Newton, Heisman Favorite, Ruled Eligible by NCAA

December 2, 2010

The National Collegiate Athletic Association ruled Wednesday that Cam Newton, quarterback for Auburn University's football team and the leading contender for the Heisman Trophy, is eligible to play in this weekend's Southeastern Conference championship game. Auburn declared Newton ineligible to play Tuesday following an NCAA finding that Newton's father broke NCAA rules by actively trying to shop his son around to institutions, including Mississippi State University, for payment. Concurrently, Auburn asked the NCAA for Newton's eligibility to be reinstated. Kevin Lennon, the NCAA's vice president for academic and membership affairs, said in a statement: "Based on the information available to the reinstatement staff at this time, we do not have sufficient evidence that Cam Newton or anyone from Auburn was aware of this activity, which led to his reinstatement. From a student-athlete reinstatement perspective, Auburn University met its obligation under NCAA bylaw 14.11.1. Under this threshold, the student-athlete has not participated while ineligible.” It is not clear whether the NCAA and Auburn are still investigating whether Newton or his father received money for his playing at Auburn.

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