Heisman Candidate Cam Newton Subject to Pay for Play Scandal…

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Cam Newton is a mega-star quarterback at Auburn University. His game is like no other, and there are quite a few experts who think he could win the Heisman Trophy. But his chances at the trophy have been undermined by recent allegations that a sports agent asked for money from universities in order to speak with Newton during high school.

ESPN is reporting that Kenneth Rogers, a player turned sports agent, asked Mississippi State University for $180,000 for the chance to recruit Newton. When Rogers asked for the money, Mississippi State turned his name in to the Southeastern Conference, and the investigation began. Auburn  University hasn’t taken Newton off the field, although they’ve known about the investigation for quite some time.

Here we go again. Now that yet another case of an athlete getting paid has hit the airwaves, there will be a parade of racist and self-righteous sports writers condemning the athletes for being corrupt, as well as their parents or any representatives from their community who are simply trying to get paid like everybody else. ESPN, Auburn University and the NCAA earn millions from athletes like Cam Newton, but for some reason, they don’t think that Cam and his family have the right to do the same thing. Can we say the word “slavery” anyone?

Let’s keep it honest for just one second. First, Cam Newton is not the only NCAA player getting money under the table, nor is Kenneth Rogers the only “agent” being paid by a university. These schools realize that the presence of a Cam Newton on their campus is going to generate tens of millions of extra dollars in television deals, jersey sales, corporate sponsorships and bowl appearances. If Cam and his mother are struggling to buy the things they need, why in the heck does it make any lick of sense for them to be left off this massive financial gravy train?

Secondly, the black market of athlete compensation is never going to die as long as we hold the misguided belief that athletes and their families should be excluded from the enormous compensation that their sons are earning in professional (yes, I did say professional) NCAA basketball and football. The NCAA earns money on par with every professional sports league in America, athletes are brought to campus as hired guns to earn revenue, and many of them have their educations significantly disrupted so they can go out on the field and earn money for someone other than their own families. This system is probably the most corrupt and structurally racist institution in America right now, right alongside the prison system.

If Cam Newton and his family got money under the table, then good for them. In fact, they deserve a hell of a lot more than $180,000, given Cam Newton’s multi-million dollar value to Auburn University. The only crime in this is that they won’t receive part of the $2.1 million that Auburn football coach Gene Chizik is going to earn this year as a result of his ability to bring Cam Newton to campus. Please allow me to quote directly from the Birmingham News:

Auburn head coach Gene Chizik and his assistants have cashed in on a winning 2009 season and a Top 5 finish in recruiting with raises that will keep the staff among the highest paid in the Southeastern Conference.”

Translation: the coaches get wealthy because they win games. They can’t win games without players like Cam Newton. They are now the highest paid in the SEC because of players like Cam Newton. They received a massive raise because they had a powerful recruiting class with players like Cam Newton leading the charge. They are ranked #3 in the country largely because of Cam Newton, and will receive raises and bonuses based on Cam Newton’s performance. If you think this system makes sense, then you’re either living in the wrong country or in the wrong century. There’s nothing fair about any of this, because the families being used by this system deserve some of this compensation too. The NCAA is a textbook example of systematic racism, where institutions are designed to keep African Americans out of the wealth pool, yet they are the ones producing much of the labor to keep the system alive. Most of the wealthy NCAA coaches are white, while many of the best unpaid athletes are black. This tells you where America is when it comes to race, and the case of Cam Newton is yet another example of just how far we need to go.

When Gene Chizik gives back his $2.1 million, then Cam Newton’s mother should give back her $180,000. Her son is doing all the work, so her family should receive benefits that are reflective of a free American labor market. In other words, they should take all the money they can get, because a system as corrupt as this one does not deserve anyone’s respect.

Written By Dr. Boyce Watkins