Posted by Tom Fornelli
Okay, get the "you mean he'll be paid more to play" jokes out of the way now. In an announcement that should come as a shock to absolutely nobody who has paid an ounce of attention to college football this season, Auburn quarterback Cam Newton is leaving school to enter the NFL draft. Auburn released a statement on Thursday night confirming the news.
"This decision was difficult for me and my family," Newton said in the release. "After talking to Coach Chizik and Coach Malzahn, I think it is best that I make that next step in my career and forgo my senior season and enter the NFL Draft. It was a very hard decision for me, especially after coming off the great season we had at Auburn. I'm blessed to have been around an excellent environment and have great teammates, coaches and support from the Auburn family.
"It's been a blessing for me to be a part of something so great. Any time you win games it's a big deal, but for this school to win a BCS National Championship, what a way to make people happy. Auburn is a special place that I can call home."
There was no reason for Newton to stick around Auburn. He's already won the Heisman Trophy and a BCS title, and with that whole NCAA investigation looming over his head, why would he bother dealing with another year of the allegations?
Of course, this does present a bit of a problem for Auburn. Without Newton around, the Tigers aren't going to be ranked number one to start next season, and they may not even be in the top ten. Especially when you consider that Auburn will likely be without its best defensive player next season as well. Nick Fairley will be making an announcement about his draft status on Friday, and you generally don't hold press conferences at your high school when you intend on returning to college for another season.