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The Heisman “Trust”

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To sit down and write a column evaluating what may or may not have happened between Auburn University and the Newton family would be irresponsible of me, not to mention a complete waste of your time (and a column). I think we all know what happened. Smoke precedes fire and such.

According to a statement on their website, the Heisman Trust ensures that, “Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work. [We] ensure the continuation and integrity of this award.”

If the Heisman Trust is putting their faith in 20-year old athletes who know little outside their self-constructed worlds, well, what are we as fans supposed to do about it?

Cam Newton is going to catch a cab after the presentation tonight with his mom. He’s going to carry the most hallowed trophy in all of sports back to his hotel and show it to his dad. It probably won’t be awkward for them. And who cares if it is? They’ll still be eating dinner for four: Mom, dad, Cam, and Mr. Heisman.

The barter of money for first downs? It happens, yeah it happens everywhere. More than people think. To think OSU has never slipped a few bills towards a recruit is to be ignorant of the system. It goes on.

This season goes on too, tumbling towards Tempe in all its controversial glory. It’s been just like all the others too — memorable, epic, laden with highlights etched in our mind, the ones we’ll never forget.

The script has been written (and carried out) more brilliantly than any of us could imagine. Problem is, from our perspective, the genre played out by the NCAA used to be a drama. Now it’s nothing more than a full-fledged-Oscar-worthy comedic act.

And the Newtons are probably laughing the hardest.

This isn’t some massive conspiracy. It is what you think it is and I know it is. Pay-for-play (and all the better if we win a national title along the way).

The funniest thing about all of it is that no matter what the NCAA says in 5 years or what the history books read, Cam Netwon was the greatest college football player on earth in 2010.

Cecil Newton sold out. He sold out in the most vile way possible. He offered up his own flesh and blood for a dozen (or so) stacks of paper. It’s reprehensible, yes, but it happened. And Cam Netwon’s magical 13-game run happened as well. Just like the Fab Five and Reggie’s West Coast pillaging, it was real.

The dazzling run against LSU. The fade route he ran (!) in Oxford. The comeback in Tuscaloosa. All of it was real, I watched, you watched, Cecil watched, Mark Emmert watched. Though his eligibility might be in question, what he did is not.

I hate to tell you guys, but the joke’s on us.

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