State Could Have Been Even Tougher

I noticed in the Tuscaloosa News today that Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy, who recently was named one of the top scholars in the nation by the National Football Foundation and who is interviewing next week as a Rhodes Scholar finalist, is working with a University advocacy group to encourage literacy.



When I learned there was some outrage over a sentence in my story about LSU's win over Alabama, I considered that I had identified some candidates for literacy training. Actually, I suspect they are merely careless readers.

Here is the opening paragraph of that story, which contains the offending sentence:

"There is nothing Alabama can do now to salvage this season. Well, maybe one thing. But before the Crimson Tide can worry about Auburn and Cam Newton, Bama has a full plate in getting ready for the team that didn't buy Cam."

Have I not been reading reports for the past few days in which Mississippi State vowed that it turned down the opportunity to pay $180,000 to have Cam Newton as the quarterback of the Bulldogs? I have also been reading reports that Auburn "sources" say they didn't buy him either. And I've been reading stories that say the NCAA will decide that. But I haven't been covering the Cam Newton story.

Mississippi State Coach Dan Mullen has done an excellent job with the Bulldogs this year, including a win over the school from whence he came, Florida. Mullen was Cam Newton's coach at Florida and almost everyone expected Newton to go to Mississippi State when he finished his junior college career. Presumably Mullen thought so too, until he got a call from the player saying that Newton's father had decided Cam would go to Auburn. The father was also quoted as saying that he overruled his son's choice because Mississippi State would use his son like "a rented mule."

Newton had been forced to leave Florida. According to some reports he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Like in his apartment with stolen goods, which he had apparently tried to disguise, then tried to ditch the evidence out the window. But that has nothing to do with Alabama.

What does have to do with Alabama is that Mississippi State is going to prove a very tough opponent for Bama Saturday. The Crimson Tide is wounded. And our sentence in the account of the loss to LSU spoke only to this: it's a good thing for Bama that the Bulldogs don't have the man who appears to be the best football player in America.

I certainly did not write that Auburn bought Cam Newton.

All you have to do is read the sentence.

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