Cam Newton Jan 22, 2011; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers quarterback Cameron Newton speaks while standing next to the Heisman trophy during a national championship celebration at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

When Cam Newton won the Heisman Trophy in 2010, the Auburn Tigers superstar completed an incredible individual season. Newton boasted one of the best individual seasons in modern college football en route to the Heisman and a BCS National Championship.

As college football fans remember, Newton’s recruitment to Auburn became quite a story, especially regarding the alleged amount of money thrown around. Newton, now, of course, a YouTuber, sat down with Shannon Sharpe on Club Shay Shay to explain his situation.

Newton, of course, went to JUCO after being dismissed at the University of Florida. Then he chose to commit to Auburn over Mississippi State and that “two sources said Cam Newton and his father took money to go to Auburn,” Newton explained. He then claimed that the two sources were Dan Mullen and his wife.

“When I went to Auburn, as my mental was solely focused on success, I was really trying to play catch-up to the Joe Hadens, the Maurkice Pounceys who were already in the league… I’m trying to find the fastest way to get to the league,” Newton said. He said that Auburn had over 20 seniors returning, and he wanted to go somewhere “that could get me to a BCS game.” Of course, his path at Auburn led him to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, where they defeated the Oregon Ducks for the National Title.

Newton said his father told him he had to “be a man” and call Mullen to explain he was going to choose Auburn. He said he wanted to “be a man” and call him, and while he and Mullen went back and forth on it, Newton said “it was just too good to be true” at Auburn, where he’d go where there were 22 seniors.

Later, as the controversy started to become a big deal, head coach Gene Chizik held a conversation amongst themselves and his family. But while Newton thought things were going to be fine, Chizik explained the situation to them. A befuddled Newton couldn’t believe it when Chizik said they claimed they went to Auburn for $180,000.

“I ain’t ever seen a thousand dollars, let alone $180,000 to $200,000,” Newton joked.

The former Heisman winner said his father “Jumped on the grenade” to allow him to play. “Without blinking, I’ll take it,” Newton said of his father’s mindset. “I’ll do it for my son. He’s gonna be eligible to play? I’m cool,” he said. Then Newton revealed that he was told his father wasn’t going to be allowed at the ceremony.

“And still to this day, it was told during the Heisman ceremony, they said, ‘I think it’s best not to show up for that.’ I took that personally,” Newton said of his father. “I remember winning the Heisman, stuttering; I didn’t wanna be there–I wanted to be with my dad. I wanted to be with my family because this was an opportunity to show my dad. To thank him, and also, my dad challenged me every day. ‘Boy, that’s not right. You gotta be a man.’ I’m 7, 8, 12, 13, 15, 17, still in college. ‘You gotta be a man! … Take responsibility, take accountability!'”

Newton continued. This was me showing him, ‘Pop, I’m being a man, Pop! Look at me; look what you created, man! This us! This ain’t just me, this ain’t Cam Newton! This is for our whole lineage, for the whole Newton name–this is what you created. Let me share this with you!’ Everybody was excited, but they stripped that from me.”

Newton took all of that personally, and because of that, he refused to attend the Heisman Trophy ceremony. He claims his father has never been back to Auburn and that he won’t go back to the Heisman ceremony. “They didn’t care about my family,” Newton said.

All told, Newton’s feelings seem justified, even amid all the controversies. So, this was firmly within bounds.

[Club Shay Shay]

About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022