More than 78,000 fans packed Jordan-Hare stadium to celebrate Auburn’s BCS National Championship and to hear from quarterback Cam Newton for one last time.
It was farewell for the Heisman Trophy winner Newton, as well as defensive tackle Nick Fairley. Both are turning pro.
Newton slapped hands as he danced along the line of students, then struck a Heisman pose at the podium and sang out, “War Eagle.”
He spoke to the crowd about his controversial season.
“How did I handle the distractions? The simple answer is: God, family and you, the Auburn family,” said Newton.
The week before the SEC Championship, Newton was declared ineligible for a day after the NCAA ruled that there was a “violation of amateurism rules” as a result of his father’s pay-for-play scheme.
The NCAA determined that Cecil Newton shopped his son’s services to Mississippi State during the recruiting process. Newton asked for $180,000, but Mississippi State declined the pay-for-play deal.
The FBI and the NCAA are continuing their investigations into Newton’s recruiting.
Despite the celebration, Auburn’s national championship season remains at risk. If investigators find wrongdoing, the dream season could become a nightmare.