Will doubt about Newton hurt his Heisman chances?

November 12, 2010

Stick to the numbers

Desmond Conner

Hartford Courant

It probably already has for some, but not for those of us who believe in the concept of innocent until proven guilty.

Allegations are allegations. That's all they are. Cam Newton has this Heisman voter's vote.

He has led Auburn to a 10-0 start and a No. 2 ranking in the BCS standings.

He has completed 67.2 percent of his passes for 1,890 yards and 19 touchdowns with only five interceptions.

He has rushed for 1,146 yards (6.5 per carry) and 16 touchdowns.

He has 303.6 yards per game of total offense.

His team has scored 50 or more points in half its games.

Those are the facts.

dconner2@tribune.com

Yes, thanks to Bush

Chris Dufresne

Los Angeles Times

It isn't a question of "if" his chances have been damaged by the various and disturbing pay-for-play allegations swirling around him.

There is no question many Heisman voters will be wary of casting a vote for a player who might end up being another Reggie Bush.

This may be unfair if the allegations are false, but you can blame Bush for making everyone more suspicious.

The difference here is the Newton allegations are happening in real time as the Auburn quarterback tries to lead his team to a national title.

Heisman voters I have spoken to don't want another tainted outcome and another AD sending another trophy back to the Heisman Trust. They want resolution, but they might not get it.

cdufresne@tribune.com

Hard to ignore talk

Teddy Greenstein

Chicago Tribune

It was easy to blow off the first Cam Newton-might-be-dirty story. It was based on allegations by a booster at a rival school. Chapter 2 brought accusations of academic cheating at Florida. By not denying them, Newton actually gained some credibility in my book. Maybe Auburn had not attached a blank check to his scholarship offer.

But after Cecil Newton told ESPN.com he would neither "confirm nor deny" the latest charges of a play-for-pay plot involving his son, it's time to step back.

No, it wouldn't shock anyone that boosters or coaches at a competitive SEC school would drop six figures to hire the best player in college football. But if more evidence surfaces, I might feel compelled to leave Newton off my ballot. Glad I have until Dec. 6 to decide.

tgreenstein@tribune.com

He deserves fair shake

Matt Murschel

Orlando Sentinel

As much as I would like to believe most of the Heisman Trophy voters would look past the recent suspicions about Newton and vote based on straight performance, I know that's not going to happen.

Internet rumors and anonymous sources are stronger than pure, hard facts these days, and in Newton's case, it looks like that could be enough to derail his chances of winning college football's highest honor. You can thank Reggie Bush for that one.

The Heisman Trust's mission statement says the award should go to the player who exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. Until proven otherwise, Newton should be given a fair shake. It's unfortunate he probably won't.

mmurschel@tribune.com

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