The cloud over Auburn has lifted; Cam Newton is free to play

The NCAA has reinstated Cam Newton and declared him eligible to play. Your question: When wasn’t he eligible?

The answer: On Tuesday Auburn ruled him ineligible for what the NCAA termed “a violation of amateurism rules.” Lucky for the Tigers, they had no football games scheduled for Nov. 30. On Wednesday the NCAA again conferred eligibility on him, which means Auburn can deploy him in Saturday’s SEC championship game with a lighter heart than the program has known in a month.

It had become increasingly clear that some violation had been committed in the recruitment of Cam Newton, if not necessarily by Auburn. The NCAA noted as much in its statement: “The student-athlete’s father [Cecil Newton] and an owner of a scouting service [Kenny Rogers, once a Mississippi State player] worked together to actively market the student-athlete as a part of a pay-for-play scenario … NCAA Rules (Bylaw 12.3.3) do not allow individuals or entities to represent a prospective student-athlete for compensation to  school for an athletic scholarship.”

The NCAA  could not allow Auburn to keep playing Newton without making some sort of determination on his status. Imagine the collateral damage if the Tigers had won the SEC title and then, in the month before the BCS title game, lost their quarterback.

From Kevin Lennon of the NCAA: “In determining how a violation impacts a student-athlete’s eligibility, we must consider the young person’s responsibility. Based on the information available to the reinstatement staff at this time, we do not have sufficient evidence that Cam Newton or anyone from Auburn was aware of this activity.”

The strain of the past month could be seen at Auburn on Tuesday, where it was as if the most visible and valuable player in college football had gone missing in plain sight. The Auburn coach was asked at his weekly briefing when Newton might again be made available to the media, something that hadn’t happened for two weeks. Said Gene Chizik: “I’m going to stay on the path of commenting directly on his play.”

A reporter noted that SEC rules call for every player to be available for interviews after its title game and asked if Auburn would comply with league policy. Chizik: “I’m going to stay on the path of making comments on the championship game or the previous 12 games.”

In the course of a 33-minute briefing, Chizik mentioned his best player by name once. (He called him “Cameron.”) Asked  by this correspondent if playing for the SEC title in his hometown — Newton is from College Park — might heighten the already-heightened pressure, Chizik didn’t use the third-person singular, meaning “he” or “him.” He went plural, both in the first and third person, all the way.

Chizik: “We’ve had a lot of big moments to get to this point, in my opinion, as a team and individually … We’ve all kind of been here before at some point in the other games. I think that’s big for us, and I think that’s big for our players individually. I’m hoping that this would not be any different. They don’t give me any reason to believe they’ll respond differently.”

It was weird. You couldn’t take two steps in the Loveliest Village of the Plain without hearing or seeing some mention of Cam Newton — “Cam for Heisman” read the sign outside Momma Goldberg’s Deli on Thach Avenue — yet it was as if the man who coaches Newton dared not speak his name.

Asked if Newton’s performance in the comeback against Alabama had been “one for the ages,” Chizik again dodged.”At some point we’re going to have a chance to breathe and look back and realize how monumental that was … I don’t know how many teams in the course of history would have been able to do that.”

On Tuesday, the tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen, who’s from Lassiter High in Marietta, spoke of and essentially for his quarterback. “Business as usual for Cam is basically straight goofball,” Lutzenkirchen told reporters. “He’s always joking around, always messing with everyone. That hasn’t changed at all throughout this year.”

Not 24 hours later, something did change. The NCAA gave Cam Newton its blessing, at least until/unless more evidence comes to light.  For all the storms that rose up around him, he was technically ineligible for only one day — a rainy Tuesday of no significance. And now he gets to return to Atlanta and lead his team into the Georgia Dome to play a game of massive importance. Cam the Man is again good to go.

616 comments Add your comment

Huh

December 1st, 2010
2:06 pm

AJ got the shaft. Why didn’t he just get his dad to sell his jersey for him?

RammerJammer84

December 1st, 2010
2:06 pm

Interesting ruling by the NCAA, opening the door for parents to try and cut deals in recruiting as long as the kid isn’t involved. Wow!!!

Mike Slive

December 1st, 2010
2:08 pm

Cam didn’t know what daddy was doing, that is why only one day of ineligibility (and we made sure that was not a gameday).

Perfectly happy with the ruling and welcoming all NCAA recruits and players’ dad’s to let the bidding begin (behind the player’s back of course).

Cecil Newton

December 1st, 2010
2:11 pm

It’s true, I never whispered any of the bidding to Cameron – he was clueless about anything off the field.

I hear that Auburn has Cam designated as a “franchise” player so he should return in 2011 if they up his contract enough (behind closed doors).

Steve Jones

December 1st, 2010
2:12 pm

Great, I can hear the new song now, “I make the goals and Pappa gets the Rolls.”

What's Important

December 1st, 2010
2:12 pm

So now we have it definitively that the BCS title can be bought and sold. If this doesn’t prove a need for a non-subjective playoff system then nothing ever will. So all you boosters, save your money, pay daddy, or mama or great aunt Sue of the next big thing for his services. Just don’t tell the next big thing and you’re O.K. But God forbid you sell a jersey. The NCAA has proven how useless it really is, and Mike Slives should be ashamed of himself. I am a huge SEC Fan and Georgia fan, but right now I am embarrassed and if I were South Carolina or TCU I would lodge a protest. I never thought the day would come when I would cheer for a Steve Spurrier led team, but that day has now arrived.

johnny fontane

December 1st, 2010
2:13 pm

Third and proud of it.

Eric

December 1st, 2010
2:13 pm

So when Cam said he wasn’t going to Miss St because the “money was too much” at Auburn, he didn’t know about the money????

WinderDogg

December 1st, 2010
2:14 pm

Given Cam’s academic history….his dum arse probably had no clue why daddy got in spinners.

CockBlocker81

December 1st, 2010
2:14 pm

Marcus Lattimore just became worth a WHOLE lot more money.

Go Cocks!

Free at Last!

December 1st, 2010
2:14 pm

Auburn Redhead

December 1st, 2010
2:14 pm

I am so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Heading to midtown tonight to celebrate with “my people”

GROWLLLLLLLL! war eagles

Bosshog

December 1st, 2010
2:14 pm

Cammy Cam for president.

oh cammy please don’t hurt those gamecocks.

TD auburn, cammy cam does it again.

Soon to be SEC champs.

meh

December 1st, 2010
2:14 pm

I don’t believe for a minute that Cam didn’t know what was going on. what a load of horse shite!

Just Sayin'

December 1st, 2010
2:15 pm

After The Ol’ Ball Coach takes Cheesestick to the woodshed Saturday nobody will care about Cam Newton.

Auburn Redhead

December 1st, 2010
2:15 pm

ME SO EXCITEDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

SuzieQ

December 1st, 2010
2:15 pm

Eric, has it ever occurred to you that that quote wasn’t accurate? I know you read it on the internet, but try to show a little discernment.

SmyrnaMan

December 1st, 2010
2:16 pm

Bruce Pearl better watch his back, lol This is such a JOKE

Auburn Redhead's deddy

December 1st, 2010
2:16 pm

Son I wish I had sold you like Cecil did. You are an embarrassment.

Paul in RDU

December 1st, 2010
2:16 pm

“Based on the information available to the reinstatement staff at this time, we do not have sufficient evidence that Cam Newton or anyone from Auburn was aware of this activity.”

Mark – This quote was definitely written by a lawyer. This does calm everything down in the short term, while leaving the NCAA an out in the future if they do get “sufficient evidence”

Eric

December 1st, 2010
2:17 pm

I must have forgotten that SuzieQ is Queen of the Internet. All hail and bow down before her.

Eric is a big fruitcake who been in hiding 'til this week

December 1st, 2010
2:17 pm

Where you been sissy pants?????

meh

December 1st, 2010
2:17 pm

I don’t believe for a minute that Cam didn’t know what was going on. what a load of horse crap. the NCAA doesn’t want TCU in the national championship game. they’d get lower ratings and less money than they’d get with AU in the championship game. So they reinstate Cam Newton in hopes that AU beats SC and advances to the national championship game therefore keeping TCU out. If SC wins and TCU jumps AU in the polls I’ll bet you the NCAA finds a bunch of connections between Cam and the money real quick.

Auburn Redhead and Eric make a great couple

December 1st, 2010
2:18 pm

I’m pulling for you guys…. hope ya’ll get to adopt a baby someday!

huh

December 1st, 2010
2:18 pm

So AJ was suspended 4 weeks for $1,000, Cam was ruled ineligible one day (non-gameday) for his dad asking for $200 grand. Makes perfect sense in the NCAA world.

Navigator

December 1st, 2010
2:18 pm

Hey, Cam’s father is a minister? A minister of greed!!!

Just Sayin'

December 1st, 2010
2:19 pm

And the Gamecock fans pick up the chant …… 13 and 0, hell no!

Auburn Redhead

December 1st, 2010
2:19 pm

Yay!!!! I have a fan! Someone has stolen my handle because I’ve pissed them off! You’re welcome.

‘So when Cam said he wasn’t going to Miss St because the “money was too much” at Auburn, he didn’t know about the money????”

You read it one way. I read it another. What he is saying is “that the money is too much – basically “MSU HAS CROSSED THE LINE”. We’re out of here.

Just Sayin'

December 1st, 2010
2:20 pm

And the USC fans pick up the chant ……….. 13 and 0, hell no.

cattledawg

December 1st, 2010
2:20 pm

This is really a not a story. Im sure Auburn fans are all proud right now, but the investigation isnt over. So cecil tries to get 180,000 large to go to MSU and doesnt. Then he just sends his son to Auburn for free?

What a load of horse poopy this is

December 1st, 2010
2:20 pm

What a joke. The Camburglar knew what was going down. The SEC only cares about having a #1 team. College football is a joke. I’m going to watch hockey or NASCAR instead.

Ethan Hunt

December 1st, 2010
2:20 pm

How much did Nick Fairley’s dad sell that cheap-shotting fool for?

WinderDogg

December 1st, 2010
2:20 pm

“Cam your mother and I have something to tell you?”

Scam Eagle

December 1st, 2010
2:20 pm

Do you Auburn folks REALLY think that “insufficient evidence at this time” equates to innocence? It took the NCAA nine months to prove that his father shopped him a round. It will take a while longer to prove what Auburn did. So go ahead and live for the moment and enjoy—while the rest of the nation ridicules your hypocricy…..But be sure your sins will find you out…..And ask an Auburn old-timer what bowl game the Tigers went to after their 1957 undefeated season….or Terry Bowden’s undefeated season…War Cheater!

Nick Saban

December 1st, 2010
2:20 pm

This is not part of my process. The NCAA was supposed to finish him. It would be logical to conclude that this is a very unique situation involving multiple schools and that the school not involved in the wrongdoing should not be punished, especially when that school wasn’t aware of the wrongdoing when it recruited the player. But logic is not comforting at a time like this. It is more comforting to compare this to previous suspensions and punishments that impact the actual players and schools involved. Irrationality helps soothe the pain. I still can’t believe that someone two steps below my pay grade completely outcoached me on my home field. My statue ceremony is going to be akward now.

SuzieQ

December 1st, 2010
2:20 pm

Eric
Do you honestly believe every last thing you read on the internet? Do you think the NCAA doesn’t have better sources than sports bloggers and journalists? Even if you believe Cam Newton is guilty, are you going to hang your entire argument on one piece of hearsay? Come on.

Bryan G.

December 1st, 2010
2:20 pm

The NCAA owes AJ Green an apology. This is ridiculous.

Nothing against Cam, but to suspend AJ and not Cam is insane.

Auburn Redhead

December 1st, 2010
2:21 pm

Stop posting with my name!!! I will scratch your eyes out!

Steve

December 1st, 2010
2:21 pm

Whine all you want people….NCAA hate them or love them is unbiased in the approach of these matters. Focus your anger for a minute on how Auburn handle this mess…they never wavered in their absolute belief and confirmation that Cam was eligible. Why…because they knew that Auburn nor Cam had any knowledge of his fathers actions. they handle it with a great deal of class…might I say…way more professional than a significant portion of the media and most certainly with more class than the Auburn haters.

Red and Black Leg Humpers

December 1st, 2010
2:21 pm

49-31…..waaaaaaahhhhh

Greg McElroy

December 1st, 2010
2:22 pm

Anyone know where I can get a cheap lawyer? I need to change my name to McGinger.

The Ol' Ball Coach

December 1st, 2010
2:22 pm

Good news! It will be even sweeter beating Auburn when they are at full strength.

SuzieQ

December 1st, 2010
2:22 pm

A.J. Green received money, Newton apparently didn’t and Auburn wasn’t involved at all. There is an obvious difference.

spike

December 1st, 2010
2:22 pm

I don’t know which is more delightful – the apparent unending flow of Alabama/Georgia tears, or the idea that there is some conspiracy at work on behalf of Auburn. Don’t stop, y’all!

Supes

December 1st, 2010
2:22 pm

BS…anyone with half a brain knows AU is DIRTY and Sham is a pay for play.

Hopefully more evidence comes out later and they are found out for the dirty operation that they are.

Nice of Daddy to “fall on the sword” for son…but if anyone believes Sham didn’t know what was going on…you are an AUBURN fan. Anyone else can see this for what it is…he just hasn’t been caught yet.

They didn’t catch Reggie till he was in the NFL.

Trooper Pooper Scooper Taylor

December 1st, 2010
2:22 pm

SuzieQ just ignore Eric. He is a waste of human flesh.

Gene Chizik

December 1st, 2010
2:23 pm

I am the master of all that I see.

Bryan G.

December 1st, 2010
2:23 pm

The NCAA owes AJ Green an apology.

Nothing personally against Cam, but there is no way AJ should have gotten 4 games and Cam zero.

Auburn Redhead

December 1st, 2010
2:23 pm

Whether or not Auburn, Miss St., or Cecil Newton get in trouble remains to be seen. I tried to tell you guys they couldn’t pin a thing on Cam. They had zero proof. It’s simple. You can’t be convicted of things people do in your name without your knowledge. It won’t happen anywhere in the US. I agree Cam knew what his dad was doing, but nobody can prove it.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Bradley, sambrooklyn, ¯_(ツ)_/¯, Rodney Hunt, Kris and others. Kris said: RT @MarkBradleyAJC: The cloud over #Auburn lifts; the NCAA says #Cam Newton is free to play. http://bit.ly/h9TTV8 [...]