For Cam Newton, it's nothing but good news these days. His San Diego workout for the media drew a consensus of raves; he's projected to go to the Washington Redskins with the 10th overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft by many , if not to a different team much higher ; and he just signed what might be the richest athletic endorsement deal for a rookie in NFL history.
For the Auburn team he left behind, the news these days regarding Newton is ... mostly good. But the shadow of the NCAA investigation into his arrival on the Plains hasn't lifted just yet, according to a new column from Birmingham News writer Kevin Scarbinsky :
According to people with reason to know, the NCAA is still conducting an active investigation into Auburn's recruitment of Newton. There is an enforcement staff official assigned to the case, and that person is turning over every rock to make sure the NCAA doesn't get blindsided down the road.
Auburn fans won't like that information. Some of them won't believe it. They'll be joined in their displeasure or disbelief by fans of other schools who read this nugget: The bomb is not about to drop.
According to those same well-informed sources, the NCAA has yet to discover or uncover new information that would wipe out Auburn's national championship season.
This echoes similar statements made recently by SEC commissioner Mike Slive, who said "nobody had written him a letter" saying the case had been closed or that any new information had come to light.
Which means that for the time being, the Newton scandal remains in the same limbo in which it's been mired since Newton was ruled eligible to play in November: no evidence that Newton or his family accepted any improper benefits to come to Auburn, but still enough legwork left for the NCAA to do that anyone who says definitively that no such evidence exists is jumping the gun.
As Scarbinsky points out, the last Heisman winner to walk away with the kind of deal Newton just inked with Under Armour was Reggie Bush. If there's anything we can say with certainty about the Newton case, it's that the NCAA isn't going to let the investigative media make its compliance staff look hopelessly behind (as in the Bush case) if they can help it. If the good news for Auburn is that there's no "bomb" poised to drop, the bad news is that they likely shouldn't expect an "investigation closed" resolution to drop anytime soon.