February 25th, 2011 09:14 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
Tags: Cecil Newton, Kenny Rogers, Mississippi State, NCAA
Radio host Scott Moore of WZZN-FM 97.7 in Huntsville, Alabama will be making the rounds today. That’s because yesterday he revealed that he has heard Kenny Rogers’ audio tapes regarding Cam Newton’s recruitment.
“There are tapes. There is some very incriminating, damning things on those tapes.”
Moore also said there are text messages that Rogers has kept that also shine a bad light on two programs in particular — Auburn and Tennessee.
“The bottom line is these numbers that we keep hearing about — this $150,000 offer from Tennessee, this $180,000 from Auburn — those came from Cecil Newton (to Rogers on the tapes). They didn’t come from Auburn or Tennessee, they came from Cecil Newton. He’s the one that said these offers were made to him.”
Moore said that he never heard anything on the tapes “that would implicate Mississippi State.”
“What I’ve heard is offers… (Newton) saying on these tapes that these offers were from Tennessee for $150,000 and a $180,000 offer from Auburn. I heard him say that, I’ve seen the text messages. And they exist, that’s the bottom line.”
Interestingly, Moore said there are “several tapes” from “several different people.”
First things first, once again, we’re hearing someone talk about the tapes and not the tapes themselves. Is Moore going to make this up? You certainly wouldn’t think so.
Second, we have to wonder if the tapes are real. It’s hard to imagine why Kenny Rogers would manufacture false tapes unless he plans to sell them off at some point in the future. It’s unlikely he would go to such lengths, but I saw a recent, poorly done documentary claiming the whole 1960′s “Paul is dead” ruse was real… just the other night. There are nuts out there who will go pretty far to make a buck. But the odds that Rogers (and others) faked phone calls and text messages? Tinier than tiny.
Third, until we hear the tapes and see the messages, we have to wonder if Newton is simply talking big. Just because he said it, it doesn’t mean it’s true.
As Moore says: “You get back to Cecil Newton coming to these guys in Mississippi and saying, “Hey, I got an offer from Tennessee for $150,000… I have an offer from Auburn for $180,000… Hey, Mississippi State, what are you gonna do?’”
It’s certainly possible Newton was trying to drive up a price from Mississippi State, the school his son wanted to attend in the first place.
But that’s enough of the “possible explanation” stuff. If Moore is correct, this sounds awfully damning for Auburn and Tennessee.
Which is why one has to wonder just how much the NCAA has talked to — or attempted to talk to — Rogers. The NCAA has been looking into Auburn but has yet to send a formal letter of inquiry announcing an investigation. (There’s usually preliminary digging before the investigation is made official, but still, the NCAA hasn’t found/heard enough yet to dive in with both feet.) The NCAA also just wrapped an investigation into Tennessee and Lane Kiffin. Judging by the accusations they’ve shipped off to LA, it’s clear that the NCAA would love to get their hands around Kiffin’s neck. If they had access to or knowledge of credible information showing that Kiffin made a $150,000 offer to the Newtons, it’s quite likely UT’s letter of allegations would have been considerably more brutal.
UPDATE – One more quote from Moore in summary:
“(Newton) went to Mississippi State and said, ‘Hey, what can you guys do for us?’ I mean that’s a fact. That’s what he did. And you know Mississippi State came back and said, ‘Listen, we’re not gonna do anything for you, but if you go to Auburn, we’re gonna turn you in.’ And that’s what happened.”
ANOTHER UPDATE TO THE STORY HERE.
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