December 11, 2010 by staff
Heisman Trophy, (AP) – The father of Auburn quart Cam Newton said Thursday he will not participate in the ceremony Heisman Trophy because his presence could “steal Cam and the event of a sacred moment.”
Cecil Newton, who was invited to attend Saturday by the Heisman Trust, issued the statement Thursday to George Lawson, the family lawyer based in Atlanta Newton.
“For all my fifty years of life, coupled with 25 years of marriage, I made a strenuous attempt to be a good husband, father, and generally a good person of integrity,” said Cecil Newton who participated in a failed pay-for-play scheme in the recruitment of his son to the state of Mississippi. “The last 60 days have caused all that my family has worked to do to come into question.
“While my son Cam Newton can receive all the honors and accolades he has worked so hard to achieve without distraction, I decided not to attend the ceremony because he may be stealing Cam and the event of a sacred moment.”
Cam Newton is the favorite to receive the Heisman Trophy on Saturday in New York. The other finalists are Boise State Kellen Moore quart, quart Andrew Luck Stanford and Oregon running back LaMichael James.
The junior college transfer led the Tigers to a Southeastern Conference title game and BCS national championship fight against Oregon on Jan. 10 in Glendale, Arizona
Newton NCAA reinstated after a one-day suspension by Auburn last week, arguing that neither the player nor Auburn knew his father attempted to get money.
Newton told ESPN on Thursday that he had not directly asked his father what happened between him and the State of Mississippi, but “at the end of the day, I can look into my eyes and I know he has my best interests at heart.”
Newton said it was not for him to say if his father had done nothing wrong, but he knows that his father is there for him.
“My love for him is unconditional,” said Cam Newton. “This type of situation can divide a family, but it makes us stronger.”
The NCAA and state officials continue to investigate the payment scheme, trying to determine who knew what and whether laws were broken.
Two lawyers for the secretary’s office of the state of Mississippi has met Kenny Rogers – The first Mississippi State player involved with Cecil Newton in the pay game plan – and his lawyer for more than four hours Thursday afternoon in Waukegan , Illinois
Doug Zeit said the debate in his office was a “fact-finding mission”, centered on an alleged conversation on November 27, 2009, when Cecil Rogers said Newton asked for a maximum of 180,000 and two assistant coaches Mississippi State in exchange for his son’s commitment to the Bulldogs.
Zeit said the two sides also discussed the phone calls Rogers to Bill Bell and John Bond, two other former Mississippi State players who were involved in the saga Newton.
“We basically talked about the same thing we’ve talked about for weeks – Cecil Newton and soliciting participation Kenny Rogers relay the message,” said Zeit. “We do not believe Kenny Rogers has broken any laws and are looking forward to this being over.”
Cam Newton was in Florida on Thursday for ESPN’s College Football Awards Show, where he won the Maxwell award given to the national player of the year and the Davey O’Brien Award for the top quarter. Earlier in the day, he won the Walter Camp Player of the Year award.
Newton was the SEC offensive player of the year after accounting for 49 affected, the best in the nation, and establishing school records for both passing and rushing touchdowns in a season.
AP Sports Writer David Brandt in Jackson, Miss., contributed to this report.
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