Or Fox News, a few days before a presidential election?
Will the mudslinging and investigations of college athletes ever end? With the scrutiny that Auburn quarterback Cam Newton has faced the past two weeks, you would think he was running for a seat in the US Senate.
What he is doing is playing unbelievably great football and leading his team to a possible national championship. Oh, yeah, he’s also the frontrunner to winning the Heisman Trophy this year. I guess in this day in age, if you want to win a national championship and a Heisman, you’d better not have any skeletons in your closet, because they are going to come out.
And apparently Newton has some skeletons. Now that he is in the national spotlight, here’s a rundown of what the real-time Twittering media, has found out about him in his now storied collegiate history.
According to FoxSports.com, Newton had a tough go of it when he attended the University of Florida in 2007 and 2008. While he was a Gator, Newton is said to have been caught cheating three times, including an incident where he put his name on another student’s paper. He decided to leave Florida for Blinn College, in Texas, after he was arrested for buying a stolen computer. (The charges were later dropped when he completed a pre-trial program for first-time offenders.)
During his time at Blinn, according the investigative journalism of ESPN.com, Newton started taking monetary offers to play football at big time SEC schools, and according to mid-1980s Mississippi State player Kenny Rogers, several schools offered Newton around $200,000 to play for them, but, because he really liked Mississippi State, he would play for them at the bargain price of $180,000.
Of course, the real question that has gone unanswered is if several schools were offering Newton money to play for them, how much did Auburn pay? And as much as I have read into this, any and all Auburn representatives have kept their mouths shut and have really been out of the national conversation. But since they are the university that has Newton on the field, the natural question is, “How much did Auburn pay?”
As these pay-to-play allegations have snowballed the past couple of weeks, Cam Newton’s dad, Cecil, has not helped his son out at all by answering questions and admitting to the fact that he had solicited a six-figure sum of money for Cam’s commitment to Mississippi State. No-one has admitted to any kind of recruitment violations to Auburn.
With all the speculation and innuendo leading up to last weekend’s game against Georgia, many wondered if Newton was going to be allowed to start in the game that would decide who would represent the SEC West in the SEC Championship game on Dec. 4.
In case you missed it, Newton on the field was his same old self, rushing for 148 yards and throwing for 151 yards, with four touchdowns in the 49-31 win that left Newton in the stands celebrating with crazed Auburn fans. On Nov. 26, Auburn faces its nemesis, Alabama, and, if they get by the Crimson Tide, South Carolina, as well, in the SEC Championship (the Tigers will be headed to a National Championship game, probably against Oregon).
As long as there are no further allegations connecting recruiting violations to Auburn, Newton has done nothing wrong and he will be allowed to play and go for a national championship. (I think Newton has bigger problems when he faces the Tide on Nov. 26.)
Along with a possible national championship, Newton is also the frontrunner to winning the Heisman Trophy. There are already sports writers and know-it-alls who get to vote for the Heisman who have said they will not vote for Newton because of his past, even if he is the best player on the field right now. Good thing these people aren’t working in our judicial system, or more people would be getting locked up for things they may or may have not done. Nobody has proven that Newton has done anything wrong. Yes, he had a shady past in Florida, but does that mean he doesn’t get a second chance?
Cam Newton should win the Heisman Trophy. He is the best player in college football right now, and it’s because of his play on the field. (Isn’t that what we are all tuning in to watch every Saturday?) There are other prizes for just being a good guy off the field, right?
If I were Cam Newton right now, I would focus on winning a national championship and then getting into the National Football League. Newton could use one more season of polishing his skills at Auburn, but with the scrutiny he is facing, he should just get into the NFL next year and make some money already.
Winning the Heisman isn’t what it used to be, either. It was once the most prestigious trophy in college football. What it has become is the award for the best all-around offensive player who is perfect on and off the field…you must be perfect. No flaws. (Reggie Bush had a Heisman Trophy, and while he was the best player on the field, he wasn’t, off the field, so he was basically forced to give it back.) Defensive players, even if they are the best player on the field, don’t normally win.
Forget the Heisman, Cam, go for a national championship and then go make some money. It’s what any normal, logical person in your position would do.