense…unless the NCAA is involved.
Imagine how many people in prison wouldn’t be in prison, if they had been able to play the “I didn’t know,” defense.
Absolute and definitive knowledge is one of the most difficult things to prove in any crime. That’s why circumstantial evidence matters.
Here we have reports that Cam Newton called Mississippi State and said the money was just too good at Auburn. Since Cecil admitted to requesting money from Mississippi State does anyone truly believe that he turned around and took no money for Cam to go to Auburn. Especially when he’s on the record as making the decision to send his son to Auburn? Cam didn’t even make the decision!
The only people on Earth who don’t believe Cam Newton got paid are Auburn fans. Hell, most Auburn fans, if you put them on a lie detector, probably believe he got paid too.
This is the sporting crime of the century, Shoeless Joe Jackson be damned.
10. Mississippi State fans have to be thinking: “Why didn’t we just pay and keep our mouths shut?”
Because if State had, don’t you think they win, at a minimum, their first SEC title since 1941 instead of Auburn?
If we believe Cam was worth six wins to Auburn, what could he have been worth to an otherwise 9-4 Mississippi State team?
State lost to Auburn 17-14, so clearly Cam on their team changes that outcome. State also lost to Arkansas 38-31, you’ve got to think — based on what he did against Arkansas at Auburn — Cam swings that game too.
The question is could Cam have erased losses at LSU 27-7 and at Alabama 30-10.
If he could have, Mississippi State wins a national title.
Seriously, Mississippi State, national champion.
The ultimate lesson here, as always, pay your players in cash.
Straight cash homey.