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Scott Moore: Cam Newton Was in Room When Cecil Asked for Money

Huntsville, Alabama radio host Scott Moore appeared on a Mobile radio station this morning to talk more about what he knows from John Bond's and Bill Bell's tapes regarding the Cam Newton scandal. (Listen here, "Morning Sports Center Hour 3" around the 32 minute mark) He was one of the big sources who talked about the HBO Real Sports special on college football based on what Bond had told him.

Moore said that one of the tapes has Cecil Newton asking for money from Mississippi State with Cam in the room at the same time. He also said that the NCAA has a copy of some of the tapes and did encourage Auburn to sit Cam down before the Auburn-Georgia game. If you remember, it was shortly before that game that AU officials quit saying that everyone was innocent and switched to "no comment" as the standard response to everything. He also says that Cecil claimed to have a $200,000 offer from Tennessee but he'd give Mississippi State a $20,000 discount.

While confirming what we know about the NCAA investigating Auburn's recruiting practices in Louisiana, he also said it's about to look into Auburn's recruiting in Arkansas as well. Auburn's recent signees from Arkansas include RB Michael Dyer and TE Dakota Mosley in 2010 and QB Kiehl Frazier in 2011.

Finally, Moore reiterated the story that an FBI agent told Bond that Cam Newton would be a footnote in the Bureau's investigation, and he said that the investigations into Colonial Bank will eventually be a problem for Auburn. AU Board of Trustee member and athletic booster Bobby Lowder was the CEO of the now-defunct bank, and several other prominent boosters serverd on Colonial's board. Moore is not sure if Bond will appear on the Real Sports episode or not, and HBO has not offered him money to do so.

Now of course, the disclaimers: Moore is an Alabama guy and his cohost on his radio show is a former Alabama player. Also, all of his information is coming from Bond and Bond's tapes, not from himself. However, Moore says he has heard Bond's tapes, and the two of them are good enough friends that Bond gave his first and only interview since last November on Moore's show. Moore also said he didn't go looking for this story, but that it kept coming to him via his connections.

Furthermore, when you can only hear a conversation and not see what's going on, you can make errors in your interpretation of it. Moore seems completely convinced that Cam was in the room for one of Cecil's money calls, though, so at least one tape gives off a very strong indication of that being the case.

The lingering question is how Cam Newton could have been found ignorant of his father's shakedown of MSU if such a tape really exists. I can think of a few ways: 1) there is more doubt about Cam's presence in the room on the tape than Moore believes there is, 2) the NCAA hadn't yet heard that tape when the reinstatement decision was made, and/or 3) the reinstatement decision was based solely on information furnished by Auburn itself, which would not have included any evidence turned over by Bond and Bell.

As for the first one, it's completely plausible. For the second one, Moore says the NCAA doesn't have all the tapes from Bond and Bell so he doesn't know which the NCAA has heard. That one seems somewhat fishy; I would have thought the incriminating tape would be the first one they would turn over.

As for the last one, the NCAA's official statement said the reinstatement decision came from a list of facts that Auburn and the NCAA enforcement staff agreed upon. I simply don't know enough about the reinstatement process to know if this means the enforcement staff told Auburn everything it knew or if this is a case of giving Auburn and/or the Newtons enough rope to hang themselves with by witholding contradictory information.

Regardless, Bond clearly believes that he has evidence contradicting the idea that Cam Newton had no knowledge of his father shopping him around, and according to Moore, he'll make the tapes containing that evidence public at some point. Until then, we'll just have to keep watching and waiting.

UPDATE: Be sure to read the addendum to this post.