Unbelievable Hypocrisy Re: Cam Newton (and RichRod)

Submitted by CollegeFootball13 on November 11th, 2010 at 11:31 AM

Watching ESPN First Take this morning and hearing these people talking about Cam Newton is nauseating. A few quick highlights:

a. We're kidding ourselves if we don't think many college football players are paid, so why focus all the attention on Heisman frontrunner Cam Newton?

b. We don't have any proof yet. Why are we blowing this so far out of proportion without a shred of proof that anything has actually taken place? It's all he-said she-said at this point.

c. This seems like somewhat of a smear campaign on a successful football player, and at this point it's unfairly focusing negative attention on him and his school.

I can actually agree with many of these points, although it seems like there is a little bit of proof that something out of the ordinary took place. What is driving me insane is that you can apply all of these points to the garbage that RichRod had to put up with in the last year.

It's common knowledge that almost every college football team in division one probably didn't follow practice time rules down to the minute. But RichRod got dragged through the mud, without any proof at the time (just a lot of he-said she-said at the time of the accusations), and as many of us can agree, it seemed a lot like it was a smear campaign that unfairly focused negative attention on RichRod and the University of Michigan.

Where was anyone in the mainstream media when RichRod's accusations were swirling? It was about practice time, and this is about a player getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to go to a school. Yet here come the Cam Newton backers, saying "everybody does it", "it's all hearsay at this point", and "this seems like a smear campaign". Absolutely unbelievable.

Is there a difference to you? What are your feelings on Cam Newton vs. the whole RichRod situation?



November 11th, 2010 at 11:58 AM ^

I agree with you, however to be fair... Fox Sports I believe aired this out... ESPN had but no choice to follow suit... they are the worldwide leader... yada yada.  But I agree, ESPN must value its integrity over any relationship with the SEC...right?!  (Well at any rate, it will lead to increased hits, views etc.)


November 11th, 2010 at 12:48 PM ^

I think Yahoo sports was first to report it, then Fox, then ESPN...either way where there is smoke, there is usually fire.  They have a history of questionable recruiting...and the SEC has some interesting issues recently.  Maybe he should be eliminated and someone who has equivalent stats and who is a saint on and off the field with dreads and untied shoelaces should be the front runner!


November 11th, 2010 at 11:35 AM ^

The sports media, quoting the great Mike Gundy, likes to "kick people while they're down" so to speak... Losing plus any magnitude of negativity outside the lines equates to the sports media jumping all over it, it seems.... Well, negativity in general. ESPN has also had a massive erection for the SEC for quite some time now.


November 11th, 2010 at 11:37 AM ^

But I completely agree. From everything I've heard, people have been saying "if you think this doesn't go on at other programs, you are crazy." Almost like that's a suitable excuse. The most frustrating thing is that it's also happening locally from the tools who shall not be named. Clearly that wasn't an excuse for us and if anything, this situation is way worse than what we did which amounted to clerical errors. 


November 11th, 2010 at 12:54 PM ^

You didn't necessarily miss it since it was posted in the Moderator Action Sticky and I don't blame you if you don't read it often (or ever).  But here you go:

Cam Newton - Make It Rain

Put it in a different Cam Newton thread, dude.

User docked a million mgopoints (as will most Newton-related thread starters), and should probably stop spamming for his website, as well.




November 11th, 2010 at 11:55 AM ^

I understand what they do and how they generate viewership.. but my question is where was this through the whole RichRod thing?

There wasn't even two sides to the story. No one said "This is ridiculous, everyone does it, they're just dragging his name through the mud unfairly."

That's all I'm wondering I guess.

Wes Mantooth

November 11th, 2010 at 1:33 PM ^

Yes, I remember a lot of people defending Rich Rod throughout the whole practice scandal-thing.  I distinctly remember an interview with some Ohio State players and even they defended RR.  They called it ridiculous that it was even being discussed.  There was even a segment on ESPN where they called the whole thing a joke.  Not an exact quote, but the idea was 'trying to keep a player away from the practice field if they have any desire to succeed and make it to the next level is impossible.'  So I have to disagree with the OPs point.  While there were some people giving RR a hard time, I think most realized how absurd that whole thing was.


November 11th, 2010 at 11:39 AM ^

Bringing in viewers is.  ESPN's general strategy is to go to polar opposites in coverage.  Have certain people say outrageously stupid things to generate water-cooler buzz about what they just heard on ESPN, and then have other guys say what people want to hear.

ESPN is not about marketing sports, it's about marketing ESPN via sports.  So congrats, you've helped ESPN gain more viewers by making a thread about something deliberately outrageous ESPN broadcast.


November 11th, 2010 at 12:56 PM ^

Don't you dare sully the good name of Erin Andrews.  She is an American treasure.


Seriously though, she actually does good coverage.  Considering they need someone to fill the top sideline/personal interest story reporter, would you rather her or several more Holly "Manatee" Rowes? 


November 11th, 2010 at 11:40 AM ^

The difference is what Auburn was(alledgeldly) caught doing was much worse than what Rich Rod got in trouble for. 

The difference is ESPN is making money of making Cam Newton the headliner athlete of the year.

The difference is ESPN was making money by paiting michigan in a bad light to create a compelling story.

... It'll always be like this. The best solution is to just stop watching ESPN and get your college football news from quality blogs like this one.


November 11th, 2010 at 11:45 AM ^

But why do you think ESPN makes money by shedding one player or school in a good light, and another (with a larger, more passionate fanbase) in a negative light?

I'm not disagreeing with you, but why would they take such a negative approach to the RichRod situation if they wanted to gain viewers?

Maximinus Thrax

November 11th, 2010 at 12:46 PM ^

I also kind of felt this way a few weeks ago when the NFL decided to start penalizing for certain hits.  The overwhelming ESPN posture was to attack this new rule.  All of their analysts adopted cocksure smug poses and implied that real men know that there are bigh hits in football....ad nauseam.  It was almost a uniform chorus against the rules, with really no counterpoint to explain why somebody might favor these rules.  I felt tht ESPN believes that more violent football equals better football, equals more fans who tune in to ESPN and ESPN.com, so therefore those rules are bad.


November 11th, 2010 at 11:41 AM ^

that players are paid everywhere so it's okay. Clearly they aren't paid everywhere or he'd be at Miss. St. And that's just the SEC. Do you think Stanford is paying players? Iowa? Wisconsin? Give me a break.


November 11th, 2010 at 1:26 PM ^

More importantly, we're talking allegedly $200k for a guy, at a minimum OK'd by a school.  This is a BIG BIG deal.  It's literally the worst thing a program can do.  They made an entire movie about it for goodness sakes, and that was where I first learned what a great actor Shaq was.

That bit about Shaq aside, this is the real thing (if it's legit).  There have been multiple news orgs with multiple sources all over it.  The family is turtling up and is no longer talking, which looks suspicious.  I don't understand how ANYONE has a problem with the reporting on this story so far.


November 11th, 2010 at 11:43 AM ^

It is a modern day witchhunt for a situation that will never be fixed.  Either you believe college players getting paid is one of the most immoral things out there, or you believe players should be paid because of all the time they put in (the "it's a job" argument). 

NCAA can't really do anything about it, either.  If they continue to "pay" players with schollies and stipends - there will be kids getting extra benefits.  If they decide to actually pay players - well the world as we know it might cease to exist. 

There's probably a million analogies that can be drawn between college athletes being paid and the drug war in America.  Nobody wins. 


November 11th, 2010 at 11:48 AM ^

On RR's situation his issues came within the walls of his own program whereas Auburn is in better position to defend its fortress because the claims are coming from another University. Auburn is trying very hard to make Miss. State claims to be frivolous. So now you have figure heads at different stations of the University taking slightly different stances with the overall perception of claiming innocence. Chizik will defiantly defend his turf while the Auburn Regents/Pres will defend it with caution knowing there is a probability of this being true.


November 11th, 2010 at 11:50 AM ^

Players are paid through scholarships. I think the situation could be fixed almost entirely if students were given the opportunity to pursue their education free of cost after their playing days were over. It is truly impossible to submit the highest quality of work when you must take 12-15 credit hours as well as being occupied with athletics for at least that long. Even worse, some of these players have jobs.


November 11th, 2010 at 12:11 PM ^

That's a fresh idea.  How about instead of classes, they can have the opportunity to work part time in various professions sponsored by the school so they can gain experience in the real world settings, and they are getting paid for giving value in a business? This might make them really value the education they haven't used yet.

Or maybe it might help them network and build business skills that makes the formal education unnecessary.  


November 11th, 2010 at 11:52 AM ^

It is total hypocrisy. The only difference is Rodriguez was coming off of 3-9 and Cam Newton is putting up great numbers on an undefeated and top 2 team. Everyone loves a winner. Sad but predictable.


November 11th, 2010 at 11:52 AM ^

Because the world needs villians, and when RichRod had the audacity to leave his good job for an even better, higher paying job (a decision most people, if put in a similar situation, would have made), the media collectively decided that he was a bad guy forever. 

Sports fans, especially those who root for bad teams, need something that they can grab onto - someone they can root against no matter who they play.  And the media needs a narrative for everything.  Right now, the narrative is RichRod = traitor; Cam Newton = kid who overcame adversity to become the best player in college football.


November 11th, 2010 at 12:15 PM ^

Granted, not all (probably most) of the national coverage of the Michigan situation was fair, but I remember a lot of analysts coming out in defense of Rich Rod. Less so ESPN articles, but ESPN commentators and other coaches were defending him a fair amount (including Tressel and Meyer).

EDIT: I also think it's worth noting that a lot of the national press got their information from the Free Press, which caused a pretty nasty trickle down effect of negative coverage. Everyone was pretty much getting their info from the same biased source.


November 11th, 2010 at 1:57 PM ^

I have been against shamateurism for about twenty years now.  I have stated on many occasions that players should be allowed to accept all of the outside income anyone wants to offer to them. 

However, I also think that players should follow the rules as they are set out.  Until the rules change, players have no right to violate the terminology of their scholarship agreements.  If Newton or his father violated the rules, they will probably be caught now.  There are too many eyes searching for answers. 

I, too, had a cynical eye toward the charges until the feds got involved.  Usually, though, once the feds get involved, it's pretty much a fait accompli that improprieties will be found and charges will be filed. 

As Reverend Newton is rumored to have said:

"Brothers and sisters of the congregation, throw all your money on the wall.  What stays is the Lord's and what falls is mine."


November 11th, 2010 at 1:52 PM ^

Me too. I'm a hypocrite, and don't always practice what I preach. I don't feel good about that, but it is my reality. I would argue that if we're honest, it is the reality of most all people.

We want justice and fair play for others, but often want a free ride and a lack of accountability for ourselves, and our own team. That's human nature.

Having said that, the worst hypocrites are those who really want to bring the hammer down on others, but beg mercy for themselves. Some journalists, politicians, and preachers can easily fall into this category.

Regarding Cam Newton & Auburn, this whole discussion has several distinct parts, which are not identical.

  1. Should players be paid? Obv., they are "paid" in the sense that they received a scholarship for tuition, room, board, and fees. But should they be paid? I think the answer is a limited "yes." But this is a discussion for another day. Whether or not players should be paid is irrelevant to Cam Newton's situation.
  2. Should teams (and those on them) follow the rules? And specifically, should Auburn and Cam Newton be expected to follow the rules, as they are currently constituted? Have Auburn and Cam Newton followed the rules, as they are currently constituted? This is what we are waiting to find out.
  3. Does "innocent until proven guilty" apply in this case? The assumption is yes. And that assumption would not necessarily be right. I am far from a lawyer, but I know that individual organizations have the right to impose sanctions which go far beyond the law of the land. Let me use an example from my personal field of expertise. I am a preacher. If I was charged with sexual abuse of a minor, (or, for that matter, any sexual relations outside of marriage,) my career would be over, in practical terms. There might be no proof, but it really wouldn't matter. This is why slander is such a huge issue. I feel bad that Newton's reputation, and his father's, (like RR's) have been dragged through the mud. But ultimately, his team, and Auburn, and the NCAA, have the right and privilege to make judgment calls that exceed those of the law.
  4. What is our concept of right and wrong? This is a big discussion, which I won't really start. But I would say that for some, right and wrong is more about shame, and whether or not you are "caught," than about whether you are acting ethically or unethically. This seems to be the ethic that Terrell Pryor and Reggie Bush and maybe Chris Webber operate under. (everybody does it.) I would argue that society (and sports) operates in a more fair way when you do the right thing because it is right, not because you are afraid of getting caught. This is the conflict between image (what people see) and essence (who you are.)

Blue since birth

November 11th, 2010 at 2:32 PM ^

The thing that really bothers me about the coverage is all of the "wait and see... benefit of the doubt... innocent until proven guilty" stuff I keep hearing.

Since when?!

NTM they (Newton's) have already admitted guilt as far as I'm concerned... Unless someone can give me a legit reason not to deny the accusations (aside from being guilty)?


November 11th, 2010 at 2:32 PM ^

...but if Cam and his family took cash, they need to be held accountable and punished.

I like the headline possibilities, too:

Will Cam get the shaft?

"Scam" Newton says goodbye to Heisman.



November 11th, 2010 at 2:41 PM ^

We all know RR has been a favorite whipping-boy for the media. He has been losing. The media is lazy and gutless. I think the religious slant may be holding them back with Newtons...not even gonna bring up what else