NCAA Decides to Close Loophole That Kept Cam Newton Eligible at Auburn
Cam Newton has officially changed the game of college football. With the way Newton played this season at the NFL level it may be easy to forget what happened with him at Auburn. Newton won the Heisman trophy and led the Tigers to a National Championship, but to say his college career was filled with controversy would be an enormous understatement.
A little over a year ago, Newton was reinstated at Auburn and declared eligible for the remainder of what would become a championship season. While it was determined that his father, Cecil Newton, tried to auction Cam off to the highest bidder, the NCAA could not prove that Cam knew about the illegal activity. As a result, Newton was allowed to play.
On Wednesday, a rule change assured that we will not see a repeat of the Newton situation. Here is an explanation from the USA Today:
The association’s Division I legislative council endorsed a measure Wednesday expanding its definition of an agent to encompass third-party influences – including family members – who directly or indirectly market an athlete for profit as Newton’s father tried to do as the quarterback was being recruited out of junior college.
Among the specific targets: anyone who “seeks to obtain any type of financial gain or benefit from securing a prospective student-athlete’s enrollment at an educational institution or a from a student-athlete’s potential earnings as a professional athlete.”
In other words, Newton would have been ineligible under the new rule whether he was aware of his father’s pay for play scheme of not. Anyone who actually believes that Cam was not aware of what his father was doing is either extremely naive, the biggest Newton fan on the planet, or both. Had the NCAA been able to prove it, Auburn would not have won a championship. Fortunately, there will be no need to prove it should the situation arise again.