Cam Newton

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Cam Newton
Cam Newton (crop) 2010-11-16.jpg
Newton in the 2010 Iron Bowl.
No. 1     Carolina Panthers
Quarterback
Personal information
Date of birth: May 11, 1989 (1989-05-11) (age 25)
Place of birth: Savannah, Georgia, USA
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) Weight: 248 lb (112 kg)
Career information
College: Auburn
NFL Draft: 2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1
Debuted in 2011 for the Carolina Panthers
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2011
TD-INT 21–17
Passing yards 4,051
QB Rating 84.5
Rushing yards 706
Rushing touchdowns 14
Stats at NFL.com

Cameron "Cam" Jerrell Newton (born May 11, 1989) is an American football quarterback. He played college football at Auburn University, where he won a BCS National Championship in 2011. He is now quarterback for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL).[1]

Biography[change | change source]

Newton was born in Savannah, Georgia to parents Cecil and Jackie Newton. His father also played professional football in the NFL. He grew up in College Park, Georgia. He attended Seaborn Lee Elementary School and then Camp Creek Middle School.[2][3] In 2003, he attended Westlake High School in Fulton County, Georgia, where he played football and basketball.[3]

Newton, far left, with Dan Mullen, Tim Tebow, John Brantley, and Bryan Waggener during his freshman season at UF.

In 2007, as a freshman at the University of Florida, Newton earned the spot over fellow freshman quarterback John Brantley as the back-up for star quarterback and eventual Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow. He played in five games and threw for 40 yards on 5-of-10 passing and ran the ball 16 times for 103 yards and three touchdowns.[4] In 2008, during his sophomore season, Newton played in the season opener against Hawaii. He then suffered an ankle injury and decided to take a medical redshirt season.[5]

On November 21, 2008, police arrested Newton for stealing a laptop computer from a student at the University of Florida. He was subsequently temporarily suspended by the team after the laptop was in fact found to be in his possession.[6][7] Investigators tracked the stolen laptop to the athlete. Newton tossed the computer out his dorm window in an attempt to hide it from the Police. (A friend scooped up the laptop and hid it behind a dumpster at a nearby school building).[8] Newton was suspended indefinitely and announced his intention to transfer three days before Florida's national championship win over Oklahoma.[4] All criminal charges against Newton were dropped after he completed a court-approved pretrial diversion program.[9] Foxsports.com reported that Newton left the University of Florida after the fall semester in 2008 rather than face suspension or expulsion in part because of three instances of academic cheating.[10]

In January 2009, Newton transferred to Blinn College a junior college in Brenham, Texas. In fall 2009, he was quarterback for the team. The team won the 2009 NJCAA National Football Championship.[11] Newton then wanted to transfer to a four-year college, and his father allegedly sought money from the schools competing for Newton's attendance. Newton transferred to Auburn University where he also played quarterback.

Eligibility controversy[change | change source]

Newton spent much of the second half of the 2010 football season haunted by allegations that his father, Cecil Newton, who wanted a fair amount of money money in return for his son playing for a major-college team. If true, this would violate National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rules.[12] In early November, officials with Mississippi State University charged that Cecil Newton said that it would take "more than just a scholarship" to secure his son's services. This demand was apparently spread by Kenny Rogers, a recruiter who formerly played for the Bulldogs, to John Bond, his former teammate at MSU. Rogers later said in a Dallas radio interview that Cecil Newton said it would take "anywhere between $100,000 and $180,000" to get his son to transfer to MSU. Auburn maintained throughout the scandal that they were not involved in any pay-for-play scheme, and that Cam Newton was allowed to play.

On December 1, the NCAA announced that Auburn had declared Cam Newton to be ineligible. Auburn found evidence that Cecil Newton did in fact solicit Mississippi State for money in exchange for Cam Newton's athletic service. Auburn immediately asked the NCAA to reinstate Newton. The NCAA quickly reinstated Newton, declaring him eligible for the 2010 SEC Championship Game three days later. The NCAA said that there was not sufficient evidence that Cam Newton or anyone from Auburn had any knowledge of Cecil Newton's actions.[13] Auburn subsequently limited the access Cecil Newton had to the football program as result of NCAA findings. Also due to increased pressure by the media and the NCAA investigation, Cecil Newton announced he would not attend the Heisman Trophy Ceremony.[14] The NCAA reinstatement did not clear Cecil Newton of any wrongdoing. The NCAA action did make Cam Newton eligible to win the Heisman Trophy. He won the award with 2,263 points and 729 first-place votes.[15]

In October 2011, the NCAA closed its 13 month investigation into the Auburn University recruitment of Newton. The NCAA conducted over 50 interviews, and reviewed bank records, IRS documents, telephone calls, and e-mail messages. The NCAA found nothing that would indicate Auburn participated in a pay-for-play in recruiting Newton to become an Auburn student. The NCAA would say that the charges failed to "meet a burden of proof, which is a higher standard than rampant public speculation online and in the media". The NCAA's Stacey Osburn would say "We've done all we can do. We've done all the interviews. We've looked into everything, and there's nothing there. Unless something new comes to light that's credible and we need to look at, it's concluded." [16][17][18][19]

Professional career[change | change source]

Newton was selected 1st overall by the Carolinia Panthers in the 2011 NFL Draft. On July 29, 2011, Newton signed a four-year deal worth over $22 million that is fully guaranteed.[20] He was the number one quarterback for the team, above Jimmy Clausen and Derek Anderson. In his first NFL game on September 11, 2011, Newton was 24–37 passing for 422 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception in a 28–21 road loss to the Arizona Cardinals. With a quarterback rating of 110.4, he also rushed for a touchdown, and became the first rookie to throw for over 400 yards in his first career game. His 422 passing yards broke Peyton Manning's rookie record for most passing yards on opening day.[21]

In his second career game, his team lost 30–23 to the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers. Newton broke his own record, set the weekend previously, with 432 yards passing, throwing and rushing for a touchdown.[22] Newton's 854 passing yards in the first two games of the season was the most in league history by a rookie.[23] Newton broke the NFL record of 827 set by Kurt Warner in the 2000 season and stood as the most by any quarterback in the first two weeks of the season until New England's Tom Brady broke the mark again later in the day with 940.[23] He also became the only player to begin his career with consecutive 400-yard passing games[24] He broke the Carolina Panthers franchise record of 547 yards previously held by Steve Beuerlein.[25] After Newton's second career game, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers commented "I think someone said in the locker room that I'm kind of glad we played him early in the season because when he figures it out fully, he's going to be even tougher to stop."[25] Newton's three additional interceptions against the Packers tied him for the most interceptions thrown in the league. He passed a total of 1,012 yards in the first three games.

The Panthers won for the first time in the season against the Jacksonville Jaguars 16–10. Newton threw for 158 yards and one touchdown. The Panthers played the Atlanta Falcons, losing 31–17 while passing for 237 yards with no passing touchdowns. Newton's three interceptions returned him to leading the NFL in interceptions. On October 23, 2011, the Carolina won over the Washington Redskins, 33-20. Newton completed 18 of 23 passes for 256 yards and a touchdown. Newton also ran for 59 yards and a touchdown. Despite his bad interception count, Newton was voted the 2011Offensive Rookie of the Year.[26]

References[change | change source]

  1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/14/cam-newton-nfl-draft_n_808961.html
  2. Evans, Thayer (2011-01-10). "Newton a product of his family". FOX Sports Arizona. http://www.foxsportsarizona.com/01/10/11/Newton-a-product-of-his-family/landing.html?blockID=388501&feedID=3702. Retrieved 2011-09-20.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Merrill, Elizabeth. NFL draft 2011: Tracing Cam Newton's journey to the NFL. ESPN. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Aschoff, Edward. NFL draft 2011: Tracing Cam Newton's journey to the NFL. ESPN. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
  5. Timanus, Eddie (October 22, 2010). "Auburn system suits quarterback Cam Newton well". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/sec/2010-10-21-newton-off-to-fast-start_N.htm.
  6. Jeremy Fowler (November 21, 2008). "Backup QB Cameron Newton arrested for possession of stolen property, suspended from team". Orlando Sentinel. http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/sports_college_uf/2008/11/backup-qb-camer.html.
  7. Paul Loschak account of laptop theft differs from Cam Newton. Gatorsports.com. Retrieved on 2011-07-01.
  8. "Cam Newton, Lame Laptop Thief". http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/college/cam-newton-lame-laptop-thief.
  9. Gulbeau, Glenn (October 20, 2010). "Auburn's Cam Newton Makes Most of Second Chance". Shreveport Times. http://www.shreveporttimes.com/article/20101020/SPORTS0202/10200322/1001/SPORTS.
  10. Thamel, Pete (November 9, 2010). "Newton Faced Suspension at Florida". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/10/sports/ncaafootball/10auburn.html?_r=1. Retrieved 2011-01-17.
  11. Clark, Matthew (December 7, 2009). "Newton leads Blinn to title". Morning Sun. http://www.morningsun.net/sports/x2072237174/Newton-leads-Blinn-to-title.
  12. Goldberg, Charles (2010-12-01). "Auburn's Cam Newton timeline: From recruitment to NCAA ruling". al.com/The Birmingham News. http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2010/12/auburns_cam_newton_timeline_fr.html.
  13. "Breaking news: Cam Newton ruled eligible by NCAA". mercurynews.com.com. 2010-12-01. http://blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports/2010/12/01/breaking-news-cam-newton-ruled-eligible-by-ncaa.
  14. . AL.com. http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2010/12/scarbinsky_cecil_newton_should.html.
  15. "Cam Newton – 2010 Heisman Winner". Heisman.com. http://www.heisman.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/121310hsma.php.
  16. "NCAA says Auburn had no major violations, ends investigation in signing of quarterback Cam Newton". al.com. 2011-10-12. http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2011/10/ncaa_says_auburn_finds_no_majo.html.
  17. "NCAA's investigation into Auburn, Cam Newton included review of bank records, IRS documents, phone records, emails". al.com. 2011-10-12. http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2011/10/ncaas_investigation_into_aubur.html.
  18. "NCAA: No major violations for Auburn". ESPN.com. 2011-10-12. http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7093495/ncaa-finds-no-major-violations-auburn-regarding-cam-newton.
  19. "NCAA finds no major violations at Auburn in Cam Newton case". USA TODAY.com. 2011-10-12. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/sec/story/2011-10-12/cam-newton-auburn-ncaa/50748074/1.
  20. Schefter, Adam (2011-07-29). "Cam Newton agrees to contract". ESPN.com. http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/6816915/top-pick-cam-newton-carolina-panthers-agree-four-year-22-million-dael. Retrieved 2011-07-29.
  21. Carolina Panthers vs. Arizona Cardinals – Box Score – September 11, 2011 – ESPN. Scores.espn.go.com (2011-09-11). Retrieved on 2011-10-23.
  22. Newton sets more records, Packers get win. ESPN.com. Retrieved on September 18, 2011.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Associated Press (September 18, 2011). Newton throws for NFL rookie record 432 yards. Forbes.com. Retrieved on September 18, 2011.
  24. Snyder, Deron (September 20, 2011). Cam Newton Shows Them All. The Root.com. Retrieved on September 20, 2011.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Associated Press (September 18, 2011). Aaron Rodgers helps Packers overcome Cam Newton's 2nd straight 400-yard day. ESPN.com. Retrieved on September 18, 2011.
  26. Jones, Mike (October 24, 2011). "Nore injuries and Newton's play derail Beck and the Redskins". Washington Post: p. D1.