Cameron Newton is the newest face on the long list of players with allegations of pay-to-play in college sports. Although Newton has been cleared of receiving money for playing, the media and other universities are still poking around for a smoking gun. Since this isn’t the first time an amateur athlete has been accused of accepting money in collegiate sports, Newton faces more scrutiny than those before him. In the 1980s, there was Oklahoma’s quarterback tandem (Jamelle Holloway and Charles Thompson), who both allegedly received gifts and money. Then, there’s the SMU Mustangs from the ’80s — big play meant big cash. In the 1990s, reportedly, a bounty was placed on the head of FSU quarterback Charlie Ward by an opposing team.
Ironically, when other universities and their star player(s) are accused of pay-to-play scandals, it’s usually after the team has won the national championship. Or the player has normally won the Heisman Trophy and moved on to the professional ranks. But, Auburn University has been a magnet for interruptions before the national championship game. In 1993 AU was undefeated, but serving its first year of probation, which cost them a national championship. During the mid 2000s, the Tigers were undefeated and again left out of the championship game. Is it just me, or does AU lack the protective covering the other universities appear to have?
Although Newton’s father, Cecil Newton, was found to have violated NCAA rules by soliciting money from Mississippi State in exchange for his son signing with the school, Cameron signed with Auburn. Newton receives zero dollars from Auburn University or the NCAA for collegiate paraphernalia that bears his name, so why wasn’t it justifiable for his father to attempt to take advantage of the collegiate system before the system began to take advantage of his son?
Newton is the ideal embodiment of the build, performance and intelligence for an NFL QB, and he is a cash cow for Auburn’s athletic program. Warren Moon, Joe Gilliam, Doug Williams, Vince Evans, Turner Gill, etc., may have been ahead of their time, but, Newton has ushered in a new era. He has the playing styles of Steve McNair and Michael Vick combined. Symbolically, he represents genetic supremacy in an athlete. With the many accomplishments that Tim Tebow had in college, comparing Tebow to Newton would be like comparing Bizarro Superman to Superman. Cameron Newton is simply the truth! –steven turner