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Posted at 1:09 PM ET, 12/ 1/2010

NCAA rules Cam Newton eligible to play football but questions still linger

By Cindy Boren

Updated at 2:46 p.m.

The NCAA has ruled that Auburn quarterback Cam Newton is eligible to play football, but that doesn't mean the issues surrounding him have been put to rest.

The NCAA determined Monday that a violation of amateur rules had occurred because his father, Cecil Newton, allegedly solicited benefits while Cam Newton was being recruited. Auburn declared Newton ineligible and then applied for Newton's reinstatement. The NCAA's student-athlete reinstatement staff granted it in a news release Wednesday because, the NCAA points out, "reinstatement decisions are independent of the enforcement process."

"We are pleased that the NCAA has agreed with our position that Cam Newton has been and continues to be eligible to play football at Auburn University," Auburn director of athletics Jay Jacobs said in a statement. "We appreciate the diligence and professionalism of the NCAA and its handling of this matter."

The move comes ahead of the SEC championship game Saturday between Auburn and South Carolina; a victory would likely put Auburn in the BCS championship game. Newton also is the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy, which will be awarded Dec. 11.

The NCAA had found violations, saying:

"According to facts of the case agreed upon by Auburn University and the NCAA enforcement staff, the student-athlete's father and an owner of a scouting service worked together to actively market the student-athlete as a part of a pay-for-play scenario in return for Newton's commitment to attend college and play football. NCAA rules (Bylaw 12.3.3) do not allow individuals or entities to represent a prospective student-athlete for compensation to a school for an athletic scholarship."

The NCAA press release indicates that the investigation is not over and that Cecil Newton violated SEC rules. In that case, his son would be ineligible under SEC bylaws and its commissioner would have the final say on eligibility.

From the SEC bylaws:

"If at any time before or after matriculation in a member institution a student-athlete or any member of his/her family receives or agrees to receive, directly or indirectly, any aid or assistance beyond or in addition to that permitted by the Bylaws of this Conference (except such aid or assistance as such student-athlete may receive from those persons on whom the student is naturally or legally dependent for support), such student- athlete shall be ineligible for competition in any intercollegiate sport within the Conference for the remainder of his/her college career."

Fanhouse spells it out here.

In its release, the NCAA says:

Reinstatement decisions are independent of the NCAA enforcement process and typically are made once the facts of the student-athlete's involvement are determined. The reinstatement process is likely to conclude prior to the close of an investigation. It is NCAA policy not to comment on current, pending or potential investigations.

So, bottom line: Cam Newton plays on, but his name has not been cleared. And we'll see just what precedent this sets.

By Cindy Boren  | December 1, 2010; 1:09 PM ET
Categories:  College football  
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Comments

This makes no sense to me. It's even an SEC bylaw that if the family member of a student-athlete accepts or requests/solicits money, then said athelete is ineligible. The SEC is a joke. Masoli gets kicked out of Oregon and then starts the Ole Miss opener just 6 months later.

Posted by: Andymr | December 1, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

ok I'm confused as well. So are they saying daddy did break a law "shopping his son" but because Cam (nor his father) didn't accept any funds to get into Auburn he's free and clear. I agree with this but his father should be dealt with because parents are out of control....

There must have been proof in da pudding hahaha

Posted by: MDlady2 | December 1, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

So basically from now on all a player has to say is "Don't talk to me...talk to my dad..." and everything is will be okay?? I mean come on, this is crazy...The SEC really needs to watch their back now cause this will CAMSCAM situation will be the straw that breaks the camels back so to say...Every player will use this one situation for the back-up when they get into a situation like this!!! Way to go SEC you are FREAKIN AWESOME!!!! You and the Government MUST be related!!!!

Posted by: 1BaMaGaL | December 1, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

****OKAY so see I am a Blonde and so got the two mixed up...THis is really what I wanted to say!!! LOL*****

So basically from now on all a player has to say is "Don't talk to me...talk to my dad..." and everything is will be okay?? I mean come on, this is crazy...The NCAA really needs to watch their back now cause this will CAMSCAM situation will be the straw that breaks the camels back so to say...Every player will use this one situation for the back-up when they get into a situation like this!!! Way to go NCAA you are FREAKIN AWESOME!!!! You and the Government MUST be related!!!!

Posted by: 1BaMaGaL | December 1, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

There is no way the SEC Commissioner is going to deem him ineligible. Also, why is the reinstatement process independent of enforcement? It's like having police officers without arrest powers that have to call in for a special incarceration officer.

Posted by: Andymr | December 1, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Bamagrl I don't think it's that simple. I think if money or gifts could have been easily proven like in Reggie Bush's case Cam and Preacher Daddy would be gone because ESPN and the whole freakin world was wearing this story out. Legitimate money is traceable and I'm sure when Preacher Daddy provided his bank acc info that cleared Cam but apparently a recording must have proven "shopping his son" claim.

Posted by: MDlady2 | December 1, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse


If I had a Heisman vote, I would vote for Cam.


Posted by: mortified469 | December 1, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

The NCAA seems desperate to maintain the BSC structure. If Cam doesn't play then the old ball coach kicks Auburn A$$ and TCU plays in the national championship. When Cam is shown to be as guilty as Regi, Auburn deserves the death penalty as a repeat offender that is willing to lie their buts off to keep on playing. This is at least as bad as the SMU/ James/ Dickerson mess. On the other hand, my hats off to Cams enterprising father. When Cam is starring in the NFL I can not see why they should care what a bunch of old white slave owners think anyway.

Posted by: tyronekerry | December 1, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

If the NCAA rule is applicable to all laws,
then if my brother committed a bank robbery job, I will be guilty even if I had nothing to do with the robbery. This is a case of blaming people for things that they did not do.

Cam Newton may not know what his father was doing and would have disagree with his father had he known.

Posted by: dtmbretire | December 1, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

They found that Cam was not aware of the shopping.

What sort of precedent does it set to rule a student-athlete ineligible when she/he is unaware of benefits being sought on his behalf?

Especially when the schools have the responsibility to report these things, as did MSU and Auburn.

How can you punish a parent without punishing an unaware student?

Posted by: jesuisunpizza | December 1, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Cindy,

I understand that as a Post reporter, you are by definition not very smart, but your statement that os wrong and shows how little you understand this process.

Once it determined there was a potential violation, on Tuesday, AUBURN UNIVERSITY declared Cam ineligible and then pursuant to NCAA rules asked the NCAA to declare him eligible. As noted in this press release, the NCAA has done so.

Why is it too much to ask for a Post reporter to have some minimal understanding of what they write about?

Posted by: alvint | December 1, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

What I don't understand- Is Rogers in the employment of any of these schools? Has he been given permission to speak for the schools? If the answer to my questions are no then I don't understand the issue. Secondly, Cecil Newton must be a real piece of work. I can't believe a father, who is suppose to be a minister (LOL), would put his son in this position. I have no respect for this man. He really is a poor excuse for a father.
Thirdly, the NCAA needs to overhaul their rules. It makes not sense to say that reinstatement decisions are independent of the enforcement process. This decision should be final. If it is proven that Cam Newton had no part in asking for money, which that is what it seems, then he nor any student athletic should be held responsible for what their stupid, money hungry parents do.

Posted by: collegebound1 | December 1, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Wow - compare this to the self-reported Maryland suspension when Bob Wade was there and a ride was given to a player to get to class. NCAA has no credibility whatsoever. The good news from the Maryland story of course is that we got Gary Williams to come coach here and we eventually won a national championship, so maybe we should thank the NCAA for their double standard.

Posted by: bfjam | December 1, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

This guy is a cheat and a liar. At Florida he stole a laptop and lied about it. He also put his name on a paper and turned it in, was busted, and when he was offered a 2nd chance to write the paper himself, he bought a paper on the internet and turned it in. He was then busted for that and before he had to face the honor review board, he skipped town. Then his dad asked for money for him to attend MSU. Why do we (NCAA, Auburn, society at large) allow someone with a history of dishonesty to be elevated to such heights and be rewarded so heavily? Anyone with a degree from Auburn should be writing a letter to the school president. If Auburn wins the national championship, there should be a big dark asterisk beside their name in the record books.

Posted by: ant9d | December 1, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

so they voted for their cash cow to get back to work.

shocked.

Posted by: docwhocuts | December 1, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Sooooo many posters have got this right. Put some return postage on that H-trophy. It's bound to be coming back.....

Posted by: rwattersjr1 | December 1, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

This makes no sense. Auburn must have known when they admitted Cam Newton earlier in the year that his father was soliciting money for him to come play there. It does not matter if Auburn did not pay. The mere act of the solicitation made Cam Newton ineligible immediately, and Auburn must have known this rule. Auburn has played him all season while he should have been ineligible, which means they should be forced to forfeit every game this season. It is only because they now have a shot at the BCS title and Newton has a shot at the Heisman that Auburn is coming clean. NCAA Football and the Heisman Committee don't need another Reggie Bush scandal. The NCAA never ceases to amaze me what they will do for money.

Posted by: wtmeyer4 | December 1, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

This makes no sense. Auburn must have known when they admitted Cam Newton earlier in the year that his father was soliciting money for him to come play there. It does not matter if Auburn did not pay. The mere act of the solicitation made Cam Newton ineligible immediately, and Auburn must have known this rule. Auburn has played him all season while he should have been ineligible, which means they should be forced to forfeit every game this season. It is only because they now have a shot at the BCS title and Newton has a shot at the Heisman that Auburn is coming clean. NCAA Football and the Heisman Committee don't need another Reggie Bush scandal. The NCAA never ceases to amaze me what they will do for money.

Posted by: wtmeyer4 | December 1, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

So now that we have an established set of facts, where is the SEC investigation and punishment? There will be none. The SEC Commissioner can only see the big payday ahead with Auburn playing in the National Championship game. If Auburn loses to South Carolina and does not make it to the big game, then you may see something from the SEC. Until then, it is wait and see.

Posted by: wtmeyer4 | December 1, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Either you have a hard and fast imputation of knowledge when a family member solicits money or you give up the pretense of amateur athletics and let them negotiate for performance. The idea that what Newton knew about his father's activities matters is absurd and makes everything unenforceable.

Posted by: paulnolan97 | December 1, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

What a self-serving bunch of crap from the NCAA. Cam's family broke the rules, so he should not be allowed to play college football. Period.

Posted by: SilverSpringer1 | December 1, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

If the NCAA allows this fiasco to go through the championship game, it'll be a travesty. Favoritism toward the SEC is getting pretty obvious to the rest of the country. It's a shame when those in control are more worried about the ratings (undefeated Auburn and Oregon rather than TCU) of the championship, than enforcing their rules. NCAA, man up, or admit this BCS isn't really about crowning a true champion that plays by the rules - it's all about money and ratings.

Posted by: termiteavenger | December 1, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Auburn's stands to reap over $60 million off Cam Newton this year. He should be getting paid at least $2-3 million for this season. The only reason people even care about Auburn football this year is because of the exploits of Cam Newton on the football field, especially the way he destroyed Alabama in the Iron Bowl last week. Stop the hypocrisy and pimping of major college athletes-----pay them a percentage of the revenues that their teams bring into a school's athletic departments each year ! Slavery is over !

Posted by: ellislawoffice | December 2, 2010 12:34 AM | Report abuse

This is ridiculous. Regardless of whether it is right or wrong, the rules right now is that students athletes are not supposed to be paid. Nor are the athletes students suppose to hire an agent to shop them around to colleges. And that's exactly what Cam Newton did. His father, for all intents and purposes, acted as his agent, and he shouldn't be immune from the rule just because his agent is a relative.
This is not a loophole, it's a gaping hole as wide as the Grand Canyon. My advice to all college athletes, have your parents shop you around. The athlete does not have to pocket a single penny, but certainly can drive around campus in a parent's Ferrari and go during school breaks hang out on his/her parents exotic beach front property they own somewhere compliments of some "friends of the program." Based on this latest ruling, this would be absolutely permissible. The NCAA would have absolutely no qualms about it.

Posted by: RGP75015 | December 2, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe everybody trashing Cameron Newton! NCAA says neither Auburn or Cam knew his dad was shopping him to State. NCAA knows more about this than you do. Anyway, Cam shouldn't be hurt by his father's mistake. Maybe I'll call up a random school and demand money for a high profile prospect's commitment. According to y'all that would make said prospect ineligible to play. Rules are rules, but Cam didn't break any.

Posted by: Neil2488 | December 2, 2010 1:16 AM | Report abuse

Amazing.

I guess playing in the NCAA is very close to being a member of congress in terms of having a judicial structure that protects one from any semblance of penalty for breaking rules.

The penalties seem to range from "mild rebuke" to "serious scolding".

How can it be possible that he doesn't even miss any games?

Posted by: Benson | December 2, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

If this happened about 20 years ago, Pat Dye would still be coaching.

Posted by: jeadpt | December 2, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Okay-he was vindicated because he "told" the SEC that he was unaware- he is a proven cheat, liar, and thief. He resigned from Florida 1 day before he was to be dismissed. Caught cheating THREE times and nailed with a stolen laptop. He is a liar's liar. We'll see if kharma really exists in the coming months.

Posted by: rlmayville | December 2, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Once again, Cindy shows her laziness; she writes, without support or basic reading comprehension skills that: "[Cam Newton] would be ineligible under SEC bylaws and its commissioner would have the final say on eligibility."

A responsible and competent journalist might actually check the validity of that statement.
Wait, look, Tony Barnhart did. "I checked with the SEC and the rule above does not apply in the Newton case." http://blogs.ajc.com/barnhart-college-football/2010/12/02/why-the-ncaa-got-it-right-in-the-cameron-newton-case/

Cindy, is it so hard to engage in the most basic fact-checking before writing lies and mistruths? That said, thanks for correcting your previous misstatement that the NCAA had ruled Newton ineligible.

Posted by: alvint | December 2, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

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