November 11th, 2010
12:04 PM ET

Final word in Cam Newton case seems as elusive as he is

None of the allegations against Auburn star quarterback Cam Newton have been proved, and he continues to play.

Cam Newton is the biggest deal in college football right now for both good reasons and bad.

The good is that he's the star quarterback of the undefeated, No. 2-ranked Auburn Tigers. If they win the rest of their games, they'll likely play for the national championship.

He's the front-runner for the Heisman Trophy, awarded annually to college football's best player.

And he's expected to be a top NFL draft pick and make millions when he leaves college after either this season or next.

The bad comes not from the millions he might make but from the thousands he might have been paid already.

Allegations are flying that when he was being recruited it was made clear that whichever school got him would have to pay him. The latest accusation, from an ESPN report, says Newton and his father each talked money with Mississippi State. The Newtons allegedly asked for around $200,000, according to some reports.

NCAA rules prohibit schools from paying players. The NCAA considers the full scholarship Newton and most other players on the big-time college teams get, fair compensation for the millions the players help generate for their universities.

Auburn, which beat out Mississippi State to recruit Newton after he left a junior college last year, is passionately defending him. Coach Gene Chizik calls the allegations "garbage" and said Newton is a "great football player, great human being, and comes from a great family."

And he'll be on the field Saturday for Auburn's big game against Georgia while the allegations are investigated.

Even if the allegations prove true, Newton would be far from the first college player to be paid in violation of the rules. In September, Reggie Bush, who now stars for the NFL New Orleans Saints, returned his 2005 Heisman Trophy when it was revealed he received improper payments while at the University of Southern California.

And ESPN's 30-for-30 film this week, "The Best that Never Was," detailed illegal offers made to top recruit Marcus Dupree in the early 1980s.

Sports Illustrated's Michael Rosenberg said the accusations about money bother him less than some of the academic allegations that have surfaced.

And Yahoo's Dan Wetzel said even if Auburn did pay Newton to come play for them, they're getting a great deal.

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Filed under: College football • Sports
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Ben

    What would you have Cam Newton say? Until the 'sources' reveal who they are, it's best for Cam to say nothing. When you're under sniper fire, the best thing is to take cover for the time being. CNN surely knows that.

    November 11, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wayne

      The sources HAVE revealed who they are. It's the head coach at Mississippi State.

      November 11, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. James

    If you want to see how much "semi-pro" football players make outside of college, check out the UFL. Most college freshman could not make a UFL team and the UFL pays about $50K a year. College scholarships run ~$50K a year.

    November 11, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • lef

      But isn't college football is way more profitable than the UFL? Seems like this isn't a fair comparison. Given the enormous size of the total revenue universities and the NCAA make on college football, the $50K scholarship has to be one of the poorest relative compensations in any industry in the US. Easy answer: "Well it isn't an industry!"... OK fine, you can keep telling yourself that.

      November 11, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. sars

    What a crock, did you just skim somebody else's article and then basically say it's no big deal because he should get paid. There is way more to this and it seems like you are not aware of just how many VIOLATIONS are at play here. Right an opinion if you have one instead of playing this off as news and putting in messages between the lines.

    November 11, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ted Moseby

      What does "right an opinion" mean?

      November 11, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris S

      The opposite of "Wrong an opinion?" "Left an opinion?"

      Oh, I get it "write an opinion."

      November 11, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • ClareFrancis

      I think it's pretty clear that the author doesn't think accepting $$, talking about accepting $$, etc. are violations

      November 11, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. gaffman

    I believe that it’s time for the NFL to take a stand on these illegal actions of college players. Why doesn’t the NFL pass a rule that will make a player ineligible for X amount of years if they are found to be in violation of any NCAA policy in regards to recruitment? This would benefit the NCAA tremendously to ensure that schools and players alike are doing the right thing.

    November 11, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • yea

      it is a business......$$$$$

      November 11, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emma

      I absolutely agree with you!!!!

      November 11, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jonathan

      What you are proposing is absurd. The NFL is in business to make money. What would the NFL gain by suspending players that illegally take money in college? It sounds great in theory, to stop the under-the-table things that go on in college football, but the NFL stand to gain nothing by doing this. They have enough issues policing their own players.

      November 11, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • GT

      it would be better to go after the agents who are the ones handing out the most cash and enticing players into poor choices. Right now the school and the player can be punished, but nothing is done about an agent.

      November 11, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amanda in Bama

      The NFL is all about making money, if it was moral AT ALL, they would never had made Micheal Vick eligible after he served his jail-time. And yes, there are rules and ethics violations in the NCAA, that's no secret, we only hear about it when they get caught. And it's not absurd, if the NFL would NOT have CRIMINALS making tens of millions of dollars, I may actually pay attention to it, but as the way NFL runs things, I won't give them a cent or second of my time. With the exception of Florida, their dirty deals are ignored of course, the BCS LOVES to be terribly unfair with the SEC, so if they have the proof to make the allegations stick, Auburn is going to be under a mound of sanctions and restrictions, even if the alleged wrongdoing was at Miss St, Newton isn't there anymore, that's where they'll focus. I predict Newton will be suspended by the time they play us, seems they know what happened, they're just connecting the dots. And Miss St is not going to let a player with the ethics violations transfer WITHOUT giving the SOMEONE on new coaching staff about things, so SOMEONE at Auburn knew, and that's why the BCS will come down on them. And amen GT, go after the money, prosecute the agents, alumni, and boosters for getting these players and teams into these messes, if that were the case, the opportunity to commit an ethics violations of that nature would be no longer in the equation, which would make that problem disappear. Roll Tide Roll!!!

      November 11, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Marc

    Innocent people scream their innocence from the tallest building...highest platform.

    Calling the allegations "garbage" or "old news" only prevents one from being called a liar at a later date.

    Another sad story. Once again, Auburn will finish the season undefeated only to see a national championship slip through their fingers. They didn't get a shot at it when Reggie was taking payments...they may win it this year only to have it pulled later due to Cam's actions. Damned if you do...damned if you don't. Happy Thanksgiving Auburn!!!

    November 11, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Calling the allegations garbage is the same as proclaiming one's innocence,

      November 11, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Deb Pierce

      do you sleep at night??????????????????

      November 11, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guester

      it will be worse that that for Auburn if they paid him. They don't exactly have a spotless record regarding NCAA infractions.

      November 11, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • MIke

      Dont worry Auburn will lose to Alabama anyway.

      November 11, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ProperVillain

    It's a safe assumption that ALL college players receive some sort of bribe to attend whatever school ends up recruiting them. Let's face it, just like the pros, college football is a huge money maker for the school. Whenever the potential to make a lot of money is involved "compromises" and payouts will be made. Don't even get me started on the degrees these players "earn". It's a well known fact that most of the high profile jocks get a free pass in most, if not all, of their classes. Their whole premise of getting an education is just a big farce.

    November 11, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Qodex

      A "well known fact"? "Most if not all"? Well known by whom? Based on what evidence? As a former athlete and now college professor, I've seen it from both sides. It's true that athletic departments go to great lengths to help their athletes, but ultimately the athlete still needs to do the work. As a professor, on occasion I've allowed an athlete to make up a missed assignment or test, but I do that for any student who has a reasonable explanation, and in any case the work has to be done to earn the grade. That's not to say cheating never occurs, but the student is punished when caught, and the repercussions for an athlete can be severe, with a scholarship on the line. I've never been pressured by an AD to do anything improper, and I've never heard of it happening to other faculty. Again, not to say it never happens, but it's the exception and not the rule.

      November 11, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Gary P Salmon

    I say "SHOW HIM THE MONEY" Then we'll all sit back and watch this under educated, obnoxius athelete self destruct as so many of these over paid atheletes have done in the past. How many struggling college students wouldn't sell a kidney to have a full ride scholarship?? Maybe Cam should experience working a full time job while trying to attend college full time! I say strip his scholarship and give it to a more appreciative student!

    November 11, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • ProperVillain

      If there were any justice in this world, this would happen. Well said.

      November 11, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      This is just a smear campaign by liars without the courage to openly accuse him who don't want him to win the Heisman.

      November 11, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • wantathfacts

      If you don't think that scholarship athletes don't work for their education, you are kidding yourself. They only by NCAA rules spend 20 hours in (supervised) practice, but about 40 more in weight rooms, studying film, running and working out. In addition to all the summer workouts. They work for their "Free Ride". If you doubt it check our your local school or ask one of the students.

      November 11, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • DDOSU

      "watch this under educated, obnoxius athelete".. seriously?

      November 11, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Daphin

    I'm getting tired of reading articles where the author obviously has an axe to grind. Rather than writing about a QB who possibly broke well known NCAA rules in accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from a publicly funded University why don't you write about how you obviously feel that student athletes aren't fairly compensated? It would sit a lot better with me than

    "The NCAA considers the full scholarship Newton and most other players on the big-time college teams get, fair compensation for the millions the players help generate for their universities"

    and pointing out that he's not the first to do it and that it's been happening for a long time.

    As a student who paid for his education I'd consider graduating loan free would be enough payment for my time on a football field. That doesn't even take into consideration the fact that some of these players are going to make millions playing a GAME for the rest of their lives.

    The majority of athletic programs are publicly funded, house their athletes in buildings that were paid for by the public, and play in stadiums that were built by the public. Money ruins everything, as we already saw when the Big 12 nearly imploded this past summer. What possible good could come from paying STUDENT athletes money?

    Think before you write.

    November 11, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • ClareFrancis

      Very well said. Thank you.

      November 11, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. wantathfacts

    I have it on reliable sources that not only has Newton had all these college problems, but was in fact (allegedly) he was a consultant to BP in the Gulf during this past Summer, due to his experiences with New Orleans and Katrina.-Makes about as much sense as all the rest of the allegations that come from an no named source. Is this just extra credit for the smear people of the last political season to keep their knives sharp for 2012? Give the kid a brake! Let the accusers stand up or shut up! and news reporters ( if you are actually reporting and not making the news) prove their statements.

    November 11, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JOEY

    what a loser. Until there are penalties enforced at the NFL, cheating will continue for these high profile players. there are no consequences for this kid or his family...just the school/fans that will have to put up the probation-no bowl games after he's gone. Coach should be fired–what a joke.
    and MSU is only blowing the whistle because they couldn't afford him.

    November 11, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. BigMike

    It's about time the NCAA get their act together. Nothing compares to the memories relationships and experiences that came out of me plying football in college for 5 years. However, when you do the math for most schools, playing a sport like football requires athletes to put in about 55 to 65 hours of work per week, aside from their academic commitments. So unless you are playing at Harvard, saying that a fulls cholarship is fair compensation is complete bull.

    The average kid that plays football in their home state, for me it was Florida is also subject to paying instate tuition, which for me pretty much broke down to a $9 per hour job, with very long hours for 5 long years.


    November 11, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • ClareFrancis

      Since when does money trump a college education? Seems to be these student athletes are completely missing the point....they are STUDENT athletes...

      November 11, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Danny

    I didn't know that "great" human beings stole computers, like about stealing computers, cheated on tests and lied about cheating on tests. Coach Chizik must just have a warped sense of the word "great".

    November 11, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Guester

    If Auburn paid hm they could jump into a three way tie for most NCAA infractions (they're #3 now).

    November 11, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Melissa

    I think it's ridiculous that these guys make so much money. I believe they should be required to give a certain amount to the education system so we can afford to pay our teachers and coaches who spend so much time with the students. It blows my mind, we can afford to pay these guys x amount of dollars but yet we are making cuts in our education system, where we need people the most. How are we supposed to encourage the education of our students if people are flashing 100 dollar bills in front of their face? Don't get me wrong I love sports, but there is better things to do with all that money, and I don't believe the teachers get the credit they deserve.

    November 11, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Vince Lombardi

    Funny how everybody asking if the player asked for money but nobody questioning all that money going to colleges and coaches and the sports media. If I were his father I would have asked for some money also. If he gets hurt playing in college and cannot play in the pros then what?

    November 11, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guester

      Then he has a free education.

      November 11, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • ProperVillain

      Then maybe he would actually STUDY and pass his classes and get an education instead of being passed through on the perceived merits of his fame....

      November 11, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • ClareFrancis

      What does most college football players do? They get their degree and do something else for a living.

      November 11, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
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