Auburn’s Cam Newton looks like college football’s best player, but if the NCAA would enforce their own rules, Newton would not be eligible to play.
By Jason Lewis
The NCAA has a secret that is not so secret. They must think that we cannot connect the dots. They want a premier match up for their BCS championship game, and they will violate their own rules to get that.
The NCAA’s ruling that Auburn quarterback Cam Newton is eligible to play after they have found that his father solicited money for him to sign with Mississippi State makes a mockery of the sport. It is a statement to No. 3 Texas Christian University (TCU) that they were not wanted in the championship game, and that the NCAA is going to look the other way to make sure a nobody school like TCU is not going to potentially cost them revenue by making the game.
If Newton was ruled ineligible for the SEC championship game between Auburn and South Carolina, there is a good chance that Auburn would have lost, putting TCU into the BCS title game. If Auburn had pulled off the victory and faced a high flying Oregon team without Newton, that would be a seriously one sided championship game, which would have taken most of the luster off of that contest.
If the No. 3 team were an undefeated Ohio St, Florida, Texas, or some other premier team, Newton would have been ruled ineligible because there would have been a great backup team for the BCS championship game. But the BCS does not value teams such as TCU, so they simply looked the other way in the Newton case.
The BCS needs Newton, so the NCAA decided not to punish a player who has dirty written all over him. The NCAA found that his father asked for a reported $180,000 for his son to sign at Mississippi State. Seeing that he did not sign there, but chose Auburn instead, it is not far fetched to think that Auburn landed him because they paid the money. At this point there is no proof of that, but come on now.
It is a violation of NCAA rules for any player, family members, or anybody acting as an advisor to receive any benefits for a university. A player’s father receiving funds is in direct violation of NCAA rules. Soliciting funds is pretty much the same as receiving them.
The notion that Newton did not know that his father was shopping him around is laughable, and it has been reported that Newton told Mississippi State that he was signing with Auburn because the money was too much.
Newton’s advisor was his father, and it would be shocking if he did not know that his father was asking for money from universities.
This case has many people screaming USC. There are similarities, but the cases are somewhat different.
The NCAA found USC and Reggie Bush in violation because Bush’s parents received a house in San Diego, and they were flown to USC’s road games at the expense of agents. That right there makes Bush ineligible. But the NCAA found that Bush himself received benefits, so the notion that it was just his parents and he did not know about it is off base. Bush received a car and paid trips from the agents.
The NCAA was able to link the violations back to USC, which allowed them to punish the university’s football team.
The investigation in Newton’s case is still on going, but the NCAA is not going to do anything until they have concrete evidence that links Newton and Auburn to what his father was doing. Chances are that any evidence that is found will not come out until well after the BCS championship game and the Heisman Trophy is awarded. So the BCS will have their big game, Newton will get his Heisman, and TCU will not have a shot at the title and will miss out on $20 million for playing in the BCS championship game.
As awesome as college football is, the NCAA just ruins it at the end every year.