Referee Laid Out in Auburn-Georgia Game

When it comes to referees having physical contact incidents during a game, nothing will ever compare to this Stephen Garcia play. What happened in the 4th quarter of the Auburn-Georgia game wasn’t bad though. Georgia was down 11 and trying to come back when quarterback Aaron Murray scrambled and wound up running directly at the referee. Check out the video:

Murray didn’t do that zebra any favors attracting the attention to him. Those poor guys are in vulnerable sitting in the middle of the field unprotected. Somebody get them some shoulder pads and a facemask! Is that too much to ask?

TCU Offensive Line Coach Eddie Williamson Suffers Heart Attack in Game

We already knew how stressful it is coaching college football. Urban Meyer temporarily retired because of health conditions while Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio actually suffered a heart attack after his team beat Notre Dame. The latest coach we can add to the list of concern is TCU offensive line coach Eddie Williamson.

During his halftime interview on Versus, Coach Gary Patterson announced that his offensive line coach suffered a heart attack during the first quarter. Luckily Williamson is said to be in stable condition at a nearby hospital.

TCU was down 14-0 early so the deficit no doubt contributed to the rising stress and concern for Williamson, as well as all the coaches on the Horned Frogs’ staff. TCU got it together after the early deficit, scoring touchdowns on five of their final six drives prior to the half. With a 35-14 halftime lead the upset concerns look like an afterthought, but the condition of Williamson is not. We’ll continue to provide updates as soon as we get more information.

WSBTV: Cecil Newton Admitted to Talking Money with ex-Mississippi State Player

Now that the FBI has gotten involved with the complex Cam Newton investigation we know there are serious consequences for people’s actions. We’re not sure how far they’ve gotten in their investigations, but what we do know is that when the Feds are involved you don’t want to lie. To that end, a source told WSBTV that Cam’s father Cecil Newton admitted to having talks about money for his son to play at Mississippi State. My guess is he admitted this to the NCAA and not the FBI, because he seems to be lying.

From WSBTV’s report: “… Cecil Newton, has admitted having conversations with an ex-Mississippi State University player about the possibility of under-the-table money if Cam Newton signed to play football at Mississippi State, though he’s steadfastly maintained that no money ever changed hands and said no official at Mississippi State ever made such an offer.” The report also says Newton said Auburn knew nothing about money discussions.

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Mike Bellotti Interested in Coaching Again

Before Oregon became the intimidating force they currently are utilizing Chip Kelly’s “Blur Offense,” Mike Bellotti was running the show. Bellotti took over the head coaching job in 1995 after Rich Brooks left for the NFL, and he turned the Ducks into a perennial Pac-10 contender.

Under Bellotti, the team enjoyed its first double-digit win season in school history, winning the Holiday Bowl in 2000 while going 10-2. The next year they went 11-1 with Joey Harrington at quarterback, their best year ever. Bellotti stepped down as coach to become the school’s athletic director two years ago and turned things over to Kelly. Not long after that, he left his post with the school to become a college football commentator.

Colorado just fired coach Dan Hawkins this week, creating a vacancy at a prominent school. Mike Leach and Mark Mangino were successful coaches at Big 12 schools and both are available. Apparently Bellotti is too.

The former Oregon coach told The Denver Post “[he and Colorado] had some initial talks, nothing more than that” and that he would need more information about Colorado to determine his interest in their opening. More importantly, he said “I’m interested in getting back in coaching. But it would have to be the right situation.”

Memo to coaches on the hot seat (I’m looking at you, Neuheisel): get your act together because there are other good coaches on the market. Aside from Leach and Mangino who were already available, now we know Bellotti is too. This information should give athletic directors more reason to closely evaluate their coaching staff; I can already think of several over whom Bellotti would be an upgrade.

Cam Newton Investigation Questions: Why Now, and Where Is it Coming From?

There are several questions circulating regarding the Cam Newton investigation. Why did the NCAA declare him eligible before the season began if they knew about the Mississippi State allegations? Moreover, if Mississippi State informed the SEC that Cam Newton’s father wanted over a hundred thousand dollars for his son to sign with their school, why didn’t the conference investigate the situation at the time? Most of all, why did people wait until Auburn was 10-0 and Cam Newton had established himself as a certified star before they finally dropped this bombshell of a story? Let’s try to navigate our way through this tale rationally.

We’re told Mississippi State reported the Cam Newton story to the SEC back in January. The SEC says most of the pertinent/follow-up information they requested was not provided by Mississippi State until July. It wasn’t until November that we found out the NCAA was investigating Auburn’s recruitment of Newton. It wasn’t until this week that we learned the FBI was getting involved in the investigation.

We found out late December that Auburn was signing Cam Newton, thereby beating out Mississippi State in his recruitment. Mississippi State says they informed the SEC that Newton’s father wanted thousands of dollars for his son to sign, and given that they reported the incident and didn’t land Cam, it’s safe to say they weren’t willing to pay. I’m guessing the SEC followed up and asked for more information such as phone records and anything else that helps prove Newton wanted money to sign. Being busy trying to manage and run an entire football team, I’m guessing Mississippi State didn’t provide that information until July as the SEC says. I think it’s reasonable to believe that the program was focusing on taking care of itself first before worrying about busting an opponent for cheating.

So here’s the next question: did the SEC report the allegations and story to the NCAA immediately? And here’s another major chicken-egg issue: has the NCAA been investigating the recruitment of Newton the entire season and word just leaked out, or did the investigation begin last week? Not many people can answer those questions so it all depends on what you believe.

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Kenny Rogers: Cam Newton’s Dad Wanted $100-180K for His Son to Sign

You want sources? You want “on the record?” You want first-person, primary accounts? Boom, you got it. I always thought it was ridiculous that everybody was questioning the sources and reports by ESPN, Joe Schad, and FOX Sports when it seemed pretty obvious that Cecil Newton Sr. wanted loads of money for his son to play at a given school. It’s not like that’s an uncommon practice, but it’s uncommon for someone to rat it out.

Kenny Rogers, a former Mississippi State football player, said Thursday during an interview on ESPN Radio in Dallas that he and Cecil Newton sat inside the Hilton Garden Inn in Starkville, Mississippi, during Cam’s official visit to Mississippi State and Newton told two Bulldogs coaches that they would have to pay between $100,000 and $180,000 to get his son.

Rogers even named the name Bill Bell as a Mississippi State booster with whom he was put in touch to see if a deal could be reached. Obviously Mississippi State did not come through, or at least they didn’t beat out Auburn in the auction, and that’s why Cam is a Tiger and not a Bulldog. I said all along that Auburn must have paid around $200,000 to get Newton and it appears as if that must be the case. Why else would he have signed with Auburn instead? Because he loves the school’s colors? Give me a break.

Report: Dan Mullen, Mississippi State the Source of Cam Newton Cheating Allegation

A FOXSports.com report by Thayer Evans on Monday night said Auburn quarterback Cam Newton cheated twice at Florida before deciding to transfer to Blinn College. Auburn has defended its quarterback ferociously with coach Gene Chizik calling the allegations “garbage.” Besides the allegations, which now number two in less than a week for the Heisman Trophy candidate, Newton defenders are trying to distract the issue by pointing out that Newton’s private academic records have been leaked. They wonder where the information comes from given that the disclosure of such information would be a violation of Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

A report by Auburn Undercover, a member of the 247 Sports Network, apparently says the leak comes from Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen. Paul Finebaum’s twitter passes along the details from AuburnUndercover.com’s report: “Source for the latest academic fraud controversy swirling around Cam Newton originated in Starkville.’ … Per AuburnUndercover Source “Mullen had axe to grind. He believes he’d be undefeated & playing for an SEC Champ. if Newton had gone to MSU. … Ron Sanders: five sources say Dan Mullen is the source of the Cam Newton allegations of academic issues.”

Many people speculated that the leak came from Florida, but it’s quite possible that the source emanated from Starkville. Dan Mullen was the offensive coordinator at Florida while Newton was there so it’s likely he knew about the cheating issues. Additionally, as a school with a legitimate academic interest in Newton (Mississippi State recruited him), they could have had access to his academic records under the law’s provisions. A question, to a lesser extent, is whether Mullen knew about Newton cheating at Florida, and the larger question is whether or not he leaked the story.

One thing that must be kept in mind is that if Newton hadn’t stolen another student’s paper and changed the name on it we wouldn’t have any story to discuss. The responsibility begins with Newton if it in fact is true.