INDIANAPOLIS – Cecil Newton’s flesh-peddling days are over. Or at least his sort of conduct is finally illegal in the NCAA's eyes.
The NCAA Legislative Council on Wednesday formally adopted legislation that designates any parent an “agent” who tries to sell the services of their child to an institution. Cam Newton was allowed to play, win the Heisman and win the national championship in 2010 essentially because there was no specific NCAA bylaw to govern his father’s conduct.
The NCAA admonished Cecil Newton for his action in 2010 trying to extract a reported $180,000 for his son to attend Mississippi State. Wednesday's legislation, though, came a year and a day after Cam Newton helped Auburn win that year's national championship over Oregon.
“It essentially closes the loophole,” said council chair Carolyn Campbell-McGovern here at the NCAA Convention.
It took the NCAA almost 14 months to change the language of the legislation after Cecil Newton first reportedly solicited money from Mississippi State in November 2010.
The new language now exists under Bylaw 12 in the NCAA Manual dealing with amateurism:
“ … an agent is any individual who, directly or indirectly, represents or attempts to represent an individual for the purpose of marketing his or her athletics ability or reputation for financial gain …”
“It was important for us to shore that up and make sure we were encompassing all individuals,” Campbell-McGovern. “It addresses not only who is covered but also the scope. Trying to do it is a crime. Not a crime, but a violation.”
Here are selected passages from the rationale portion of the bylaw: “ … an industry of individuals has been created, including runners, financial advisors, marketing representatives, business managers, brand managers and street agents who seek to broker elite athletes for financial gain …
“ … the competitive nature of the industry has resulted in finding way to circumvent the rules. One constant is the use of outside third parties.”
Imagine that, a birth father who raised and nurtured a child, now being labeled an outside third party.