We’ve received an advance copy of tonight’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, and John Taylor of CFT has spelled out in detail the allegations of Auburn paying college players.
For NFL teams considering whether to draft former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, the report brings back into focus the question of whether Newton’s father, Cecil, asked Auburn for money when Newton was choosing a school — and whether Auburn actually paid it. Given that Cecil Newton reportedly solicited money from Mississippi State and that Cam Newton went instead to Auburn and that other Auburn players reportedly have been paid, NFL teams may have even stronger suspicions regarding Cam Newton being paid to play college football.
Technically, none of it matters at the NFL level. But the manner in which Newton has answered the questions speaks to the extent to which a team can trust him as to matters that inevitably will arise once he’s playing at the next level. Also, if a Reggie Bush-style controversy unfolds over the next few years, the team that drafts Cam Newton needs to be ready to tolerate the distraction.
Either way, the HBO report could prompt some teams to spend the next month devoting even more time and money to getting at the truth — especially if the truth potentially conflicts with the things that Newton already has told them.