Newton Declared Eligible for SEC Title Game

Steve O Speak

The Auburn Tigers and Cam Newton received HUGE news today when the NCAA reinstated Newton and declared him eligible for at the very least the SEC Championship game, and most likely the National Title game as well. Now it should be clear that things could change, and it is still possible that Newton could be declared ineligible after the fact which would affect the record books, but in all likelihood for the actual games Newton will be on the field.

I hope this saga is a wake up call to both Newton and other student athletes that you need to be careful with who speaks for you even if it is your own father. I realize that Newton has had some other issues in his career, but every report I’ve read out of Auburn makes it sound like he is a good kid. Until I hear otherwise I will give Newton the benefit of the doubt and root for him to succeed. As for the issues from the past, I believe in 2nd chances and realize that most people make some stupid decisions when they are 18 and 19. And until they show that Cam knew what his father was trying to do, I am not going to punish the kid for having a greedy father. I hope Newton continues to stay on the right path because he has an incredible talent and future ahead of him.

I’m glad to see the NCAA didn’t hesitate to reinstate him, since at this point if he is declared ineligible Auburn’s undefeated season and potential Championships are null and void. For me if both the school and the actual player are found innocent of any wrong doing there shouldn’t be any rulings of ineligibility going forward. What Newton’s father allegedly did was wrong and in violation of NCAA regulations, but it does seem unfair to punish those who weren’t involved (now if Auburn was found to have given money, even if none of it went to Cam, it would be a different story).

My only problem with this is the apparent hypocrisy of the situation. The NCAA suspends players basically at will, as a number of high profile players were suspended this past season for going to parties and other things quite a bit less risqué than soliciting six figures from a school to play there. I mean Dez Bryant was suspended for not fully disclosing his friendship with Deion Sanders last year. So it does seem that this ‘non punishment’ seems out of character, with how they have been cracking down on student-athletes.

This will be an issue to watch going forward, but for right now I’m content with the ruling. As long as they don’t retroactively change their position this is huge for Auburn as they look to win the National Title and for Newton’s draft stock as he will get two more much needed starts.  Finally the big winner here is the fans (except maybe South Carolina and maybe Oregon fans), Newton is an extreme talent and incredible to watch. Now they get to watch the presumptive Heisman Winner in two more huge games, as well as not having number 1 Auburn lose their best player and completely screw up the College Football postseason (as if it wasn’t already).

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