The winner of the 2010 Heisman Trophy is Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton. However, some controversy comes with this selection.
The Heisman Trophy is an award designed to honor the greatest amateur athlete in college football. Newton, as you may recall, was investigated by the NCAA on allegations of a pay-for-play scandal, something that rocked the college football world when the reports first surfaced. The NCAA closed the investigation, saying that Newton's amateur status was compromised by his father Cecil Newton; however, since Cameron Newton was supposedly unaware of the scheme, he was deemed eligible by the NCAA for the SEC Championship Game.
My philosophy on choosing a Heisman winner under the aforementioned situation is that if the player's amateur status is compromised in any way, shape or form, then that player should not be eligible to become a Heisman finalist.
The NCAA created a controversial precedent by allowing Newton to continue participating in the college football season, despite themselves admitting that his amateur status was in question. I will not be surprised if his Heisman is eventually vacated, similar to Reggie Bush.
If it turns out that Newton was aware of the scandal, then the NCAA will forever be known as a, frankly, hypocritical business.
Newton's amateur status will continue to be a topic of debate in the coming years and if his Heisman is eventually vacated, then it will all trace back to the NCAA's controversial decision to reinstate Newton in the first place.
The NCAA's credibility is not the cleanest of reputations, but if fallout comes from Newton's Heisman Trophy, then the Heisman Trophy Trust will be unfairly persecuted as a result and that will be extremely disappointing if that occurs. I am hoping that Newton was unaware of the scandal, but as of now I am having a hard time believing that.