NCAA President Mark Emmert responded Thursday to the backlash over the governing body allowing Cam Newton to play in the SEC championship game even though his father sought payment for his services.
"We recognize that many people are outraged at the notion that a parent or anyone else could 'shop around' a student-athlete and there would possibly not be repercussions on the student-athlete's eligibility," Emmert said in a statement on the NCAA's Web site.
Emmert added that he's committed to "further clarifying and strengthening our recruiting and amateurism rules so they promote appropriate behavior by students, parents, coaches and third parties." He also said the NCAA will "work aggressively with our members to amend our bylaws so that this type of behavior is not a part of intercollegiate athletics."
The NCAA ruled Wednesday that the Heisman favorite was unaware of the pay-for-play scheme concocted by his father, Cecil, and the owner of a scouting service. The NCAA declared Newton eligible to play for second-ranked Auburn Saturday against No. 18 South Carolina.
Around the nation
Ohio State: President Gordon Gee plans to stick to academics from now on, leaving football to his athletic director and Buckeyes Coach Jim Tressel.
Gee has been criticized for telling The Associated Press last week that teams from the Big Ten and SEC deserve to play in BCS bowl games more than schools such as TCU, because they play a "murderer's row" of opponents and "we do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor."
Gee told the Columbus Dispatch on Wednesday that he should not have gotten involved and "what I should do is go over to the surgical suites and get my foot extricated from my mouth."
Syracuse: Director of athletics Daryl Gross accepted an invitation Thursday to represent the Big East Conference in the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. The Orange (7-5) will face a representative of the Big 12 on Dec. 30.
The contest will mark the first NCAA football bowl game in the Bronx since the Gotham Bowl on Dec. 15, 1962, when Nebraska edged Miami 36-34 at the original Yankee Stadium.
Chick-fil-A Bowl: Officials for the Atlanta-based bowl said Thursday they will invite the loser of Saturday's Atlantic Coast Conference championship game between No. 12 Virginia Tech (10-2) and No. 20 Florida State (9-3). The winner earns an automatic BCS bid and a likely trip to the Orange Bowl.
The ACC championship game loser faces a team from the Southeastern Conference in the Georgia Dome. No. 22 Mississippi State (8-4) appears to be the leading candidate.