Cam Newton was (thankfully) named eligible Wednesday afternoon after an NCAA investigation found that Cam did not know of his father's violations. They also found that no money ever changed hands between Cecil and Mississippi State boosters.
It's SEC Championship Week (Unless you're reading this after the game has been played, but I digress). It's a little weird to be talking about this before a game featuring one program looking to win the SEC's fifth-straight national championship and the other program trying to shake off over 100 years of mediocrity with an SEC Title and Sugar Bowl berth.
But I feel rather compelled to say this: Those of you who think the Cameron Newton verdict will open a door for parents to receive benefits without their kids' knowledge are not thinking correctly.
USC's Athletic Director Pat Haden was shocked by the Newton ruling, saying Cam and Reggie Bush had the same situation and only Reggie was punished.
First of all, Pat, remember which school Bush and USC screwed out of a BCS title game in 2004?
Secondly, these two scenarios are not just alike. Reggie Bush did have knowledge of this—different from Cam. Bush's relatives received improper benefits. Newton's father did not receive any cash, he only solicited it.
What door could possibly be opened by this?
For one, it's not like this is the first time a parent has tried to receive money for their kid without their knowledge. It's simply that Cam is the most high-profile player ever to be caught in such a situation.
Also, if no money changed hands, then what are we arguing about? "My kid will come to your school if you give me money. But don't give me money, I'm only soliciting." It would obviously be a waste of time to purposely solicit money while knowing you're not getting any.
No door is opened by this, but you had better believe the NCAA is about to change some rules about this. The solicitation of benefits is technically not a violation, and that's on the NCAA.
Cam was ruled eligible, as he should have been. He's innocent and he is not his father. Mark Ingram is the farthest thing from his father, and so is Cam Newton.
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