NBCSports.com gets it: Newton iffy at best

From NBC.com today:

“Was Newton eligible?

It’s a fair question; we’re not trying to rain on anyone’s parade here. From the initial reports in November, to the moments before kickoff, the investigation was, and still is, a legitimate probe. When you factor in the NCAA’s decision to make Newton ineligible, only to reverse the decision 24 hours later, the whole situation became a folly.

But, even if Newton didn’t know that his father was soliciting money in a pay-to-play plan — a clear infraction on NCAA rules — the bylaw remains. Fair or not.

Based on that, Newton shouldn’t have been eligible. Period.

Not that it matters now. Auburn got their championship. Whether or not it stands the test of time remains to be seen. By that point, though, Newton will be gone, probably with a career in the NFL. Amongst the Auburn faithful, he’ll be remembered for his spectacular runs and helping in Auburn’s come-from-behind victory over Alabama. And let’s not be mistaken: Newton deserves all of those praises.

But there will always be uncertainty surrounding Newton and Auburn and it will leave a tainted legacy for those wanting to know what really happened.”