When Mike Slive kicked off the SEC media day today, a few reporters found it suspicious that he didn’t make much out of Auburn’s most recent national championship. Could it have to do with a recent development in the Cam Newton case? Sure, why not.
Earlier today, Danny Sheridan of the USA Today went on the radio with Paul Finebaum and revealed that the NCAA is definitely still looking in to the rumors that Cam Newton was for sale – and they may have found something. Sheridan kind of went back and forth on the schools involvement throughout the interview, but the main point that came out of it is that according to his source, the NCAA believes they have found the ‘bag man,’ in the Cam Newton case. In other words, the third party that contributed the money to Cecil Newton and his church.
Team Speed Kills had a write up on the interview, and highlighted a few of the key quotes:
This is a direct quote: “They’re trying to get a third person, allegedly the bag man, to step forward, and if he steps forward, it’ll be a bad situation. But I don’t know that he will step forward. I don’t know if they have any evidence. I don’t want you to misquote me.” This “third party/bag man” would be someone doing the work so the someone else’s fingerprints are not on the transaction. This third party is not a “rogue alumni”.
Sheridan’s sources at the NCAA are “25 years old” (as in, he’s had a sources there that long; it’s not a twentysomething feeding him info) and have never mislead him. There are also 15 other schools being looked at, but he will not name them. They feel money changed hands in the Newton case, but if it can’t be proven, the case “will be dropped in probably three-to-six months.” Sheridan is not aware of any ongoing investigation of Mississippi State.
Sheridan closes by saying the “they [the NCAA] think they know the third party, and they think they know the party that put up the money.” That means the NCAA is looking at two entities here: someone who allegedly financed this alleged deal and someone who allegedly carried out this alleged deal. If the NCAA can remove the four “allegedly” instances out of that statement, Auburn’s in deep trouble.
As damaging as this sounds, it bears repeating that one journalist saying one source believes the NCAA may have found a man doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s true. Until hard evidence is produced, you can’t assume anything one way or the other. But if I’m an Auburn fan, I can’t wait until the new season starts so I can have a healthy distraction.
And I’m also starting to sweat a little.