The latest chapter of the Newton saga involves alleged academic cheating while at Florida and that the current Auburn quarterback was facing expulsion from the school early in 2009. That single-sourced report was written by FOX Sports.com‘s Thayer Evans, who reportedly has a more-than-casual friendship with Meyer.
That relationship served to add some significant fuel to the roaring rumor mill fire, that Meyer is behind the push to leak disparaging information about Newton. It also forced the Florida head coach to issue a swift denial of the speculation.
“Our entire focus right now is on preparing for our biggest game of the year against South Carolina,” Meyer said. “For anyone to think that I or anyone on our staff may have leaked information about private student records to the media doesn’t know us very well. It’s a ridiculous claim and simply not true.”
While this latest report would have no impact whatsoever on Newton’s eligibility at Auburn, the school felt the need to release a statement this morning, a subtly blistering attack on those who have “stoop[ed] to that level… in tearing down a young man’s reputation.”
“In the past 24 hours, a lot of allegations have surfaced that date back two years ago and further,” AU athletic director Jay Jacobs said. “These allegations and rumors about Cam Newton are unfortunate and sad because they seem intent on tearing down the reputation of a young man who has done everything we’ve asked him to do. Cam has been and continues to be completely honest with us.
“Cam is, by all accounts, a great kid. Any discussion of academic records is a clear violation of federal privacy laws. We will not go down that path or stoop to that level as others have apparently done. We will, however, emphatically say that Cam is eligible to play football at Auburn University both academically and athletically. I am proud of this young man and the progress he has made to be a better football player and a better man. We are truly blessed that Cam is a part of the Auburn family, and we support him 100 percent.”
Regardless, what this boils down to is an apparent smear campaign and hatchet job all rolled into one embarrassing attempt at character assassination. The timing of these unnamed sources suddenly crawling out of the
gutter woodwork nearly two years after the fact tells you all you need to know about a situation that smells as bad as any that’s hit the national landscape in years.