THE SEC IN THE NFL
Cam Newton gone
This really shouldn't surprise anyone who's been paying attention. When you win basically every award for which you're eligible and a national championship, there's not much more you can accomplish in college. Throw in the fact that Auburn's not about to start running a pro-style offense to help Newton tune up, there's no reason for Newton to stay in the Greater Opelika Metropolitan Area unless he just wants to.
Nick Fairley announces at noon
The fact that the announcement is at his high school and not at Auburn is a pretty clear indication of which way he's leaning.
Randall Cobb also headed to the League
I'm a bit surprised that he's going with a ceiling of the second round, but that's not bad and might be as high as a player can get playing on offense for Kentucky. This might be the most important declaration in the SEC in terms of its impact on the team. With Mike Hartline leaving and Cobb now headed out, it's hard to say that Kentucky really has a playmaker on offense for next year.
Stevan Ridley probably headed to the NFL
He didn't rule out a return to the Bayou Bengals for a 2011 SEC championship run, but Ridley pegged his odds of returning at about 10 percent. In other words, unless Les Miles has some other last-minute gimmick up his sleeve, Ridley is gone.
Gary Crowton headed to Maryland
And he thinks there was nothing wrong with the LSU offense, even though it's not the way he would have done things.
I also saw it was working. I know we didn’t put up big numbers all the time, but the most important thing is winning, and we won a lot of games.
Well, yes, the LSU defense did win a lot of games despite the LSU offense's efforts to ruin that since the 2007 season. But there are no LSU fans that are really sad to see Crowton go, and there are some pretty good reasons for that.
Cecil Newton is lying again
Okay, so if his story about not being at the BCS National Championship Game is to be believed: Cecil Newton watched the game from somewhere other than the stadium, drove to the stadium, got into the stadium after the game was over, got down to the field among the crush of people trying to get out, and could hug his son "minutes after the game ended." That's plausible. Tell me again why the NCAA has decided to believe anything this man says?
Maybe because Mark Emmert has the memory of a gerbil
The president of the NCAA continues to try to spin his way out of the mess created by the Cam Newton and Ohio State investigations, and the more he spins, the more nonsense he continues to spew. At this point, the NCAA can't even keep its own story straight.
The latest from the NCAA's beleaguered "leader":
"It’s wrong for parents to sell the athletic services of their student athletes to a university, and we need to make sure that we have rules to stop that problem," Emmert said. "And today we don’t. We have to fix that. Student athletes trading on their standing as star student athletes for money or benefits is not acceptable, and we need to address it and make sure it doesn’t happen."
Okay, so the NCAA doesn't have any rules that keep parents from selling their children's talents to the highest bidder. Which isn't exactly the opposite of what the NCAA said in its bizarre rant at the end of December, but also isn't really something that can easily be reconciled with that statement, unless you think that something being legal doesn't "encourage" people to do it.
As for the broader issue of a student escaping penalties based on their lack of knowledge, there also have been reports in the media that the recent ruling related to Cam Newton's eligibility will encourage parents or third-parties to solicit benefits or money during the recruiting process while keeping the student in the dark as to their activities.
Again, this strays from the truth.
Emmert has proven that he's nothing more than a hack. The best thing he can do for the NCAA right now is to go away.