Posted by: dvolpe | November 14, 2010

The Cam Newton Controversy

I’m going to make this short and sweet, people. There is no controversy. These stories are written for the naive sports fan, who still believes that such a thing as the student athlete exists. Okay, don’t get me wrong. They exist. You’ll find them on volleyball courts, and at track meets and even in football and basketball in small colleges you’ve never heard of. But in the big sports, in the big time programs, the student athlete is just a quaint notion that makes sports fans feel good about college football, and the whole college experience. Siss boom bah, rah rah rah, but let’s cut the crap for a minute and be realistic. This might come as a shock to some people, but this is a reality: If you don’t like pay-for-play, you don’t like college football. Or basketball for that matter.

Think about how often there’s a “scandal” involving college player taking money. Now… what percentage of actual NCAA infractions do you think are ever reported, or come the surface? %10? %20? College players get paid to play. Not all of them, but the blue chippers? Yeah, they get paid. They’re over 18. They provide a service that’s worth millions of dollars to whatever school is lucky enough to bring them in, and yes they get paid for that service. It’s amazing to me how by creating a rule you can get everyone to confuse rule breaking with amorality. Is it amoral to break a rule within an inherently corrupt system? Everyone gets paid in college football. Coaches get paid, coordinators get paid, professors get paid and yes, like it or not, the student players get paid. If you don’t like then you need to either push for NCAA reform or stop watching, but catching one player every few years will do nothing to stem the tide of pay-for-play players.

So believe whatever you want about Cam Newton, but don’t call his situation a controversy. The only mistake he made was getting caught. Because like it or not, his situation, like so many others in college football, is just business as usual in the NCAA.


Congratulations to the Buffalo Bills on their win this sunday, even though it came against my Lions. I know how it feels to be the only winless team left in the league, and what a relief it is to finally win a game. At least for one week, the Bills get to feel like winners.


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