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Phillip's blog: Why?

I didn’t hear it, but I understand Brad Edwards, ESPN’s guru of all things BCS, speculated voters might start pulling off Auburn because of the allegations swirling around quarterback Cam Newton.

Phillip Marshallm, Senior Editor,

I would be surprised if that happens, but if it does, that’s just another sign of the sickness that has infested the coverage of college football since last week.

Journalism? So many are making a joke of the very word. I weep for the profession that has nurtured my family and me for all my life.

I’ve seen Tweets from reputable people saying that they now don’t believe Newton. There is talk about him losing Heisman voters, about Auburn losing voted in the poll. Are you kidding me?

This young man who plays the game with such passion and joy has been tried and convicted by these people without one single named source, no one, having said he did anything wrong. Is that really where we’ve gone? Is that what they teach budding journalists at Columbia and Missouri? Is it really so important to get readers or get hits on a web site that it’s OK to destroy a 22-year-old young man?


Why would even a pseudo journalist like Thayer Evans breathlessly report that Cam Newton had cheated at the University of Florida two years ago? The only possible reason is to try to damage Cam Newton.


In every story I’ve seen written on a national stage through this whole saga, there have been major holes, questions that begged to be asked. They haven’t been asked.


Auburn, to this day, has not been implicated by the NCAA, has found no wrongdoing in its own investigation. And guess what? Cam Newton hasn’t been implicated either, unless you count nameless, faceless “sources who recruit for Mississippi State.”

John Bond, the only person who has been quoted by name, didn’t implicate Auburn and has since changed his story more than once. There seems to be no outrage.


It’s a fact that Newton wouldn’t be playing for Auburn if there was any credible evidence against him. There is no gray area. If there was any evidence at all that he’d done anything wrong, he would not be playing. That very obvious fact has not been mentioned by any of those who have worked so hard to destroy his reputation.


Auburn plays one of its most important football games in recent years Saturday when Georgia visits Jordan-Hare Stadium. I spent several days working on a big piece about the offensive line, and I haven’t even had time to transcribe all the tape, let alone write the story.

Instead, I’ve been chasing a story that is all about anonymous accusations, innuendo and a not anything at all about hard facts.


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