HBO report on Auburn paying players shines a new light on Cam Newton


We’ve received an advance copy of tonight’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, and John Taylor of CFT has spelled out in detail the allegations of Auburn paying college players.

For NFL teams considering whether to draft former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, the report brings back into focus the question of whether Newton’s father, Cecil, asked Auburn for money when Newton was choosing a school — and whether Auburn actually paid it.  Given that Cecil Newton reportedly solicited money from Mississippi State and that Cam Newton went instead to Auburn and that other Auburn players reportedly have been paid, NFL teams may have even stronger suspicions regarding Cam Newton being paid to play college football.

Technically, none of it matters at the NFL level.  But the manner in which Newton has answered the questions speaks to the extent to which a team can trust him as to matters that inevitably will arise once he’s playing at the next level.  Also, if a Reggie Bush-style controversy unfolds over the next few years, the team that drafts Cam Newton needs to be ready to tolerate the distraction.

Either way, the HBO report could prompt some teams to spend the next month devoting even more time and money to getting at the truth — especially if the truth potentially conflicts with the things that Newton already has told them.

66 responses to “HBO report on Auburn paying players shines a new light on Cam Newton

  1. I’m not on the Newton bandwagon quite yet but it would appear to me as if everything that has gone down has gone down on his fathers behalf. Is Cam totally innocent? Lord only knows, but the cancer in his life so far has been his fathers involvement.

  2. Who cares if college players get paid. If Newton was worth that kind of money to the school then that is what he was worth. Accepting money to play college football and/or having your family think you should is not a mark against your character in my book.
    That said, he’s prolly gonna be a bust. His scouting report reads like the report of a bust.

  3. These kids should have a wage scale. That would stop all of this. These colleges are making a fortune off of these kids and it isn’t right. Especially when they are government assisted colleges! Talk about double dipping! I’m not saying the kids are vindicated, they broke the rules. But the rules themselves are broke as well.

  4. Most great college football/basketball players are paid – no one cares except the media.

  5. Hey, Icons don’t come cheap nowadays.

    I’m betting that the team that eventually selects Cam Newton is gonna pay and pay and pay and pay.

    It’s called the “JaMarcus Russel, ya shoulda known better, ya moron!” payment plan.

  6. So what if Newton is lying to NFL teams, truth is he can’t admit to the truth now. He would only hurt Auburn and it won’t be fair to the players who won the championship with him.

  7. I agree with the first poster that said his father is most likely the biggest interference and probably will continue to be once he suits up on Sundays. Aside from character concerns, there’s no way I spend a top 5 pick, much less the top pick overall, on a kid who has one-year of film. If Bradford, Stafford, and Luck were in this draft he would clearly be #4 (as would Gabbert). Newton probably should go in the 12-20 range since I think he’s more comparable to a Roethlisberger or Josh Freeman but since this is draft without a true QB stud he’ll go higher than he should. Call it the Alex Smith effect.

  8. Theres NO WAY Cam didnt know about his Fathers deals with other schools. I know all you Auburn fans dont want to believe this. His Dad is taking the Fall so Cam can go to the NFL and make more money for him. He knew Mississippi State wouldnt be in the spotlight like Auburn would be. So he ripped them off, its not like MS State can get the money back,its illegal tp pay it in the first place. It will all catch up in the end…just ask Reggie.

  9. Hell…Auburn has been paying players since Charles Barkley went there…..This is no groundbreaking news…

  10. Regardless how much money he helped bring to the school while he was playing he was still getting paid to play football. It is called a scholarship. Apparently a free education at a good school isn’t enough now a days.

  11. It is becoming more and more obvious that Auburn sold their soul to the devil to get a National Championship. The most interesting scenario to watch is any reaction or lack thereof from the folks at U of Alabama. I’m sure this is the hot topic of conversation as the Tide have had now negative press whatsoever after winning their title, and it took under 4 months for Auburn to come under direct and intense scrutiny as to how many rules may have been broken during their title run.

  12. Haven’t you guys ever heard of Title IX?

    If the NCAA allows colleges to pay football players then they will have to pay players in all sports

  13. snowpea84 says: Mar 30, 2011 9:12 AM

    “Accepting money to play college football and/or having your family think you should is not a mark against your character in my book.”

    Perhaps not, but denying it afterwards sure is.

  14. Mr. Shanahan, please steer clear of this guy. Tell Dan to keep the checkbook in the drawer, settle down, and do NOT draft Jamarcus/Cam/Russell/Newton/Ryan Leaf here. Get a stud offensive lineman, or trade down some spots and get Andy Dalton, or something. Do not pick this guy and invite the problems. He ain’t no Mark Sanchez……..

  15. Come on fellas. This goes on EVERYWHERE. Not in all cases by the school itself but by boosters. I’ve seen it first hand. Been offered it first hand and had friends offered it first hand. Anyone that thinks differently is looking through rose colored glasses.

  16. Somewhat agree with snowpea84 above. The amount of money from college sponsorships is obscene, and part of me feels like if players can’t get paid then we at least need to get rid of the ridiculous bowl sponsorships. We’re asking the players to play the game for love of the sport, but the colleges sure aren’t hosting the events for that reason.

    On the other hand anything that brings private money into education is probably a good thing. College sports pays for state of the art labs and research centers that we need in this country.

    Ultimately it just feels wrong for these kids to be such valuable commodities and to be profited on so much but to get nothing more from that than a free ride at a state school.

  17. I’d like just one of the greedy NFL players to step up here & say something, they are digging in for all the money.

  18. i think you would all be suprised how many players get paid while at a university. miss. st. just acted like a scorned lover. cam may become a bust in the nfl but im sick of the jamarcus comparions.2 diff qb’s if u watch them.

  19. For the nieve sports fan this may come as a shock, but anyone with a window into the industry knows that the majority of top recruited talent at major universities are receiving “benefits” from either the University, Agents or both.

  20. One real simple way to put an end to paying players to come to your school is to make it a felony.

    throw some alumni big shots behind bars for a few months or a year.

  21. Let that young man play football. There is nothing wrong with the fact that he or his father ACCEPTED money to play football. The school gave him the money and I say BRAVO! Cam, Dear, I wish you the best in the NFL. Go get them and play stay humble and leave them BECKY’s alone. Remember Steve McNair and let’s not forget about O.J. Have a great life.

  22. At the end of the day, if paying Cam got them the National Championship then it was all worth it. Do you know how many people bought Auburn 2011 National Champions gear? As much as the NCAA thinks they can “vacate” those accomplishments, they can’t. The fans still have the gear, and the school still has the profits from all that gear.

  23. I suggest…..If you are a fan of whomever drafts Scam….Hide your oak trees….Those Alabama boys are ready to Roll…..

  24. Where does BECKY fit in here you asked? Those damn Becky’s always have something to do with the problem. Cameron Newton…please stay away from those damn Becky’s, spread the love around…we want some.

  25. The NCAA and the universities disgust me with their hypocrisy. I expect, no demand, the institutions we trust to educate our children and often publicly fund to behave without reproach. Aren’t they the guardians of “higher knowledge’? More like greedy players and owners that take their fans for granted. Bite me!

  26. Know what you are talking about. College football players on scholarship do get paid, legally – a monthly stipend – since they are limited on what work they can /can’t do during the season. Its the best scholarship in college – tuition paid, books on loan, dorm room ( or housing assisting payment for off-campus living ), all meals, plus the monthly stipend / spending cash, usually in the form of a debit card.

  27. snowpea84 says: Mar 30, 2011 9:12 AM

    “Accepting money to play college football and/or having your family think you should is not a mark against your character in my book.”

    If you want to argue whether or not college athletes should be paid, that’s one thing.

    But, when you know the rules are that you can’t get paid and you solicit and accept payment anyway, that is certainly a mark against your character in my book.

  28. I say so what.

    These players make their schools millions of dollars for performing on the field. They arent granted scholarships to be students, they are there to play football. They can’t get jobs because of their schedules and are constantly scrutinized for any kind of income they take in.

  29. Lost in this whole debate is the fact that very few schools make significant money on their athletics operations. Only a few schools would be able to pay college players, which means that competitiveness in the college game would suffer.

  30. But, Mike, it is an HBO report. When were they right about anything. Rumor mongers. And, i would not believe anthing Bryant Gumble says.

  31. Anything we say about this is pure speculation until this piece is aired. That being said, this kid is sure getting put through the wringer but there’s no way ANYONE can say he’s not deserving of most of it, if not all. Watching him blow kisses at the crowd at his home games and prancing around the stadium – to the delight of the fans – was proof positive of his unbridled arrogance. T.O. “I love me-sa-me” looks almost humble compared to the icon.

  32. Jay Bilas has come up with the perfect compromise.

    The schools paying the players wouldn’t work, because they would be required to pay every athlete in every sport.

    Allow the players to earn whatever endorsement money they can, something which is now banned.

    And allow athletes to earn whatever they can in off season jobs, something which is currently greatly restricted.

    Let them earn whatever money they can legitimately.

    You know, like every other student in college in America can right now.

  33. Not sure officially paying the players would stop the abuses. For many of these guys they would have to take a pay cut. The blue chips would still be getting more money under the table because the dirty boosters wouldn’t stop trying to tip the scales their way.

  34. Why would this latest revelation affect his NFL status. In that league, they always pay for performance. Cam just started earlier than most pros.

  35. How exactly did the Reggie Bush scandal hurt the Saints, his draft stock or tarnish his SB ring?

    College football is a multi billion dollar business. It is naive at best to think players at the top programs are not getting extra benefits.

    I can see not paying the players directly from the school’s budget, but there is no reason that players should be banned from having agents setting up legit endorsement deals and advising them on professional opportunities.

  36. Well, since you can recieve a full scolarship to a school, why not money, Its bacically the same thing.

    You are still paying something for the player, so why not in the form of cash?

    Paying players has been going on a lot longer than Reggie Bush or Cam Newton…

  37. Does being an entertainer and icon fall within the realm of NCAA rules as it relates to payments received?

  38. Bruant Gumble? Ew! I just got sick in my mouth. Besides, the concept of paying players to win a national championship is such OLD NEWS! The better question would be what programs HAVEN’T paid players?

    Dig deep enough and you’ll find every major college football program to be a filthy, sleazy, win at all costs machine fueled by what? MONEY and GREED!

  39. This all happened when Tubby was there. Damned boosters. Chizik has cleaned up that situation, hopefully.

  40. Pro football and basketball need to invest in their own minor league systems. You don’t see this stuff in baseball and hockey.

  41. Anyone with a brain would have to ask “well if he really wanted to go to Miss St. and the Newton’s asked them for money, then why did he go to Auburn instead”?

    The answer is obvious – AU paid him.

    I’m sure the paper trail will be worked out in time – meaning the Heisman and the Crystal trophy will find new homes.

  42. these guys should get some form of stipend for playing, just as if they had any other on-campus job. but until that happens – and even after in the case of under the table payments – the ncaa should come down like the hammer of doom on anyone who gets caught.

  43. For all of you people saying that players don’t get paid you are out of your minds. These schools cost easily $40,000 a year not counting books, food and housing. For craps and giggles lets say that’s $50,000 a year. Over 4 years that totals $200,000. So they get paid that much money to play a game and have the opportunity to either go pro or take that diploma and make a crap ton of money in the real world. How is that so hard for you people to understand?

  44. Instead of paying college players, base scholarships on the players’ performances.

    But give the coaches the override, so the kid that does everything right–classroom, off-the-field, etc.–but isn’t the full athlete that Cam Newton is, can still get his due.

    Who knows the kids better than the coaches? No one.

    Thumbs UP for AGREEMENT,

  45. The top 3 or 4 players on the top 25 teams should all be receiving $200,000-500,000 a year (or more) plus a guaranteed education (no limit on the time it takes). The number of scholarships should be tied to graduation.

    The top players at mid majors ought to be able to make $100,000.

  46. how many lights do you need to see through the left wing press and realize this guy is of low character, slimy in other words! hey slick would you give him 60 million to play on your team? and would you like to have him around your kids?

  47. Sometimes I wonder if people who say players should be paid lack reading comprehension skills. Their solutions inevitably ignore consideration of Title IX, where monies from football revenue currently go at most institutions, etc.

  48. Where is SEC fan at now sticking up for their cheating conferance? Put Auburn on the death penalty and just wait until they strip them of the national title!

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