Let the Punishment Fit the Crime

by John Mills
(Canton, Georgia)

I am glad I have gotten to see Cam Newton play. What an awesome talent. I surely hope he has gotten a lot of his poor decision making out of his system earlier than Michael Vick. (I have read articles a few years ago blaming high testosterone levels for many of the young great athletes getting in so much trouble with the law.)

All that being thrown out there, I am glad to see the "innocent until proven guilty" card being played. Yes, I believe it highly unlikely that Cam did not know more, but that is not a fact and until it becomes one, I think he should be free from penalty.

I do think the way the NCAA and/or SEC hand out their penalties is pretty inconsistent. When A.J. Green was kept out of four games for Georgia for selling a game jersey for less than $1,000.00 and basically ruined Georgia's season, I felt the punishment in that case was a bit excessive.

UGA's appeal, with good precedent to shorten the ban from play was denied for something that was not a heinous or harmful crime. Yes, he should have known better and I am not saying he should get off totally, but I believe some of these penalties are a bit excessive and at least inconsistent.

Back to the subject. I hope they don't find out the truth until the big game is played for purely selfish reasons. After that, I don't really care much. Yes I hope he did not know. However, if he did, yes, he should lose the Heisman and if Auburn knew or participated, they should have their title and record stripped.

In two or three years, though, I will enjoy watching Cam Newton, in the pros, doing exciting things just like Vick is now that he has matured a bit an gone down a better path. I wish well for Newton, Vick, Green, Bush and Tiger. Thank goodness this is a pretty forgiving country. Otherwise, our sports would be pretty boring.

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