Cam Newton explains why he's shunned Heisman events since winning award for Auburn football in 2010

2010 Heisman Trophy Presentation/Press Conference
2010 Heisman Trophy Presentation/Press Conference / Jeff Zelevansky/GettyImages

Cam Newton went on the March 6 edition of the "NFL Players Second Acts Podcast" and explained that he hasn't been to a Heisman event since winning the award after an undefeated season under center for Auburn football because his father wasn't allowed into the event.

The reason? The NCAA didn't want his father, Cecil Newton Sr., to be in the spotlight given the allegations that Cam was paid under the table to play for the Tigers.

“Going back to that time, you have to be reminded, the NCAA was doing a thorough investigation," Newton said (h/t "‘Mr. Newton, it’s best if you don’t.’ And my dad is similar to me. Any extracurricular distractions, I don’t want. ‘Son, I’ll be in the hotel room.’ And I just remember like after I won the Heisman, I just kept looking at my mom, and she knew. She was like, ‘Yeah, baby, let’s go to the room.’ I’m that person that my dad is such a strong figure in my life. He sacrificed a lot just so I could play. And if you remember that NCAA thing, somebody had to take a fall. My dad: ‘I’ll jump on the grenade.’ Boom! He couldn’t come to no games. He was the bad guy, selling his son to get money. He didn’t do that. They just had to paint that to have a copout.

“My dad ain’t no different than Lamar Ball. No different than Archie Manning. No different than King Richard. No different than Ja Morant’s father. No different than any hands-on father – Deion Sanders. And it’s like I still have a hard time looking at that award as something I just take pride in.”

Cam Newton explains why he chose Auburn football -- and being paid wasn't his reason

As Newton tells it, money wasn't what piqued his interest in the Plains. Instead, it was the veteran-laden team with similar goals of making it to the NFL that made him sign his NLI with Gene Chizik's Tigers.

“I’m choosing Auburn because they had 22 seniors, and I knew the importance of leadership,” Newton prefaced before saying, “And I said to myself, ‘If I can get a guy, not at 16, 17, but a guy at like 21, 22 to understand, 'yo, you trying to get to the league, too? All right, let’s work.' And I knew it would be easier to convince that body of people to commit to something rather than a team that only had four seniors returning.”

Newton made the right choice for his career in every conceivable way, and it's taken many years for the anti-Auburn crowd to accept it. Of course, some never will.

But that won't take away what was achieved in 2010. Nothing will.