Cam Newton is the best player in College Football, but he should not win the Heisman


Not that I have a vote, or anyone cares what I think, but I have changed my mind in the last 24 hours about Cam Newton winning the Heisman. 

I'm on record that the NCAA is full of hypocrisy; everyone makes money on the back of these kids but them. I don't blame them one iota for taking money that's offered, etc. (Should greedy families do it on their behalf? Different story, but we'll let that go for another day.)

Here is my issue: 

I watched the Cam Newton interview with Chris Fowler several times. (Watch it here.) He was clearly coached, and I don't mean from Gene Chizik - Public Relations team, lawyers, people like that. 

Oddly, I don't have that hard a time with Cam's assertion that he never asked his dad if he did it. From all indications his dad made the decision to go to Auburn, not Cam. We all know his dad asked for the money, and whether Cam knew about it or not, I can see in some families where you wouldn't question your father. 

But that brings up the issue. Reports were that after the decision was made to switch from Miss. State to Auburn Cam called up a recruiter crying saying basically, "They money was just too much [at Auburn.]  Fowler asked newton about this. (It's about 1:23 into the video).  

Quoting from the Article: 

ESPN reported Nov. 9 that Newton had told a Mississippi State recruiter that his father had chosen Auburn because "the money was too much."
"I'm not here to talk about any reports," Newton said.

That's what sticks in my craw. We've all been here before, whether it was Mark McGwire or Bill Clinton. "I'm not here to talk about any reports" translates to = they are true. 

How do I feel confident in saying this? Because the alleged conversation of Newton's is the crux of the whole matter. Any reasonable person (I think) believes Cam knew about what happened. The question is - what evidence was there?  Without any evidence of his involvement or knowledge it was difficult to suspend him based solely on what most people assume. But that conversation with the recruiter - if true - clearly shows knowledge and complicity, if by silence for no other reason. 

I contend that if that allegation was untrue Newton would have shouted it from the rooftops, now that he was speaking. No, I didn't know, he should have said. I never talked to anyone about money at Auburn. There was no money at Auburn. 

The correct play - in my mind - is to play the whole thing as a botched stupid idea that wasn't even half serious to get money at Mississippi State, which didn't go anywhere. The Newtons should be saying over and over again- no money ever changed hands, there's no real foul. That they aren't is telling. That Cam isn't refuting the report about his knowledge is telling too. 

Couple that with the Heisman Mission Statement, the first line of which reads: 

The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.   
[emphasis added by me]

In his interview with Chris Fowler Cam Newton makes a double-speak statement that is virtually tantamount to lying. We can reasonably infer that the report is true, and that adds up. 

Whether or not the athletes should be paid something (as I believe) is one thing, and whether Cam and his family got any money is something else. Whether he knew about it might even be explained away with not wanting to go against his father. But lying about knowing, surely that is not integrity. 


As I write these words we are just minutes away from Newton getting the award (I presume). But in my opinion he shouldn't. He clearly was the best player this season, but doesn't deserve the Heisman. 





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