Auburn quarterback Cam Newton is the beneficiary of a bizarre NCAA ruling that would allow him to be eligible to play this Saturday in the SEC Championship game against South Carolina. The governing body of intercollegiate athletics said, in a nutshell, that Cam is still in the clear since he apparently didn’t know that his father was shopping him to other schools for cash, which seems contrary to the ruling that put Southern Cal’s football team on probation earlier this year.
[Southern Cal athletic director Pat] Haden, who succeeded Mike Garrett in August, said the Newton ruling is at odds with how USC is attempting to educate athletes and their parents regarding NCAA rules.
“I was always told the parent is the child,” Haden said. “That’s what we’ve been telling our kids. If the parent does something inappropriate the child suffers the consequences.”
USC is scheduled to appear before the NCAA’s Infractions Appeals Committee next month. Haden said school attorneys would probably review the Newton case. “Intuitively, it seems appropriate that we would discuss it,” he said.
The differences between Cecil Newton and Reggie Bush’s ordeal at Southern Cal aren’t all that obvious: the message the NCAA seems to be sending is, “We have no intention of pulling a guy off the field while he’s still active, and his team is playing well.” So they’ll let Auburn take a shot at a national title that would eventually be forfeited anyway. Which is funny, because there are lots of people out there that think college players should get a more respectable wage for their efforts. This tells me that the NCAA feels the same way.