Chase Goodbread: Here’s the rub: The NCAA and its individual member institutions make things public when they want to, and no sooner. The idea that all this paperwork shuffled from the NCAA to Auburn and back again in 72 hours without prior agreements being made is far-fetched. More likely, Auburn knew what was coming from the NCAA Monday, and knew the edge of the reinstatement boomerang would come back quickly, and with a soft edge.
As for the merits of the decision, they stand on their own. If the NCAA could not find any reason to declare Newton ineligible, he should be allowed to play, and play without having to explain his own actions or anyone else’s. But for an organization that has proven over the course of many years to move at a much slower pace, one can only wonder if the same speed would have been afforded an NCAA swimmer or golfer. Or any athlete who didn’t happen to be a Heisman front-runner, a potential national champion and a lightning rod for the sport all at the same time.
John Pennington: Let the questions begin:
1. What was the violation that occurred? If sources are correct, it’s likely the fact that his father did ask MSU boosters for cash. But that’s not been verified yet.
2. Why did the NCAA decide not to punish Newton? Every case is different. “Yeah, yeah” say Alabama and Georgia and Mississippi State and Kentucky fans. “Why were Marcel Dareus, AJ Green, Renardo Sidney and Enes Kanter forced to sit for their violations?” Plenty of folks will demand answers over this one.
3. If our belief in Point One that Newton’s dad admitted to asking for cash is correct, then Mike Slive will have an interesting decision to make. The SEC’s by-laws state that no parent or guardian or other agent can solicit money on behalf of a player without the player being ruled ineligible. By the letter of the law — IF Point One was the violation spoken of — Newton should be declared ineligible.
Jason Kirk: Cam Newton was ineligible for one day, meaning AJ Green's jersey was worth $5.1 Million. We tried to do the Cam Newton-to-A.J. Green conversion math before, but apparently we had it backwards. Mistakenly thinking Newton’s punishment for his dad’s $180,000 solicitation should line up with Green’s four-week suspension for selling a jersey for $1,000, we concluded Newton should be suspended for 67 years. Only one of us went to Georgia Tech though, so you’ll excuse our math.
Spencer Hall: It means that among the many mysteries here, we know that there's more to come, even if that only "more" is the final "okay, we're through there, and the investigation is over." It is a legitimate question to ask whether the Newtons are excused from this entirely, or if it will turn to focus on Kenny Rogers and agent contact, or who the hell knows. The timing of the rest of the case will likely be as sluggish as the rest of the NCAA's investigations have been, but the most nagging thing of all in the short-term thinking re: l'affaire du Newton is this: why now?