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Sports Then and Now

Cam Newton Wins the Heisman Trophy, But Will He Keep It?

Posted on December 12, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Cam Newton easily won the Heisman Trophy for 2010.

If this were a perfect world, Cam Newton might have been the first unanimous winner in Heisman Trophy history. Few college players have so overwhelmed a season as Newton has done in 2010. Every time his team the Auburn Tigers needed a big play to keep their undefeated season going, Newton used either his arm or legs to lift the Tigers to victory.

However, we all know that this is not a perfect world and unfortunately while a strange off-the-field situation didn’t cost Newton the Heisman Trophy, it did cost him a chance at the highest point total and largest margin of victory in the 76 year history of the award.

Even with being omitted on 105 of 886 completed ballots, Newton still eclipsed second place Andrew Luck by more than 1,100 points. Of the ballots where he was included, 93% had Newton rated first.

Now, the question becomes whether Newton will be able to keep the Heisman or if at some point he becomes the second winner in the last half dozen years to forfeit the award.

In his defense, Newton has starkly claimed and the NCAA has ruled that he was unaware that his father, Cecil Newton, was shopping around his services with the intent to receive money from the college that signed Cam Newton after he spent the 2009 college football season at Blinn Junior College.

These reports began to surface in late October while Newton and the Tigers were rolling through the Southeastern Conference (SEC) on their way to an undefeated regular season and conference championship. No evidence has ever surfaced showing that Auburn made illegal payments in the situation.

What Will Eventually Happen to the 2010 Heisman Trophy?

  • The Heisman Trust will soon add it to its growing "returned" wing (73%, 11 Votes)
  • Cam Newton will keep it forever (20%, 3 Votes)
  • Someone will buy it on Ebay (7%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 15

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Even as he was ruled ineligible for a day and then reinstated, Newton has continued to play like a champion. He led the SEC with 1,409 yards rushing and 20 rushing touchdowns. He also passed for 2,589 yards and 28 touchdowns with just six interceptions.

In the regular season finale against Alabama, Newton rallied the Tigers from a 24-0 deficit with three passing and one rushing touchdown in a 28-27 victory.

He capped the season with a six touchdown (four passing, two rushing) performance against South Carolina in the SEC Title Game to lift Auburn into the BCS Championship Game against Oregon.

Many are fearful of a recurrence of the situation that culminated earlier this year with Reggie Bush returning the Heisman Trophy he won in overwhelming fashion in 2005.

Newton continued to reiterate after receiving the award that he will never have to return it. Sports fans across the country are really hoping that is the case as it would be another huge blow to not only the award, but also to college football if a second trophy is vacated.

Given his repeated proclamation of innocence and his controlled demeanor, Newton is either totally innocent or one of the biggest liars of all time. If he is never shown to have been aware of the situation, then he will forever be remembered for having one of the great college football seasons of all time. However, if evidence ever surfaces that proves that he was aware, the backlash would likely be unmerciful and he will be looked at in far worse terms than Bush, who didn’t come under increased scrutiny until long after he received the award.

Newton has proven to be a champion on the field, now let’s just hope his integrity and honesty are also of championship caliber.

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