NCAA clears Auburn star Cam Newton to play
December 1st, 2010
01:19 PM ET

NCAA clears Auburn star Cam Newton to play

The NCAA suspended Auburn University football star Cam Newton for one day during an investigation of recruiting violations, but the Heisman Trophy candidate's eligibility was reinstated Wednesday.

Newton's father, the Rev. Cecil Newton, and another person, who wasn't named, tried to market Newton "as a part of a pay-for-play scenario in return for Newton's commitment to attend college and play football," the NCAA said.

Auburn has limited Newton's father's access to the athletic program and Mississippi State - which tried to recruit Newton - has cut off relations with the other person.

Auburn's football team is undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the BCS poll, thanks largely to Newton's running and passing, but pay-to-play allegations have dogged the team all season.

The NCAA investigation concluded that although his father violated the rules, the player did nothing wrong and should be allowed to continue to play.

"The conduct of Cam Newton's father and the involved individual is unacceptable and has no place in the SEC or in intercollegiate athletics," said Mike Slive, Southeastern Conference commissioner. "The actions taken by Auburn University and Mississippi State University make it clear this behavior will not be tolerated in the SEC."

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Filed under: College football • Sports
soundoff (410 Responses)
  1. TP

    They will suspend the investigation until "new" evidence is uncovered after the season. They will then drag out another Reggie Bush investigation and take away the Heisman from Newton. The NCAA will keep the money and their product will not be spoiled until later, at which point they can make themselves out to be heroes for doing the right thing.

    December 1, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • beachblnd

      Exactly!!!!!

      December 1, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. juice7767

    WARDAMNEAGLE NC HERE WE COME!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 1, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • SC

      Not sure what you mean by NC. Auburn will play South Carolina (SC) in the SEC championship game and then most likely Oregon in the National Championship Bowl.

      December 1, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kristi

    It just boggles the mind that this player is allowed to keep playing after this surfaces. Like he had no idea what his father was up to? Sounds to me like they both cooked this up and the scheme all along was "if we get caught I'll play dumb and you take the rap since I'll be a millionaire next year anyway." This is the same player with arrest records and a cheating scandal at another school and yet he is totally clueless what dad is up to? Ridiculous, but the viewership will be up if he continues to play and that is what the NCAA wants.

    December 1, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sith Happens

      Allegations are simply that.

      December 1, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. PositivePolly

    Just a bunch of Negative-Nancy comments... I see your comments on this after Cam beat your team, but what would you reply if he played for your team? Exactly. Glad to hear that a good player gets to continue play. I'm no Auburn fan, but I've read about the guy on several sites and he seems to be a great person as well as an undeniably amazing football player.

    December 1, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristi

      You're dumb

      December 1, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      Good call. Look at the facts, not the spin.

      December 1, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Robert

    Ol' Cecil should stop playing Reverend if he is going to engage in illegal activities.

    December 1, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Snuffy

      Paying someone for a service is not illegal. It is against NCAA rules (which are completely archaic and ridiculous), but not illegal.

      December 1, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • TP

      Snuffy - Illegal? Doesn't matter if it is illegal. His father is a Reverend. He should hang it up. There is no defense for knowingly attempting to break the rules that his son agreed to abide by to play in college football.

      December 1, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. gtsum96

    Although I'm an LSU fan and Auburn whipped us, I say let it go. Cam is a great player and will be a 1st round draft pick. Maybe his dad can be his agent since he knows how to strike a deal.

    December 1, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • L

      No, his game is not going to transition to the NFL

      But yeah the Bengals will draft him, for sure

      December 1, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jim jillbeab

    SAD

    December 1, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chuck

    I guess they had better give BUSH back his HEISMAN!

    December 1, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • demolition

      Only Fair

      December 1, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sith Happens

      Apples and oranges.

      December 1, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. adam

    The boy did nothing wrong. Obviously previous comments are from ppl bitter that the SECOND owns the BCS Championship. WAR EAGLE!!!!

    December 1, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • urrighturright/Jarrell

      So, you are saying that in the future a parent can sell his sons services and if caught, the player/athlete will not be accountable for his fathers sins.... Watch how this unfolds !!! From now on there is no downside to selling an athlete... it will be common practice... Why Not!!!

      December 1, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sith Happens

      Dennis, that's not correct. If any money is ever found to have been exchanged, Cam will be deemed ineligible and wins will be vacated. At this point, no extra benefits were ever given. It was all talk without any knowledge from Cam Newton. You can choose to believe it or not, but that is the only information the NCAA can consider.

      December 1, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Andre

    Interesting that no one on this post believes the NCAA made the right decision and almost all think it's about money. The only thing this was ever about was the eligibility of one college football player and answering the question "Did he receive improper benefits?" Asked and answered, end of story. Anybody other conclusion, view point, opinion, comment is irrelevant. He is eligible. I could care less about Auburn or Mississippi State or the SEC. I want to see Cam Newton play football. Interesting how this pay for play thing didn't come up when he was at Blinn Community College or early in the season pre-Heisman hype.

    December 1, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • urrighturright/Jarrell

      Cam was bought and paid for ! NCAA is clearly sick

      December 1, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Logic.

      Jarrell: Proof? Clearly you have no faith in the rulings and investigation of the NCAA. So I'll take your facts, instead. Or are we going on your intuition? Being cynical is fine; but educate yourself on the topic and the rules of the NCAA before you make comments like a child.

      December 1, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      So $180,000 is not an improper benefit in your world?

      December 1, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Logic.

      There was no transaction of $180,000. There was only solicitation. By his father. At Mississippi State. Not Auburn. Unless you would like to refute the evidence of the NCAA and FBI. I'm waiting...

      December 1, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paige

      Logic,
      according to both SEC and NCAA regulations money does not have to exchange hands it has to be asked for by the player or a representive of the player. In addition it does not matter if the player attends the school from whom the "benefit" was requested. According to both SEC and NCAA regulations a player is ineligble was the infraction occurs and remains so until the attending school requests reinstatement.

      December 1, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Logic.

      Paige,

      You are correct. I'm simply telling Really that Cam Newton never received $180,000 from Auburn. His post was implying they received such a payment. I was simply telling him the allegations were elsewhere and that Auburn was innocent.

      December 1, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • PAD

      The 180K transaction that was reported was associated with Mississippi State, yes. There was a request and the request was declined. However, what about the transaction, probably successfully concluded, that was NOT reported? Sure, Cam's dad sold his son's skills to other schools but then decided to send him to the school that did NOT pay??? Give me a break. The FBI investigation is ongoing. We'll hear more about what has NOT been reported later.

      December 1, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      If the money was not exchanged then why did Cam Newton tell his contact with Mississippi St that the 'money was just too much' as the reason why he was going to Auburn and not Miss St?

      December 1, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sith Happens

      We will never know the context of that statement, or if it was ever even made. For all we know, Mississippi State offered Cecil the money, Cam found out about it, and then called Mississippi State to cancel the deal they had made with Cecil.

      December 1, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tony

    So does this mean that the ncaa is going to take back what they did to USC? USC should be declared bowl eligible immediately. The NCAA is a Joke!!! Somebody there has ties with the SEC or Auburn. This is not a slam against Auburn or the SEC.

    December 1, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      I AGREE! Give USC Back their scholarships, make the bowl eligible, and give R. Bush back his Heisman! NOW!

      December 1, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Snuffy

      Reggie never had his Heisman taken away. He gave it back.

      December 1, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • TP

      Reggie gave it back before someone came to take it.

      December 1, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nikki4Au

      Its just like the person below u said....Cam might have had knowledge of what his dad was doing but the NCAA has no proof. Dude it was very well known common knowledge that Reggie Bush took money. I mean he had cars in college.

      December 1, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nancy

      but because usc is a very hated school around the ncaa during the football season, they get sancations. and reggie bush was there, what, 4 years ago, and the current team is given the sancations? hello, pot, kettle calling. ncaa you need to really get your act together. this is the reason that you are so hated.

      December 1, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. B

    I don't think you can blame the NCAA for not enforcing the rules here. They had plenty of time to investigate and make a decision. I'm not going to say that Cam had no knowledge of what his father was doing but apparently there wasn't enough evidence to prove that he did. I wouldn't be surprised if Cam had knowledge of this anymore than I would I be surprised to find out that this is just a situation where a greedy, over involved parent tried to make some money from his son's talent.

    December 1, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nikki4Au

      well said....its over now let’s drop it. Im ready to see my alma mater walk away with a sec and national championship!!

      December 1, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      Nikki of course you want to drop it since you are a fan of Auburn. Who do you think paid his dad the money?

      December 1, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Logic.

      Well, the NCAA says no one. Clearly you have facts that show otherwise. Please, present them. Receipts? Boosters? Anything?

      December 1, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • L

      id rather lost every year with honest students then some creepy looking cheater

      December 1, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nikki4Au

      @ really...we can let the FBI or whomever deal with Cecil. The NCAA has cleared Cam and really thats all im concerned with.

      December 1, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      Prove that he didn't get the money Logic? He did not just ask for it for the thrill of it. Remember Cam wanted to go to Miss St and ended up at Auburn because 'the money was too much' per his contact with Miss St.

      December 1, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sith Happens

      Burden of proof is on the accuser. Sorry about your luck.

      December 1, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. capple

    All the naysayers here are absolutely correct! Here's what should have happened: Even though all the information the NCAA gathered indicates that Cam had nothing to do with the situation, nor any knowledge of it, the NCAA should toss the entire investigation, because it just smells funny, and start suspending people on gut feeling. That's exactly what we need. Who needs investigations and interviews?! Just go with the most cynical story and start handing out ineligibility rulings. That would be awesome. You guys are brilliant.

    December 1, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      Cam knew about it and a Mississippi representative stated that Cam called him stating the 'money' was just too much. Don't tell me he did not know. My second question is why did it take the NCAA to investigate Reggie Bush and it took just a few weeks Cam Newton who actually made more money? The simple answer is this was rigged.

      December 1, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sith Happens

      Did you read that on a blog? Please cite your sources. I do know about the statement you keep referring to, but if that statement were made, I have no idea about the context of the statement.

      December 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bill

    They don't call it the $EC for nothing. And don't forget that the C in the BCS stands for Corrupt.

    December 1, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mike

    Reggie Bush Jr.

    December 1, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
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