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NFL reportedly done investigating Cam Newton-Ed Hochuli incident

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An NFL source reportedly told ESPN that the league is done with its investigation regarding claims from Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton regarding alleged comments made by referee Ed Hochuli during Sunday’s game.

Newton says that Hochuli told the quarterback he “wasn’t old enough” to get a call during the fourth quarter of Carolina’s 27-22 win over the New Orleans Saints when he was hit near the out of bounds marker while throwing an incomplete pass.

NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino acknowledged Monday that Hochuli could be subjected to discipline if Newton’s accusations proved true, but also said the veteran referee told him an entirely different story.

“He told me that he said, ‘The difference is you were running,'” Blandino said. “I think when you look at the tape it does look like Ed did say that … at one point. You can’t see everything that Ed says, but he’s adamant he didn’t say it, and I think that’s where we are right now and we’re just going to kind of move on from there.”

It seemed obvious in the video of the exchange that Newton wasn’t happy with whatever Hochuli said to him.

“I looked at him like: ‘[Jeez]! I didn’t think you had to have seniority to get a personal foul or anything like that,'” Newton said after the game.

Despite the exact nature and content of the back-and-forth, Blandino supported Hochuli’s decision to not throw a flag. NFL Referee Association executive director Jim Quirk also supported Hochuli, saying Newton’s claims were “not even close to being true.”

In the end, unless audio surfaces that provides indisputable evidence that Hochuli actually said, “You’re not old enough to get that call,” it’s a he-said, he-said matter. As suggested by Quirk in his comments on the situation, video does seem to support the claim that Hochuli said something along the lines of “you were running.”

In any event, the NFL would be wise to wrap up the matter sooner than later, as the league seems lately to be completely incapable of nipping situations like these in the bud.