The odyssey of Huntsville radio host Scott Moore should be a cautionary tale for everyone. Up until a week ago, it's safe to say that most Auburn people had never heard of him. And for good reason; there doesn't appear to be a whole lot to him.
Even today, there's not much known about this shadowy individual that resides in Huntsville. What we do know is that Moore is a self-described Alabama fan who ran a pro-Alabama online message board and parlayed it into a relatively small radio show in the Huntsville area.
He's gained notoriety in the past week for claiming to have heard audio tapes of Cecil Newton, father of former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, discussing a pay-for-play scheme with former Miss State quarterback John Bond.
Now the story is unraveling faster than Alabama in the second half of the Iron Bowl.
Speaking to a Mobile radio station last week, Moore said, "They've got tapes that exist that has Cam Newton in the room with his dad talking about these deals. You have got him (Cam) present in the room while his dad (Cecil) is on the phone trying to shop his son around. That's a fact."
Then again, maybe not.
Sources tell the website, Sports By Brooks, that in fact, no such tapes exist at all. The only audio files in Bond's possession appear to be voice mail messages from Kenny Rogers, not Cecil Newton.
Brooks writes, "Those voicemails contain no additional information or evidence that would further incriminate Auburn with the NCAA."
Suddenly the guy who came out of nowhere has a real credibility problem. Only days earlier, Moore boasted, "Cam knows what's going on... and based on what I know, I believe Cam Newton (for) Auburn in this situation is the least of their worries."
Appearing on The Cole Cubelic Radio Show in Huntsville last week, Moore was in story modification mode.
"Did you hear Cecil Newton's voice on the tapes?"
"I've heard a voice on that tape that said there's an offer for $180,000 from Auburn and this is Cecil Newton ... this is what I've been told was Cecil Newton. And, uh, I've never heard Cecil talk before, uh, I can do a pretty good job recognizing voices, that's what I do but I was told by these guys (Bond and Bill Bell) that this was Cecil talking and Kenny Rogers is on these tapes as well. I'm going based on what I've heard.
"... I wanna authenticate that voice. If that was Cecil Newton talking which you know I've been told it was, I believe it was but if I'm going to play this on the air and we're going to talk about this on the air then let's get that voice authenticated. Let's make sure that's who it is. Then we can all come to the same conclusion. Let's find out who is on that tape, who's saying it, why he's saying and let's all make the same conclusion and we'll never know that until we get out there and play this stuff."
For a guy who has repeatedly said he doesn't have a vendetta against Auburn, you'd think he'd authenticate these alleged tapes before talking about them. Then again, maybe they don't exist at all.
The Atlanta Constitution's Mark Bradley wrote of Moore, "I believe I can speak for all of us when I say: The man wants to put something on the air before having it authenticated? And he wants us to take him seriously?"
This week is put up or shut up time for Moore and his station, WZZN 97.7. The station's credibility is on the line.
Here's what the pro-Auburn group writes on its website:
"WZZN radio host Scott Moore lied. His claims of tapes that incriminate Auburn and Cam Newton have been debunked. Scott Moore is an Alabama fan. His sole purpose is to boost ratings for his show and hurt Auburn in the process. It's time to stand up against these kind of attacks... We ask the Auburn Family and the Never to Yield Foundation to call, write or email the advertisers of WZZN and demand an apology for Moore's vicious accusations."
Any media operation has the obligation to hold its on-air talent accountable. If I'm running WZZN, I'm demanding that Moore fish or cut-bait. It's past-time to show his hand. Most mainstream newspapers have already called into question Moore's allegations.
WZZN has placed this statement regarding the tapes on its website.
"The tapes" have been a key component of the recent alleged scandals in college football. Contrary to rumor, these tapes will not be played on 97.7 The Zone without the tapes being fully authenticated.
"97.7 The Zone is committed to reporting all legitimate sports news and exploring any evidence related to "the tapes" to discover the truth- no matter what the truth is. This is a news worthy sports story, and just like any other news worthy sports story, we will report information and sports news to our listeners as accurately and unbiased as possible."
I disagree with the assumption that this story hurts Auburn. Let's not forget, this involves Cecil Newton and Miss State; not Auburn. If Moore and WZZN fail to deliver on these accusations, then it's just another black-eye for Alabama fans.
When will it ever stop?