ANYWAY, it turns out Cecil Newton was in attendance for Monday's BCS national championship game. (Compare the above photo to this one.) Check out this well-timed photo by the Opelika-Auburn News. Here's how today's story starts:
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The game barely had ended, the field still full of people wearing orange and blue, but Auburn’s first national championship since 1957 already was shaded by a tinge of controversy.
A photo by the Opelika-Auburn News showed quarterback Cam Newton hugging his father, Cecil, following the Tigers’ 22-19 BCS title game victory Monday night against Oregon.
Cecil’s presence has been a hot-button issue since the NCAA concluded after an investigation that he sought money from a Mississippi State booster last year to secure his son’s services.
The NCAA did not find any wrongdoing on Cam’s or Auburn’s part, ruling that neither party had knowledge of Cecil’s dealings.
Auburn agreed to limit Cecil’s access to the program following the NCAA’s findings. Cecil did not attend the SEC championship game in Atlanta or the Heisman Trophy ceremony in New York in December.
Although Cam said earlier in the week that he expected his entire family, including his father, to be in Arizona, Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said before Monday’s game that it was “mutually agreed upon” that Cecil would not attend.
School spokesman Kirk Sampson said Tuesday that Auburn did not provide the ticket and did not know Cecil would be in attendance.