It started on Monday as the NCAA concluded that a violation of amateurism rules occurred and that set the ball in motion for his reinstatement.
When a school finds out that a violation has occurred it’s standard procedure to declare a player ineligible. That happened on Tuesday when Auburn declared Newton ineligible. The school then requests that the student-athlete’s eligibility be reinstated. That was the case on Wednesday as Newton was reinstated without any conditions meaning he’s eligible to play immediately in this weekend’s game against South Carolina.
That has caused disappointment by some national media personalities, and I use that term “media” loosely, who say that it opens a Pandora’s Box of problems and who apparently have a rooting interest in seeing Newton slandered.
What they don’t understand is that the example has already been set and it was set in this very state. I’ve got two words for you, Albert Means.
Signing with and playing for Alabama, the NCAA later ruled that Means had been shopped by high school coaches and those coaches were provided extra benefits by an Alabama booster to choose the Crimson Tide. That made the big defensive tackle ineligible, at Alabama. Not at Memphis though, which is where he transferred.
You see Memphis wasn’t involved in any illegal recruiting of Means and he nor his family got any extra benefits. Therefore he was able to play for the Tigers after sitting out a year because of the transfer. Even though money exchanged hands in the Means case, he was still able to play at Memphis.
In the Newton situation nobody has proven that money exchanged hands. On the contrary everyone involved from the MSU side of things is vehement that it never got past the talking stage.
Looking back some very poetic words by Auburn coach Gene Chizik stand out even more on this cold December day. On Nov. 4 while on his weekly radio show Tiger Talk, Chizik had the following to say. “I’ll say this very loud and very clear,” he said. “Cameron Newton is eligible at Auburn University. Period. End of story.”
I think those words ring very loud and very clear today.
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