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Report: Newton Left UF After Cheating Scandal

When you reach the top, Americans love nothing more than to tear you down.  Are you listening, Cam Newton?

No one was digging up much information on Newton — not in the press anyway — until after he exploded on national TV against Arkansas and LSU.  Once he catapulted to the top of the Heisman race and was featured in Sports Illustrated, that’s when “sources” began to speak.

Last week we heard that a representative for Newton was shopping his services to Mississippi State.  Rumors also swirled that other schools were involved.  The assumption was made by many that he must’ve taken cash to sign with Auburn.

At that point, columnists began to suggest that Heisman voters not cast their ballots for Newton.  They reminded readers that Newton had once been arrested for having a stolen laptop in his possession.  One of those columnists was FoxSports.com’s Thayer Evans.  And now he’s back with more dirt on Newton.

According to a FoxSports.com report from last night, Newton “had three different instances of academic cheating while attending the University of Florida and faced potential expulsion from the university, according to a source.”

In most cases, reporters run with a story if they get a source and a verifying source.  Perhaps Evans’ source is so solid he/she needs no verification.  (An online report last week suggested that Urban Meyer was behind the Newton-Kenny Rogers story.)

According to Evans’ source, Florida’s Student Conduct Committee was set to hear Newton’s case in the spring of 2009, but the quarterback transferred to Blinn Junior College in Texas before that could happen.

The source said, “He knew that he was facing a bad outcome.”

No one at Auburn spoke to Evans about Newton’s academic past, but I wouldn’t expect them to.  The alleged academic violations took place at Florida, not Auburn.

Newton’s father, Cecil, said only: “I wasn’t there.  I cannot confirm or deny.  At a time like this, I’m taking a defensive posture.”

For those wondering, Newton’s academic issues at Florida have no bearing on his academic status on The Plains.  They do not constitute an NCAA violation or bring his eligibility into question.

They do, however, smear Newton’s character further.  Obviously folks at Florida — maybe Meyer, maybe others — are tired of seeing their former quarterback thrive elsewhere.  They’re also tired of hearing how wrong Florida was to let him go / run him off.

This latest story will no doubt further erode Heisman support for Newton.  Worse for the young man, he’ll now go to New York for the presentation and the story of the night will be his character.  If I were him, I’d not go.  And I’d get the hell out of the college game next spring before another shoe drops.

If these allegations are true, does Newton deserve to be exposed?  I suppose that’s the way the game is played.  That doesn’t make me a fan of it.

If Auburn boosters or the Newton family are found to have had any shady, illegal dealings, then the NCAA should drop the hammer.  But this smear campaign against him?  That’s just not my cup of tea.  Especially when it’s aimed at a 21-year-old.

Stay tuned.  You can bet there’s more to come.

 


3 comments
MJWilliamson
MJWilliamson

Cam's academic troubles might be facts, but they probably do not belong in the public media. So, who gains the most by airing those troubles to the media?

Florida?

Maybe, but Florida does not play Auburn every year.

How about a rival that does play Auburn every year? Like LSU, MSU or UGA?

How would they know about Cam's academic problems? Well, they each have someone currently working for them that worked at Florida at the time of the academic problems.

Billy Gonzalas at LSU was WR coach at Florida in 2008
Dan Mullens at MSU was OC at Florida in 2008
Greg McGarity at UGA was assistant AD at Florida in 2008.

Absent facts, is is fair to accuse these guys of beng the source of the leak? No, no more than it is fair to accuse Urban Meyer, or even imply that Urban or someone on his current staff leaked the information, absent facts.

If publicly smearing Cam for cheating is wrong , and it is, it is no less wrong to smear for doing something that they did not do.

admin
admin

I'm not "in the bag" for anyone.

I report what's out there. Even rumors if they become big enough. I did not link to the Meyer story because a lot folks I've spoken to aren't buying that report yet. However, it is fair at this point to mention that rumor... certainly in light of all the other anti-Newton stuff coming from the Florida camp.

If Newton is found guilty of taking money or being shopped around, then the NCAA should blast away. But for many people, when they see smoke, they WANT their to be fire. And from covering this league, no, there is not always fire where there's smoke. The number of rumors and tips I get on a daily basis would make your head spin. And very rarely do any of them amount to anything.

You might go back to Signing Day when the big rumor around the SEC was that Meyer would step down right after Florida's new class was inked. I cautioned folks not to take that smoke for fire either.

We call it like we see it. And waiting these stories out is usually the best course of action.

Thanks for reading,
John

bradleygator
bradleygator

I love this site, but you're in the bag for Newton. You caution everyone about a rush to judgment on Newton but readily spread gossip, which started on an Auburn fan site, about Meyer being behind these stories. You say he's "done nothing wrong," and outside of stealing a laptop and hiding evidence from police, you're right that nothing else has been proven. I'm all for second chances, and I like Newton as a player, but that history certainly bears on his credibility in responding to these current allegations. That history is also part of the reason the press is so ready to run with this. In the SEC, boys, where there's smoke, there be fire.

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