Cameron Newton has just been presented with the 2010 Heisman Trophy, and this Auburn Tigers quarterback's success has been met with mixed emotions for the better part of this college football season.
Earlier this year, Newton was surrounded by allegations concerning his father, Cecil Newton, attempting to solicit his son’s talents to Mississippi State University in an attempt to work out a "play-for-play" deal with the team.
After the NCAA investigated this matter, the governing body did indeed find evidence to suggest that Cecil Newton had made attempts to obtain money from Mississippi State, but Cameron Newton himself has remained eligible both to play for the Auburn Tigers and to be considered for the Heisman Trophy.
Yes, Cecil Newton has cast a dark shadow over his son's success, but is Cameron Newton's legacy ruined?
According to ESPN, Newton has already been left off the Football Writers Association of America's All America team, which was released earlier today. Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore was given the team's top spot.
While I understand voters' concerns about Newton's questionable ethics, I also find it hard to believe that many voters would actually rather have Moore play quarterback for their teams.
I know I wouldn't.
The Auburn Tigers finished their 2009 season with an 8-5 record and an appearance in the Outback Bowl. This season, Auburn climbed from a No. 22 preseason ranking to the No. 1 spot in the country and a shot at a national title.
None of this would have been possible without the outstanding athletic ability of Newton.
Some Heisman Trophy voters have expressed their decisions to give their votes to someone other than Newton based on off-field behavior, and I think they need a little reminder:
The most prestigious award in college football is based on pure talent. The winner of the Heisman Trophy is not required to be the “most valuable” player on any given team.
He is also not required to be an ethics poster boy.
The Heisman Trophy Trust states that the Heisman Trophy is to be awarded to "an individual who deserves designation as the most outstanding college football player in the United States."
So which college football player best fits that description?
Scandal or no scandal, Newton has been the best player in college football this season, and he should be remembered as such.