Thanks to @SportsByBrooks for pointing out this article at OutKick Coverage about the NCAA investigation of Auburn. Gene Chizik confronted some NCAA people the other day about the length of the investigation (understandably, from my viewpoint), and here is a possible reason why:
The NCAA's ten-month investigation is further complicated by the continuing fount of allegations, many untrue, levied by Alabama fans in the state. These allegations have thrust ordinary citizens into the forefront of the rumor machine. One such individual, Thomas Buckelew, a tailor at Buckelew's Clothing for Men in Montgomery, Alabama, finds himself buffeted by allegations that he provided high-priced suits to Cam Newton at reduced costs. The very suits, you guessed it, that Newton wore at the Heisman ceremony. According to sources, Newton's suits, ties included, cost in excess of $4,000 each. NCAA investigator Jackie Thurnes was informed of this allegation, and the NCAA has spent time investigating its validity. [My emphasis]
I'm not going to bash Alabama fans here, I just want to point out that this is a potential tactic that could become more, rather than less common between rivals. I know all of you remember the recent kerfuffle about the Calipari 500 win thing, which was allegedly precipitated by a rival fan to begin with.
I must admit, though, it's hard to blame Chizik for being frustrated about this. Whatever you think about the actual propriety of the Cam Newton matter, it's just really unfortunate that the school is being tied in knots with false claims from rival fans. At some point, the NCAA is going to have to limit itself here or wind up in an investigation that may take many months, maybe even years to come to a conclusion if they try to run down every little allegation.
That's worrying, and could act as a template for other bitter rivals when one is investigated for wrongdoing.