Auburn cleared of wrongdoing in Newton case by NCAA

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The NCAA said it found no major violations committed by Auburn regarding current Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton or other pay-for-play allegations and has concluded multiple investigations of the football 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 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 Tuesday in a letter from associate director of enforcement Jackie A. Thurnes. Auburn released it Wednesday.

"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."

Chizik said he briefly spoke to Newton -- now with the Panthers after one season at Auburn -- after practice Wednesday, "but we did not talk about that at all. I just told him I'm proud of him and he's going to watch the (Florida) game on Saturday and he's excited about it."

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 BCS national title and was the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft by Carolina. Auburn declared Newton ineligible four days before the Southeastern Conference Championship Game, and the NCAA reinstated him the following day, saying there was not "sufficient evidence" that Newton or Auburn knew of the attempts to cash in on his talent.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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