I find that unlikely. First off, an investigation was conducted and completed. Cam Newton was declared ineligible for a couple hours, then, after Auburn filled out the proper paperwork, was reinstated. The end result was that the NCAA investigated cleared Newton to play.
The reasoning I've heard is that, with regards to a parent or third party requesting illegal benefits, there are three circumstances for which a player can be suspended:
- The parent or third party accepts benefits.
- The parent or third party asks for benefits with the player's knowledge.
- The parent or third party asks for benefits, then the player attends the solicited school, regardless of whether or not the player knew.
Do I think something improper went down that actually involved Cam Newton? It's possible. I operate under the assumption that pretty much every star college athlete gets some kind of improper benefit or preferential treatment. There's too much money in college sports, and the elite players are too valuable to their schools not to get some kind of extra cheese on their pizzas. But based on everything we've heard, Newton was okay to play, and Auburn was fine to play him.
If new information comes out, then the NCAA will react to that as necessary. But right now, I don't see things going that way. So I extend my congratulations to Auburn on the national title they deserved to win in 2004.