Six-Fig Newtons

With allegations swirling, and evidence mounting, Auburn’s Cameron Newton has gone from Heisman Trophy frontrunner to potentially having the award stripped by public opinion before it’s ever received.  His Auburn Tigers, packed full of championship aspirations two weeks ago, also find themselves facing the possibility of holding an asterisk instead of a crystal ball in January.

It’s hard not to hear or read about the alleged “pay-for-play” plan implemented by Cam Newton and his father, Cecil, after the quarterback left the University of Florida. The story is everywhere, with new testimony surfacing almost daily, in a situation that has now prompted FBI involvement to probe the legality of the claims.

I find myself captivated by the happenings in the South, but I am also annoyed by certain comparisons and redirection of fault. There’s nothing that gets under my skin more than commentary stating that Auburn and their star can “thank Reggie Bush and USC’ for their recent troubles. Maybe I’m just sensitive—then again, maybe I’m not.

Bush was caught violating NCAA rules. There is no doubting that. The amount of money exchanged was six figures, which is where Newton comparisons should end. Auburn’s quarterback isn’t the second player to receive payment (allegedly), just as Bush wasn’t the first. So, why are some individuals acting as if USC and its former star provided the blueprint for scandal, which was later studied and repeated by the Tigers and Newtons?  Why sell the Bush exposure as a coast to coast unmasking of college football wrongs?

‘There is no question many Heisman voters will be wary of casting a vote for a player who may end up being another Reggie Bush. This may be unfair if the allegations are not true, but you can blame Bush for making every one a little bit more suspicious about players and the sleazy underworld of college football.’Chris Dufresne, L.A. Times

Cam can thank and blame Reggie Bush and USC for his fizzling Heisman hopes?— Quick answer— No, he can’t.

How about thanking the handler, that middle man, the soldier of fortune that often wanders off without penalty or a blow to his reputation? How about blaming the slug known as the NCAA, who first got word of the allegations in January, and here in November has not a word to speak? How about thanking the Pastor of the Holy Zion Church of Deliverance (Cecil Newton) for allegedly delivering his son to Auburn, because Mississippi State wasn’t charitable enough to make a donation? How about faulting those directly involved in the mess, instead of pointing towards the west to an institution that has already taken its hits?

TJ Carpenter: USC, Bush Could Cost Auburn Another Shot At National Title

I don’t know what is true and not. I only know what is alleged, the parties to come forward, and the name of the school being probed. Reggie Bush did not attend Auburn, and his family does not represent or attend any church in Georgia. The central figures in the allegations are not named Lloyd Lake, Michael Michaels, or Rodney Guillory. Six former Trojans have a Heisman vote, but the University of Southern California does not award or sponsor the trophy.

Newton and Auburn shouldn’t thank the Trojans for all that has transpired over the past two weeks. They can thank themselves and the snitches allegers they chose to do business with. Thanking or blaming USC is empowering a single institution, granting it the strength to topple the entire college football world. That honor goes to agents and middlemen who selfishly seek to increase their personal bank accounts.  Those names are seldom spoken, while the names of players and schools are mentioned several times over.

Yes, there is a college football underworld, but NCAA enforcement is a far cry from Elliot Ness and his untouchables.  Thank the NCAA for setting rules and regulations, then turning a blind eye until headlines force it into action.   Then thank the media for shedding more light on the powerless entity that attempts to cast itself as omnipotent through sections and chapters of written rule.

The NCAA didn’t follow a USC trail to the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, or Alabama. This isn’t a follow-up to a Southern California investigation. Officials and the press weren’t led to Auburn by something uncovered on a Los Angeles campus.  They followed the words of a southern man, who according to pattern, should be announcing a book deal in the near future.

If not for one person coming forward with knowledge, we wouldn’t be talking about this today, and Newton would be preparing his Heisman acceptance speech for December.  That one person has no association to Bush or USC, yet somehow we connect them and equally distribute the blame.

This didn’t start with Reggie Bush, and it won’t end with Cam Newton.

Who’s got next?

Song of the dayThings’ll Never Change

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~ by Anthony on November 12, 2010.

One Response to “Six-Fig Newtons”

  1. Too bad you don’t write for the LA Times instead of those jokers. I’m almost as tired of the media as I am of the NCAA.

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