Auburn Tigers QB Cam Newton, already under investigation by the NCAA for shady circumstances surrounding his recruitment to Auburn and Mississippi St., is finding out what A.J. Green already knew: the NCAA will turn over every rock in its way, with every worm underneath every rock displayed in one of those glass case, uh, worm displays like you made in third grade. The latest upturning: Newton was formally accused of cheating in class three times while a member of the Florida Gators.
Horrors! Hands waving in the air! Furrrrious typing! Right. College athletes who don’t take academics seriously: not a new thing. If the NCAA wanted to, they could bust just about any player at any time for any number of things. We get that. But the thing with Newton is that the NCAA really does want to.
Remember when A.J. Green was being investigated for his role in a South Beach party? Green wasn’t there. Everybody knew it. Didn’t matter. While researching the party, the NCAA turned up entirely unrelated evidence that Green had sold a game-worn jersey to an agent-like individual. That’s the pit-of-my-stomach thing about the NCAA. An investigation into Matter A uncovers Matters B, C, D, and so on, matters we’d never even heard of.
This finding doesn’t affect Newton’s playing status in any way, but it’s certainly impetus for the NCAA to keep digging, not to mention pretty bad PR for the Heisman contender. One question, as Blutarsky notes, is how could this get out so quickly without the Florida Gators' very willing assistance?