As allegations of academic cheating by Auburn quarterback Cam Newton came to light on Tuesday, Florida coach Urban Meyer denied being the source for the FoxSports.com story.
The Web site reported that Newton, the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy, faced potential expulsion from the University of Florida for three instances of academic cheating.
Newton attended Florida in 2007 and 2008 before leaving the school.
“Our entire focus right now is on preparing for our biggest game of the year against South Carolina,” Meyer said in a statement. “For anyone to think that I or anyone on our staff may have leaked information about private student records to the media doesn't know us very well. It's a ridiculous claim and simply not true.”
Citing an unnamed source, the FoxSports.com story alleges that Newton wrote his name on another student's paper. After he was caught, Newton turned in a paper purchased off the Internet, the story says.
According to the story, Newton had previously been caught cheating as a freshman.
He was also arrested in Nov. 2008 for possessing a stolen laptop.
Newton would have faced the Student Conduct Committee during the spring semester of 2009, according to the story, but instead transferred to Blinn College in Texas.
“I wasn't there,” Newton's father, Cecil, told FoxSports.com. “I cannot confirm or deny. At a time like this, I'm taking a defensive posture.”
Newton has said repeatedly that he chose to leave Florida after Heisman-winning quarterback Tim Tebow decided to return for his senior season.
But Cecil Newton told the Sentinel on Jan. 5, 2009 that his son would transfer. Tebow did not announce that he would return to Florida for his senior season until Jan. 11.
It is unclear whether the Newtons knew of Tebow's decision when Cam Newton decided to transfer. But when Cecil Newton told The Orlando Sentinel about his son's plans to leave Florida, he said, “The verdict is out on whether Tim will stay or go this season.”
The most recent allegations come following an ESPN.com report last week that someone claiming to represent Newton asked for cash to sign the dual-threat quarterback coming out of Blinn.
According to the ESPN story, a man named Kenny Rogers said he represented Newton and asked for $180,000 for Newton to sign a letter of intent with Mississippi State. Former Mississippi State quarterback John Bond said Rogers told him other schools had offered $200,000.
Newton and his father, Cecil, have denied those claims. The NCAA is investigating the matter.