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. Shugdes

    There is no proof Cam knew anything about the discussions his father had. No one has accused Auburn of paying for him to play; the allegations were in regard to Miss. State. And by the way, if Alabama paid $200K for Albert Means 10 years ago, the alleged $180K for Cam Newton is a BARGAIN 🙂 Concerning the FBI, they are investigating the release of confidential information from Univ of Florida. Try and get the facts straight.

    December 1, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • D9

      Actually, Cam would have to know if were going to attend the school his father did "business" with.


      December 1, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barbara

      Jealous much????

      December 1, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Southeast7

      Wow. I thought Tennessee fans were bad. Auburn fans are totally delusional.

      December 1, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark2078991

      If Cam Newton is cleared, then why did Alabama get the sanctions. A booster paid Albert Means high school coach to tell him to go to Alabama. it because no money was transfered? I dont get this ruling.

      December 1, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • jeff peaden

      so you as an auburn fan are stating that Newton and Means are one in the same in what they did, but auburn paid more so it's okay? That makes sense to me, glad you explained that for all of the auburn fans like myself. let the man play and the ncaa needs to back off usc and give bush his heisman back. if not then the ncaa is only trying to keep tcu out of the championship game. with out us aginst oregan then it would be tcu.

      December 1, 2010 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. USCwins

    eventually auburn will be punish worst than usc was .
    cam is just the tip of the iceberg .

    December 1, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      Looks as though Cam Newton got caught in this a quid-pro-quo: I'll attend Auburn if you give my dad $150k while I'm still in high school...Reggie Bush also got caught in a quid-pro-quo: I'll let you represent me and my marketing interests after I turn pro if you give my parents $300k while I'm still an undegrad.

      December 1, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sith Happens

      Ed, exactly where is that money again?

      December 1, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. c4al

    L Glad to know you know which team I pull for. I'm just not a childish fan that hates another team just becase they are our rivalry.

    December 1, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • len

      It's not hard to hate Auburn this year. Look at the injuries racked up on their opponents this season. Dirty birds. Auburn has made serious enemies in college football. Cam is Cam. You only have to read his background to understand that his Dad may take the rap but he knew full well what was going on. Auburn fans will ask for proof of the specific allegations and ignore the rest.

      Go South Carolina. Go Oregon. Do what you must to put these dirty birds in a cage.

      December 1, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sith Happens

      Lamichael James, on the other hand, now there's a saint. You keep burying your own head in the sand, and let us bury ours.

      December 1, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Steve

    You have to be a fool to believe that Cam Newton's father acted without Cam's knowledge. The NCAA is swallowing that line for the money the will reap from Auburn being in the BCS championship. Hopefully the Heisman voters will choose someone else.

    December 1, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Southeast7

      I agree.

      December 1, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angie

      I totally agree...Scam Newton knew.... NCAA has no choice but turn a blind eye to this because, if he were out of Saturdays game...USC could potentially win...thus making the BCS championship Oregon vs TCU.... and the BCS DOES NOT want that to happen because those teams don't have the strength of a schedule to warrant that and people would have even more issue with the bowl system worse than when there was Co-champions.

      December 1, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dean

      And just what extra money is the NCAA going to reap because Auburn is playing in the championship game instead of say Wisconsin or even Idaho?

      December 1, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • ron

      why will the ncaa get more money if auburn is in the nc? that doesn't make any sense.

      December 1, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Better TV ratings = more $. If not this year then in next contract.

      December 1, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • jeff peaden

      your right and this sith happens dude needs to know that the oregan running back was suspended for his miss step, cam hasn't paid for any of his wrong doings. i would have rather we done this without cam, this makes the whole thing seem and look cheap. chizik gat booed when he came here is this why? is this the kind of coach we hired?

      December 1, 2010 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Imanangryman

    So Cam didn't know what his father was doing? Anyone remember why he had to leave U of Fla? There is a story that should be remembered. Why can't CNN included this little bit of info in their stories? This completes the picture of what a great guy Cam really is.

    December 1, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sith Happens

      Because of federal privacy laws, perhaps?

      December 1, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. holtram

    Auburn at some point is going to have to forfeit its entire season, then how will the NCAA look?

    December 1, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Hartselle94

    Good!! I got tired of hearing random sports writers report bogus stories about Cam Newton. The NCAA ruled him eligible and should have. War Eagle to all the Auburn fans.

    December 1, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. mslman71

    I'm going to play judge jury and executioner and pretend like I know what really happened and render my decision. Insert nonsense here.

    December 1, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ron

    Both Auburn University and Miss State came out of this thing smelling like roses. Finally, a couple of universities that live up to a tradition of integrity. Great job!

    December 1, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terry - Indiana

      This issue is happening every year at many schools that keep it swept under the rug. Ask USC Officials about their program.

      December 1, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Who Let the Dogs Out?

    Something doe'nt smell right! How can the father and his mysterious friend possibly market the kid without his knowledge? Seems quite shady and unfinished. What about it NCAA?

    December 1, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • ron

      Easy. Let me show you how it's done. I've chosen a 5-star high school player...let's call him Jim. I then decided to go to any elite school and ask for $500K to let Jim play there. Now I don't even know Jim. I'm just trying to get $500K. The school either pays me or says no. That's how it's done. Very simple.

      December 1, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Southeast7

      Very simple, Ron? Very unlikely.

      December 1, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Diana

      One thing about your analogy. You do know Jim because Jim is your son!

      December 1, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      BUT....and it's a very big but, Cam Newton said in an interview back in September that his Dad decided where he would go, to me that would mean that even if Cam didn't know about the solicitation the only reason he is playing at Auburn is because they were willing to pay.

      December 1, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sith Happens

      Happens in Hollywood all the time. Why is it such a stretch to think it could never happen in sports?

      December 1, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • skyg-30

      @Ron. exactly. The first thing I thought was that Kenny Rogers had devised a plan to get free money. If MSU paid a deposit, who would they complain to if Cam didn't sign with them? Cam would have never known. Rogers could have had knowledge that Cam was leaning heavily towards MSU and decided to take advantage.

      Next, Rogers could have approached Cecil Newton with the notion of getting paid without Cam's knowledge.

      Think about this, if you think that Cam has done this before, wouldn't Florida be implicated now? Alabama? "Let's not go into the rabbit hole" is probably what the NCAA has decided. They won't like what they find.

      If Cam had a history of demanding pay for play then how did Florida land him when they had Tebow in the fold? How did Florida get Tebow when Alabama was about to name a building for Tebow (just joking a little bit, maybe) just to get him to sign. Don't give me that Tim wanted to be a Gator all his life thing. That's BS. Whoever had the best package on signing day got the player. It's just that simple.

      I'm not saying that Cam Newton is totally innocent, but there were ways for people to gain without his knowledge

      December 1, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. david

    Another cover-up. This is totally unfair. The NCAA just swepted it under the rug because it was too realistic. The money that came to all this to happen, again the money play a part in the outcome of this investagtion. Shame on the NCAA

    December 1, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Keith

    Come on folks, the colleges make millions if not billions of dollars off of these players. This is BIG business. Don't be so naive to the fact dirty transactions happens all the time. There are so many under the table/back door deals it would make your head spin if you knew the truth. In the case of Cam, I'm sure his dad wanted a piece of the pie that he very well knows exist. He was probably rolled on by another college that is upset that Cam did not come there for the said price. If Auburn was losing or having a mediocre season. If Cam was not a Heisman candidate this story would have NEVER come out.

    December 1, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      I think the exact opposite, If Auburn was not undefeated and number 1 in the country then he would be suspended indefinitely. The fact that Newton is the single biggest star in the country on the best team in the country brings in TV ratings and advertising dollars to the SEC and NCAA so what Auburn potentially paid Newton to play is peanuts compared to what the NCAA and SEC will make if he is eligible for the SEC championship and bowl game. The NCAA doesn't want more egg on their face after the Reggie Bush incident this past summer so they are willing to brush it under the rug just like they did for USC years ago. If they can delay the inevitable until after the money has been made then the only thing the school, conference and NCAA lose is their integrity and that doesn't hit their bottom line so who cares!

      Once again amateur athletics comes down to money, something needs to change I just don't know what?

      December 1, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • ron

      come on guys, the ncaa doesn't need auburn or usc or florida or anyone else to reap millions of dollars. college football is the national pastime these days. oregon and boise state could play in the NC game and the dollars would still be there. i would watch it and so would every other college football fan.

      December 1, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Terry - Indiana

    All of the sports analysts who shot off their mouth without factual information must feel really stupid right about now.

    December 1, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wow

      No...unfortunately as you can tell from reading these posts, they continue to insist that they can "smell" the truth after reading a bunch of blogs.

      December 1, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Price

      Why should they feel stupid? They reported speculation that is now known as the truth per the NCAA. Just because the NCAA did not follow their own rules does not make it any less true. He got away with it. End of story.

      December 1, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. fiskenmann

    Great!!! Glad it's over so we can shove him off with the rest of the convicts in the NFL.

    December 1, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. D9

    Classic "no smoking gun" outcome. The NCAA couldn't find a paper trail or incriminating piece of evidence to at least tie the athlete and/or the school to a violation.

    Did this all go down as has been described? Probably yes, but without the direct evidence, there's nothing to account for. So move, folks. Auburn will be judged on the field as we all expected.


    December 1, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
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