Did Cam Newton, Family Really Take Money? Frankly My Dear, I Don't Give a...

Dexter RogersCorrespondent INovember 26, 2010

AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 13:  Quarterback Cameron Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers celebrates after a touchdown against the Georgia Bulldogs at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 13, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Auburn Tigers are set to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide today in Tuscaloosa.  It plans to be an excellent game as Auburn seeks to stay number one and beat their arch rival on the road as they seek to ensure a berth in the BCS Championship game.

Enough of that: Let’s get to the real issue at hand.  We all have heard the array of allegations surrounding Heisman Trophy front-runner Cam Newton. 

Did Cam Newton’s father Cecil Newton allegedly attempt to broker a deal for $180,000 on behalf of his son so he could play at Mississippi St.?

Did Mr. Newton actually strike a deal with Auburn on behalf of his son?

If any of the latter is true, did Cam Newton at any point receive any money?

Is he really eligible to play?

The NCAA is conducting an investigation to see if they can get to the bottom of what actually transpired.  The FBI is involved as well to ascertain if there’s any truth to the assortment of allegations that have surfaced.  

My thoughts about this situation can be summed up from 1939 movie classic called Gone with the Wind where Clark Gable stated, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

That’s right.  I don’t give a damn whether he took money or not.

Why do I feel this way?

This situation isn’t about whether Cam or Cecil Newton allegedly solicited cash from Mississippi St., Auburn or anyone else:  The real issue is whether college athletes should be paid or not. 

Do you think if collegiate athletes were paid it would help eliminate athletes being on the take?

When the Reggie Bush fiasco broke out this summer, the discussion of athletes being paid should have been brought to the forefront.  Bush won the Heisman Trophy in 2005. He gave it back because of persistent pressure from the media. 

Bush pocketed over $300,000 dollars while at USC and his parents were living in a $750,000 home among other things.

Quite frankly, if I were in Bush’s shoes, I would have been on the take as well and here’s why.

At some point it has to register if you are the marquee player in all of college football and the BMOC (big man on campus) at USC that translates into dollars. 

Bush saw No. 5 jerseys everywhere.  Bush saw over 100 thousand fans chanting his name and wearing his jersey as he entertained them on the field.  Furthermore, it is my guess those fans didn’t get into the games for free-millions of dollars are generated in a stadium that big.

Bush saw Pete “Hollywood” Carroll making millions of dollars for coaching the team.   He saw Carroll command and get big dollars from endorsements companies, not to mention his radio and television gigs as well. 

After games, Carroll would eventually retire to his luxurious beach house and think about next weeks contest.

The university was cashing in big time too.  Television contracts, revenue from games and profit from bowl games appearances suggests USC was making out pretty well.

Then there is Bush-the student-athlete who gets an opportunity to pursue a degree yet no money. 

How could anyone in good conscious witness everyone around them getting paid yet the most critical component of the athletic experience get nothing?

Bush apologized for his actions.  I would have done no such thing.  If I were Bush I would have said, “Yeah, I was on the take. Now what?  It wasn’t fair to me, being the big man on campus, generating millions, and I couldn’t get any of it."

I would have continued, “I was on the take because my family needed it. I was on the take because the NCAA, my coach, and the university were getting their pockets lined.  I got tired of seeing my jerseys all over California, and not seeing a cent from that merchandising revenue.  In essence the system forced me to take the money.”

Bush should have talked about the atmosphere that is created which induces athletes to take money under the table.  It would have shined a brighter light on a long-standing problem of athletes not being compensated when they should.  

What the NCAA and the media are doing is attempting to make another example out of Newton.  The NCAA, a Non-For-Profit mind you, is attempting to keep the billions of dollars they rake in annually for themselves and not provide any of it to the source that is responsible for generating it.

The media keeps hammering everyone over the head with the tired message, “They (the athletes) are getting a scholarship and that should be enough.”


I know repetition is the mother of skill but illogical assertions repeated over time does not imply fact.  Therefore, the antiquated scholarship argument lacks logic and fails to address the real issues. 

The fundamental question is should the athletes who are responsible for generating the money have access to a portion of what they created?

There is enough money circulating to compensate athletes for their efforts over and beyond the meager scholarships they receive.  If there is enough money for Texas to pay Mack Brown $5 million dollars Cam Newton can get a thousand dollars per month over his scholarship.

At the beginning of the season Alabama head coach Nick Saban referred to agents having contact with NFL prospects as “pimps.”  That is the most hypocritical statement I have digested in recent memory.

Saban makes just over $4 million dollars per season for coaching Alabama not to mention his endorsements.  Saban goes into households all over the country to recruit players to make money for the university that pays him. 

Many of the athletes he coaches will never don an NFL uniform, therefore after the cheering stops, the party is usually over for the athlete.

So who are the real “pimps” here?

With respect to the Newton situation, if his father took money on his behalf from anyone, I would not have a problem with it. 

If Newton makes the money for the university by playing on Saturdays to buy the groceries, shouldn’t he be able consume a portion of the food once it’s cooked?

The concept of paying players just makes sense and here is how you do it.  The NCAA should appropriate a percentage of the billions they make toward a general fund for student athletes.  The universities should do the same. 

Yeah, I know all universities athletic programs don’t make money.  But there are enough of them that do that can contribute to this fund.  Those who make more money will contribute more.  

Besides, if an institution of higher learning can pay a coach millions then it can pay athletes something over and above a meager scholarship.

Furthermore, it should be mandatory for coaches to appropriate portion of their coaching salary, endorsement deals and radio show monies to this fund.

Lastly, the television networks like ESPN, the Big Ten Network and CBS should contribute as well.  These networks are cashing in on the athletes.  CBS doesn’t strike $10 billion dollar deals to air “March Madness” if it is not profitable right?

Take the money from the different sources and add it up to distribute it to the male and female athletes as well.

Problem solved. 

Look beyond what you see people.  Follow logic and what makes instead of being hypnotized into making sense out an antiquated argument that is built on lunacy.

This whole situation is not about Cam Newton.  It is about whether athletes should be paid. 

Did Cam, Cecil or both take solicit and or take money from anyone? 

I don’t know for sure but if one or the other got paid but if they did I don’t have a problem with it. 

Again, in the words of Gable, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

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