The bottom line is that in similar circumstances the NCAA has punished the student for the sins of the father or parent. They have cracked down hard of some students who never saw a single cent of the money. The problem is that the NCAA does not want people to see how much difficulty it is really having controlling players getting paid. If the Cam Newton and Auburn were to be suspended from eligibility everyone would see the issue in full magnitude. However waiting until a couple years from now when all the evidence has come out will be much less detrimental to the image of college football. It has happened in the past with great players or programs have cheated to win a national championship, and the NCAA has taken away the title. This does not seem to have had much effect on the popularity of the sport at all. It also allows the NCAA to appear as though they are strictly enforcing rules against later proven ineligible players. Sugar coating what is going on in college football is not a what needs to happen right now people are cheating, yes there are rules against it, therefore that is exactly what it is.
Cam Newton is good for the National Championship match up. You are going to have the best offensive player in the country facing off against the best offensive team in the country. There is going to be a team from the west coast and one from the east coast. The Pac 10 vs. the SEC; two of the most successful conferences in college sports. Both schools fans are going to travel extremely well. Auburn has been waiting for their opportunity since 2004. Oregon fans are some of the best traveling fans in the nation, and they have never had this type of opportunity.
The NCAA appears to be bending the rules for a player who is going to make them a ton of money. If not bending the rules at least adjusting the time frame of the inquiry to a situation which seems to benefit them as a company. The NCAA was originally put in place to protect the students from getting hurt in games and organizing a set standard of rules to allow players to be safe while participating in such events. They were also put in place to help the students excel both on the field and in the classroom. In 1984 the NCAA lost control of the television rights when the Supreme Court ruled against them in an antitrust case. In this particular situation too many of the students where not meeting academic requirements. With the Bush case and what seems likely to have the Newton situation follow in similar foot steps are we seeing a trend which the Supreme Court is going to have to once again step in? Only this time instead of academic requirements focusing on the money changing hands. The NCAA appears to be serving its own interest in both situations by dragging their feet with the investigations, and not keeping an even playing field but insuring a beneficial outcome for themselves. It is understandable that the NCAA would want to know all the facts about the case before making an official decision, but there does seem to be a lot of condemning evidence. There is also a strong likely hood the BCS is leaning on the NCAA to leave Newton on the field because their year depends partly on him playing.
I strongly dislike the government ever getting involved with such issues, but when the people who are put in place to govern such actions and effects are not doing the job in the way they were intended something needs to change.