Should Cam Newton get the Heisman?

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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 His first non-fiction work is at the publisher now and he has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: Heisman trophy,Cam Newton,NCAA,Investigation,Mel Kiper,ESPN,Auburn,National Champiionship game,BCS Championship game,Oregon,NCAA Rules
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Should Former USC RB Reggie Bush be stripped of his Heisman trophy?

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Yahoo sports is reporting that the Heisman committee will strip Reggie Bush of his trophy by the end of September. According to my sources, no vote has been taken by the committee yet but there have been discussions about the issue.


There is not question that he and his parents received benefits that would have made him ineligible to play under NCAA rules. The Heisman bylaws say that the player must be eligible to play in order to be considered for the award. While Bush was eligible, had the NCAA known about the housing and other benefits that he and his family received, he would not have been.

His actions or failure to prevent actions of those around him have caused his school irreparable harm by suspension of bowl opportunities and loss of scholarships. His actions caused those that followed him to USC to pay for his indiscretions.

Pete Carroll, the former HC of the Trojans now that he slipped out of town to Seattle and the NFL, claims he knew nothing about it. Ditto by former Athletic Director Mike Garrett. I have to wonder about that. While my semi-pro teams never had 100 players, in the first few weeks of coaching them, I knew where they lived, what they did for a living, and had met most of their families. That was particularly true of my top players. Bush was a top recruit and was part of the USC team for 4 years and neither had a clue seems doubtful. They have to assume part of the blame for what happened to the program.


Had he used performing enhancing drugs, his abilities on the field would have been artificially improved. But he did not. To everyone’s knowledge, he used his own natural talent to establish the statistics that won him the award. Had there been a hint of PEDs, he should be stripped of any awards that resulted from the use of those drugs.

The vast majority of the value of the illegal benefits were in the form of free rent for his parents. However, the NCAA report identified gifts to Bush including paid hotel stays and the expensive suit he wore to the Heisman award show.

The Heisman committee has never stripped a player of the award including O.J. Simpson who was implicated in the murders of 2 people and convicted of robbery and kidnapping. How could they take Bush’s trophy and not O.J.’s?

My opinion:

Take it back. I say that not because I think that he didn’t earn it but just because I dislike USC and want to see their nose rubbed in it a little more.

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 He has also published several novels on

and edits .

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