Heisman Voter Reaction To Cameron Newton Investigation

If the reactions of a few of the Heisman voters are any indication, Cameron Newton hasn’t been hurt too hard yet by the recent allegations.  However, there appears to be an underlying grain of trepidation and at least one voter won’t put him on the ballot as a result.  In a close race, a few votes here and there could make all the difference, as we saw last year. 

Here’s a brief sampling of voter sentiment:

“Just what Heisman folks need in wake of Reggie Bush having to return the 2005 trophy!  I’m going to wait until the final week before I vote.   If the investigation turns sour, I’ll take a hard look at oregon sophomore running back LaMichael James, who is incredibly talented and would also be a deserving winner.  If Newton is cleared, that would completely take issue off the table for  me.”

* * *

“I honestly don’t know (if the investigation will affect my vote) at this time. If he’s not been deemed “ineligible” by the NCAA and is still playing for Auburn, I’d vote for him if I think he’s the most outstanding player. If the NCAA ends up finding him ineligible, it’ll be up to the Heisman Trust what to do there.”

* * *

“Personally, I’m an “innocent until proven guilty” guy. So despite my own natural suspicion, I will not allow this story to affect his status on my ballot until there is proof he or his family did knowingly asked for and/or received money.”

* * *

“I’m neither judge nor jury of any player’s adherence to the NCAA’s standard of amateurism. My vote goes to the most outstanding player in college football, not its most upstanding citizen. Cam Newton should win the Heisman and tearfully dedicate it to Reggie Bush.”

* * *

“In the wake of Reggie Bush being stripped of the Heisman Trophy due to integrity issues, I’m going to stay away from casting my vote for Cam Newton. It’s not worth it to me. Newton has legal issues, potential NCAA issues and who knows what other issues on his resume.  There are plenty of other worthy Heisman candidates who have never been in any trouble and who are outstanding players. I’ll cast my vote for one of them, if you don’t mind.”

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Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of Heismanpundit.com, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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35 Responses to Heisman Voter Reaction To Cameron Newton Investigation

  1. Samantha November 5, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    I really hope people would not pass judgment on him this quickly to say he shouldn’t have the award. He is CLEARLY the best player in the country and if he is declared eligible by the NCAA then he shouldn’t be punished for what happened with Bush.

  2. TheRooster November 5, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    Why is LaMichael James even in the Heisman conversation? Without the Oregon offense hurry-up system, he’s an average running back.

    Just like the Hawaii offense system generated huge stats for QBs, the Oregon system generates stats for James.

  3. Samantha November 5, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    One more thing… For the voter who said the Oregon running back should be deserving, ummmm.. didn’t he get arrested recently for domestic violence? I guess that is an okay character flaw?

  4. DriveThruDuck November 5, 2010 at 10:36 am #


    Look at the yards-per-carry, @TheRooster. He’s one of the nations leader on a per-carry basis. Put him in any offense and he will dominate.

  5. Lee November 5, 2010 at 10:55 am #

    Based on the last so-called voter comment then I guess LaMichael James will not get his vote either since he’s had his own run-ins with the law?

  6. NolesFan November 5, 2010 at 11:09 am #

    Let’s See Lamichael james has not played against a defense ranked higher than 60th(USC). And has only played 3 teams with a winning record. I’m sorry please explain to me again why he is so deserving.

  7. Andrew November 5, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    When LaMichael James was being recruited I approached Washington State and told them that it would require $100,000 to sign him. They didn’t pay up but he signed with Oregon. Clearly, you can’t vote for him.

    When Moore was being recruited I also approached Washington St. and told them that they needed to give me $100,000 to sign him. So, I guess you can’t vote for him either?

    Oh, also, full disclosure, I was a player at Washington St in the 80’s. Have I ever talked to either James or Moore? No… but, I asked for the money anyway. You know how it is.

  8. Chris November 5, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    We saw Reggie Bush lie repeatedly, so I don’t think Cam Newton can say anything that will satisfy voters. Unless there is no connection between Newton and the people who contacted Mississippi State this will cost Newton some votes. If there is a money trail then Newton is toast.

    But does anyone wonder why HP never asked the following questions?

    1. In the wake of LaStrangle James assaulting his girlfriend, do you think a one game suspension was sufficient?

    2. How long can someone choke his girlfriend and still be considered “Heisman worthy”?

    3. How much blood can he draw?

    4. How can Mike Bianchi write so many articles advocating for the end of Chris Rainey’s career, while simultaneously voting for LaStrangle James?

    5. To paraphrase Mike’s attack on Urban Meyer… if Mike’s daughter had been assaulted by LaStrangle, would Mike still be voting for him?

  9. Leigh November 5, 2010 at 12:20 pm #

    There is no evidence that Cam Newton has done anything wrong! This is sad that his name is being dragged through the mud for (right now) nothing. They have been investigating this for months, and suddenly it all comes out when Auburn reaches the most important part of their season and Newton is #1 in the Heisman polls? Sounds fishy to me. If anything, it makes Mississippi State look terrible! Why is no one talking about Mississippi State’s alumni asking for money for players? Yes I’m sure it happens everywhere, but one of your alumni just got caught. I would be embarrassed; instead everyone is pointing to Newton.

  10. Chris November 5, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

    Correction: Mike Bianchi wrote today that he had no idea about LaStrangle’s assault and jail time and has promised that he won’t touch that dirtbag with a ten-foot poll.

    With a response like that, now we know why HP has been downplaying LaStrangle’s off-the-field problems and his shamefully short suspension.

  11. Heismanpundit November 5, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    Chris…you are on a short leash.

  12. Chris November 5, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

    HP –

    You’ve got to admit you’ve kind of minimized LaStrangle’s off-the-field problems.

    Has any past Heisman winner ever served time for assaulting a woman during his Heisman year? Has any player convicted of such an assault served a shorter suspension?

  13. Glen November 5, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    You know, Newton may be paying for play. His family may have been involved. Auburn may have been involved.

    However, as of now there is absolutely ZERO public evidence for any of this. Assuming what Bond says is true, which I think should be the starting assumption, there is zero evidence that Rogers was doing anything other than fishing for one of those paper bags full of $100 bills that allegedly sometimes change hands in situations like this.

    Rogers gets his paper bag of money, what does he care where Newton actually goes? Obviously, whoever paid him off couldn’t turn him in because he stiffed ’em, could they?

    Like I said above, this could be a real thing with real wrongdoing by the major players. It also might be absolutely nothing.

    It’s upsetting that Heisman voters are already saying that this will change their vote. I can see people being antsy about casting their vote when this is out there, but it is not vote-casting time yet and there is plenty of time for some, well, actual information to be learned.

    As of now, we know nothing other than that this guy Rogers apparently stuck his hand out and said he could deliver Newton for cash. Repeat, all we know is that Rogers said something. That’s ALL WE KNOW.

  14. John November 6, 2010 at 8:15 am #

    Newton may be the best…..right now….because he was new this year and up until recently no one heard of him nor studied his film. Face it, Auburn wasn’t in the top 5 at the beginning and who cared?
    Have him come back next year and he will be another Ingram.

  15. Dave November 6, 2010 at 11:59 am #

    For all the pain in the Alabama/Logan Young/Albert Means case, one thing people forget – the Feds never identified how the money changes hands. They were able to document Young’s withdrawals, and they were able to document the high school coach’s assets “beyond the means of a high school football coach,” but the evidence remained circumstantial.

    I am NOT banging for Alabama innocence, simply pointing out that an investigative operation with the resources and leverage of the Feds can’t even get at the root of some of this stuff. Similarly, the investigation against my Tar Heels never gets this far if Elaine Marshall isn’t running for Senate – because then state investigators never get involved.

    No way the NCAA’s finding anything, even if there were something to find – not unless some government agency finds a reason to start issuing subpoenas. No one in Alabama’s that politically stupid. Georgia, on the other hand….

  16. Floridan November 6, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    The fourth Heisman voter’s comment shows he should not have a say — if Newton is proven to be ineligble, OK, but to assume on almost no real evidence that he should be out of the running is absurd.

  17. Roby November 7, 2010 at 9:26 pm #


    I’m with you. I am surprised that people aren’t making more of James’ assault charges. Especially in the wake of the domestic violence issue at UVA. Between that, and Reggie Bush, I would think character would be more of an issue for voters. Whether he was gonna be a finalist or not, I remember voters completely dismissing Peter Warrick after his Dilliards shopping spree.

    I was gonna defend HP and say that you shouldn’t single him out for pushing LaMichael James off-field issues to the back burner since since he’s not the only one, but then I remembered he tweets things like this:

    “If UF loses to FSU, then wins the SEC CCG, do 4-loss Gators go to BCS title game? I mean, they’d deserve it cus they won SEC, right?”

  18. Keturah November 7, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

    look I don’t care what anyone says Cam Newton deserves that trophy. he is not only a great football player but he really knows how to help lead his team. If that is not a Heisman trophy winner I don’t know who is? He shows the leadership that is required plus give it his all! So if they votes reflects on if he’s cleared or not then they shouldn’t be voting!! That is a great player and he deserves it!! Stop trying to down grade him!! GO CAM!!

  19. HP November 8, 2010 at 12:32 am #

    Roby, It’s not my job to lead a crusade for or against a player based on what he has or hasn’t done, rather it is to comment on what is the real-world effect of these kinds of situations.

    I’ve recently discussed both the Newton and James issues (before the most recent Newton issue) and shed light as to why neither has had much affect on the race. I didn’t ‘downplay’ James’ arrest or Newton’s arrest. I merely pointed out why neither is seen as a big deal by voters.

    As to that tweet, surely you can understand satire when you read it, as it was a response to certain ESPN commentators who have said that, no matter what, the SEC champ needs to be in the BCS title game. I was just pointing out the absurdity of that position. Sorry to have offended your SEC triumphalist sensibilities.

  20. HP November 8, 2010 at 12:34 am #

    By the way, all you people out there pointing out that Newton is innocent before proven guilty are absolutely correct. Of course, you didn’t feel that way when it was Reggie Bush under investigation.

  21. Roby November 8, 2010 at 3:16 am #


    First of all, I was saying you should NOT be singled out for not mentioning James’ off-the-field issues every time his name comes into conversation. It is not your job to “crusade”, nor did I say it was. I simply noted that the press (everyone) seems to overlook James’ conduct, and I find that odd considering the climate of college football and its current image issues.

    You seem to get pretty defensive, and I don’t get it.

    As far as the tweet is concerned, I don’t even really care. Maybe I should have ended with an LOL, but I am categorically against texting acronyms/abbreviations/smileys. I guess you can’t communicate inflection well in courier new font. Maybe is should have switched to comic sans.

  22. Roby November 8, 2010 at 3:29 am #

    And blindly saying that I have “SEC triumphant sensibilities” is incorrect. Saying something like that to anyone and everyone who doesn’t take up arms in your battle to prove that the SEC gets drooled over makes you come off as childish, and it chips away at the credibility that you have built up in the last few years on this site.

    In case you were interested in where I actually stand:

    I am a Gator fan, and by extension an SEC fan. I think ESPN does go a bit overboard on their praise of the SEC (and I was embarrassed with the Tebow worship at times).However, I don’t think there is some giant conspiracy to strong-arm the SEC into the National Championship game every year. The benefit of the doubt credits that the SEC are redeeming this year comes from the fact that 3 teams from the SEC EARNED their place at the top of college football in each of the last 4 seasons. Sometimes extra praise comes with the territory. If the next 3 champs are Oregon-Stanford-Oregon, you best believe the media hype machine will switch over towards the Pac-10.

    Thanks for your time.

  23. Chris November 8, 2010 at 7:06 am #

    “As to that tweet… it was a response to certain ESPN commentators who have said that, no matter what, the SEC champ needs to be in the BCS title game.”

    I’ve never heard any ESPN commentator ever say this. Can you give us a quote or are you just going to pretend something that didn’t happen is the reason for your biased tweets? It seems that you want accountability without being accountable.

  24. sherry g November 9, 2010 at 5:59 am #

    ah yes lamichael james a deserving winner…so its okay to beat the hell out of your gf…no problems there..

  25. Chris November 9, 2010 at 6:57 am #

    HP –

    Which ESPN commentators have said that “no matter what, the SEC champ needs to be in the BCS title game”?

    Now you say it is multiple commentators! Which ones? When did they say it? Can you produce evidence that would allow anyone to corroborate what you keep repeating?

    These are reasonable requests.

    • Heismanpundit November 9, 2010 at 9:09 am #

      Dude, go watch Game Day. I don’t have video of it. But that’s what they said.

  26. Ed Newman November 9, 2010 at 7:31 am #


    Here’s one. It’s not a commentator per se, but a respected web site.


  27. Chris November 9, 2010 at 9:02 am #

    Ed –

    The Bleacher Report is an open source platform for bloggers and amateurs. We can all find something we disagree with on the BR:

    Exhibit 1: “If the Ducks, who are 0-2 against Kellen Moore and the Broncos in the last two years, go undefeated, then the Broncos should be ranked in front of them.”

    Exhibit 2: “No Denying Oregon and Auburn [for the BCS championship].”

    But don’t you think it’s fair to ask HP to corroborate his repeated accusations about ESPN commentators?

  28. Chris November 9, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    Gameday… well that’s better than just saying ESPN. Can you give us a quote that would allow us to locate which Gameday it happened on? Can you tell us the date of the statement? Can you tell us anything what-so-ever about the context that shows you’re not making this up? If you were watching Gameday and heard this, certainly you can tell us who said it!

    At the minimum, it is unprofessional to continue to reference something that seems so implausible without any supporting evidence.

    • Heismanpundit November 9, 2010 at 10:17 am #

      I didn’t make it up. But you can either trust that I’m not, go verify it yourself, or go read another blog.

  29. Chris November 9, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    You really can’t tell us who said it, what exactly was said, when it was said, or anything more about the context? I’m trying to be fair, but don’t you see how this undermines your credibility?

    You’ve got to admit that the idea that multipe ESPN Gameday commentators would say that ANY SEC champion deserves the title game over any undefeated team is hard to believe. Don’t you think there would be outraged articles in Oregon and elsewhere if this had indeed been said on ESPN Gameday?

  30. Sean November 9, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    The reason I’d put a one loss SEC team in over an unbeaten AQ team (or an ACC/Big East team– neither of which is possible this year) or any other one lo

  31. Sean November 9, 2010 at 12:51 pm #

    whoops got cut off “one loss team because of established credibility- this seems arbitrary and unfair however in a FBS football all teams cannot play and scheduling has an enormous impact on records making perception a crucial factor in weighing teams– look at 2003 and 2004 for example- in 2003 a one loss USC was left out in favor of a one loss LSU and OU and thus was unable to win a national title despite being arguably the best team in the country, the same thing happened the next year to Auburn–still the only AQ team to run the table including the bowls and not win a title- how were these decisions made: largely on resume and perception (I choose these years instead of 2006, 2007 and 2008 because in those years the “questionable” team won by double digits largely vindicating their inclusion)– now I do think the AP and other polls not party to the BCS should be free to make another decision (though said titles are inarguably less presitigious than the BCS– hence why 2003 USC and 2004 Auburn while being national champions are generally not considered in the same league as 2003 LSU and 2004 USC).

    Interestingly, in terms of this year the single best case for a split title besides Auburn somehow being left out (if an unbeaten Auburn team is left out and wins there bowl they’d easily be the single best non-BCS CG participant ever, and as this would be their second unbeaten year they would quite easily get the AP title- much like USC got the AP title in both 2003 and 2004- despite 2004 Auburn having as least as good a case as 2003 USC)- would be Boise- if Boise beats a one loss Auburn in the Sugar, or a one loss say OSU in the Fiesta- they’d almost definitely get the AP over the winner of a Oregon-TCU title game barring a blowout- simply due to their overwhelmingly impressive 2 year run which would include wins over both title game participants and zero losses.

  32. Roby November 9, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    First of all, Auburn won’t drop in the computers if they win in Alabama, then win the SEC championship. If Auburn wins out, they will play for both the AP and BCS title.

    If I read correctly (it was hard to follow), you are saying that a theoretical undefeated BCS Champion Oregon (who is #1 AP with 80% of first-place votes), with a BCS Championship win over an undefeated top-3 team, will get leapfrogged by a Boise State team (#4 AP) who beats a 1-loss team in their bowl. Is that what you are saying? Because if so, I’m sorry, you are dead wrong, and there is no question about it.

    Right now, TCU and Boise State better hope Auburn and/or Oregon loses their only challenging game left this season.

    Boise needs that AND to hope beating a ranked Nevada vaults them over TCU, because TCU isn’t losing a game before New Year’s Day.


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