and in full disclosure, I’ll admit this: In my opinion, Cam Newton knew everything that was going on with regard to his father’s salesmanship. Cam knew what was going on, he just didn’t participate in any of the money/compensation discussions. That’s just my opinion. Your opinion might be different.
But Cam Newton can continue to stress to anyone that’s willing to listen that he didn’t know what his dad was doing and it’s always going to be his word and against the rest of the world.
And that’s OK.
But that’s not what’s important now.
What’s important now is what has transpired in the last three weeks. And these revelations, from which Cam Newton can’t hide, are pressing him into a corner on Saturday night that will stay with him forever if he does the wrong thing and walks up on that stage and takes the Heisman Trophy.
Based on the findings of the NCAA in November, Cecil Newton asked Mississippi State for money in exchange for his son playing football at their school. At some point, a similar request was made of the people at Auburn, although there’s no evidence in place to say without question that Auburn paid the younger Newton to play for them this season. But there was so much smoke – and fire – that Auburn ruled their quarterback ineligible three weeks ago, only to have the NCAA suddenly reinstate him less than 24 hours later. The NCAA ruled that while they had evidence linking Cecil Newton to improper conduct acting as a representative of his son, they had no evidence in concrete that indicated Cam Newton was aware of his father’s demands. So the NCAA ruled that Cam Newton was eligible to play for the rest of the season.
Now the story unfolds and the bell for Integrity 101 rings.
Today, December 11, Cam Newton knows his father was found guilty by the NCAA of asking Mississippi State for money in exchange for his services. Whether or not Cam Newton knows more — like Auburn forking over money, as an example — isn’t really the important item, because that discovery hasn’t yet been made.
Cam Newton knows for sure that the NCAA has evidence in place to support the charge that Cecil Newton broke NCAA rules during the recruitment of his son.
He might know more and he might have actually received money, but we all don’t know that for certain. But we all know this: Cecil Newton broke recruiting rules when he asked Mississippi State for money. Cam Newton knows that now.
And if Cam Newton wanted to really be a winner tonight, he’d announce that he can’t accept the Heisman Trophy.
It wouldn’t cost him one nickel in the NFL. Zero. Nada.
Whatever Cam Newton makes in 2011 in the NFL is what he’s going to make, no matter if he walks up on that stage tonight or not.
No one in the league is going to pay him LESS if he refuses the award tonight.
But he’ll cash in big time on the integrity scale if he does it.
I know that’s fantasy-land-material. I know Cam Newton’s going up there tonight and he’s going to walk up on that stage and he’s going to take the trophy and smile and let his football do the talking. But we all know it’s wrong. We know it. He knows it, too, although he’s probably convinced himself by now that this “witch hunt” is just the media’s way of staying busy. By now, I’m guessing Cam Newton has actually forgotten that his dad asked Mississippi State for money.
A lot of people recently have tried to make a book-full of excuses for Cam Newton, saying anything from “everyone in college sports is cheating, you can’t punish him” to “these schools are making millions off these athletes” to “the kid had no idea what was going on, his dad was handling his affairs.”
More than shameful, it’s disrespectful to the 95% of college athletes who do right by their free (or partially free) education and work their ass off on the field or the court in exchange for the tuition they receive.
We have a lot of problems in college sports these days, but perhaps the biggest one of all is this: We spend a great deal of time making excuses for the minority who break the rules when we should spend a great deal of time applauding the majority who don’t break them.
All I’ve heard for 8 weeks are excuses for Cam Newton.
“Poor kid…he had no idea his dad was shopping him around the country.”
Yeah…I’m sure he didn’t.
I love the one I heard on Friday: “Drew, didn’t your father or mother ever make a decision for you that they didn’t inform you they were making ahead of time?”
Come to think of it, they did. I wanted to go to an ice hockey instructional camp in Windsor, Ontario when I was 13 but after seeing the cost and comparing the camp to others, my Dad told me I was going to one in Kingston, Ontario, instead.
And I had no idea I was going to Kingston until about 5 days before.
But I was 13.
Cecil Newton peddled his boy all over the place and that kid wasn’t shocked by it. Was his father acting in his son’s best interest and handling the discussions (continued)