It isnt over until the NCAA says its over, and even then there is still a crystal balls worth of doubt.
While the Auburn family rejoiced Wednesday afternoon as the NCAA announced it found no major violations in the Tigers recruitment of Cam Newton, the rest of the college football nation seemed to roll its eyes.
It was a long wait for the Tigers after the governing body of college sports snooped around their athletic department for 14 months, searching for the bagman or someone who wouldnt lawyer up. But the one thing that stood out Wednesday afternoon wasnt the disbelief by fans from across the state and around the country, it was that loud sound of relief coming from east Alabama.
Fans commented on Facebook and Internet message boards that they finally could celebrate the national championship.
The only reason they havent been celebrating since Jan. 10 is because they, too, believed something might have been wrong.
ESPNs Colin Cowherd read the news release on his show, The Herd, Thursday morning and laughed for almost two minutes. He didnt believe Auburn was clean 10 months ago. He doesnt believe it now.
Just because you dont find something doesnt mean it doesnt exist, he said.
Without the laughter, he might represent every one outside of the family.
But one thing is certain: There isnt any concrete evidence that Auburn or Newton knew what his father was doing -- essentially trying to pimp him out to Mississippi State. Whether you believe that this type of thing could go on without Cam knowing is one thing (especially considering how close they say they are), but no one can prove that he did until the Carolina Panthers quarterback admits it.
And, as far as I can tell, thats not happening.
So why is there still the sense that something is missing, despite no concrete proof?
It could be that the foundation of this story was so disgustingly true and proven.
Cecil Newton did in fact shop his son. He admits it. And that is where this story started. It grew legs, and more stories followed with more unfounded accusations.
It started with a mistake by a father and ended with a national championship, more than a years-long investigation and finally clearance by the NCAA.
But this story, in most eyes, doesnt end with a period. It ends with a dot, dot, dot.
Because, in most eyes, it hasnt been fully told.
Stephanie Pedersen, firstname.lastname@example.org, 706-571-8502