No major violations found in Newton case at Auburn
The NCAA said it found no major violations committed by Auburn regarding Cam Newton or other pay-for-play allegations and has concluded multiple investigations of the program.
The NCAA released a statement Wednesday saying it has closed its 13-month investigation into Auburn's recruitment of the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, whose father shopped his services to another school for up to $180,000.
The dark cloud of the investigation hovered over the program during the Tigers' national championship run. The NCAA also cleared Auburn in allegations by four former players that they received payments during their recruitment or careers.
The NCAA notified Auburn of the decision on Tuesday in a letter from associate director of enforcement Jackie A. Thurnes. Auburn released it Wednesday. Thurnes said NCAA enforcement staff and the university conducted more than 50 interviews into whether Newton was paid to sign with Auburn and examined documents including bank records, tax filings and phone and email records.
"As I've said many times, I feel very confident about the way we run this program," Tigers Coach Gene Chizik said Wednesday night. "I've said many times that we haven't done anything wrong, so quite frankly I moved on a long time ago."
The NCAA agreed with Auburn's self-report from Nov. 30, 2010, that Cecil Newton and the owner of a scouting service, Kenny Rogers, shopped Cam Newton's services to Mississippi State out of junior college, but that there was no evidence the player or Auburn knew about it. Newton led the Tigers to a national title and was the No. 1 NFL draft pick by the Carolina Panthers.
Nebraska loses defensive tackle
No. 14 Nebraska has lost defensive tackle Jared Crick for the season with a torn pectoral muscle. Coach Bo Pelini disclosed the severity of the injury Wednesday as the Huskers (5-1, 1-1 Big Ten) head into their bye week. Crick, a 6-foot-6, 285-pound senior, was seventh on the defense with 22 tackles this season, including a sack. He ranks eighth on the Nebraska career sacks list with 20.
49ers receiver Morgan out for season
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Josh Morgan is done for the season with a broken bone in his lower right leg. San Francisco placed Morgan on the season-ending injured reserve list Wednesday after he was hurt late in a 48-3 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday. To help fill the void, the Niners signed wideout Brett Swain to a one-year deal. The 26-year-old Morgan, a fourth-year pro out of Virginia Tech, had 15 catches for 220 yards and one touchdown for the 49ers (4-1).
Browns: Defensive end Marcus Benard has been lost for the season with a broken hand sustained when he crashed his three-wheel motorcycle. The Browns placed Benard, their leader in sacks last season, on the reserve non-football injury list Wednesday, ending his season after just four games.
Jets-Texans trade: After seeing his role diminish after just five weeks, veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason was sent packing to Houston after the Jets completed a trade with the Texans on Wednesday for an undisclosed draft pick. The deal ends a quick stint in New York for the 37-year-old Mason, who spent the last six seasons with Baltimore. "Things didn't work out on the field with Derrick," Jets General Manager Mike Tannenbaum said.
Falcons: Rookie receiver Julio Jones will miss Sunday's game against Carolina because of a hamstring injury. Jones pulled up in the fourth quarter of a 25-14 loss to Green Bay on a deep route down the sideline. He's already doing some light running with the training staff, but Coach Mike Smith said there's no chance Jones plays against the Panthers.
Giants: The NFL fined safety Kenny Phillips $20,000 for a hit on Seahawks tight end Zach Miller. Phillips was flagged for a hit on a defenseless Miller in the first quarter of the Seahawks' 36-25 win over the Giants on Sunday. It marked the second time this season Phillips has been fined by the league for a hit.
HGH testing reliable, scientists tell NFL
Nearly two dozen scientists from laboratories around the world have signed a letter to the NFL and the players' association stating the current test for human growth hormone is safe, scientifically reliable and appropriate for use in professional sports leagues. The letter, obtained by The Associated Press, was dated Oct. 3 and sent to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and union Executive Director DeMaurice Smith. The NFL players union has delayed implementing the test, asking for more scientific data to prove it is reliable.
Pettys, Lodge lead Cats to soccer win
Junior midfielder Charles Pettys scored two goals, and junior forward Matt Lodge tied a school record by assisting on all three goals in the Kentucky men's soccer team's 3-1 win over visiting Tulsa on Wednesday night. Senior Josh Mulvany scored the third goal for Kentucky (8-7-1, 1-4-0 Conference USA), which picked up its first league win. Only five UK players have had three assists in a game — the last was Barry Rice in 2006 against Georgetown College. Omar Mata avoided the shutout for Tulsa (4-8-0, 0-3-0 C-USA) by making a penalty kick in the 86th minute.
Donovan close to new deal with Florida
Florida Coach Billy Donovan is close to signing a five-year contract that would keep him in Gainesville through the 2015-2016 season. The new deal would include the three years he has remaining on his current deal, which pays him $3.5 million annually, and add two more years. Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said the school will announce financial terms once the deal has been signed.
"Obviously everyone knows how we feel about Billy Donovan," Foley said. "It's in the best interest of our program to keep him here for a long time."
Donovan, who won two national championships (2006, 2007) and is 360-147 in 15 seasons in Gainesville, said he believes he will sign the new contract soon.
The last word
Penn State Coach Joe Paterno on his late friend, Al Davis:
"When Al got the job (in Oakland), he called me to be his offensive coordinator. I told Al, 'You and I would have trouble getting along, because I am smarter than you are.' "