Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Precedent Setting: Cam Newton declared eligible by NCAA

image Link to NCAA press release is here.  But you may want to wait a while before clicking it.  They’re understandably getting slammed by traffic.

I’ll paste some interesting parts of the release as soon as I’ve read the whole thing.

In essence, the NCAA is saying that all parties—the Newtons, Mississippi State and Auburn University and the NCAA enforcement staff—agree that Cecil Newton “shopped” his son Cam to people associated with the Mississippi State football program, a violation of NCAA bylaws.

Mississippi State has disassociated itself with the “involved individual” (most likely Kenny Rogers) and Cecil Newton (odd, since he never had any real association with the school). Auburn agrees to limit Cecil Newton’s access to the program.

CORRECTION:  Via Stewart Mandel, Newton is not disassociated from Mississippi State.  That makes sense, since he was never associated anyway, as I noted.

Newton was declared ineligible by Auburn on Monday, November 29.

The school requested reinstatement on Tuesday, November 30.

The NCAA granted Auburn’s request on Wednesday, December 1.

I’ll let the legal minds dissect what this means, but if it’s what I think it is, it’s opening a Pandora’s Box of compliance problems and creating a nightmare for university compliance officials.  The NCAA has basically determined that Cam didn’t know what his father was up to and while Cecil Newton committed a technical violation of the bylaws, the son’s eligibility should not be affected.

This means every relative, guardian, “handler” or whatever can shop high school and JUCO talent to any or all of the schools they want.  As long as the kid has plausible deniability about pay-for-play demands, he’s not harmed.

Dreadful precedent.

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