CAM NEWTON ELIGIBLE, AND YEAH, THIS STILL FEELS WEIRD

Cam Newton is eligible per the NCAA's official statement today. Auburn did declare him ineligible for a short period yesterday, and he is now eligible after reinstatement. That's all that's said regarding his eligibility, and Category Five attorney-shocktroops say it with us: at this point, you may need to start making some logic charts.

The eligibility issue is resolved. The speed was quick, but there was a lot of communication between the NCAA and Auburn's compliance people during this process, meaning this was likely part of the conversation for a while. The NCAA likely said, "We know this much, and would like you to do this if you want him to play," Auburn complied, and the ruling was reached quickly after what has been effectively a three week negotiation with the NCAA.This was a managed event by the school and the Association, and thus the lack of an announcement of his ineligibility yesterday. We know the "how now?" question. More on the "why now" in a bit. (Spoiler: WE DON'T KNOW AND NEITHER DO YOU.)

This means given the facts known and established by the NCAA at this point, he can play for Auburn. It does not mean there are now open threads, and that's not reading conspiratorially into this. The legalish verbiage is right there in the statement.

Based on the information available to the reinstatement staff at this time, we do not have sufficient evidence that Cam Newton or anyone from Auburn was aware of this activity, which led to his reinstatement.

And:

 

Reinstatement decisions are independent of the NCAA enforcement process and typically are made once the facts of the student-athlete’s involvement are determined. The reinstatement process is likely to conclude prior to the close of an investigation. It is NCAA policy not to comment on current, pending or potential investigations.

We've made a handy visual aid for those who like other types of sports blogs after the jump:

  Tortsbybrooks_medium

It means that among the many mysteries here, we know that there's more to come, even if that only "more" is the final "okay, we're through there, and the investigation is over." It is a legitimate question to ask whether the Newtons are excused from this entirely, or if it will turn to focus on Kenny Rogers and agent contact, or who the hell knows. The timing of the rest of the case will likely be as sluggish as the rest of the NCAA's investigations have been, but the most nagging thing of all in the short-term thinking re: l'affaire du Newton is this: why now?

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