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The Cam Newton Investigation And The 'Pass The Plate' Method Of SEC Recruiting

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One interesting tangent leading off of all of the discussion surrounding the Cam Newton investigation is a general discussion of extremely dodgy SEC recruiting practices. One example long rumored to be a common practice is the use of churches in funneling money to recruits in the SEC. (Mind you, this practice isn't what anyone's saying happened in the Newton case, but it came up in discussion and is worth passing along for future historical studies of the SEC's long lineage of bending the rules 'til they break.) 

The most infamous example of this? "Passing the plate," a time-tested, lucrative and extremely untraceable method of getting money from point A to recruit B. It is that simple a practice: money goes from the plate and into a middleman's hands, after which the money--all in cash, of course--goes to the recruit or safer still, to the recruit's family.

If there is a more Southern Gothic element of SEC recruiting, I haven't seen it: it's like something taken directly from the pages of a Flannery O'Connor story. The practice makes sense, however. It is an all-cash transaction conducted in a place people suspect least of wrongdoing, and all done under the cover of an untaxed organization depending heavily on donations for their income. It makes perfect sense logistically, really, as long as you don't consider how silly having to resort to money laundering to properly pay people for their work truly is.