"The NCAA said initially that Cam Newton's lack of knowledge played a role." Source? What role are you talking about?
I just showed you the NCAA statement that said it didn't have to do with knowledge.
"Also, the SEC had to rule Newton eligible though one of its own by-laws was apparently violated: " It wasn't apparent at all, that's why there had to be a ruling. The ruling stated that the solicitation did not equal "agreement". Knowledge again was not a factor in the ruling.
I UNDERSTOOD THE POINT OF YOUR PIECE JUST FINE. YOU SEEM TO FAIL TO GRASP MINE. By the NCAA and, as you just supplied in the above link, the SEC published the prior rulings saying "regardless of knowledge". Thus if Bond's yet to be heard tapes provide evidence that Cam had knowledge, it doesn't change the prior rulings.
I'd already posted this once on this comment string:
It includes a quote from the NCAA's own website when Newton was cleared:
Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president of academic and membership affairs, said on the website that when the reinstatement staff reviews eligibility cases, it reviews each case based on its own merits and specific facts.
"During the decision, we must examine a number of factors, including guidelines established by our membership for what conditions should be applied based on the nature and scope of the violation," Lennon said. "We also carefully consider any mitigating factors presented by the university to determine if relief from the guidelines should be provided."
Lennon said Wednesday of the Newton case:
"Based on the information available to the reinstatement staff at this time, we do not have sufficient evidence that Cam Newton or anyone from Auburn was aware of this activity, which led to his reinstatement."
There are two groups who deal with NCAA problems.
1. is the REINSTATEMENT committee. They deal with individuals players and what they need to do to become eligible again. They rule quickly. This is the group that issued the 4 game suspension for AJ Green and the kids at OSU. AND This is the group that dealt with Cam Newton previously. Auburn seemed to find out about the MISS St. offer. Auburn suspended Cam and reported to the REINSTATEMENT committee. The reinstatement committee determined that they had no evidence at that time to maintain that suspension. And so it was lifted. This does preclude them from ever finding evidence to the contrary (double jeopardy does not apply)- but it wouldn't much matter to this committee since he is no longer in school.
2. The other side of the coin it this COMMITTEE ON INFRACTIONS. This is the one that you as a university and fan need to fear. If they believe they have reason to pursue an issue further and in a more comprehensive manner, the C.O.I. is unleashed. They have long investigations (like that of USC and reggie bush). Then they show up with all of their information and give you a chance to answer for the transgressions and problems that they have found. This is the group that hammers the university's (like ALABAMA in early 2000's and USC more recently) with "Lack of Institutional Control" and penalties of probation, loss of scholarship, and perhaps the death penalty.
So yes it doesn't "change" prior rulings. But prior rulings don't absolve anyone of future rulings from any of these bodies. And more importantly, the COI is still collecting their information. And complicity might be an important part of their judgment.