Cam Newton Presumed Guilty?
CNBC Sports Business Reporter
There's a lot of hearsay regarding Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, the Heisman frontrunner who has led the team to an 10-0 record and a No. 2 ranking.
Reports have suggested that a representative for Newton, who left University of Florida and attended junior college before coming to Auburn, shopped his services to the highest bidder.
There is no paper trail suggesting that Auburn won that bid at asking prices that were reported to be in the $200,000 range. But there's plenty of attempts to try to connect the dots. Like his father Cecil's church, based in Newnan, Ga., that found the money to make necessary renovations. It may not prove anything, but the timing has people wondering.
Here’s the problem: No matter what Cam or his father say his record will always be smeared with this. Even if it turns out that these are all false leads.
Why? Because of the record of those that have come before him.
What we have right now is the non-denial denial. That’s his father Cecil calling the crusade against his son “a witch hunt.” The problem is, in similar witch hunt situations, witches have been found.
Blame Tiger Woods. Blame Brett Favre.
The general public, as well as the media for that matter, knows from experience now that non-denial denials haven’t meant much. It’s not enough to say it’s an unfair attack or that you’re not thinking about it.
Tiger Woods asked for privacy before the floodgates opened on his relationships. Brett Favre said he was concentrating on the game ahead before later admitting that the voicemails that were released were in fact his.
As for the flat out denial that hasn’t yet come from the Newton camp? News bulletin. That won’t do anything either.
Blame Marion Jones and all the track stars who denied they have taken performance enhancing drugs only to admit to it later. Blame Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing, who upon testing positive for a hormone in his system, said he had something called Overtrained Athlete Syndrome. Cushing still denies he took hormones, but the fact that the definition of the syndrome didn’t exist on the Internet before Cushing mentioned it makes his denial pretty hollow.
Cam and Cecil Newton can hold a press conference and show all the documents they want to show and the pressure won’t stop. The presumption of guilt will continue. It will forever be in his Wikipedia entry and will fill pages and pages of Google searches. That’s the society that we live in today. Unfortunately, when it looks and walks like a duck, it often is. That leaves the people who are presumed guilty until the very end (see Duke lacrosse players) and come out innocent with a virtual lifetime scar that will never go away. If Newton’s record comes up clean, he’ll still be living with this cloud for the rest of his life.
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