NEW YORK (AP) -- Auburn quarterback Cam Newton won the Heisman Trophy in college football Saturday after a season in which he played brilliantly but was also the focus of an NCAA investigation.
Newton won in a landslide vote, easily beating runner-up Andrew Luck of Stanford to become the third Auburn player to win the sport's biggest individual award.
"Honestly, it's a dream come true for me, something every child has a dream that plays the sport of football, and I'm living testimony that anything is possible," Newton said.
On the field and off, Newton has been the story of the college football season. He's carried the top-ranked Tigers to the Bowl Championship Series national championship game against No. 2 Oregon, running and passing over opponents who looked helpless trying to stop him.
But his story is stained: Recently, the National Collegiate Athletic Association determined his father tried to peddle him to Mississippi State for cash.
The NCAA cleared him to play before the Southeastern Conference title game because it found no evidence that he or Auburn knew about Cecil Newton's pay-for-play scheme. It also suggested that it was still investigating. The FBI and the Mississippi secretary of state's office also are looking into the case. Cam Newton has denied any wrongdoing.
Still, it invites speculation the newest Heisman winner could perhaps be heading down the same path as Reggie Bush, who returned his Heisman three months ago after the NCAA ruled that he and his family received cash and gifts while he was at Southern California.
To be eligible for the Heisman, a player must be in good standing with the NCAA. And for most of November, after news broke of claims by a Mississippi State booster who said Newton's father tried to get the Bulldogs to pay $180,000 for his son to play for them, it was unclear if Cam Newton was clean.
The NCAA didn't punish Cam Newton but did say that Cecil Newton's access to Auburn athletics would have to be limited.
What that means is unclear, but Cecil Newton did not attend the Heisman Trophy ceremony Saturday night. In a statement released by his lawyer earlier in the week, he said his presence could "rob Cam and the event of a sacred moment."