A 13-month NCAA investigation into Auburn University’s recruitment of quarterback Cam Newton has netted no major violations, the governing body of college athletics confirmed to the Associated Press on Wednesday.
There was no evidence that either Newton or Auburn knew anything about a pay-for-play scheme that had clouded the Tigers 2010 BCS national championship and Newton’s Heisman Trophy during his only season at the school.
Newton’s father and a street agent had apparently shopped the quarterback’s services to Mississippi State for $180,000. But the same offer was not made to Auburn.
"As I've said many times, I feel very confident about the way we run this program," Tigers coach Gene Chizik said on Wednesday night. "I've said many times that we haven't done anything wrong, so quite frankly I moved on a long time ago."
The NCAA enforcement staff and Auburn conducted more than 50 interviews trying to figure out if Newton was paid to attend Auburn, looking at bank records, tax filings as well as email and phone records.
"The NCAA enforcement staff is committed to a fair and thorough investigative process," the NCAA said in a statement. "As such, any allegations of major rules violations must meet a burden of proof, which is a higher standard than rampant public speculation online and in the media. The allegations must be based on credible and persuasive information and includes a good-faith belief that the Committee on Infractions could make a finding."
"As with any case, should the enforcement staff become aware of additional credible information, it will review the information to determine whether further investigation is warranted."
Newton spent just one season at Auburn before entering into April’s NFL Draft where he went to the Carolina Panthers as the No. 1 overall pick. Newton has been the Panthers quarterback since the start of the season.
Contact Terrance Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Terranceharris
(Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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