Cam Newton is again the hot topic in the sports world—and for good reason. WSBTV.com in Atlanta is reporting that Cecil Newton, Cam Newton's father, has admitted, at the very least, to asking for money for his son to play football.
So far, Cecil Newton has maintained that no money was given and that Auburn was completely unaware of his inquiry with an ex-Mississippi State player.
Now we find ourselves in an odd predicament. A pay-for-play insinuation was made by Cam Newton's father seemingly unbeknownst to Cam himself, as far as we know at this time. No money changed hands between any school and the Newtons.
Now we must grapple with what the repercussions should be, if any. Now knowing that a member of the Newton family asked to be paid, should Cam Newton be suspended? Let's play devil's advocate.
5. Yes: Cam Gave Authority to Cecil
When all is said and done, Cam Newton allowed his father to do what he did. Cam gave the decision-making reins to his father and now he should suffer the repercussions.
He has admitted that Auburn was his dad's choice and he went with it. We can extrapolate that such a weighty decision does not end there. Cecil Newton must have had carte blanche to decide and inquire on anything to do with Cam's schooling.
Cam Newton is an adult and he trusted the wrong person, it seems.
5. No: Cam Unaware
Cam Newton still maintains that he knew nothing of the inquiry to get paid. That in and of itself should count for something.
Cam may be an adult, but he is still under the guidance and tutelage of his father. He should be able to trust that his father is working in his best interest, at least through his formative college years. There are not many of us who would question our father's dealings so early in our life.
I can hardly blame Cam for not knowing, if that happens to be the whole truth.
4. Yes: Asking for Money Is a Violation
The mere asking for money from an institution is an NCAA violation. The fact that it has not been proved to have happened at Auburn is the only thing saving Cam Newton.
This is a very gray area for the time being. If it is shown that one party asked to be paid by an institution, why shouldn't the rule still be valid? Once a question is lobbed toward a program, a set of variables is put into motion. Isn't that what the NCAA is trying to prevent, anyway?
The decision to matriculate at Auburn had money involved. Whether Auburn offered it or not, money was an issue in the Newtons' decision. That is a violation of the spirit of the rule.
4. No: No Money Changed Hands
As far as we now know, no money changed hands, not from Mississippi State, and not from Auburn. It is hard to suspend or ban a player based on allegations. The easiest way for the NCAA to investigate is to follow a paper trail.
There is hardly a way for the NCAA to prove that Auburn was asked to pay. What they will instead try to prove is that there was payment. So far, there has been no proof of that.
3. Yes: Auburn Must Have Been Propositioned
I don't see any way around this logic. If you have the gumption to ask one institution for money, why would you not ask another?
Cecil Newton knew what we all know—many colleges are willing to pay for their athletes. It happened at USC, and it will happen again. I will sidestep naivete and say that it is happening all over this great nation of ours. So what would the best player in college football command? It seems that the going rate would be six figures.
How are we supposed to believe that Auburn was so much their favorite that they did not ask for a nickel from them?
3. No: Auburn Didn't Know
This is what we have to work with. Auburn had no idea there was another school that may or may not have been propositioned directly by the Newtons. As of today, Auburn officials still maintain that they had no idea they could have paid for Cam Newton.
As far as we know, Auburn did it the right way. Not that they wouldn't have paid had they been asked, but that's a different story.
2. Yes: Cecil Was Actively Seeking a Deal
The fact is, Cecil Newton actively sought out revenue streams for his son. He had discussions with Mississippi State officials and bluntly asked to be paid. If a father is that active in his pursuit of a payday, it makes sense that he would do it elsewhere.
The logic here is that if you are seeking a big payday, the prudent man will place bidders against each other. It does not make fiscal sense to ask one institution and not another, not if you want to get the best value for your son.
2. No: Cecil Only "Sort Of" Asked
According to Cecil Newton, he only asked Kenny Rogers, a former Mississippi State player, whether the college would be able to pay for his son's services. Rogers then contacted John Bond, and now here we are.
In Cecil Newton's mind, he asked one school, and it was through back channels. Nothing else can be proved at this time, so we have to go on that.
1. Yes: There Is Smoke
Where there is smoke, there is fire. And let me tell you, there is a full-on plume coming from this story. There are too many holes in this story for a logical person to assume that Cecil Newton didn't ask more than just one school to pay.
All the circumstantial evidence is there in plain sight. If we can go on pure hearsay and innuendo, then Cam Newton would be banned from college football and getting ready for the NFL draft.
1: No: No Evidence
Did I mention that there is no concrete evidence? We can hardly ruin a young man's life simply because of allegations. No matter how bad the story looks, you can't condemn someone if there is not factual evidence.
The NCAA knows this and they will do their due diligence. This is why the Reggie Bush saga took years to complete. This is also why they will have the exact same situation here a year from now.
Let Cameron play.
I agree that, more than likely, Cecil Newton did procure offers from more than one school, one of which being Auburn. But as the story sits now, there is nothing the NCAA can actively go on. They need to be sure before they suspend or ban a player. There is too much uncertainty in this situation for them to do so.
If I am Auburn, I play Cam Newton. It isn't every year that you play for a national title. I say roll the dice and hope he is clean.