When you Google "Cecil Newton," what are the words you are most likely to find?
Likely, words like Pay-for-Play, Cheat, Scandal, $180,000 and Money. Despite the fact that very few people know exactly what happened in the pay-for-play scandal, the Newton family name has been dragged through the mud.
Is it fair? Is it unfair? We don't know.
But there's no doubt that the name "Newton" has a bad reputation for a majority of college football fans.
Cecil Newton, father of former Auburn star QB, Cam Newton, was involved in a pay-for-play scheme that became highly popularized in early November, 2010. As Cam was racking up the stats and the wins, Cecil was the one grabbing the headlines.
When Cam was coming out of JUCO, after leading Blinn to the national title, Cecil tried to get money for Cam to sign with one of his leading schools, allegedly Mississippi State, without his son's knowledge. Several boosters, including John Bond and Kenny Rogers, were involved. He asked the Bulldogs' boosters for $180,000 for his son to sign with Dan Mullen's squad.
Eventually the plan fell apart, with allegedly no money changing hands and Cam Newton signed with Auburn.
The NCAA is investigating the issue and has been doing so since July, but (surprise, surprise) the investigation didn't become public until Auburn had won its ninth game in as many tries and had reached the No. 1 ranking in the BCS standings.
Cecil Newton now has an image of being a crook and a money-hungry pimp. According to Cam, who Cecil allegedly tried to "sell" to Mississippi State, those remarks are unwarranted, inappropriate and simply untrue.
Cam, who won the Heisman Trophy and led his team to a 14-0 season and a BCS National Championship in his only season at Auburn University, told ESPN that if he were to ever have a child, he would be the same kind of parent Cecil is.
"Me and my father have had long talks a lot of times during this past year," Cam said. "It was extremely hard for me to see a person who was extremely influential in my life to be tarnished in the media."
Cam continued, "Through it all, me and my father still had an excellent relationship."
"What brought me comfort at night through that time was talking to him and seeing the confidence that he had in his voice," Newton said.
Newton is projected to be the No. 1 pick of the Carolina Panthers in the upcoming NFL draft and despite that fact, he is still a huge target by the media. Whether it's ESPN, FOX, NFL Network or even our beloved Bleacher Report, Newton is a punching bag for the media.
Despite this, Cam Newton and his father Cecil couldn't be any closer.