The NCAA has spoken, and it’s OK if your dad sells your athletic ability to a school—but only if you don’t know about it.
Confused? So am I.
Welcome to the world of big-time NCAA athletics.
In the midst of an extensive investigation into the recruitment of Cam Newton, the current Heisman favorite and quarterback for the first-ranked Auburn Tigers, the NCAA has cleared Newton of any wrongdoing, placing the blame on his father, Cecil.
William Rhoden wrote:
While the NCAA determined that Newton worked with a scouting service director to shop his son to Mississippi State, it found that Auburn and Cam Newton, its star quarterback, did not know about the backroom dealings and ruled him eligible to play without restrictions.
Cecil Newton tried to get amounts upward of $180,000 from Mississippi State University in return for his son’s commitment. Whether or not Cam actually knew about this, we’ll probably never know.
And can you really fault Cecil? Rhoden added:
From all indications, Cecil Newton is a good person who only wanted the best for his son. An NCAA violation does not make one a criminal. Guilty of bad judgment, certainly, but hardly a criminal.
Bad judgment? Yes. But what more is Cecil Newton doing than trying to get a small return on his son’s value to Mississippi State and now Auburn? If they beat South Carolina on Saturday, Auburn will get $17 million for playing in the BCS National Championship game. And if wasn’t for Cam Newton, Auburn would be nowhere near the national championship.
In more ways than one, the NCAA is completely screwed up. Players play for free while the schools rake in millions of dollars because of them. Then, this past weekend, by defeating then third-ranked Boise State and knocking them out of BCS contention, Nevada actually cost themselves about $1 million.
Until something changes, the cases of Reggie Bush and Cam Newton will be all too common.