November 9th, 2010 05:46 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Auburn, Florida, Mississippi State
Tags: ESPN, John Bond, Kenny Rogers, Mississippi State
Gregg Doyel is a columnist for CBSSports.com. He makes a living from being a hard ass and I rarely enjoy his columns or agree with his takes. That said, he’s a sharp guy who certainly knows how to pen a column that will evoke a reaction from a reader.
Today he suggests everyone consider the source on the Cameron Newton story.
Sadly, that’s hard to do because no one will actually admit to being a source on anything having to do with this story. And much of the information that’s out there has come from pro-school pay websites — which have profits and fans to think about — and talk radio shows — where little information is documented.
But for his purposes Doyel focuses in on former Mississippi State quarterback John Bond. Bond went underground when it came to Doyel, but he did instruct his attorney, Phil Abernathy, to speak with the CBS writer.
According to Doyel, Abernathy “implied that ESPN.com and The New York Times made an enormous error in their stories — the same error, it turns out.” That error? According to Doyel, Abernathy said “John Bond never named Kenny Rogers.”
Doyel also traced down a comment Bond made last Friday on the “Buck and Kincade” radio show on 680 The Fan in Atlanta. (Your station owes me a plug, Chernoff.) When Bond was asked if Rogers had offered Newton’s signature for $180,000, the former Bulldog said:
“Actually, there were two people in between it but, basically, yes that’s what happened.”
In Doyel’s view, that comment means Bond isn’t a source, “he’s a gossip.”
But at this point, most of the people talking are gossips.
Let’s look at what we do know:
1. ESPN and The New York Times claimed last week that Rogers called Bond and attempted to sell Newton’s signature to Mississippi State.
2. The NCAA is investigating Newton’s recruitment.
3. Auburn is so confident that the school, the player and the family did nothing wrong that they have played Newton in spite of the investigation.
That’s it. End of story. We don’t know anything else. Everything else is just rumor, innuendo or smear.
* Some Auburn fans are blaming Mississippi State fans, Dan Mullen, Florida fans, Urban Meyer and/or Alabama fans for releasing this information / spreading lies. – They’re basing their feelings on rumors. There’s no proof that those coaches or those fanbases are behind all of this.
* Some Florida fans are blaming Alabama boosters and/or Mississippi State boosters for this mess… because in their view, nooooo Gator fans would ever smear Newton. – Again, rumors. No facts, no proof that Bama or MSU folks are behind this.
* Some columnists believed the initial ESPN reports and decided that Newton must have taken cash from Auburn. – That belief is simply based on innuendo. Two plus two could equal five in this case.
* One of the churches Newton’s father is involved with needed money. – This is innuendo. In this economy, if you start to suspect cheating everytime a player’s parents need cash, you’re going to be making a whole lotta allegations. Just because someone needs money, it doesn’t mean he’s stealing… or, in this case, shopping his son’s signature.
* Someone with knowledge of the University of Florida’s Student Conduct Committee leaked information about Newton being involved in an academic scandal. – That’s nothing but a smear and it is completely irrelevant when it comes to Newton’s eligibility at Auburn. Also, being that the one source for the FoxSports.com story is unnamed, it’s basically a rumor.
* Two sources who are supposedly close to UF’s Student Conduct Committee have since leaked information that Newton was never in academic trouble in Gainesville. – That’s just another rumor. It brings the first rumor into question, yes, but we have no idea who the sources for AuburnSports.com are either. And the fact that a pro-Auburn site is reporting this makes the report a little fishy in the first place.
* On top of all this, Bond, Rogers, Meyer, Mullen, Chizik, Jay Jacobs and the Newton family have all issued denials regarding various parts of this story. – Someone has to be lying. The initial story came from somewhere. Someone leaked it for some reason.
So when Doyel writes, “Consider the source,” I can only respond with, “I wish I could.”
The NCAA will eventually decide whether or not Auburn, Newton or anyone else did anything wrong during the player’s recruitment.
The rest of this mess? Nonsense, lies, rumor, innuendo and smear.
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