The NCAA has apparently concluded its investigation into the Auburn Tigers football program regarding the events surrounding the Cam Newton affair that rocked college football last year. The NCAA also concluded its investigation of four players who claimed on HBO that they were provided with extra benefits at Auburn, finding either no or insufficient evidence of wrongdoing.
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The NCAA issued a statement Wednesday saying it interviewed more than 50 people to see if Auburn provided Newton or his family improper benefits. The NCAA said it could not find any reason to keep the investigation open because its findings did not meet a "burden of proof" that Auburn did anything wrong in signing the quarterback who led the Tigers to the national title last season.
The NCAA said the investigation has to meet a higher standard "than rampant public speculation online and in the media.
Well, that's certainly good to know, and it's really good to know that there actually is a burden of proof.
I'm not terribly surprised at all of this. It has always appeared to me that there was little if any evidence other than the testimony of people, and virtually no documentary evidence of wrongdoing. If somebody can hide all the hard evidence of rulebreaking, it is really hard to get people to punish someone just on the say so of others. I think that is a good thing. Those convinced of Auburn's guilt may feel differently.
Anyway, the NCAA letter to Auburn is here, in case you are interested. It says little other than "We didn't find anything credible, but if something credible comes up, we'll look into it."