Before we get to any of the news today: Happy Veteran's Day to everyone, and remember the sacrifices our veterans made to make sure that we enjoy our freedom. And if you get the chance, thank a veteran.
CAM NEWTON RECRUITMENT
The Claims, Sources, and Denials of the Cameron Newton Saga
First of all, if you haven't read the exceptional primer that Year2 put together, I would suggest that you do so. It's an easy way to keep up with our cast of characters, and who has said what in our story so far.
Mullen continues issuing non-denial denials
Dan Mullen was given a perfect opportunity during the Wednesday coaches' press teleconference to deny the charges that he's leaking information on Newton. Aside from invoking Nick Bell -- which, if it turns out that Mullen did talk to the press, would be outrageous -- he dodged.
We deal with the players that are involved in this program that are involved on this team. I'll be honest with you, that’s all we’re dealing with here and nothing else.
Dan, the words are: "I didn't leak the information about Cam Newton." If they're true, they aren't very hard to say at all.
There are some other interesting things from the teleconference in the post, so give it a read. Among them:
- The Florida SID was the one who wanted to issue Urban Meyer's statement on the leaks;
- Mullen's one-word answer to whether there were non-coaches that recruit for State is "no";
- Gene Chizik ain't talking
This is odd
This is one of the oddest statements in the whole series of events.
SEC spokesman Charles Bloom confirmed MSU's account. He also said there was no mention of the reported conversations in either of the school's reports to the league. He declined to comment further.
So what, exactly, did Mississippi State tell the SEC at the time? Was it just the information about Kenny Rogers, or are there some things we haven't heard about? And why didn't the report to the SEC include the conversations?
Everything we find out about just makes things more mysterious. Roll Bama Roll has a few ideas.
Having said that, I can think of two scenarios that could possibly make both stories mesh: (1) MSU was not aware of the conversations until after their second report in July, or (2) MSU went over the SEC office and submitted it all straight to the NCAA (and that, I think, is a violation of SEC bylaws in its own right). Are either of those two things likely to have happened? Your guess is as good as mine.
I'm not sure if it's a bylaw or an order from Mike Slive, but the basic point is absolutely correct: All reports are now supposed to go to the NCAA through the SEC office. I find scenario (1) incredibly difficult to believe, but I think there's a way to square the circle in scenario (2): The original report from Mississippi State caused an NCAA investigation, which State then cooperated with and included the new information, which likely would not break the SEC's rules.
Year2 on the Mississippi State statement
A few more points on what State said.
He says, 'Joe, I've got a plan. And everything will work out for the best.'
Can it involve a daring getaway on a train in the middle of the night? Please?
Guess who has now waded into the Cam Newton story?
Everyone's favorite former Tennessee head football coach, Lane Kiffin.
Asked if the Newtons, or someone claiming to represent the family, ever said money would be required for Tennessee to sign Newton, Kiffin said, "No."
But with Kiffin also saying that he never offered Newton a scholarship, it's possible that the Newtons saw the writing on the wall. Or it could mean that they weren't out there looking for money. In any case, we all know that it's all about Lane Kiffin.
Kiffin said his experience in the football-crazy SEC -- "You hear so many things down there" -- gave him a unique perspective.
"I remember so many things said about me that weren't accurate," Kiffin said.
He hasn't changed a bit.
He will play against Georgia
Not that anyone should find that particularly surprising. At this point, there's absolutely no reason not to play him.
Spurrier and Meyer get along
Which isn't really all that much of a surprise -- Spurrier has made it clear that he cheers for Florida when they're not playing South Carolina, while at the same time showing that he wants to win by doing so in 2005, when it cost Florida a shot at the SEC Championship Game, and coming within a fingertip of doing so in 2006, when it would have stopped the Gators from winning Urban Meyer's first national championship. In any case, Meyer talks about Spurrier.
He’s a Hall of Fame coach and a Hall of Fame player, and he’s a good guy, so there’s no issues whatsoever. He’s the reason I came here. I had such admiration for the way his team played and that’s no secret. Now he’s on the opposite sideline and other than that one hour of football a year we get along great and try to beat each other.
All of which makes this game so fascinating for anyone who's watched Spurrier over the last few years. You know that in some ways he doesn't want to win, but that doesn't mean he's not going to try his hardest to do so.