2011 BCS Championship Game logo2011 BCS Championship Game

Cecil Newton: He'll Be At BCS Championship, but Will He Be a Distraction?

Photo: Bob Rosato/Sports Illustrated
Photo: Bob Rosato/Sports Illustrated
Ryan FallerAnalyst IJanuary 10, 2011

Cecil Newton will have to split his airtime with the action on the field during Monday night’s BCS National Championship.

The father of Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, Cecil Newton is expected to be in attendance when Auburn faces Oregon at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., and will undoubtedly stand out as perhaps the most high-profile spectator other than the sporadic sighting of an A-list celebrity.

Unfortunately for Auburn, the NCAA, and college football in general, the elder Newton has become somewhat of a celebrity in his own right over the past few months. He was recently found to have accepted more than $150,000 for his son’s recruitment by Mississippi State, and has since been limited in his access to the Auburn football program.

Which means he won’t be a distraction, at least not for the players or coaches. And certainly not for Cam Newton, who lamented his father’s absence at the Heisman Trophy presentation last month.

If Cam Newton’s nerves are less frayed because his father is in attendance, so be it. Maybe it even benefits Auburn.

I can’t say the same for those of us who will be watching the broadcast of the game, which will be inundated by shots of the elder Newton’s mug and sound tracked by a rehashing of what he did wrong and how the NCAA fumbled away its chance to right a wrong, instead of creating a huge loophole.

So, yeah, in that regard, he will be a distraction.

Enjoy the game, Cecil. Thanks a lot.

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