I don't believe it's a stretch to say that today has been unlike any other in Auburn football history. Cam Newton is THE story in all of sports this November 10th. What to make of all the allegations are difficult. There's no question today's ESPN story takes this situation to an entirely different level.
Auburn has been implicated - by someone. And that's what makes this entire saga confusing. Stories have been broken by The New York Times, ESPN.com and Fox Sports and not once has there been a shred of proof.
Pardon the Interruption host Mike Wilbon was asked on the radio a little while ago to compare Newton's allegations with those of Reggie Bush. His answer was right on target. Talking with Scott Van Pelt, Wilbon said the primary difference is there's no smoking gun in the Newton case.
He pointed out that Auburn officials have been steadfast in defending Newton and appear to be inviting anyone to prove them wrong. Wilbon went on to say that his gut tells him nothing will come of it.
That may be the case. But my gut tells me Newton's Heisman Trophy chances are in jeopardy. Right or wrong, the Bush incident is not helping Newton. As for Auburn's national title hopes, this drama has no effect on their chances of playing for a title. At least not yet.
There was one unsettling comment made by Newton's father, Cecil to Fox Sports.com. Commenting on the recent allegations, the elder Newton said, "I'm not going to confirm nor deny nothing that has been taking place," he said.
That worries me.
If I'm innocent of something, I'm screaming it as loud as I can. It's something Newton Sr. has done continuously since the first story broke. Why now has he changed his response?
This I do believe: Auburn officials are 100 percent confident in what they've been told by both Cam and his father. The SEC office has had this information since January and didn't act on it. Auburn officials have had the same information for nearly a year. Both the institution and the conference saw nothing that would prohibit Newton from enrolling and playing.
My bigger concern is what exactly does Cecil Newton know and is he holding anything back? I would hate for Auburn officials to be blindsided. That stated, everything Newton Sr. has said so far has checked out, including personal and business checking and savings accounts. Outwardly, it appears he's a good man. As an Auburn person, I choose to take him at his word.
Unfortunately, this story is not likely to be resolved anytime soon. How the Auburn team responds to this whirlwind week will not be known until Saturday afternoon. These allegations are something the team will likely live with through the Iron Bowl, SEC Championship and perhaps the national championship game.
Regardless of the outcome, you have to give kudos to athletic director Jay Jacobs and Gene Chizik. They have been credible and believable through this entire nightmare. Let's hope the team takes something from them when they tee it up with Georgia Saturday afternoon.