NCAA rules Auburn’s Cam Newton eligible to play

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“We are pleased that the NCAA has agreed with out position that Cam Newton has been and continues to be eligible to play football at Auburn University,” Jay Jacobs, Auburn’s athletic director, said in the NCAA release.

The NCAA said Wednesday that Auburn and NCAA enforcement staff agreed that Newton’s father and an owner of a scouting service worked together on the scheme. The NCAA did not name Rogers.

Auburn has agreed to limit Cecil Newton’s access to its athletic program and Mississippi State has dissociated itself from Rogers, who worked for a sports agent.

“The conduct of Cam Newton’s father and the involved individual is unacceptable and has no place in the SEC or in intercollegiate athletics,” said Mike Slive, Southeastern Conference commissioner. “The actions taken by Auburn University and Mississippi State University make it clear this behavior will not be tolerated in the SEC.”

It wasn’t immediately clear what access Cecil Newton would have at Auburn, and school officials said they would have no immediate further comment.

The Newtons’ attorney, George Lawson, told WSB-TV of Atlanta on Nov. 18 that he is “1 million percent” certain that Cam Newton did not take any money. Lawson says if Cecil Newton discussed money, his son “knew nothing” about it.

“No money has been offered to Cam Newton. Cam Newton hasn’t asked for any money,” Lawson said in the report. “Cam Newton, Cecil Newton and Jackie Newton have participated in the ongoing NCAA investigation. They have been truthful and candid with the NCAA.” Jackie Newton is the quarterback’s mother.

Rogers‘ attorney, Doug Zeit, told The Associated Press that he had received a letter from Mississippi State on Wednesday morning stating that Rogers has been dissociated from the school.

“We’re not that surprised,” Zeit told the AP. “From what I understand, anything that’s related to athletics at Mississippi State, (Rogers) can’t participate.”

Zeit took issue with the wording of Mississippi State’s letter. The attorney said the school’s reasoning in the letter for dissociating itself with his client was because Rogers told the NCAA he made a solicitation for a player.

Kenny Rogers never made a solicitation,” Zeit said. “We never told the NCAA that. I want to make that perfectly clear. Cecil Newton asked for the money and then Kenny Rogers passed along Newton’s message. That’s what happened. Cecil Newton asked for the money. Kenny Rogers was the messenger.”

Newton, who started his career at Florida and then transferred to a junior college for one season, ultimately chose Auburn over Mississippi State.

The allegations and media scrutiny have shadowed Newton and the Tigers for the past month, and he hasn’t spoken to reporters since Nov. 9.

Newton is the SEC’s leading rusher, one of the nation’s most efficient passers, and the league’s first player to have 2,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing in a season.

He accounted for all four of Auburn’s touchdowns as the Tigers rallied from a 24-point deficit in last week’s 28-27 win at Alabama.

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