Sportress of Blogitude

Cam Newton fulfills promise made to mother, graduates from Auburn


Cam Newton has one more thing to celebrate beyond signing a massive, 5-year, $103.8 million contract with the Carolina Panthers this week: Graduating from college.

Keeping a promise he made to his mother, Newton completed coursework last month to complete his college degree. He has been taking classes at Auburn, the school he led to a BCS National Championship title in 2011.

Newton, a lock to be taken number-one overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, decided to forgo his senior year, and was in fact drafted first-overall by the Carolina Panthers. But he promised his mother, Jackie, that he would return to school and earn a degree.

“Everyone else has always been worried about the football side of things, but not my mother,” Newton told PEOPLE. “My education was my mother’s top priority. I’ve been blessed to have a family that supports me. It’s a Biblical quote: iron sharpens iron. My mother has always been there to sharpen me.”

Newton admitted that it was difficult to return to college, especially given the attention he received while simply trying to attend his classes.

“I saw college in a very different way that I had not seen college before,” he said, chuckling. “So it wasn’t a normal college experience. But I was there for one reason – to get that degree.”

And get that degree he did, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. When asked why he elected to pursue his degree, Newton says, despite his success and millions of dollars earned for his NFL exploits — even before the new megadeal — the goal of completing his college coursework was an important goal.

“It wasn’t about money,” he said. “I wanted to finish something I started. I value a lot of things in my life, including education. I now have a degree, and nobody can take that away from me. It was very important to me to become a college graduate – not for anyone else, but for myself.”

[H/T Shutdown Corner, photo credit: The War Eagle Reader/Katie Reed]