Cameron Newton Cheated at Florida, Does Anyone Really Care?

Paul CatalanoContributor IINovember 9, 2010

Is anyone really shocked he cheated?
Is anyone really shocked he cheated?

So everybody's All-American and probable Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton allegedly cheated on some tests while at Florida.! I am shocked! Shocked I say!

Come on. In the biggest open lie since John Gotti claimed to be an electrician, the news that college sports is not on the up-and-up, and that "student-athletes" are really not "students," shouldn't come as a shock to anyone.

And for the most part, does anyone really care?

This is the main point, not that he cheated, or stole computers or whatever. ESPN will lead with it on its front page, the NCAA will promise a "full investigation" and Auburn might have to forfeit a few wins. But Newton will leave for the NFL and nothing important will really happen. 

And you know why? Because nobody wants the system to change. The fact that these student-athletes don't go to class, get paid under the table and are bulletproof when they break university (and in some cases, societal) laws is just par for the course in the system we have today. 

And for the right people, the system works. The universities, networks, promoters and the cities that get bowl games all get truckloads of money off the student-athlete system. So the system stays as is.

Every once in a while, a player will get busted for not attending classes. Or for accepting money from an agent. Or for stealing answers. Or a computer. Or whatever. The NCAA will act shocked and start an investigation and ESPN will make a big stink of it for a couple of days, but nothing will happen.

Just ask Reggie Bush.

Everyone knows that this is the way the system works. People expect athletes to not do real college schoolwork and get paid under the table. If an athlete of Cam Newton's ability generates the kind of money he does—for CBS, Auburn and the BCS bowl system—why would he not want some of what he generated?

Would he want to go to a Calculus class on Monday morning? Why would he, when he clearly knows he's a first-round pick whenever he comes out?

This is not to condone Newton's actions. This is just to say, stop pretending to be shocked and outraged whenever a collegiate athlete is caught acting in this manner.

With the system in place now for student-athletes, this kind of behavior goes on all the time and everyone knows it. It will keep happening until the system changes.

Don't hold your breath waiting for that.