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Radio Host Says Newton Tapes Are The Real Deal And They Implicate Auburn & Tennessee

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.


 


21 comments
jeremy
jeremy

Who knows what is true and what isn't, but I am always leery when the figer is pointed from a person closely linked to one school directly at two hated rivals. I just want to hear the truth regardless of who is guilty.

HoustonVol
HoustonVol

John, I am one of those people that are crying whenever my team is in the headlines - I am a UT grad. I have good reason to cry. My school earns those bad headlines, and I am crying about it. However I do appreciate your balanced reporting of the stories - both the rumored and the facts.

With the environment created by the fan bases of the SEC schools, it is no surprise that coaches are taking a win at any costs attitude? When you have Fulmer and Tuberville forced out, Ritch and Miles on the hot seat because they lose a few games and have some subpar years, there is no margin for error. The fan bases are unrealistic in their expectations. Florida and Texas (just as demanding as any SEC fans) want to blow up the ship over a year that fell apart, that is a problem. Look at Vince Dooley's record and UGA, the Bear's at Bama - they would have never lasted long enough today to build a legacy. College football fans need to gain a realistic expectation for their programs.

Keith
Keith

Man I get sick of the readers of this site giving John such a hard time for simply reporting what is already out there. Some people hear what they wanna hear and ignore the rest because it does not fit into what they want to believe. John has always been balanced in his reporting and I appreciate that very much.

Keith

David
David

Because it's double hearsay -- someone who says they heard a tape of Cecil claiming that some unnamed person connected to UT or Auburn was making bids. here's no evidence to corroborate Cecil's claims OR Moore's claims relative a tape with Cecil on it.

It does make the rounds on "alternative" media - such as Twitter, blogs, etc. - so it's out there. No breaking news here, just commentary on the chatter. Which is fair game for a venue such as this. If you want double-sourced, legally vetted journalism, try SI.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

David...

A media man goes onto a radio station and claims to have heard tapes of Cecil Newton saying that Auburn and Tennessee had offered to pay his son.

As an "alternative" media source, we have a decision to make. Do we...

a) Ignore the story? Because we could just let it filter its way around the messageboards and talk radio until people did learn of it (and then said, "How come you got beat on this?")

b) Report the story as fact?

or...

c) Report what the man said, provide a link to the audio so you can hear it for yourself, and transcribe parts of the audio so you don't have to listen to it if you don't want to? Oh, and then share our own opinions explaining first that there are reasons this could all be nonsense and second that whether it's nonsense or not, it's still bad pub for the two schools involved.

We chose option C. That's what we'll always choose. "Here are the facts, here's a link if you want to see for yourself, and here are our opinions."

But naturally, we're raked over the coals because we're not SI.com.

Tell you what, you go back and check to see which site first suggested:

* Texas A&M would be a target for SEC expansion

* Bruce Pearl would face a lengthy NCAA suspension

Everyone knows the SEC eventually did talk to A&M and now everyone in the "real" media seems to think Pearl will get a suspension. When we made those two claims -- just the first to pop into our heads right now, mind you -- no one else out there was saying that. No one. We were on a limb and taking punches for it. Took all the misspelled "you're stoopid" emails and comments that you can imagine.

But we gave you the facts, explained them, and then gave you our opinions on them. SI.com was second on the bus.

You want to insult us for trying to provide you with steady stream of SEC information every day? Go ahead. We'll keep doing our best for the folks out there who don't cry whenever their school makes headlines.

John

David
David

OK, I can see where in the context of being knocked around by others, you read my post the way you did. So let me try again.

Others are not touching it because they do not handle this sort of information. Not because they're better, but because they are further up the food chain. Different mediums. Different. Not better.

I was suggesting that people who want that sort of criteria exercised on their information consumption -- super-safe filters, protecting access to insiders, never a disparaging word, multiple drafts to the lawyers prior to printing - then don't come here. And especially don't come here to complain.

Finally, I clearly think the (a) immediacy and (b) viral nature of this sort of information makes it totally fair game for a blog. A good blog which has a history of thinking before it leaps. Immediate, but always with an eye on the ethical side of it. My kind of blog. Which is why I am here.

Sorry for not making that clearer the first time.

Chris Deer
Chris Deer

Excellent! Keep up the good work, it keeps me coming back!

andy
andy

John, why is no one else touching this?

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Andy...

TeamSpeedKills.com just ran a story on a NEW interview given by Moore today.

John

Rich
Rich

Oh good grief, enough with the "it doesn't sound good for..." statements. The Auburn and Tennessee stuff may be real or it may not. What we know right now is that there are unsubstantiated (by the tapes) allegations that Cecil (not Auburn or Tennessee) is asking for money, and Cecil (not Auburn or Tennessee) is saying that other schools have offered money for Cam.

Here is a hot new rumor for everyone - I have heard that there is a guy who has a tape and on that tape are recordings of the owners of the mrsec.com site offering money to espn, rivals, bleacher report, campus rivalry, and yahoo sports reporters to tank it so that the outstanding quality of mrsec's journalism will look even better.

We don't know for sure, of course. But it until we hear the tapes -- if we ever hear the tapes -- it still doesn't sound good for mrsec.com.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Rich...

You're right, it wouldn't.

Now thanks for shooting the messenger. Next time someone goes public with claims like this, we'll just ignore them, because folks like you don't want to know about them.

But if you want to try to be a rational adult for a minute, why don't you ask yourself this question: Do you think Jay Jacobs and Mike Hamilton heard these claims and quickly developed smiles on their faces? "Hooray, this is GOOD news." If not, then you agree with me... it doesn't SOUND good for AU or UT.

John

Rich
Rich

John,
You get paid to be the messenger. You write articles for a website that prides itself in publishing good factual articles about SEC sports (which I think you do).

My point is that right now, without proof (even the mediocre proof that an audiotape provides until it has been verified as genuine) then Jay Jacobs or Mike Hamilton can only continue to look into the situation. For Hamilton it may be a little easier because Kiffin is gone. Jacobs will have a harder time because his staff is still in place from the time all of this supposedly happened. No athletic director can afford to blow off allegations like this without checking into them, but neither can they (or their fans) spend time chasing every single one of these things all day long, because they would never get anything done. I love the passion of SEC fans but it leads to rumors, unfounded allegations, and outright lies about rival schools.

When these tapes are released, and they corroborate the writer's story, then I agree, it not only looks bad for Auburn and Tennessee, but the two schools better get busy doing something about it. It's the only rational thing way to run an Athletic Department.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Rich...

We live in a PR world. Perception is reality. So whenever a school is accused of something and it makes headlines, we're going to point out that that's a bad thing. Because it is. Nothing has been proven against Auburn yet. But has the school's rep not taken a hit through all of this? Even if the NCAA comes back and say, "They're all clean," there's no erasing all of the headlines, all the talk radio chatter, all the ticker crawls that have tied Auburn to cheating for six months.

Anyone going on the record with an accusation is bad news for a school. You may disagree. But my view isn't changing on it.

Thanks for reading the site,
John

andy
andy

Kiff backed off of Newton and focused on Simms relatively early, don't remeber exact timeline. Doesn't pass the smell test (and not just because I'm a UT grad).

Mr. Freddy
Mr. Freddy

The biggest point is the third one you made - just because Cecil said it, doesn't mean it's true. It's possible that Cecil was trying to create a false-bidding war to lure Miss. St. into "bidding" more than Auburn and Tennessee's mythical bids.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Mr. Freddy...

That's what I said:

"It’s certainly possible Newton was talking a big game to drive up the price from Mississippi State, the school his son wanted to attend in the first place."

But it until we hear the tapes -- if we ever hear the tapes -- it still doesn't sound good for AU or UT.

Thanks for reading,
John

Mr. Freddy
Mr. Freddy

The tapes won't prove anything if it's just Cecil claiming that AU and Tennessee offered money for Cam.

Warren
Warren

Sorry - I thought you were a journalist and this was news site. I guess you are just a condensing jerk and rumor monger.

Good luck - with your poor attitude you will need it

Warren

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Warren...

I'm sorry, I don't work for you and you're not my boss. We provide information and opinion at this site. Don't like that info or agree with our opinions, that's your right. But until you want to start writing me a check, don't go handing out assignments.

And yes, when someone puts his name behind a story and talks about it in the press, that's the definition of going "on the record." Now, as I've stated numerous times since this story emerged, I wouldn't trust this guy in the least.

But I will say once more, NO SCHOOL wants to hear any accusations made about it. If you can't grasp that, there's not much point in me going any further.

John

Warren
Warren

On the record? What record? Third hand info "is on the record"?Going on a radio show is not the record? Add that to the fact that Tennessee backed away from Newton after going to see him play at Blinn. After traveling to Texas the staff learned Cam was suspended for the first half of the game for a violation of team rules -- are there team rules in Junior College? After that trip Newton was never mentioned much on the Tennessee recruiting sites I follow.

Perhaps you could dig a little deeper into Tennessee's recruitment of Newton. My recollection is that Tennessee was out of it early on. Have you looked at time line on this rumor of another rumor to see if it passes the sniff test? If you haven't why haven't you? It seems to me it would be easy to look at the time line of the Vols recruitment of Newton and when his daddy was making these claims. If Cecil Newton were a credible source this may look bad, but lets face it, he has less credibility than the Iraqi Information Minister.

Lets see some digging - get to work-- lets get less perception and more reality

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Mr. Freddy...

I agree.

But the fact that this info is now floating around "on the record" rather than on a messageboard can't be viewed as a pleasant bowl of sunshine by AU and UT officials. That was the point. More black clouds gathering over SEC schools. True or not, Scott Moore's comments about these tapes will make big news.

John

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