Time to welcome Cam Newton to the Heisman Club

Dec 1 2010 - 5:27pm

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Cam Newton has my Heisman Trophy vote.

Book it. Give me a Magic Marker. I'll write his name in thick black ink for the world to see.

Newton is the best player in college football and he is eligible for the award. Period.

I fully expect him to be honored in the hallowed Heisman halls in New York City on Dec. 11, joining the pantheon of greats. Hey, if enough voters overlook his alleged peccadilloes, he could surpass O.J. Simpson's record margin of victory (1,750 points), set in 1968.

Wouldn't that be a hoot?

Let's save all the moral outrage for another day.

College football is a great game, but it's a house of cards when it come to ethics. The BCS Cartel, the "student-athlete" hypocrisy, and coaches breaking contracts to chase dollars are all part of the dysfunctional tapestry of the game.

And Newton is the ultimate poster child of the system.

If I were a gambling man, I'd bet the house, the furniture, all my Springsteen CDs and maybe my two beloved Boxers that the Newton clan broke more than a few NCAA regulations on that storybook trip from a nondescript junior college in Texas to the plains of Auburn.

Daddy Dearest Cecil Newton admittedly made the "choice" for his son to go to Auburn, which is the first cautionary tale that something is amiss. His kid is a young adult, not some toddler who needs daddy and mommy to sift through his day-care options.

There's enough brush fires around Newton to keep Smokey the Bear on speed dial 24-7.

But at last check, the NCAA has no problem with his eligibility and Auburn officials aren't certainly looking back in regret. Hey, if you are going to have to forfeit one game you may as well forfeit 12. Auburn is all-in behind Newton, no matter what happens.

And what happens when Newton plays is simply magnificent. The comeback against Alabama solidified his greatness, and helped take down another one of those NCAA posers, Nick Saban. The guy who lectured everybody on ethics last summer seemed to forget his moments of phony-baloney, like the time he insisted he wasn't leaving the Miami Dolphins to coach at Alabama until he decided to leave the Miami Dolphins to coach at Alabama.

And least the pros are up-front about it all. They get paid handsomely to play the sport they love. The NCAA hides under that silly shish-boom-bah fantasy from years gone by, give or take a few Lamborghinis paid for by boosters or agents.

Newton and Auburn are part of the corrupt SEC family, which has been hit with more infractions than any league in NCAA history. Former commissioner Roy Kramer hit the jackpot during his tenure when all 12 schools got zapped by the NCAA police.

Beyond the shame of the SEC, marquee players elsewhere are continually caught in the throes of some scandal, including one of the Heisman's beloved alumni, Reggie Bush.

We've got a win-win with the Newton scenario. If he is proven innocent of all charges, his courage through all this adversity will make his legacy even greater.

If the implosion happens, it just keeps the NCAA hypocritical merry-go-round spinning out of control.

Newton is either a fabulous testament to perseverance or one of the greatest con artists in the history of sports, just another bad boy who got caught throwing a laptop out the window. But, hey, in the metaphorical sense, one window closed and another one opened.

Newton left Gainesville to make a new life for himself. That he has done, and very well.

But at what cost?

If the price tag daddy dearest hung on him was $180,000, it was a prudent gamble to take to join a secret society of hypocritical elitists.

Either way, Cam Newton is money.

Welcome to the Heisman club, young man.

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