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And Another Thing


Yet more junk about Cam Newton

And this time the kid might actually be in trouble.

I said yesterday on the Blob that whatever Newton might or might not have done at Florida was ancient history, and wouldn't affect my Heisman vote if I had one (which I don't). That's because from all indications he had a clean sheet at Auburn.

Well. That might be changing now.

Comes now allegations that Newton's father, Cecil, shopped him around to Mississippi State before Auburn allegedly outbid Starkville for Cam's services. If so, this means Auburn is involved, and puts the school squarely in the NCAA's gunsights. And it not only means no Heisman for Newton, it means he's finished as a college football player.

As I've said before on the Blob, I'm pretty ambivalent about all this. If Cecil Newton was shopping his kid around, he's the walkaway winner for Worst Dad of the Year for screwing with his son's eligibility. On the other hand, if he so blatantly had his hand out, so does everyone else in big-boy college athletics. The BCS, after all, is nothing more than a cash grab (and possibly an illegal one) by the power conferences. And the day when anyone in the NCAA could wag a finger at a Cecil Newton went away the day they allowed their schools to send players out there wearing Nike swooshes because they'd cut a sweetheart deal from which the players earned nada.

You use your student-athletes as unpaid promoters for some apparel company, you forfeit the right to chastise anyone for using some poor kid. Try again.

That said ... if the allegations are true, once again it's the kids who pay the penalty for the actions of others. And, please, don't tell me Cam Newton wasn't the victim in this because he could have told his father he wasn't going to play along with his scheme. We hammer young people all the time for not respecting authority figures. Now we're gonna hammer some kid because he didn't tell the ultimate authority figure to go to hell?

Sorry, but you can't have it both ways.

Even if Cecil Newton and the NCAA think so.

Ben Smith's blog.