If a Tree Fell in the Woods…

One of our readers on the Plains has asked for our thoughts on the Cam Newton situation.  Being the accommodating folks that we are, we’d hate to disappoint.  We’ve said a few things before about Auburn’s season, but this deserves some special attention.

In case you’ve been productive this afternoon and haven’t seen the news, over the course of 2 days, Cam Newton (kinda like Michael Jackson…you can’t just say his first name) was ruled ineligible by the University, but today was ruled “immeditately eligible” to play for Auburn. All this with the admission by Cecil Newton, that he discussed “pay-to-play” programs with Mississippi State boosters.  Let’s begin with what the NCAA has to say about this situation. According to the NCAA by-laws:

12.1.1 Amateur Status. An individual loses amateur status and thus shall not be eligible for intercollegiate competition in a particular sport if the individual: (a) Uses his or her athletics skill (directly or indirectly) for pay in any form in that sport; (b) Accepts a promise of pay even if such pay is to be received following completion of intercollegiate athletics participation;

12.3.3 Athletics Scholarship Agent. Any individual, agency or organization that represents a prospective student-athlete for compensation in placing the prospect in a collegiate institution as a recipient of institutional financial aid shall be considered an agent or organization marketing the individual’s athletics ability or reputation.

I’ll start my comments with some of my favorite tweets of the day (Ok…ok…shameless plug, if you’re on twitter, you can follow us at http://www.twitter.com/thegrittree):

RT @Pres_Bartlet Being an Auburn player is like being in Congress: It’s acceptable to take a bribe, so long as you didn’t know it was a bribe.

The crux of the matter is the fact that Cam Newton “did not know”/wasn’t involved in the discussions with his dad and the MSU booster.  For some reason I want to say, and I hope my lawyer friends would back me up, that if you do something illegally, but you don’t know its wrong, it’s still illegal, right? If a tree fell in the woods, but Cam Newton wasn’t there to hear it fall, does that mean it made a sound? The people at Auburn would do their very best to make you believe it didn’t.

RT @stoneridgegroup Cam Newton eligibility ruling proves that even the NCAA doesn’t want to see an Oregon-TCU BCS Championship game.

Well… I take the NCAA’s side on this statement.  I don’t want to see Oregon-TCU either.  However, Auburn got the quick ruling on this because the NCAA received an admission of guilt from Cecil Newton. If Cam Newton turned into the second coming of Kodi Burns at QB for Auburn, and they were representing the SEC in the Birmingham Compass Bowl, it would be February and we would still be waiting on a ruling.

If Auburn & Auburn boosters were in question about the payment programs, even if money did not exchange hands, it is hard to believe that Cam Newton would have played the last 2 games. Could you imagine what would happen if that was the case? Just a thought.

RT @chrisnickinson: Hey NCAA, since the FSU coaches didn’t know does Bowden get his wins back & track it’s NCAA title back?

This is the point I am most curious about.  It took the NCAA every ounce in their being to look like it was playing favorite with top team in the country.  If I didn’t know any better, I would think that Dr. Michael Adams was in charge. Oh wait…that may still happen.

I do not understand why  Cam Newton was not suspended for AT LEAST 1 game for all of this.  Or that Auburn did not even take him out of a game, at least just out of suspicion. I also don’t understand the train of thought that the NCAA suspends A.J. Green for selling HIS jersey, that HE OWNED for 4 games, and not even recommending to Auburn to hold Cam Newton out of AT LEAST 1 game. I guess A.J. should have gotten his dad to sell his jersey. Its that insane.

And finally from the guys at EDSBS:

RT @Edsbs 40% of Finebaum listeners now believe Cecil Newton tried to get Miss. St. to buy his services as a male prostitute. #solicitationPAWL

If the SEC and NCAA wanted to send a message, no matter how offending, then they should ban Cecil Newton from attending any live SEC games, starting this Saturday.

This entire situation reminds me of a dad in little league baseball who coaches his son’s team. His son, the star athlete that pitches every game, walks 3 in row.  Then the dad proceeds to argue balls and strikes, and gets ejected.  Sometimes the adults mess up, and as unfortunate as it sounds, their kids have to face the consequences.


7 Responses to “If a Tree Fell in the Woods…”

  1. 1 WDE06 December 1, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Cam is free! WDE!

  2. 3 royal dawg December 1, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    This whole thing stinks to high heavens. When you compare this case to others that have happened recently the NCAA’s ruling is ridiculous. How does USC get raped by the NCAA when the coaches didn’t know what was going on but Cam “show me the money” Newton doesn’t have to face any consequences because he didn’t know about it. Ridiculous. On a more positive note, this is the most coherent post you’ve ever had Barndawg. I commend you.

  3. 5 WDE06 December 2, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Money never changed hands in this situation. UGA fans can keep hoping that Auburn paid him, but we did not.

  4. 7 WDE06 December 2, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    In the By Laws it says Agreement. AN Agreement is between two parties. Cecil asked for money and MSU said no.

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