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. Tino

    what a joke!

    December 1, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kiki

    Just remember, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

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

      Tell that to Mark Ingram.

      December 1, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. poople

    This is a travesty, but does not come as a surprise. Auburn have had plenty of time to cover their tracks (if there are any), and Rev. Newton was certainly acting as a representative of the "student athlete," not just making deals on his own that he could not deliver on. Since paid agents are not allowed under NCAA rules, this sort of thing happens, with family members playing the role of agent for top recruits. There was clearly some pretty serious stuff going on here but the NCAA won't do anything to sacrifice any $$$ by allowing TCU into the championship game, or by suspending Auburn's leader since he is absolutely necessary if they are to beat Oregon.
    They know the level of outrage felt over turning a blind eye to cheating will fade faster than the outrage of imposing heavy but justified penalties involving top teams. More evidence that the NCAA is about money and maintaining the status quo of the top teams and conferences, not fair play among student-athletes.

    December 1, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Courtney

      This is not a conspiracy to keep TCU out of the BCS Championship game. You need to check your facts. Newton's father tried to solicit money from Mississippi State not Auburn so I'm not sure what "tracks" Auburn would try and cover up. Besides Auburn University and the SEC knew about the allegations against Newton since July and that is a fact. Auburn would never risk recruiting Cam or playing him this season if they thought he was guilty of anything. Auburn's new basketball coach almost quit this year because his contract was so strict. As for the NCAA, I doubt they would "turn a blind eye" or make Cam eligible if there was any evidence against him. What people should really be caring about is how Cam's student records were released illegally by the University of Florida.

      December 1, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Susan

    so it's ok as long mom and dad take the money???????????????????????????????????????????????

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

      of course not. tracking the money is extremely easy. if money changed hands it would be found in about a week most likely. and if Auburn paid any money (or Miss St) then they would and should receive massive penalties. the fact is, folks, that neither university cheated...period. the NCAA would love to make an example out of Auburn right now. it would send a strong notice to all other programs (heisman trophy candidate, national championship candidate, etc). if they had evidence (which, again, would be quite easy to get) they would come down hard and they should come down hard. it's just not there.

      December 1, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sith Happens

      What money? You mean the money that was solicited from the school that Cam Newton didn't attend? I'm pretty sure they didn't pay it.

      December 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Stephen Tsukuda

    Good people need to stop picking on this boy. He did nothing wrong. Its like the samething with PRESIDENT OBAMA

    December 1, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • fiskenmann

      What do both have in common? Deceit and cover-up.

      December 1, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Nancy

    if this kid went to usc, he would have been suspended and the school banned from ANY postseason play. but because this is auburn, this kid gets away with the same thing reggie bush did. talk about a double standard, ncaa.

    December 1, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sith Happens

      Reggie Bush received extra benefits. Cecil Newton just talked about it. Big difference. Huge.

      December 1, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Randy

    The NCAA is as corrupt as any other organization. Don't try to tell me that Cam did not know what his father was doing. We all know that is bull. I also believe the NCAA won't let itself tolerate TCU being in the championship. They have looked the other way on this "pay for play" situation and are not applying the standards evenly. Not just on this case, but any case the NCAA takes up. The NCAA probably has an approval rating about even with the American Congress.

    December 1, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kat

    I'm going to play judge jury and executioner and pretend like I know what really happened and render my decision. Insert nonsense here. (true enough to be repeated)

    December 1, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Price

      You don't have to, the NCAA said it was TRUE. They made a choice not to do anything about it.

      December 1, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. LoyalTiger

    Reading through all of this hate-mongering and ignorant ramblings, I feel as though there should be some reminder put in place that though we see Cam as this man, who plays amazing football and can somehow magically be held accountable for his father's actions, we should remember that though he make look like an adult, he is NOT an adult and therefore cannot be held responsible for what the adults in his life do. He has no control over his father's actions, just as I have none over my father and mother. The fact is that some parents want what is best for their children and go about in the best way possible of doing that. Some parents are selfish morons who do not.

    I would also like to point out that as an Auburn fan I have spent a large portion of my life over-shadowed by the left side of the state and honestly I am okay with that. We have a good team this year, arguably the BEST team and I am so proud that these amazing young men have risen above all of this nonsense to play like true champions.

    I am also unsure as to why Alabama fans believe they are so much better than us and we are the "poor" side of the state... We graduate more players, more of our graduates go on to graduate school (myself included, Harvard) and we are able to provide more substantial scholarships. (We also have more astronauts than any school in the country doctors everywhere would mourn the loss of their golf courses and the beautiful grass that was developed at our "Cow College") It has often confused me how people that are such die-hard "Bama fans" have never graduated high school, much less attended the University itself. Bama fans are tearing down our state with what they say about our team, without realizing that a championship win is a win for them too. I cheer on every SEC school in their bowl game, because I understand the monetary value and the prestige it brings to our conference that I truly adore.

    Hate all you will. " I believe in Auburn and love it!"

    December 1, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      I agree 100% Whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty"? They wanted him to be guilty so bad that they don't want to believe it now that he is not. It's downright shameful.

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

      One point....Cam is 21 so by all legal means he's an adult. Much younger men than he have conducted themselves more honorably than he has.

      December 1, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • fiskenmann

      "....and ignorant people that are such die-hard "Bama fans" have never graduated high school....understand the monetary value and the prestige it brings to our conference that I truly adore. "....LOLOLOL!!! Sounds like you're doing the same to me!!!!

      December 1, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Southeast7

      Well, I guess I have to agree about the Bama fans, but your little end around doesn't alter the fact the Cam's father profited off of his son, and to say that Cam (esp. given his history) didn't know about it and didn't participate in it is laughable.

      December 1, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • majbrand

      I understand fully that you are a loyal Auburn fan and proud of your university, but yours is the most ignorant post ever written. Your "little sis" inferiority complex is very evident. You understand, like all Auburn fans, that your school will always be the Polytechnical College in the other side of Alabama. Unlike your assumption, most of my family graduated from THE University of Alabama. But, we do not feel the need to put down your school. Auburn is one of the most penalized schools in the NCAA, that is a fact. Also a fact is that Alabama had absolutely nothing to do with Cam Newton's problems. For the most part, Alabama fans don't waste their time and energy paying attention to your school. So get your hatred and ignorance in check before you portray yourself as aloyal SEC fan.

      December 1, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Free the Leaf

    December 1, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joe

    I'd like to know how ol' Thayer Evans feels since he is the one that pretty much spearheaded this attempted hatchet job.

    December 1, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bill Duke

    So the precedent set is that you can maintain eligibility so long as you claim that you don't know or don't admit to a parent pimping you. to schools. Question: Did NCAA prove that Reggie Bush knew?

    How about is a school's trainer gives an NCAA athlete a "vitamin" that's actually a steroid or other banned substance and player takes it...I guess that's OK, too. Hey, the player “didn't know”..Right?

    December 1, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sith Happens

      The athlete doesn't HAVE to know if benefits were actually given, as was the case with Reggie Bush. Whether Cam knew or not, if it is discovered that any money was actually given to any of his friends or family by Auburn or Auburn's representatives, he will be declared ineligible and wins will be vacated. But at this point, the only thing known is that extra benefits were discussed, not received (at Mississippi State, not Auburn) and Cam had no knowledge of it.

      December 1, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sagebrush Shorty

    NCAA is just a college version of the NAACP. Both are practically useless and always tend to blame someone other than the real culprits.

    December 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. kappadon

    The Reason most players stay in SEC schools for 4 years is they make more money playing in college than they would turning pro

    December 1, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. @fiskenmann

    What educated adult uses "LOL" to such an extent? Also, a rambling would include the excessive use of ellipses and fragmented sentences.

    December 1, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
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