For Cam Newton, Heisman Is on the Line, but Remains Top in Campaign

Bleacher ReportSenior Analyst INovember 6, 2010

This has been a horrible college football season, overshadowed like never before by all the NCAA infractions and allegations involving popular names to stain a noteworthy season.

Between the fraudulent scandals and unsound formula in a watchful sport we are blinded to the positives in the game, particularly startled by the latest misstep circling Cam Newton, a frontrunner in the Heisman campaign, who is reportedly under investigation.

The latest accusations centers Newton ranked as the top-notch quarterback in the nation with arguably the deepest threat in the country. But almost simultaneously, the Auburn Tigers are causing anxiety not only for a storied program, but the SEC conference where the university poses as a problem.

Although it seems that the Tigers are unbeatable in a season when they might be on the verge to the national title scene with Newton’s rushing ability almost owning identical numbers as Oregon’s LaMichael James, he’s embroiled in an unpleasant debate while his team is on a possible run for a BCS berth.

The brand of scandals in the past makes it hard to believe anything that surface into headlines, and the latest hearsay in regards of portraying corruption is an report. As early as Thursday, it was clearly glaring allegations that Kenneth Rogers, a former Mississippi State player who claimed to be representing former recruit Newton, sought payments from Mississippi State to sign with the school.

If there is some truth that an associate of the Newton family begged in seeking payments for Newton to enroll at Mississippi State, the brightest star midway in the season could frankly jeopardize his eligibility.

If there is some truth that he foolishly accepted any improper benefits, it could presumably cost the junior quarterback his shot at claiming the Heisman award. The state of this crisis is unknown, although Newton’s father, Cecil, denied the allegations and said that nobody represented his family.

“It’s not true,” Newton’s father said Thursday night. “The allegations are completely unfounded, and we’ve retained an attorney. That’s all I can say at this time.”

We’ll soon find out whether this is a lie or true. Until then, he’s stuck in a lingering predicament with his fame and fortune in jeopardy, including earning the stiff-armed award. For what all seems inevitable, he is still highly regarded to be given the award and has been described as the most immaculate, athletic star this season.

It’s unfortunate that a dark cloud hovers infamously over a stellar Auburn season, a moment when the young stars are having an immediate impact on a program in conversations for clinching a BCS berth.

“I will say this very loud and clear,” Auburn coach Gene Chizik said Thursday night. “Cam Newton is eligible at Auburn University. Period. End of story.”

Normally, if a player’s eligibility is drawing uncertainty, the university decides to bench him until the problem is resolved. From this scenario, though, the Tigers national title hopes can dwindle by benching Newton.

All season, he has been the centerpiece in a high-powered offense, guiding a paramount team into the national landscape, increasingly uplifting the relevancy at a university with sturdy offensive weapons and a coach in the running for a national coach of the year award.  

As of now, it’s not telling what Rogers demanded of Auburn in regards of manipulating Newton’s motive of opting to enroll elsewhere. In many ways, Newton has been far superior among elite quarterbacks this season, single-handedly keeping Auburn in good position to bid for the BCS national title game.

At this point, he has the versatility and agility as a passer and scrambler and has thus far compiled outstanding numbers each week.

If it was ever glaring evidence, he would absolutely be perceived differently as not only a player, but a person. The SEC, by all standards, is universally verified as the toughest conference in college football, and it would be a misguided theory to discount Newton’s success on the field, despite yet another unfortunate, unbearable accusation.

But now, the scorching news across the NCAA is Newton. Not surprisingly, he is the talk, but surprisingly we are not talking about his 1,500 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing while amassing 30 touchdowns.

Instead, on the other hand, we are talking about an ugly scandal that continuously causes havoc at an illustrious university. In terms of history that has been engraved in the SEC this season alone, he is clearly the most dazzling quarterback in the deepest conference ever.  

What’s more, he’s a priceless piece in Auburn’s framework, posing as an efficient and productive star in the South and traditionally building upon a legacy at a famous program. The folksy people in parts of the smaller towns near Auburn are embracing Newton, confident that he can lead the Tigers to an unbeaten season and play on the biggest stage.

Though some are frowning and remain worried about the uncertainty of the pending allegations, he is still a likable athlete and has bloomed as a local icon in a community embracing its football.

About a few weeks ago, you could have argued that he wasn’t worthy of the Heisman. But apparently he’s clearly worthy of winning the Heisman, particularly if his name is cleared of any infractions. He’s the spotless athlete everyone loves to appreciate.

Like the rest of us, he’s denying the allegations but is concerned with leading his teammates during a season of improbability. Maybe he’ll win the Heisman by a large margin, when he has carried the ball 168 times for 14 touchdowns and has been on pace to emerge as the second player in NCAA history to pass for 20 touchdowns and rush for 20 touchdowns in one season.

Maybe they cannot play without Newton, who truly believes he has done nothing wrong and has been honest since the accusations were acknowledged.

Now that he’s linked to the ugliest mess in football, he’s still one of the best in the game today. As for most fans, they are pretty skeptical and optimistic, reluctant in believing this ongoing saga.

With the Iron Bowl coming ever so quickly, the pending investigation can not only diminish his Heisman votes but also bring forth distractions in a pivotal meeting with Alabama and in the SEC championship game.

Then again, it may even inspire Newton to play a bit harder and come out with a different mentality.


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