He came to Auburn for the money, and he's leaving Auburn for the money. Per Charles Goldberg:
Quarterback Cam Newton, whose shooting star lit up Auburn like few before him, said Thursday he's leaving school a year early to enter the NFL Draft.
"This decision was difficult for me and my family," Newton said. "After talking to Coach Chizik and Coach Malzahn, I think it is best that I make that next step in my career and forgo my senior season and enter the NFL Draft. It was a very hard decision for me, especially after coming off the great season we had at Auburn. I'm blessed to have been around an excellent environment and have great teammates, coaches and support from the Auburn family."
In other breaking news, the National Weather Service has officially announced that the sun indeed descended over the western horizon this evening.
In all fairness to Newton, though, while he and his father have been roasted hard by everyone aside from the NCAA over the pay-for-play allegations, and rightly so, give him credit for what he accomplished on the field. Regardless of your opinion of him as a person or how he conducted his recruitment, no one can objectively dispute the impact that he made in his single season at Auburn. In the modern history of college football, only Herschel Walker can even make a semi-colorable claim to having a greater impact as a first-year player. Without Newton in the fold, Auburn would have undoubtedly ended their season far closer to Birmingham than Glendale.
For now, Newton will undoubtedly make tens of millions in the NFL, and Auburn will somehow try to replace him with an undersized white kid (good luck with that one, by the way). Nevertheless, what Cam Newton did both on the field and off the field will not be forgotten any time soon. For better and for worse, few college football players can lay stake to that claim.