Over the past week or so, an Alabama radio host named Scott Moore has been making the radio rounds claiming he’s heard audio tapes of Cecil Newton discussing financial offers he’d received from schools for Cam Newton‘s signature on a Letter of Intent. Most damning — and potentially damaging to Cam’s now-former school — is Moore’s claim that the former Auburn quarterback was present for one of these purported conversations, which of course would severely undercut his claim that he had no idea what his father was doing behind the scenes during his recruitment while also calling into question the NCAA’s ruling that allowed him to regain his eligibility.
We’ve been very leery of Moore’s claims, mainly due to his lean toward a certain school in Tuscaloosa, and have thus shied away from going into any great detail in this space regarding his accusations. However, the sounds of those accusations have grown too loud, too thunderous and, most of all, too damning to continue to completely ignore.
Appearing on 104.5 the Zone in Nashville, Tenn., Tuesday afternoon, Moore reiterated his claims that both Tennessee and, yes, Auburn offered a significant amount of money to Cecil Newton in an attempt to lure Cam Newton to their respective schools. Specifically, Moore claims that the audio tapes he heard has Cecil Newton revealing that the Volunteers offered him $150,000 and the Tigers $180,000.
“I did say the offer was $150(K) and that is from Cecil Newton,” Moore explained during the 15-minute interview, which can be heard in its entirety by clicking HERE. ”Cecil Newton said that on the tape. ’$150,000 offer from Tennessee’, then he went up a week later to $200,000… and this is coming from Cecil Newton guys. This didn’t come from Tennessee, it didn’t come from Auburn.
“This is [Cecil Newton] saying to Mississippi State, ‘Hey, I have an offer from Tennessee for $150(K)’ one week, coming back the next week and saying ‘I have an offer for $200,000. I also have an offer for $180(K) from Auburn. So hey guys, we’ll come to Mississippi State for $180,000. So that is proved and that was said.”
Moore also repeated his claims that Cam Newton was around during at least one of his father’s discussions on schools bidding on his talents.
“I do believe that Cam Newton knew. I do believe that on these tapes when we play them that you’ll be able to tell Cam Newton knew what was going on. That’s all I’ll say about that at this time,” Moore said during the interview. “That’s been Auburn’s stance all along is that… and the SEC’s really and the NCAA’s… ‘Cam didn’t know what his dad was doing’. Well, so what? His dad was shopping him around. He should’ve been ineligible. That’s the whole thing here. And that’s all we’re trying to do, we’re trying to get this out and get the story answered. Let the NCAA answer this thing, let the SEC answer this thing. I wanna know why he was ruled ineligible for a couple of hours prior to the SEC championship game and I wanna know what the NCAA heard and I wanna know why they made their ruling.”
Reportedly, the audio tapes Moore has allegedly heard were made by John Bond and Bill Bell. The former is an ex-Mississippi State quarterback who told ESPN.com in November that an alleged Newton middleman — former MSU teammate Kenny Rogers — said “it would take cash to get Cam“, while the latter is a Mississippi State booster who told the same website that he had “received a text message from a man claiming to represent Cam Newton’s father that outlined a payment plan designed to bring the quarterback to the Bulldogs”.
Moore’s accusations are extremely damning to both Auburn and Tennessee, but they also raise at least two questions. Most significantly, if Bond and Bell are in possession of audio tapes that implicate the two schools, why haven’t they been turned over to the NCAA? Or, if they have been turned over to the NCAA and they contain the information Moore claims they do, why has the NCAA apparently not acted on what would be a bombshell of a development?
Moore claims Bond shared some of the tapes with the NCAA, although he was uncertain how much of them the governing body of collegiate athletics have heard.
The most recent report regarding the Cam Newton “situation”, though, is that the investigation is ongoing but there’s no bomb set to drop on The Plains. Certainly if there was any shred of truth or credibility to Moore’s claims, Cecil Newton being heard on tape accusing Auburn and Tennessee of offering money in exchange for his son’s services would qualify as the mother of all hydrogen bombs in this imbroglio, wouldn’t it?
In the parlance of that area of the country, Moore’s dog don’t hunt on a couple of levels.
Moore’s admittedly life-long affinity for the Crimson Tide raises one eyebrow, and the fact that he’s starting a new radio show– that he hopes to syndicate — in two weeks on which he will supposedly play the damning tapes raises the other.
Apparently, though, Moore is just itching to play them, irrespective of his new gig.
“They’re real, they’re legit. And they have a lot of information on there that I think is gonna clarify a lot of things for a lot of people,” Moore told the station. ”That’s all we’re trying to do, is find out what the answers to these questions are and I think we’ll be able to do that once we are able to play these things. I want everybody to hear them. I’d like to get the information out there.”
We’re not saying that Moore is fabricating claims in order to boost both his profile and the launch of a new professional endeavor. We’re just saying that there’s a significant stench surrounding these latest “developments” that simply can’t be ignored.
That same stench won’t allow us to get something out of our head: if Moore truly wanted these questions answered, he’d take these tapes public immediately and begin the process of getting them answered. Instead, he’s sitting on the tapes until they can be played on his radio show.
Of course, Moore has an answer to those questioning his motives in holding back on a release.
“The answer to that question is real simple,” Moore said when asked about the delay in releasing the tapes. ”A, I’m not going to put something on the air that I can’t back up 100 percent, that I’ve had substantiated and authenticated. I’m going to make sure when we go in there and play this, from a liability standpoint, that we’re good to go. And I think that’s a smart business decision, one.
“I’m not going to rush out just because we have this story and we have these tapes — and I’ve got some of them in my possession as we speak — but I’m not gonna go play this stuff on the air for money, to get recognized. I’m gonna make sure that this stuff is done right and this story is done right and the due diligence is done on it.”
OK, so let me get this straight. Moore is tossing around words like “liability”, “substantiated”, ” authenticated” and “due diligence” as his reasoning for not releasing the tapes at the same time he’s going on various radio shows discussing the content of the alleged tapes?
Again, the stench is overwhelming.
Then again, if his claims are verified? Auburn and Tennessee might find themselves in a whole pile of what most people believe Moore is shoveling right now.