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Chizik: AU Had No Concerns About Newton’s Eligibility

In his upcoming book, “All In: What it Takes to Be the Best,” Gene Chizik writes that Auburn officials had no worries whatsoever about Cam Newton’s eligibility last season:

“We knew we had done nothing wrong during the recruiting process.  If we’d had any level of concern regarding Cameron’s eligibility, we would not have put him on the field and risked forfeiting games for playing an ineligible player.”

While he didn’t have problems with Newton’s playing status, he did take issue with the media.

“My complaint comes when some individuals in the media engage in irresponsible journalism that destroys someone’s reputation,” Chizik writes.  “It take a long time to repair a reputation, and sometimes that damage is impossible to recover from.  In this case there were a lot of assumptions being made and criticisms being spun out of those assumptions; it was harming Cameron’s reputation.”

First and foremost, Cecil Newton harmed Cam’s reputation by asking for money from Mississippi State boosters.  So not everything should be dumped at the feet of the press.

Second, if Chizik is hinting at two reports in particular, then we’ll agree with him:

1.  Joe Schad of wrote a piece claiming that Newton had admitted to someone at MSU that the money provided by Auburn was too much to pass up.  There was no follow-up and no proof of that payment ever emerged.  Also — while it’s assumed that Dan Mullen’s wife did the talking to Schad — ESPN has never followed up on this story and it seems they’d be happy if it were just forgotten.  Yet it remains the only mainstream non-opinion piece claiming that Newton admitted to being paid.

2.  Thayer Evans of wrote that Newton was in trouble for cheating academically while at Florida.  No proof was ever provided and sadly, it seems, no one has investigated on the UF campus to find who leaked Newton’s alleged academic situation to the press… which could be viewed as being a violation of federal privacy laws.


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