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Since arriving at Auburn, Newton has been a model student-athlete and the face of the Tigers program. However, concerns about his past could scare teams off once April rolls around.
Newton was accused of stealing a laptop computer his sophomore season at Florida and was ultimately suspended from the team by coach Urban Meyer. However, he was never convicted of a crime by law enforcement and has always maintained that he bought the computer from a man selling items out of his truck.
While Newton's "crime" seems closer to irresponsible than reprehensible, NFL teams will no doubt further investigate the situation.
Recently, allegations surfaced that a man who represented Newton during his transfer recruitment was soliciting a six-figure payment in return for the QB's signature on a national letter of intent.
Several schools reportedly were ready to pay for Newton when Kenny Rogers—the man in question—told Mississippi State he was willing to take less from them because Newton was a fan of the Bulldogs program and head coach Dan Mullen. The NCAA is investigating the situation.
Just yesterday, news outlets began reporting that Newton was guilty of academic dishonesty three times during his time at Florida and at one point faced expulsion from the university. The Auburn QB is accused of putting his name on another student's paper and purchasing an essay off the Internet. Instead of going before Florida's Student Conduct Committee, reports say, Newton opted to transfer to Blinn College.
Whether or not these relatively trivial missteps are indicative of Newton's true character is something NFL teams will investigate. Though accusations of taking improper benefits and cheating are significant to the NCAA, it is likely Newton's incident with the laptop will be most important to his position with the NFL.
Newton has thrived this season as the face of college football. He's performed as wonderfully off the gridiron as he has on it in 2010. However, it's possible his checkered past could impact his draft status.