Roughly two days away from becoming the third player in Auburn history to win the Heisman, Cam Newton sat down for his most extensive interview since the tumult surrounding his recruitment erupted.
As expected, Newton loudly and unequivocally stated his innocence in the pay-for-play scheme the NCAA purports was concocted by his father.
Speaking to ESPN’s Chris Fowler, Newton said that everything he’s done “at this university, I did it the right way.” While that doesn’t address the time before he signed with Auburn and while he was still being recruited by multiple schools, the Heisman front-runner continued to proclaim that he, himself, was not involved in anything untoward that the NCAA determined was happening without his knowledge.
“I’m a person that did no wrong,” Newton said. “I did it the right way.”
Newton told Fowler he has not directly asked his father about the allegations that Cecil Newton told people connected to Mississippi State it would take more than a scholarship to get his son, including a sum of money upwards of $180,000. After stating that he knows he “can look him in the eye and know he has my best interests at heart”, the quarterback was asked if he thought his father had done anything wrong during the recruiting process.
His answer might be the most illuminating words he spoke during the entire interview.
“It’s not for me to say but I know if I pick up the phone Cecil will be there,” Newton said.
“My love for him is unconditional. This type of situation can split a family but it makes us stronger.”
All in all, it was an interview that came off as expected. Newton denied any wrongdoing on his part while not directly throwing his father under the bus. The opinion you currently hold of Newton likely won’t be swayed one way or the other because of the few minutes he spent with Fowler, but at least he did speak publicly, albeit in a very controlled situation.
Of course, the fact that the beat writers who cover the football program were denied the interview that was handed to the World Wide Leader — again — likely won’t sit well with some, but that’s another story for another day.