As most of you know, Cameron Newton, starting quarterback for Auburn, has been involved in a couple of scandals so far this year, the largest of which being the recruiting scandal involving him and his father.
It has been reported that Cameron Newton (or his father) petitioned payment from schools for the playing services of the starting quarterback.
The NCAA, in traditional fashion, conducted a slow, and ultimately inconclusive investigation that resulted in practically nothing. Cameron Newton was suspended for less than 24 hours before he was reinstated.
The excuse for all of this? That the recruiting violations were perpetrated by his father without the knowledge of Cameron.
How ridiculous does that seem to you? Because it sounds a bit off to me.
It seems difficult to believe that something like this could be happening while the actual player is completely ignorant of the processes.
While the entire details of the investigation are somewhat unclear, the excuse given by the NCAA seems to be a bit contrived, an excuse for them to keep the most exciting player in college football on the field. Makes sense, right? The more Cam Newton plays, the better the TV ratings and thus the better the revenue.
Sad, but possibly true.
Someone had the guts to stand up and say something about it, though. A few days ago, ACC commissioner John Swofford came out to speak against this ruling, saying that it betrayed a double standard in the NCAA, and that it was only a slippery slope to a future breakdown of the rules.
Swofford has a point. What kind of message is the NCAA sending by ruling Cam Newton ineligible for less than 24 hours? This kind of action is exactly what they don't want to be taking in the midst of a crackdown on recruiting violations. This says that if you attract enough attention, you are untouchable.
So props to you, John Swofford. Thank you for saying what everyone else who doesn't go to Auburn wants to say.
But wait, the plot thickens!
Today, SEC commissioner Mike Slive came out today to say that the NCAA made the proper ruling on Cameron Newton.
As we all expected, Slive cited the fact that there is no definitive evidence that Cam Newton knew what was going on, and that Auburn was involved in a pay-to-play type scandal.
The unfortunate part about all of this? In all likelihood, Cam Newton will end up winning the Heisman. Should the NCAA choose to continue their investigation after this season, and come up with a full case, then another Heisman may end up being vacated. Oh yeah, and Auburn will forfeit their wins. Which could include the National Championship.
Thousands of college football fans are face-palming right now.
Honestly, though, the ruling of the NCAA and the comments by SEC commissioner Mike Slive show a serious lack of integrity. They show that money plays, even in college, and that they will do what it takes to protect the mighty dollar. Even if the ruling ends up being correct, and Cam Newton is completely innocent, wouldn't it have sent the right message if the NCAA or Auburn University were to take some sort of action during the investigation process?
Sighs of frustration abound.
This is wrong. So wrong. If the NCAA wants to stop this sort of thing from happening, they need to get serious about this kind of stuff. If conferences are serious about keeping these kinds of scandals away from them, commissioners like Mike Slive need to publicly condemn these kinds of actions. If schools want to take a stand against recruiting violations from the ground up, they need to take disciplinary actions.
Keep this whole issue in mind, ladies and gentlemen, because something tells me that this isn't over. When Newton goes out for the NFL, expect the gears to start spinning on a renewed investigation.