College football fans officially won’t have Cam Newton to kick around anymore.
Unfortunately for Auburn, that also means their chances of going back-to-back have taken a serious hit before the last hangover from the win in the BcS championship game has worn off.
In a release issued by the school, Newton announced that he is indeed, as expected, one-and-done on The Plains and will make himself available for the April draft. And before you ask: no, we don’t know if he’s chosen his father as his agent.
“This decision was difficult for me and my family,” Newton said in a statement. “After talking to Coach Chizik and Coach Malzahn, I think it is best that I make that next step in my career and forgo my senior season and enter the NFL Draft. It was a very hard decision for me, especially after coming off the great season we had at Auburn. I’m blessed to have been around an excellent environment and have great teammates, coaches and support from the Auburn family.
“It’s been a blessing for me to be a part of something so great. Any time you win games it’s a big deal, but for this school to win a BCS National Championship, what a way to make people happy. Auburn is a special place that I can call home.”
“We appreciate Cameron’s many contributions to Auburn and the outstanding leader that he was for our football team,” Auburn head coach Gene Chizik said. “He had one of the greatest individual seasons ever by an Auburn player and was a key part of our championship run. Cam will always be a member of the Auburn family and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
So, just what will Newton’s legacy be? On the field, it will be a one-year virtuoso performance the likes of which may not be seen for many a season, capped by a Heisman Trophy, consensus All-American honors and a national title.
Off the field, Auburn is hoping that his legacy doesn’t include a trail of NCAA violations left in his early-entry wake.