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TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 26: Quarterback Cam Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers celebrates their 28-27 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 26, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
On the eve of his presumptive Heisman trophy win, Auburn quarterback Cam Newton wants to set the record straight about the recruiting scandal that's been the only dark cloud hanging over an otherwise beautiful season.
"Everything I've done at this university, I did it the right way," Newton said in an interview given to ESPN.
For the majority of this past season, the quarterback was dogged by allegations of a pay-to-play scheme involving his father and his recruitment to Mississippi State University. A booster for the Bulldogs said that while Newton was deciding between the two SEC schools, his father - Cecil Newton - attempt to solicit a six-figure payment in exchange by saying that it would take "more than a scholarship" to secure his son's services.
An NCAA investigation found that Cameron did no wrong, but his father was found guilty of violating his son's amateur status and has had his access to Auburn's football program limited.
"I had no dealings with nobody at Mississippi State during the time that I came to Auburn," Cameron Newton said. "But Mississippi State knows it was between Mississippi State and Auburn. And if you've been following this, there's no secret. But I felt that, as a whole, Auburn possessed what's best for Cam Newton, and that's why I decided to come here on my decision."
As the NCAA probe ran its course, multiple reports indicated that Cam was leaning toward going to Mississippi State butt that his father ultimately made the call about going to Auburn.
Newton, who captured the Davey O'Brien Awards as the nation's best quarterback and the Maxwell Award for the best all-around player in the country on December 9, broke records for the undefeated Tigers this season, becoming the first SEC player in history to pass for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in the same season.