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How Is Cam Newton Eligible?

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Before I post anything here, I try and make sure I understand everything fully. But I really need your help this time around. I don’t understand how Auburn quarterback Cam Newton is an eligible student-athlete.

On Wednesday, a day after Auburn ruled that Newton was ineligible and filed a request for reinstatement to the NCAA, the NCAA ruled that Newton was eligible.

While the investigation is still going on the NCAA did make one thing perfectly known: “According to facts of the case agreed upon by Auburn University and the NCAA enforcement staff, the student-athlete’s father and an owner of a scouting service worked together to actively market the student-athlete as a part of a pay-for-play scenario in return for Newton’s commitment to attend college and play football.”

The NCAA also found that Newton had no idea what his dad was up to, so they saw it fit to reinstate him. As hard as it is to believe this, I’m just going to go on the assumption that this is true. Since Newton wasn’t in on his father’s plan Newton is eligible in the NCAA’s eyes.

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But the SEC by-law 14.01.3.2 states:

“If at any time before or after matriculation in a member institution a student-athlete or any member of his/her family receives or agrees to receive, directly or indirectly, any aid or assistance beyond or in addition to that permitted by the Bylaws of this Conference (except such aid or assistance as such student-athlete may receive from those persons on whom the student is naturally or legally dependent for support),such student- athlete shall be ineligible for competition in any intercollegiate sport within the Conference for the remainder of his/her college career.”

So then Newton is ineligible to play at Auburn according to the SEC, right?

Not so fast. SEC commissioner Mike Slive told Fanhouse’s Clay Travis that according to his interpretation of the rule since money never actually changed hands Newton was eligible.

Just looking at this as objectively as I can - remember I did call out for people to leave Cam Newton alone until we got some facts rather than malicious gossip from boosters of a rival school - I have to say that according to that SEC by-law that Newton is ineligible. With Cecil Newton agreeing to work with “an owner of a scouting service” to try and shake down Mississippi State, doesn’t that mean there was an indirect agreement to receive aid or assistance regardless of whether that aid or assistance was received? Am I making too much of this?

Another thing that puzzles me is with the Reggie Bush precedent set by the NCAA how Cam Newton got off with being ineligible for less than 24 hours. Is this just a ploy to help prevent TCU from playing in the BCS Championship Game?

I’m a little confused here. Can someone help me out here?