Cam Newton: As NCAA Probe Expands, Did He Get Caught Cheating at Florida?
Cam Newton has had to deal with rumors surrounding his eligibility at Auburn University after former Mississippi State quarterback John Bond reported that his former teammate Kenny Rogers was shopping around for Newton.
According to ESPN, Bond said that Rogers was claiming to represent Cameron Newton and that he told Bond he had already received six-figure offers from other institutions.
Mississippi State reported these allegations, and the NCAA has been conducting an investigation in order to determine whether this story holds any truth.
As of right now, Newton is still the starting quarterback for the No. 2 football team in the country, but now more drama has surfaced regarding his character.
FoxSports.com reported on Monday that Newton had faced possible expulsion from the University of Florida for academic cheating. He transferred to Blinn College in the spring of 2009.
So is this just another example of people trying to tear down the Heisman Trophy front-runner?
Or is Cameron Newton to blame for his poor judgment?
Read on for the latest news, and decide for yourself.
Cam Newton started his college football career at the University of Florida as a backup for future Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow.
During November of his sophomore year at Florida, Newton was arrested on felony charges of burglary, larceny and obstruction of justice for allegedly trying to purchase a stolen laptop from another Florida Student.
Newton was then suspended from the Gators football team, and even though he was welcomed back for the 2009 season, one person stood in his way...
Tim Tebow just couldn't stay away, and instead of entering into the NFL Draft, he decided to return to Florida for his senior season.
Tebow remained the starter, and Newton made other plans.
In January of 2009, Newton transferred to Blinn College, a junior college in Texas, where he led the team to a 2009 NJCAA National Football Championship.
Mississippi State Vs. Auburn
Newton was ranked the No. 1 recruit for the 2010 recruiting season, and other SEC teams like Auburn and Mississippi State emerged as the front-runners in the race to gain commitment from the talented quarterback.
Mississippi State seemed the logical decision for Newton since he and Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen both had ties to Florida, but Newton ultimately made the decision to become an Auburn Tiger.
Cameron Newton has been the breakout star of the SEC (and perhaps all of college football) this season with the Auburn Tigers.
So far this season, Newton has thrown 19 touchdown passes and he used his feet for 15 more.
He is a favorite for the Heisman Trophy, and his No. 2 Tigers are undefeated.
Potential NCAA Violations
Last Thursday, ESPN.com reported that Newton was under investigation for receiving improper benefits after a former Mississippi State quarterback reported some funny business on the part of a man claiming to represent Newton.
John Bond said that he was approached by his former teammate Kenny Rogers about the young quarterback.
Bond told sources that Rogers had indicated that he had already received six-figure offers from other schools trying to recruit Cameron Newton.
Bond reported this to Mississippi State.
"He said it would take some cash to get Cam," Bond said. "I called our athletic director, Greg Byrne, and he took it from there. That was pretty much it."
The NCAA is currently investigating these allegations, but Newton remains eligible.
Newton has denied rumors that he accepted any payment for his commitment to Auburn.
"I haven't done anything wrong," Newton said. "I'm an Auburn athlete, and I'm still playing for Auburn. I love Auburn, and that's all I've got to say."
Cheating at Florida
As if these allegations weren't enough, FoxSports.com is now reporting that Newton may have been having some academic troubles while attending the University of Florida.
According to FoxSports.com, Newton faced three charges of academic cheating during his time at Florida. in once instance, Newton was said to have put his name on another student's paper, and when he was caught, he was given a chance to turn in another one...
Which he proceeded to purchase from the Internet.
Newton was supposed to appear in front of Florida’s Student Conduct Committee during the spring, but he transferred to Blinn College.
Gene Chizik Weighs In
Tigers head coach Gene Chizik has stood by his quarterback throughout all the drama, and after Saturday's victory over Chattanooga, he had this to say to ESPN:
"Let me tell you something. This is a great kid," Chizik said after Saturday's victory. "I can speak intelligently on that one. This is a great kid. And you can go back and you can talk to elementary coaches, high school, this is a great kid and he's been a great kid at Auburn University every day he's been around me, this staff and his teammates.
"I don't know what's out there and I don't know what hits you're talking about, but I can assure you this: this is a phenomenal young man. Make no mistake about that."
So What Does This Mean For Cam?
Just because Newton exhibited questionable judgment while attending Florida, we have to keep in mind that he was still very young.
Offer any 19-year-old boy a cheap laptop, and see what happens.
Give me a break.
The cheating allegations are unfortunate, but if Newton is indeed guilty of academic misconduct, he wouldn't be the first.
That doesn't make it right...
But it doesn't mean he accepted money for his commitment.
As long as Newton had nothing to do with Kenny Rogers' attempts at some quick cash (It looks like Newton is telling the truth on this one), he and the rest of the Auburn Tigers will be just fine.