Report: Newton and his father admitted that money was involved in recruitment

AUBURN, AL - OCTOBER 23: Quarterback Cameron Newton  of the Auburn Tigers celebrates after their 24-17 over the LSU Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

You knew that when the first report came out about Cam Newton and the possibility that money was involved in his transfer from a community college to Auburn that more would eventually come out.

And it has.

A day after reports surfaced that Newton had three instances of academic cheating while attending the University of Florida, ESPN.com is now saying that Newton and his father Cecil admitted in separate phone conversations to a pay-for-play plan while the quarterback was being recruited last year.

Prior to Newton’s commitment to Auburn, one of the recruiters said Cecil Newton told him it would take “more than a scholarship” to bring his son to Mississippi State, a request the source said the school would not meet. Cecil Newton also referred the recruiter to a third person that would provide more specifics, the source said.

After Newton committed to Auburn, another source said an emotional Cam Newton phoned another recruiter to express regret that he wouldn’t be going to Mississippi State, stating that his father Cecil had chosen Auburn for him because “the money was too much.”

The NCAA is investigating allegations surrounding the Newtons in regards to the recruiting process. Cam Newton, who is having a Heisman-caliber season for No. 2 Auburn, declined comment.

Couple things here:

1) Investigations like this take a while to complete, so it’s doubtful that Newton and Auburn’s season will be affected by these reports. Don’t forget that it took many years for the NCAA to file sanctions against USC for the Reggie Bush fiasco, and by that time Bush already had a Heisman, millions of dollars in the NFL and a Super Bowl ring. I doubt this will impact Newton’s Heisman chances or Auburn’s national title hopes…right now.

2) However, this isn’t good for Auburn because this is the first time they’re essentially being accused of any wrongdoing. If Mississippi State couldn’t land Newton, then how did Auburn? Did they pony up for his services or did Newton pick Auburn over Mississippi State the ol’ fashioned way (i.e. hookers. I’m just kidding…sort of.).

3) Is there any hard evidence here? So far there’s a lot of conjecture, but nothing that would allow the NCAA to punish Newton and/or Auburn. Does anyone have tapes of the conversations between Newton, his father and Mississippi State? Because if not, then how is any of this going to get proven? There’s a lot of he said, she said at the moment but zero evidence.

About the only thing that’s for sure is that this isn’t over. More reports and allegations are forthcoming and the water has only begun to boil.

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