CamDate - 21 December, 2010
Where things Stand –
1. For the last 5 years Pat Dye, Jimmy Rane, Bobby Lowder, Wayne Hall, Jay Jacobs, and Milton McGregor still remained heavily involved with several facets of Auburn University and Auburn Athletics. This has continued in spite of their actions (either individually or collectively as a group) has caused Auburn to be sanctioned by either the NCAA or SACS. In 2005, the indoctrination of “Pat Dye Field” was ratified by the BoT, with Jimmy Rane even joking during the Trustee meeting, asking if “he could vote more than once” on the motion.
2. Paul Davis on October 21, 2010, suggests a lobbying/consulting group has been used by the Auburn Athletic Foundation to launder cash ultimately ending up in the hands of players/player families. Robert Geddie was a partner in the firm Fine-Geddie until his indictment and arrest in October. Among other things, Geddie is accused of working with the state’s major gambling interests to influence and/or buying votes favoring proposed gambling houses.
The Tuskegee News - October 21st
Jarrod Massey (one of those indicted) has since pled guilty to all charges against him contained in the indictment. Another interesting tid-bit is that Geddie, approx. 2 weeks before Massey’s Plea, ended his representation with his Criminal Defense Atty. and hired Sam Franklin (Lightfoot, Franklin & White) who specializes in NCAA counsel issues for Auburn, University. He also serves as THE corporate counsel for Bobby Lowder and related business interests since Jack Miller’s passing. Franklin is especially recognized as an extremely successful negotiator within the legal circles of the Southeastern US.
Rumors and suggestions surrounding the misuse of TUF funds as reported by Paul Davis remain and grow with each negotiated plea. Pouncy and Massey are the 1st two to succumb, but the confirmation of abuses with PAC to PAC transfers, payoffs, and bribes confirms the general pattern suggested by Davis. Discovery regarding BingoGate is still pending, which according to Davis contain conversations between Dye, Rane, Coaches, and McGregor discussing similar abuses with AU TUF and AU PAC contributions. More than once there has been mention of common cell phone number involved with both CamGate and BingoGate, something expected to be either confirmed or denied once discovery is completed. (See #3 below)
3. MSU discloses a request made by Cecil Newman involving a P4P scenario ultimately leading to Cam playing for his old coach, Dan Mullen. Cecil, AU, and Cam all deny all claims calling them ludicrous, triggering all kinds of speculation regarding Cam’s eligibility status. Cecil later admits to initiating the P4P request, yet Cam still plays in the Georgia game and Iron Bowl. The Tuesday before the SECCG, the NCAA rules Cam eligible to play in Atlanta, “based on the information provided by AU at that time.” There was a nationwide outcry of disgust, given his father’s admission and the SEC apparent lack of proper application of integrity rules.
4. There is continued speculation that Lowder, McGregor, Rane, Dye, Chette Williams and other boosters continue to be involved in elaborate P4P schemes. Rumors surrounding the 2010 recruiting class involving ATM cards, parental benefits, slush funds. NY Times Article
5. Sue Bell Cobb, Geddie, AG Tony King, Massey, Lowder, Gilley, and McGregor are suggested to be participants in an elaborate Breach of Trust (Embezzlement), Racketeering, Bribery, and Fraud operation involving various judicial branch candidates which involves a Not-For-Profit organization known as The Children’s First Foundation. It is rumored to involve financing certain election campaigns placing “chosen” individuals in a position to gain favorable court rulings or appointments. The 1st order of business is rumored to be overturning the ruling declaring the Governor’s special task force investigating Casino Gambling valid and constitutional. Massey’s guilty plea confirms the possible cash transfer vehicle being used, as well as confirming relationships and correlations between the various Lobbyists controlling PAC-to-PAC contributions (similar to those detailed in BingoGate). Also becoming unraveled are the ultimate source of the funds transferred, the curious relationships between Lightfoot, Franklin, & White, Auburn University PAC Funds and Foundations, the Administrative Office of the Courts, the parties listed above, and the stated opinions of Alabama’s current AG.
6. P4P. With the admission of Cecil to his P4P request made to MSU, pointed and direct questions either to Cecil, Cam, or AU athletics by Media outlets have been virtually non-existent, with no apparent reasoning. No one has publically asked Cam point-blank ”how could you not know what your father was up to?” “What is the reasoning behind you changing your statements on who decided you would attend Auburn?” Cecil has turned up MIA, and AU has no comment, yet they steadfastly deny any investigation regarding Cam and P4P. As this story unfolds, the names of other players are emerging with questions. The Recruitment of Michael Dyer, Tr. Reed, Oregon signee Lache Seastrunk, CJ Mosely, USCe signee Lattimore, as well as Coaches Luper and Taylor are those most prevalent. The 65-count BingoGate indictment lists certain conversations recorded during the FBI’s investigation. The indictment date, the apparent timeframe McGregor and the rest of the group realized surveillance possibilities, and the signing date for the 2010 class all correlate. This, combined with the re-involvement of Dye, Wayne Hall, Jay Jacobs and the continued involvement of Chette Williams in the current coaching staff are individuals all implicated in “tainted” activities of some sort, which do nothing but heighten P4P suspicions.
7. Approx. 3 days before the UGA contest, there were huge outcries of “this is a scam” from Auburn Administrators, Players, Coaches, and Fans. The media was in attack mode, digging deeper and deeper with every click, blog post, etc. National Media hinted at something getting ready to break wide open at any moment, suggestions mostly led by those covering ESPN College Football, but nothing of substance ever emerged. Access to Newton and Staff has become regulated, with CGC even at post game press conference tables restricting the questions asked of Cam by the mainstream press. The Heisman interviews seemed “canned”, rehearsed or staged, all in an apparent attempt to portray the appearance of a thorough interview, but in reality providing nothing more than a “Puff Piece” about all things “Cam.” To suggest the media went on lockdown is an understatement. Certain Alabama radio stations went so far as to interview supposed “reporters” close to the situation, but in reality were staged proclamations to suggest CamGate had ended. There has been almost no questioning of eligibility discussed during any broadcasts by the two largest outlets covering college football (ESPN and CBS), and it is eerily quiet regarding this topic since the conclusion of the Iron Bowl. It has been pointed out that the two primary networks covering College Football possess contractual broadcast agreements with the SEC in excess of $1.8Billion. There are speculations as to the relative silence, but know one really knows the answer.
The suspicions, assumptions, or implied relationships described in the OP or subsequent summaries have yet to be debunked or proven false. In fact, review of PAC-to-PAC contributions, pleas, court filings, and other documents further substantiate the assertions contained in the original post. At least 4 of these assertions were subsequently confirmed in media reports. Further confirmation regarding certain relationships between BingoGate, Colonial/TBW, CamGate, and the suggested judicial review is expected as Defendants in the various investigations either plea or testify. The “in-common” counsel relationships, firm representations, common elements, and other “rumored” connections not yet disclosed will add fortification to foundations supporting posts made by noted “insiders” referenced both in the OP as well as those posted in recent days.
Here are a list of questions or issues which have yet to be resolved......
• Why the obvious progression from MSU-P4P to AU-P4P has not been asked or pushed further by the media? Questions relating to the “Cone of Silence” involving the Newton’s still abound. Why did Cam change previous statements to those now correlating to information provided in the reinstatement application made by AU to the NCAA committee? IF the family was so close (as portrayed by the media and the Newton’s), how did Cam not know his Father shopped him like a “rented mule?” PFienbaum’s almost intentional deflection of investigation confirmations is also cause for query.. .
• What is the relationship between the Newton’s Church Network, Relatives in Detroit / Chicago, other Newton Businesses, and the abatement of condemnation proceedings on the Newton facilities? The original rumblings about a trucking company used as a vehicle of funding the P4P have taken new life and expanded into also involving a grounds maintenance company. The Church facilities seem to still be under scrutiny, with possible ties to NFP operations in Detroit/Chicago. Is this organization a shell front for other enterprises? What are the relationships (if any) between Palomar Insurance (Henley), Hooper, Goff and the Newtons? Lots of supposition, but nothing confirmed as of yet…..
• Supposed P4P funding vehicles – Loaded ATM Cards, Cash thru various NFP venues, the relationship between Team Chaplin and the Athletic Department, the promotion of certain TUF managers within the AD, the relationship between certain “handlers” and contributions to the “handler’s organizations by either boosters or individuals within the AU administration, Counter Checks, Booster “slush-funds” as described by TBowden, supposed dealings with a dealership in Talladega, AL whose client list contains an inordinate amount of Au player families as clients, without any apparent geographic correlation – a dealership whose owner is also a State Senator under indictment for agreeing to accept a $2MM bribe from another AU Booster to secure favorable votes on gambling legislation. How all of this unfolds is highly dependent upon what is uncovered through the various Federal Investigations currently underway, as well as how much of that uncovered is disclosed to other authorities, either through quid pro quo or testimony / disclosures during court proceedings.
• The “Thread” which weaves the various investigations together – Now 2 of the 11 conspirators in BingoGate have pled guilty to the charges contained in the October Indictment. Lee Farkas has been indicted on numerous charges stemming from his activities while CEO and Chairman of TB&W, which led to fraudulent disclosures by Colonial BancGroup on TARP fund applications. Two Colonial exec’s were also named in the indictment and are reported as cooperating in the investigation. Lowder, McGregor, Dye, Rane as well as other senior bank executives are also under investigation involving the $2.9Billion backstop the FDIC provided BB & T for Colonial’s bailout. The relationship between PAC to PAC contributions made in various political races involving key judicial and administrative positions within Alabama politics, positions which could influence appointments to investigations, various state boards, Trustee appointments, etc. are also at issue. Included in this thread are discussions involving the Legal Council and Representation “teams” for those under investigation or indictment, and the “curious” correlations inter-twinned between the various investigations underway - noting the areas of “expertise” each counsel team member represents. From the information provided, uncovered, and posted thus far, an eminent collapse of the incestuous relationships implied by those “in the know” is certainly possible as further plea agreements with those involved are reached. This, combined with additional indictments rumored on the horizon should, if nothing else, lead to a very lengthy vetting process by all parties involved before the effects on AU and the state as a whole are fully understood and comprehended.
• SACS & NCAA– who knows how, or more importantly when, these two governing bodies tie in with the big picture. It has been confirmed through published reports that Cecil Newton has furnished some financial records to the NCAA. The information provided to date indicates an NCAA “exploratory” investigation is underway involving not only AU athletics, but other schools as well. Unconfirmed reports of UTenn, Georgia, MSU, and OU being questioned have been made. Comments made by JJacobs, CGC, and other administrators have also confirmed such. The eligible, ineligible, eligible “3 card monty” played by AU and the NCAA reinstatement committee has been beat to death, but finally understood based on the update to the OP of 12/1/2010. What is yet explained is the lack of response by the SEC, especially since Slive issued a suspension of BPearl just 2 weeks earlier for similar league infractions based on “established evidence.” This in turn leads to a whole different pile of speculation, none of which has grown legs to date.