If The NCAA Is Right, Cecil Lied And SEC Cheated

In the aftermath of the NCAA’s decision to clear Cam Newton to play for Auburn, we can now verify two things:

Cecil Newton Lied Or The NCAA Is Wrong

1) On November 5, 2010, Pat FordeChris Low and Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com reported the following:

When interviewed by ESPN.com Thursday at the family’s home in Atlanta, Cecil Newton, Cam’s father, denied any wrongdoing.

“If Rogers tried to solicit money from Mississippi State, he did it on his own, without our knowledge,” Cecil Newton said.

From the NCAA’s Wednesday ruling that cleared Cecil Newton’s son:

According to facts of the case agreed upon by Auburn University and the NCAA enforcement staff, the student-athlete’s father and an owner of a scouting service worked together to actively market the student-athlete as a part of a pay-for-play scenario in return for Newton’s commitment to attend college and play football. NCAA rules (Bylaw 12.3.3) do not allow individuals or entities to represent a prospective student-athlete for compensation to a school for an athletic scholarship.

Cecil Newton cannot be telling the truth if the NCAA is correct in its statement.

2)  SEC Bylaw 14.01.3.2 states:

“If at any time before or after matriculation in a member institution a student-athlete or any member of his/her family receives or agrees to receive, directly or indirectly, any aid or assistance beyond or in addition to that permitted by the Bylaws of this Conference (except such aid or assistance as such student-athlete may receive from those persons on whom the student is naturally or legally dependent for support), such student- athlete shall be ineligible for competition in any intercollegiate sport within the Conference for the remainder of his/her college career.”

The NCAA ruled Wednesday that, “According to facts of the case agreed upon by Auburn University and the NCAA enforcement staff, the student-athlete’s father and an owner of a scouting service worked together to actively market the student-athlete as a part of a pay-for-play scenario in return for Newton’s commitment to attend college and play football.”

The SEC bylaw clearly states that if a family member “agrees to receive” extra benefits from a SEC member institution, as the NCAA reported Wednesday, “such student-athlete shall be ineligible for competition in any intercollegiate sport within the Conference for the remainder of his/her college career.”

By the SEC’s own rules, Cam Newton is ineligible to play football at any school in the SEC. It doesn’t matter - according to SEC Bylaw 14.01.3.2 - that Auburn was not involved with the family member’s NCAA-confirmed impropriety.

Solicitation of funds is by definition to “agree to receive” funds, which is prohibited by the SEC bylaw.

If that wasn’t true, Newton would not have agreed to receive funds from a representative of Mississippi State if he was offered such funds.

The SEC is indisputably boxed in by its own bylaw thanks to the NCAA ruling: The NCAA says Cecil ‘actively marketed’ Cam to MSU while the SEC - by ignoring its own bylaw - implies Cecil wouldn’t have ‘agreed to receive’ any benefits from his ‘active’ marketing of Cam to MSU.

Both can’t be true.

Though we are not dealing with criminal law, here’s the legal definition of solicitation:

A person is guilty of solicitation to commit a crime if, with the purpose of promoting or facilitating its commission, he commands, encourages or requests another person to engage in specific conduct which would constitute such crime or an attempt to commit such crime or which would establish his complicity in its commission or attempted commission. It is immaterial that the actor fails to communicate with the person he solicits to commit a crime if his conduct was designed to effect such a communication.

The crime of criminal solicitation is the actual soliciting, or seeking to engage another to commit a crime, not the subsequent commission of a crime. Therefore, a defendant can be convicted of soliciting, even though the person refuses and the solicited crime is never perpetrated, as long as the intent that that crime be committed is present.

Again, the NCAA and SEC are not bound by criminal law, but by any possible interpretation, the act of Cecil Newton’s “agreement to receive” funds from Mississippi State via Kenny Rogers renders Cam Newton ineligible to play for any SEC school.

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive attempted to defend his conference’s decision to rule Cam Newton eligible after the NCAA announced its ruling Wednesday.

Slive to Clay Travis of AOL Fanhouse:

1. The intent of the legislation.

“Based on my research the league’s intent when it added this bylaw was to ensure that if an athlete participated in an NCAA investigation that he wasn’t able to transfer to another institution within our own conference. Essentially to keep one institution from getting into trouble and then have an individual attend another school in the same conference.

“You could read this bylaw expansively to conclude that an athlete is ineligible at all institutions for receiving a hamburger. I did not believe and do not believe that was the intent of the rule.”

The SEC bylaw: If any member of his/her family receives or agrees to receive, directly or indirectly, any aid or assistance beyond or in addition to that permitted by the Bylaws of this Conference such student-athlete shall be ineligible for competition in any intercollegiate sport within the Conference for the remainder of his/her college career.

With all due respect to Mr. Slive, what on earth is he talking about?

2. The uniqueness of this case.

“This was a case of first impression. (A case of first impression has no existing precedent). The SEC had to determine whether it violated SEC bylaws for an individual’s family member to solicit funds from an institution that is different from the one he attended. Ultimately, I had to determine what the appropriate league response was after balancing all of these factors and after considering all of that I did not believe that he had violated our bylaws.”

The SEC bylaw on the books states, “such student-athlete shall be ineligible for competition in any intercollegiate sport within the Conference for the remainder of his/her college career.

With all due respect to Mr. Slive, what on earth is he talking about?

3. The legislative history of the bylaw

“The league added that bylaw in 1985. That’s a long time ago and since that time it has never been applied by me as commissioner to rule someone ineligible and I don’t believe any of my predecessors have ever applied it to make someone ineligible either. That was significant.”

So if a law is on the books but has never been enforced, it should be ignored?

Ahhh, so that’s what Slive is talking about.

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