On my way home from my basketball game last night, I got a phone call asking me had I heard about Cameron Newton. Immediately I was like wow when they started explaining that the word circulating around the NCAA via Mississippi State University is that Cameron Newton was being shopped by a middle man to play college football before this season.
According to an ESPN.com report Thursday,Newton was being shopped by a middle man and his services had been offered to the Bulldogs. The claim is that they were told they were getting a discount for quarterback Cameron Newton because he supposedly liked their coach. The true rate, according to the Website, was $200,000. It was set by a recruiting middleman named Kenny Rogers. (Possibly the Gambler or maybe the Gunslinger)
Mississippi State didn’t bite. Newton went to Auburn, has become the Heisman Trophy favorite and turned a reeling program into a potential BCS champion. Auburn isn’t commenting other than to assert Newton is still eligible to play. Newton’s family said they neither received any money nor authorized anyone to sell out their son. (No manumission papers have been found either so there may be some truth to this) The parents have also given Auburn and the NCAA permission to check their financial records and the financial records of anyone in their family to prove that no money has been issued. So who knows what’s true about a bombshell revelation that could change the complexion of the entire season.
My take is if the Auburn Tigers paid 200K for Newton’s services then they got a deal. He has more than helped them make that back and then some with his performances this year and possibly the next. Quite honestly he’s worth millions and that’s before they’re done counting the receipts on all the No. 2 jerseys sold or add up the extra donations from old men and women who get loose with a checkbook when they see a young man such as Newton carry the ball.
On a serious note, the NCAA has a real problem. Anyone could have been claiming to represent Newton and he could have had no clue to who it is. Also the fact that his family released financial records that quickly leads me to believe this might be the case of a middleman gone rogue.
It’s happening nearly everywhere with nearly everyone because no amount of NCAA legislation can stop the wheels of capitalism. The market will determine the value of a product and 29 touchdowns, nine victories and zero losses is worth a great deal more than tuition, room and board. It’s been that way for nearly a century.
Whether Mississippi State is lying or telling the truth, there is no winner in this case. Newton will be the loser either way. Allegations will swarm him in either scenario. The school (Auburn) will turn on him to gets what it wants. Cam Newton might as well call Reggie Bush for some advice. He’s the one who’s going to get hung out to dry here.
According to the ESPN.com reports Auburn has known about the allegations for months and continued to play Newton. The SEC became aware almost a year ago. The NCAA has been investigating at least a month according to multiple reports.
So if Newton is told to sit now, it’s just a public relations ploy to focus the negative spotlight on the player and away from the system that wasn’t too concerned when they could still sell the purity of the student-athlete.
Either way this one doesn’t appear to end on a good note but I admire the young mans resolve throughout the process. He isn’t playing like anyone who has anything to worry about. Usually the only people who can play like that are those without a guilty conscious.