It seemed virtually impossible after last week, but somehow, the news surrounding Cam Newton 's pre-Auburn years seems to have gotten worse. According to a Fox Sports report, Newton was allegedly involved in multiple academic cheating controversies while enrolled at Florida before he transferred to Blinn Junior College in 2008. The allegations are of a very serious nature, the type that often results in suspension and expulsion from a university. There are three incidents in question here, and it's awfully telling that the least serious of the three is that Newton purchased a term paper online, apparently unaware that professors know how to use the Internet.
We're not going to be able to ascertain the truthfulness of these reports, so we'll just reiterate that they're apparently based solely on the one source that Fox Sports cites in their report. We'll just point out that it's abundantly clear that Fox's source for this scandal is Florida-based; it's not as if some line cook in Tuscaloosa can claim "knowledge of the situation" where it concerns academic matters at the University of Florida, after all. And it's that Florida connection that only intensifies rumors that lingered the first time around that Urban Meyer (or someone in his camp) was responsible for the initial leak of the Newton investigation in the first place .
After all, this revelation serves no actual purpose where the rest of this football season is concerned; Newton's not about to be declared ineligible over allegations that occurred at a different school years ago. The fact remains that there have been no such allegations about Newton since his time at Florida, and it's not as if every single professor at Auburn is under the athletic department's thumb. Go ahead, tell a random professor at any school that he has to edit his gradebook in a football player's favor. See what happens.
So if this report won't affect Newton's eligibility anywhere but at Florida, what purpose does it actually serve? If Newton's eligibility were on trial and in front of a judge, this report would be immediately thrown out over relevance. Cam Newton is an Auburn student whose academic bona fides are, at this time, not in question. Whether he left Florida facing problems down the road is Auburn's problem insofar as the school should be on the lookout for further shenanigans. Past that, this comes off far more as a grade-level psy-ops campaign from Gainesville than anything the NCAA, SEC, or Heisman voters should be aware of.(UPDATE: According to AuburnSports.com, multiple sources inside the Florida academic discipline system strongly dispute Evans' report.)