Cam Newton: The Auburn QB Already Found Guilty in the Court of Public Opinion

Todd KaufmannSenior Writer IDecember 1, 2010

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 26:  Quarterback Cam Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers celebrates their 28-27 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 26, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

For most of the day, I've seen just about every opinion out there about Auburn quarterback, Cam Newton. I've seen what fans and media alike have said and, for the most part, it's hard to disagree with a lot of it.

I have to say that this was really the first time I've been this torn on an issue. Probably because this is different than every other NCAA issue we've had in the past.

This isn't about a player meeting illegally with an agent, this isn't a player taking money from a booster and this isn't a player accepting a ride on a golf cart—also from an agent. This has to do with a player and a parent.

The Auburn quarterback is, as most have already said, the best player in college football right now. Most would also tell you that he has wrapped up the Heisman trophy award but could solidify his position with a convincing win over South Carolina in the SEC championship game.

However, it seems that the public's opinion has begun to shift and not in his favor. The public is ready to suspend the quarterback or find him ineligible for a situation that was brought about by his father. It's a situation that we don't have all the facts about just yet. And it's a situation that has and will be debated until the NCAA either finishes their investigation without result, or suspends him indefinitely.

This all began after rumors surfaced that Cam's father, Cecil Newton, tried to solicit money from former Mississippi State players as well as the University itself so to assure they would be the ones to have a letter of intent from his son.

Though those rumors have, for the most part, been turned into fact, it has started another debate about whether or not Cam Newton knew about his father's dealings.

You can find every opinion under the sun from every corner of the college football world from writers, to bloggers, to the every day fan. Everyone has something to say, most have the gavel in their hand and are ready to pass judgment on him.

For me, I'm not ready to do that just yet. I'm not ready to convict, or find innocent, a player when all the facts are not known.

I know there is frustration from fans of other schools, especially in the SEC and especially at Mississippi State, but it shouldn't be aimed at someone that we don't is guilty of anything other than having a father who is toying with his son's collegiate career.

I'm not ready to sit here and say what a lot of other fans have said. I'm certainly not ready to end a student athlete's season, or career, until I know exactly what he did or did not do.

Here's where my problem comes in.

On one hand, I can understand those that say things like "there's no way Cam Newton didn't know what his father was doing." I can also understand those who think people are naive for believing Cam did nothing wrong.

However, I can't help but wonder if most of these opinions are coming because of Newton's past? I can't help but wonder if these opinions have anything to do with a stolen laptop that Newton was in possession of? A laptop that he did not steal, but the law says you cannot be in possession of stolen property."

At this point, we don't know what is fact and what is fiction as far as Cam Newton is concerned. I know that you could say common sense would lead you to the conclusion that there's no way he didn't know what his dad was doing. It would lead you to come to the conclusion that Newton should be made ineligible.

That's not the conclusion that I've come to. The conclusion that I have, at this point in time, is to leave the Auburn quarterback alone until the NCAA can prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that he had everything to do with his father soliciting money.

The court of public opinion can find him guilty all they want, but the last time I checked, a courtroom is usually a place where you put evidence on the table that proves someone's guilt or innocence.

All we have at this point is assumptions and here say.

If we can put the bias aside and take this for what it is right now, it wouldn't lead to anything but allowing Newton to continue his college career and eventually raise the Heisman trophy in New York City.

The Tigers will have their star quarterback on the field this weekend in the SEC title game against South Carolina. No matter what anyone says and no matter what opinion you want to come to, the only way that changes is by a violation that leads the NCAA to suspend him.

Auburn is one game away from the national championship. They will get that win and face off against the Oregon Ducks for the biggest prize in college football.

So hand over the gavel, get down off the high horse some of you are riding and lets let the facts, or lack thereof, speak for themselves.


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