CAM NEWTON'S father said he won't attend tomorrow's Heisman Trophy ceremony in New York because he doesn't want to be a distraction.

The Auburn quarterback is one of four candidates for the award, along with Oregon running back LaMichael James, and quarterbacks Kellen Moore of Boise State and Andrew Luck of Stanford.

Tomorrow, all eyes will be on Cam. But, yesterday, Cecil Newton felt compelled to get his name in the news by issuing a spotlight-stealing statement.

"So that my son Cam Newton can receive all the honors and congratulations that he has worked so hard to accomplish without distraction, I have decided not to be in attendance at the ceremony as it will perhaps rob Cam and the event of a sacred moment," Cecil said.

What a guy! But wait, there's more.

"For all of my 50 years of life coupled with 25 years of marriage, I have made an exhausting attempt to be a good husband, father and generally a good person of integrity," Cecil said.

Integrity? Something tells us the media might want to ask Cecil where his "integrity" was during his failed attempt to get money from Mississippi State in exchange for his son playing there. Think that could be the real reason he's not showing up?

Will Turkish team gobble up Shaq?

Will Shaq and A.I. be teammates?

Seref Yalcin, the general manager of Besiktas, the Turkish team Allen Iverson now plays for, said he is going after the Celtics' star.

Yalcin told the Associated Press he met with O'Neal recently and said the center told him, "I want to be champion this season with Boston. But I'm coming to Turkey next year."

There has been no comment from O'Neal, but Yalcin said Shaq has a player option for next season and that if there is an NBA lockout, the big guy might hop a plane to Turkey.

"Some people will still come out and say, 'Shaq won't come to Turkey,' " Yalcin said. "But the chances are very high."

- Tom Mahon

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