Auburn's Cameron Newton: Five Burning Questions For the Heisman Candidate
I've got few burning questions about this Cameron Newton situation. Funnily enough, it's not about whether Cameron Newton's Dad accepted money from the University of Auburn to bring Cameron Newton to Tigerland. It's not even about whether it actually happened.
1) Who were the universities responsible?
Quite honestly, who were the universities responsible for telling ESPN about the story in the first place? Who's got the axe to grind? Was it Florida and Mississippi State, who have been living in the shadow of Auburn this year? Or was it other schools?
2) Would the story have come out if Auburn had sucked?
We don't know, because Auburn's a much better team with Cam Newton than without him. Remember this though: Auburn has pretty much lived in the shadow of Alabama, Florida and LSU for years (it hasn't won an official National Championship since 1951, and only four SEC titles (but none since 2004, and before that one, in 1987).
Suddenly Auburn does well, and people get jealous. And after all the backbiting that goes on around recruiting time, SEC schools show that they can backbite like no other.
3) Why didn't this investigation happen behind closed doors?
The NCAA has GOT to do something about its compliance. These NCAA investigations are getting more public by the minute and becoming an embarrassment to college sports. Here's a suggestion for the NCAA: Why doesn't it spend some of the billions of dollars it makes in TV rights and apparel deals and put more into compliance. The system at the moment is a joke.
4) What happened to good old fashioned forgiveness?
We're going with Bill Plaschke on this: The Cameron Newton of "now" is not the Cameron Newton of "then".
At the University of Florida, he indulged in some other sports, which may have included laptop frisbee. Now, he's a model student who's comeback from the community colleges should be something we all smile about. Isn't America about forgiveness and second chances (unless of course you're on Death Row)? Why can't we just get on with this?
Cameron Newton's the kind of kid we all shout for. Sports journalists love to take people down. The Michael Oher was a situation that kicked in their faces. A kid with no prospects gets taken in and now plays in the NFL because of the goodness of a some Ole Miss-minded people? How is that NOT a good story, people!!
5) Why doesn't the NCAA change the rules?
It's quite easy: Pay the players. The NCAA should install a salary cap on each college which will cost schools a bowl game if they go over the salary cap. The kids who make their schools billions can now rest easy that they are getting some of the cash they so rightly deserve. After all, most of these players don't become NFL 'ballers so why not pay them now?
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