The Newtons' Family Attorney Defends QB

The lawyer for Cameron Newton and his family spoke out on Thursday for the first time about news reports concerning quarterback Cam Newton and his recruitment by Mississippi State.

Atlanta, Ga.--Two weeks into a story that seemingly has no end in sight came words on Thursday from the other side of the drama surrounding Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton's recruitment out of Blinn Junior College in Texas by Mississippi State.

Interviewed by WSB TV's Mark Winne, the attorney for Cameron Newton and his family spoke out about the NCAA investigation and the role of the Newtons in that process.

Since the story first appeared on ESPN two weeks ago, much of it has centered around Cecil Newton and his involvement with former Mississippi State football players Kenny Rogers and William Bell in alleged pay for play discussions. Attorney George Lawson told WSB that the Newtons have been in contact with the NCAA and have shared all they know about the situation and are willing to do anything and everything necessary down the road.

"Cam Newton, Cecil Newton, and Jackie Newton have participated in the on-going NCAA investigation," Lawson said of the probe into MSU's recruitment of Newton. "They have been truthful and candid with the NCAA. They will continue to cooperate with the NCAA and they will produce and answer any and all questions the NCAA has for them.

"I would suggest to you that what Cecil Newton has said to the NCAA has been truthful," Lawson added. "What Jackie Newton (Cam Newton's mother) has said has been truthful and what Cam Newton has said has been truthful."

The biggest question surrounding the entire process has been if Cam Newton himself knew about possible money dealings involving Mississippi State because. Lawson was asked if his client had any knowledge of money or the talk of money and he had a strong response.

"Absolutely no money has been offered to Cam Newton and Cam Newton never asked for any money... I don't think there's any question Cam Newton knew nothing about any money discussions if any discussions were had," he added.

When asked if he is 100 percent sure that Cam Newton took no money or knew about the solicitation of money Lawson only had this to say.

"I'm a million percent confident that Cam Newton took no money from no one," he said. "I would suggest to you that he knew nothing about any solicitation of money from anyone."

In addition to the NCAA investigation, there has also been talk of the Federal Bureau of Investigation looking into Newton's recruiting. Lawson said if the FBI is looking into the matter it is being done without his knowledge at the moment.

"I know nothing about an FBI investigation," Lawson said. "I don't even know if the FBI is investigating that. I have had the occasion to see the same things you probably saw on ESPN. That's all I know about it."

One of those stories involving Newton was about the academic situation of the quarterback with media reports naming sources that claimed Newton was in danger of being expelled from the University of Florida because of instances of cheating in Gainesville.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Since that applies to Newton he would have been the only person capable of giving out his academic records. Because of that Lawson said the University of Florida would be hearing from him when everything else is settled, but he didn't speak on what exactly that would mean. He did respond when asked if the initial report on Newton's academics was accurate.

"No, they're not accurate," Lawson said. "He's very polished. He's a smart young man. At this point in his life he's a very mature young man. He's much more mature than most 21-year-olds would be with all of the things that he's gone through in his life."

Newton and the second-ranked Tigers are off this week before returning to the field a week from Friday in the Iron Bowl against rival Alabama.

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