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In a word NO! Not in my opinion. The Heisman committee wanted RB Reggie Bush to return his trophy because he was not eligible due to the benefits that his parents received during his career at USC. A guy I have a great deal of respect for–Mel Kiper–said yesterday on ESPN that anyone that voted against Newton because of the allegations against his father should lose their right to vote.
Mel, you are wrong on this one. There is every reason to vote against someone if their eligibility is in serious question. Had the NCAA done their job by finishing the investigation on time, this would not be an issue. Had the pinheads that write the NCAA Rules done their job, it would also not be an issue.
As those of you that read this site often know, the NCAA has no specific rule against play for pay. When asked about going pro, one Big 12 player commented that he was not looking forward to the cut in pay. That was a joke but the issue of the parents of players getting paid great sums of money is not.
Let me ask you the reader. If Pappa Newton asked 2 schools including Mississippi State for $180,000 in order to sign his son, do you really believe that Cam told his Dad “Gee Dad, forget the money. I REALLY want to play at Auburn for free.” I don’t either. Cecil Newton told each of the schools that have reported bribe requests that he said it would be “an issue of money” that would decide the boy’s final choice of colleges to attend. There were also quotes that reported CN saying “we got a better deal from Auburn.”
Now to the rules. The rule should be that any attempt by a family member to extort money from a university or booster constitutes a violation of the rules of fair competition. By rule, that player should be made ineligible for a year. If the parent or family member received money, the player should be permanently excluded from college eligibility. It should not matter if the student knew or not. The fact is that by the parent or family member getting money virtually guarantees that the student will have benefited unfairly from that payment.
Cam, if he is smart, will announce for the NFL and get out of Auburn while the getting is good. He will likely lose the Heisman and Auburn will end up forfeiting the National Championship if they beat Oregon. In any case I don’t want to hear anything about the press being “unfair” to Cam. We were not the ones that tried to bribe colleges. He needs to be held accountable for his father’s sins.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. His first non-fiction work is at the publisher now and he has also published several novels on
and edits .
- Does Cam Newton Deserve The Heisman? (black-and-right.com)
- Count one for Cam in Heisman race (nypost.com)
- Controversy haunts Cam Newton’s Heisman quest (thegrio.com)
- Cam Newton: The Odds-On Favorite for Tonight’s Heisman Ceremony (bleacherreport.com)