5 NOV 10: Lie-Cam?
A weekend of activities for the Fountain City Classic began Thursday night in Columbus, as Albany State and Fort Valley State held a "recruitment fair." The universities have dozens of scholarships to offer prospective students. Put them all together, and you might match what a man reportedly demanded for one student at Auburn....
A dust cloud of rumors swirled around Auburn University football Thursday night. The reason was an ESPN report which wasn't even on the network's home page late Thursday night. But this is a university where fans love to worry - and a few probably still wish Pat Dye would come back as head coach.
ESPN.com reported a man claimed to represent star quarterback Cam Newton several months ago, and told someone Mississippi State could have him on the football team for $180,000. Other colleges reportedly had offered $200,000. And imagine how high the offers could have been, if Newton served in the Alabama Legislature.
The man who claimed to represent Cam Newton is a former Mississippi State player named Kenny Rogers. ESPN had no comment from him about this Thursday night - so perhaps Rogers has become the "Coward of the County."
It turns out Cam Newton's father in Newnan met Kenny Rogers two years ago. Cecil Newton says any effort by Rogers to seek an agent's payday was done without his knowledge. But this Dad is a pastor, so Rogers might have gained approval for his actions through the church board.
Cecil Newton says he's provided personal and church financial records to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which is investigating the matter. It appears this is a case where Cam Newton's father couldn't pass -- he had to do a handoff.
Auburn supporters quickly came to Cam Newton's defense, starting at the top. Coach Gene Chizik said on his Thursday night radio talk show Newton "is eligible at Auburn University. Period. End of story." OK - and I'm sure a lot of female students would like to marry him....
Other Auburn fans went online to report Cam Newton travels around campus on a scooter. If you see fancy cars on the Auburn campus, they're probably being driven to trustee meetings.
conspiracy theorists Auburn fans suspect the University of Alabama planted the Kenny Rogers story with ESPN, to get Cam Newton disqualified from the Iron Bowl. But the alleged $180,000 offer was reported by Mississippi State to the NCAA months ago - so those fans may wind up with Egg Bowl on their faces.
The ESPN report distracted area football fans from several Thursday night games. Virginia Tech topped Georgia Tech 28-21, in a game which no Columbus radio station aired. Clear Channel apparently decided since WHAL-AM "Fox Sports Radio 1460" has no listeners, it has no money to spend on broadcast rights.
(The bar where I play poker on Thursday nights didn't even have a TV tuned to the Georgia Tech game. But one screen showed a Major League Soccer playoff game -- and I guess that makes sense, since poker sometimes comes down to who has the better "kicker.")
WOKS carried Thursday night's high school game between Carver and Temple. The broadcast team openly mocked Temple for calling a timeout in the final minute of a 41-8 loss, saying the coach should give his advice "on the team bus." But it was the final game of the season -- so the players had more reason to focus on their homework during the ride home.
Callaway jolted Jordan 47-12 -- and the Red Jackets ended 2010 with their 14th losing season in a row. If Paul Olson offers to be an adviser to this football team, the principal should turn him down.
And as we mentioned, Saturday is the annual Fountain City Classic game at McClung Memorial Stadium. Unlike last year, the activities do NOT include a job fair at the Trade Center. Had Mike Keown won the Congressional race this week, things might have been different....
BLOG UPDATE: Columbus mayoral candidate Zeph Baker says he finally filed a third-quarter campaign report at the city Election Office Thursday. Baker told WRBL a delay occurred because his campaign treasurer took a job outside Columbus. If Baker's goal is to bring more jobs to town, this is NOT a good start.
Zeph Baker says his campaign has spent about $75,000. That's about half the amount Teresa Tomlinson has spent -- and if Baker keeps mentioning that fact, the Columbus Tea Party actually might endorse him in the runoff.
Some more leftovers from Election Day begin our review of other Thursday news....
+ The manager of Pat's Backwaters restaurant in Hamilton told WRBL despite a Tuesday referendum, he will NOT apply for a liquor license. Richard Peluso explained he's concerned about the "church crowd" - even though he sells beer and wine now. Huh?! Is "Bud" more trustworthy than "Jack?"
+ Alabama Governor-Elect Robert Bentley said he has no objection to a special session of the legislature in early January, before he takes office. Governor Bob Riley wants to work for two weeks with Republicans in charge - perhaps to give the Anti-Gambling Task Force power to bulldoze Victoryland once and for all.
+ The Alabama House Republican Caucus nominated Auburn's Mike Hubbard to become Speaker of the House. It looks like the street named after Hubbard near Interstate 85 finally will be justified....
+ Major General Robert Brown became the Commander of Fort Benning's Maneuver Center of Excellence. Brown brought his high school basketball coach with him for the occasion - which makes sense, since Fort Benning is such a high post.
+ Fayetteville scored with 1.2 seconds left in overtime to edge the Columbus Conttomouths 5-4. It was another 10:00 a.m. game, with the stands full of schoolchildren - and teachers encouraging them to play hockey instead of hooky.
SCHEDULED THIS WEEKEND: A potential political combination which could surprise a lot of people....
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