Officially, the school that won last season's Bowl Championship Series national title has been cleared of any wrongdoing. The investigation is over. Auburn can keep its championship and Newton his Heisman Trophy.
But that doesn't mean all the questions in this messy case have been answered. If you want to doubt Auburn, you certainly still can. Hanging in the air are the words of four former Auburn players who in March told HBO's Real Sports that they received thousands of dollars in improper payments while at the school. Only one of those players chose to talk to the NCAA for its investigation. The other three "refused to cooperate," the NCAA said.
It should be noted that the NCAA doesn't have the power to issue subpoenas, which certainly can have a chilling effect on its ability to investigate cases such as this.
So four players spilled the beans on television, but three of them wouldn't meet with or assist the one organization that could act on their allegations. It's hard to believe anyone not wearing blue and orange is satisfied with that outcome. Even NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said that if new information comes to light, "we'll look into it."