As the vote for the 2010 Heisman Award wraps up this week and the ceremony is all set to take place on Saturday, there's little question who will win. Auburn's stud quarterback, Cam Newton, is by far the best college football player this season and some say among the top college football quarterbacks ever. The question isn't "will" he win. The question is "should" he win, given all the moral and ethical baggage he brings to the field.
Newton's father, Cecil, has already said he won't be attending the award ceremony. He doesn't want to be a "distraction" to his son. Right, well it's a bit late for that since he's gotten caught selling Cam's services to the highest SEC bidder. I don't want to say Auburn cheated here, or Cam absolutely knew about the payoff scheme, but if that's a place you wanted your mind to go, it's hardly virgin territory.
The point raised by the various Heisman voters over this past week is if the criteria for the award gives them an out or at least a clear guideline. Some cite the mission statement's clause "... pursuit of excellence with integrity" as an excuse for withholding a vote for Newton. Cam might not only be involved in this pay-to-play fiasco, but fled Florida as fast as a laptop can fly out of a dorm window.
Is that really enough to keep the honor that's typically gone to the best player away from the best player?
The bottom line here: Newton is the only option. Andrew Luck had a nice season and probably will be a good NFL quarterback. He's a squeaky clean guy that voters can choose if they put moral outrage over athletic play. But no one associated with big time college sports has any business doing that.
The entire system is a racket that takes advantage of the kids and is designed to generate big dollars for the schools that are used to line the pockets of athletic directors, coaching staffs, and all the other hangers-on. It's a money-making machine that's evolved to the point that protecting its own revenue-generating potential has supplanted all other noble goals it still publicly proclaims.
A vote for Cam is a vote in favor of the status quo system of NCAA Football and since the voters are inherently part of that system, there's simply no way they are going to go against their own interests. The decision isn't about Newton or Luck. It's a decision that's already been made that puts the business and competitive achievement over ethics and fair play. That die was cast long before Cameron Newton became the scandal du jour.