As a fan of sports, I am absolutely appalled by the NCAA announcement this afternoon as it relates to Auburn quarterback Cam Newton. For the last several weeks, Cam Newton has been maligned in a scandal alleging that while he was being recruited, his father was seeking substantial sums of money from the programs which Cam Newton was considering.
I believe that the NCAA has made a snap judgement because they prefer Auburn playing in the national championship game next month over Texas Christian. Why? Auburn will draw better ratings and an Auburn – Oregon national championship game will make more money for the NCAA than a TCU title game.
If information comes to light at a later point that Newton did actively break the rules, the NCAA would then have to punish someone whom they had already declared is eligible. This is troublesome because they claim to have already investigated the matter. Especially curious is this considering that the NCAA ruled Newton ineligible two days ago, revisited the issue yesterday and today says “Actually…he’s eligible.”
How the NCAA, which is notorious for working at a snail’s pace investigated and ruled an ineligible player eligible in the course of a day is pretty amazing. I don’t understand how one day, they have sufficient evidence to declare an athlete ineligible, and then the next day, somehow the thing which rendered him ineligible doesn’t matter.
Did the NCAA re-investiage and say “Oh. Wait a minute. The thing that we said was against the rules…actually that’s allowed, so he’s eligible?”
This thinking is completely devoid of integrity. Is Newton innocent? No. Because his father is guilty of violating the rules and that makes Cam guilty too. That is the way it has always been. That’s the way it has to be. If family could accept money as long as the student athlete is unaware of it occurring, if that were actually allowed by the NCAA, it would open the flood gates to relatives and other close associates taking money.
The SEC bylaws section 14.01.3.2 states:
“If at any time before or after matriculation in a member institution a student-athlete or any member of his/her family receives or agrees to receive, directly or indirectly, any aid or assistance beyond or in addition to that permitted by the Bylaws of this Conference (except such aid or assistance as such student-athlete may receive from those persons on whom the student is naturally or legally dependent for support), such student- athlete shall be ineligible for competition in any intercollegiate sport within the Conference for the remainder of his/her college career.”
The NCAA does acknowledge that his father did in fact try to solicit money in order for Cam to sign with Mississippi State. So even though it’s a rule that family can’t take money, and even though it says the athlete will be ineligible, and even though the NCAA acknowledges that the older Newton solicited money, they rule Cam eligible. How in the world does that make any sense?
If you are honestly looking at this, how can you look to the NCAA with any credibility any time they sanction a program for rules violations? I feel like the NCAA is basically giving Newton a pass because he’s the star quarterback for the number one team in the country because they feel like the immediate product is better with him.
If the Tide could have just hung on to their lead on Friday, none of this would matter.