Afternoon News Update, Dec. 15

NEWTON TSN PLAYER OF YEAR: Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Cam Newton added another major honor Wednesday. He was named national Player of the Year by The Sporting News.

Auburn quarterback Cam Newton makes two more All-America teams

Junior defensive tackle Nick Fairley was also named a first-team All-American by The Sporting News.
Newton, Fairley and offensive tackle Lee Ziemba were first-team selections on Sports Illustrated’s All-America team.

The Dec. 20 issue of Sporting News magazine features Newton on the cover and includes a comprehensive college bowl guide, a 2011 year in preview and 2010 pro, college and high school athletes of the year.

3 TIGERS ELECTED TO ASHOF: Former baseball great Frank Thomas, former basketball star Henry Hart and former Auburn and NFL lineman David Hill are in the latest class elected for induction into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

Also in the class are former Alabama running back Shaun Alexander, former Alabama quarterback Jeff Rutledge, former Gadsden Times sports editor Jimmy Smothers, former major league relief pitcher Al Worthington and former UAB track great and Olympic gold medalist Vonetta Flowers.

TIGERS VISIT USF: Auburn’s men’s basketball team is in Tampa tonight to play South Florida. The Tigers are 3-5 and coming off a 63-54 loss at Rugers. The Bulls are 5-5.

Tipoff time is set for 8 p.m. CST. The game will be televised by ESPNU.

NCAA PRESIDENT SAYS DECISION PROPER: NCAA president Mark Emmert said in an interview Tuesday that emergency legislation could be put in place during the January convention to avoid a repeat of the Cam Newton case.

Speaking in a wide-ranging interview with nine reporters from various media outlets, Emmert said the main question the NCAA must tackle is whether a player should be culpable for the actions of a relative even if no evidence is found that he or she knew about those actions. The NCAA recently ruled that quarterback Cam Newton's father tried to get Mississippi State to pay for Newton to play for the Bulldogs. The NCAA found no evidence that Cam Newton knew what his father did or that Auburn was involved, so he was allowed to keep playing.

"I was not surprised by the volume or the vitriolic nature, but had we made a different decision, I do think it would have been worse," Emmert said. "There was no evidence that Auburn University had anything to do with that or the student-athlete had anything to do with that, and under the rules that exist today, he could play ball."

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