On the heels of allegations last week that someone claiming to represent Auburn quarterback Cam Newton was shopping him to Mississippi State for cash coming out of junior college, allegations have now surfaced that Newton left Florida after three different instances of academic cheating and faced potential expulsion from the university.
Thayer Evans of FOXSports.com reported the story Tuesday morning, quoting a source.
Newton's father, Cecil Newton, said he would have no comment on his son's academic past.
"I wasn’t there," Cecil Newton said. "I cannot confirm or deny. At a time like this, I’m taking a defensive posture."
Both Cecil Newton and Cam Newton have denied any wrongdoing in connection with the allegations that former Mississippi State player Kenny Rogers was soliciting money in turn for Newton to go to Mississippi State. The NCAA is investigating, however, and Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said earlier this week that the school has not uncovered any issues with Newton's eligibility, but added that it was "not a closed matter" and the review was "still ongoing."
Obviously, these are trying times for Newton, who's the front-runner in the Heisman Trophy race and a key reason Auburn is unbeaten and chasing a national championship.
There's no getting around the media circus that this will become, especially with a player the stature of Newton. He's a fierce competitor, though, and some of these things that are out there may drive him that much harder on the field.