He's arguably the best player in college football today, with a strong arm and blazing speed.
Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton ranks third in the nation with a 172.6 passer rating and fourth in the Football Bowl Subdivision with 1,122 rushing yards.
Additionally, Newton has either run or passed for 29 touchdowns this season with three games remaining.
However, Newton's Heisman hopes this season may be dashed after ex-Mississippi State quarterback John Bond told ESPN that Newton was represented by Elite Football Preparation, owner of football camps around the country.
The ESPN report alleges that Elite Football Preparation representative Kenny Rogers offered Newton to schools for a $200,000 fee—illegal under NCAA rules.
While Newton seems to be the clear front runner for the Heisman, getting in hot water with the NCAA may severely damage his chances of getting the trophy.
If the New York Athletic Club were to pick Newton this season over other deserving candidates, it would set a double standard in contrast with Reggie Bush returning his 2005 Heisman earlier this year—even if Bush's return was voluntary.
As for Newton, it seems likely that he would enter the NFL Draft at the conclusion of this season to evade a possible suspension for next season—if he isn't ruled ineligible by the end of the current season.
It would be a shame to have one of the most impressive seasons in NCAA history cut short by factors that Newton could have controlled. He didn't have to seek representation from Elite Football Preparation but chose to do so anyway.
While Auburn continues its run toward its first-ever BCS National Championship bid, it seems likely that Newton's possible issues may overshadow even a Coaches' Trophy.
Thoughts? Comment below.
Ryan Papaserge is a junior Journalism/Mass Communication student at St. Bonaventure University and a writing intern at Bleacher Report.
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