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Sprints Considers the Latest Cam Newton Report: Cheating // 11.09.10

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The questions keep coming about Cam Newton's past.
The questions keep coming about Cam Newton's past.


Next up: Cam Newton shot JR
One thing is for sure: If everything in the Fox Sports report about Cam Newton's academic history at Florida is true, he's just as stubborn off the field as he is on. Not as successful, but just as stubborn.

He again violated the university’s honor code by putting his name on another student’s paper and turning it in, according to the source. Newton was caught after the instructor asked the real author of the paper why he had not turned in his work, the source said. ...

Newton subsequently turned in a second paper to the instructor, but it was later found to have been purchased off the Internet, according to the source.

Now, we all did some stupid things when we were in college. But don't you think that, after you had been caught cheating by the professor once, you would have done something less obvious than buy the paper online?

Cecil Newton is a bit less defiant about this one than the taking money business.

"I wasn’t there," the elder Newton said. "I cannot confirm or deny. At a time like this, I’m taking a defensive posture."

This would explain what has always struck me as an inconsistency in Cam Newton's biography. With Tim Tebow staying around for his senior season, Newton would have first been in line to start for Florida this year. By leaving Florida, Newton was eligible to start for another FBS team ... this year. It never made much sense to me, but I figured it was just a young man being a young man. Now, I'm not sure.

As for the larger issue of consequences, I'm not sure there are any, and Fox Sports doesn't really do any of the due-diligence you would expect to find out if there would be. Could he be in trouble under Auburn's honor code, and are there some NCAA consequences that I'm not thinking of right now? Fox doesn't say.

I think that's important from a journalistic standpoint as well. Because if this isn't a matter that would keep Newton from playing at Auburn, I can't think of why it's newsworthy to begin with. So he cheated and was about to be expelled -- what am I supposed to do with this information? Think less of him? It's interesting gossip, but I'm not sure that it's a journalistic endeavor any more than finding out who John Mayer's latest girlfriend is.

This is different than the possible pay issue. Records like this are supposed to be confidential, and there's no reason to report on them unless it has ramifications for Newton's career at Auburn. Otherwise, it's just a cheap smear.

And you do have to kind of wonder who's behind this one. There wouldn't be that many people who would have access to the kind of information and details needed to put this story together. I'm still not sure that I buy the theory that Urban Meyer was the source of the money stories. But it's hard to ignore that in the case of this story, all roads lead to Gainesville.

Jay Jacobs is being cagey about the eligibility issue
And this in an interview that happened before the cheating reports were published.

Asked if he could foresee any reason Newton wouldn't finish the season, Jacobs said, "I don't have a way to know that at this time."

"It's not a closed matter," he said. "It's still ongoing. ... But we look for Cam to continue to play for us."

The likelihood that this goes away, barring a final ruling on Newton's status, is zero at this point. Auburn just has to continue to play, and hope that the distractions don't prove too much for its team.


SEC Football Insider: LSU, Alabama Flip The Script While Arkansas Levels South Carolina -
Your weekly recap of SEC football, where LSU and Alabama switched places in the standings, and we now have a clearer picture of the SEC Championship Game in December.

This is getting to be too sad for words
Three of Vanderbilt's running backs are either out or questionable this weekend, and Zac Stacy might be gone for the year. Warren Norman, as you might have heard, is already out for the year.

And in Glendale, it's not like he could eat the grass or anything
Les Miles says he won't lobby for his team to get to the BCS Championship Game -- yet.

At some point in time, I would lobby hard for the best team in the SEC, I promise you that.

What, you don't think any of the teams in the East might be the best team if Auburn isn't? Forget I even said that.

Gamecocks change up practice routine
It can't hurt. Also interesting: The entire team watched all of the game last week during film study. This will either be the kind of thing that will have them ready to go for Florida, or full of self-doubt when the opening kickoff goes off. But when you're going for your first-ever SEC East championship, there's no reason not to take a few chances.

Yes, Tim Tebow is writing a book
I know there are those of you who will not be able to contain your joy.

Dan Hawkins is apparently out at Colorado
And The Ralphie Report has the details you need about this. Why is it important for our purposes? Glad you asked.

Other names floating around include Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain, Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn and LSU coach Les Miles although it looks unlikely that LSU would part with Miles after last weekend's win over Alabama.

With several college football coaches likely to be axed this year, get ready for speculation about some of the better coordinators in the league. Ellis Johnson will likely not be mentioned in this discussion. No, I'm not bitter.