The NCAA is the most legalistic entity that man has ever created, with the possible exception of the Sanhedrin. The fact that Cameron Newton is eligible is unconscionable. It was no surprise this weekend when Newton was awarded the Heisman Trophy, but i did not watch. Just as I will not be watching him play in the national championship game next month. Why? Because I’m not in the mood to watch auburn win knowing that the title will likely be stripped away from them in the future. If that happens, it is as if this game will have never happened, so what is the point of waisting my time now to see something that will have not have officially ever existed in the future?
Did Newton have the best season of any player in the country? Absolutely. But in the same season when Reggie Bush became the first Heisman winner to return the award ever as a result of being ruled ineligible for the 2005 season, giving the Heisman to someone who has a high likelihood of later being ruled ineligible is highly irresponsible.
But that’s not fair to Cam.
Fair? Fair? This entire situation is completely unfair to the fans. College football is not a perfect mirror of the civil society, and I think organizations should be looked at from a more utilitarian view. In the NCAA, if an athlete’s family receives funds, the athlete is ineligible. Regardless of if the athlete knows.
If Cam’s father, Cecil Newton took funds, Cam is ineligible. But that’s not fair either. No, it’s not fair, but it’s not worth the entire sport taking another major credibility hit for the sake of waiting until we know beyond the shadow of a doubt that he broke the rules when we do know that they attempted to break the rules.
That’s the price you pay for trying to break the rules.
The NCAA knows the Cecil Newton solicited money from Mississippi State. Mississippi State was originally Cameron Newton’s top choice after he left Florida, and his father wanted to get a six figure sum of money. Mississippi State wouldn’t pay.
It’s interesting. It’s interesting that Mississippi State was Cam’s top choice but they wouldn’t pay, however Cam went to Auburn. If Cam’s father didn’t receive money after he solicited money from Mississippi State, but Mississippi State was Cam’s top choice, why is Cam at Auburn?
top choice: Mississippi State.
Then your dad tries to get money from Mississippi State.
Mississippi State says “no.”
Newton goes to Auburn.
If Mississippi State was your top choice and wouldn’t pay you, why wouldn’t you still go there?
Could it be that Auburn boosters were willing to pay?
I know Cam doesn’t know about what’s going on. But he also transferred away from Florida before the university could have an expulsion hearing for academic dishonesty. Newton said that he had transferred, not because of the fact he faced expulsion but because Tim Tebow was coming back.
Interestingly he transferred before Tebow ever said he was returning for his senior year.
The feel good part of the Cameron Newton story has, for a long time, been a story about a bond between father and son and how Cameron has said on multiple occasions that he had given his father the reigns of selecting where he would play football. However this weekend, Newton cont stayed he had decided himself.
There was the stolen laptop.
There is a history of times when we know he has lied, where he has done things that are shady, where we KNOW that his dad tried to get money, and where a church of which his father is pastor seemed to magically receive a donation in order to keep its doors open.
But everything is on the up and up.
It is not Worth further diminishing the NCAA for the sake of being “fair.”
The NCAA has strict rules about families taking money and the rules are in place regardless of if the athlete knows. As I’ve said before on my website, this is the way it has to be. Otherwise, the athletes could play dumb, or even legitimately be unaware, but in either situation, the family’s could take bribes. As a result, the rules must be very strict and enforced across the board.
If the NCAA keeps throwing away its credibility, it is going to get progressively harder to get back. If Cameron Newton and his father truly are innocent, I think the fact that they attempted to break the rules is enough to make him ineligible. Their original sin was when Cecil Newton initially attempted to break the rules. That action, and their previous histories give a lot of circumstances that bring their honesty into question and it is because of all of the controversy which they have brought upon themselves, that people should not have cast Heisman votes for Newton and why he should not be playing for a national championship.
John Stewart Mill would be proud of me.
sources: some of the points in this article, I have heard made by local Columbus radio show host Scott Torgerson.