Auburn Coach Gene Chizik said Wednesday Cam Newton will start at quarterback against Georgia on Saturday. Chizik declined to answer questions about an ESPN report that Newton told a Mississippi State recruiter that his father wanted him to go to Auburn because "the money was too much."
Citing unnamed sources, ESPN reported Tuesday that Newton and his father, Cecil, each had a phone conversation with a Mississippi State recruiter and acknowledged a pay-for-play arrangement.
State's athletics department said Wednesday it first contacted the Southeastern Conference regarding "an issue relating to its recruitment of Cam Newton." The statement said the SEC asked for specific information, including interviews with staffers. Mississippi State didn't provide more info until July, citing "time-consuming eligibility issues" in other sports. The statement said Mississippi State has "cooperated fully" with NCAA investigators.
Meanwhile, some Las Vegas sports books stopped taking bets on this week's game. Jay Rood, sports book director at the MGM Mirage in Las Vegas, said the game was taken off the board because of increased betting on Georgia.
Freshman to start for Irish
Freshman Tommy Rees, 18, who left high school early to enroll at Notre Dame, will be the starting quarterback against No. 15 Utah Saturday. Starter Dayne Crist is lost for the season after surgery to repair a torn patellar tendon in his left knee.