The redemptive narrative of Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, the front-runner for the Heisman Trophy, has taken another turn.
A person briefed on Newton’s situation confirmed Tuesday the FoxSports.com report a day earlier that Newton left the University of Florida after the fall semester in 2008 rather than face suspension or expulsion in part because of three instances of academic cheating.
Newton did not deny the academic problems in a statement released by Auburn.
“I’m not going to respond to every story or criticism that is reported by the media,” he said. “I’ve talked on several occasions about my time at Florida.”
In a telephone interview, Newton’s father, Cecil Newton Sr., said: “I cannot confirm or deny anything. I am under a gag order from my attorney.” He added, “I don’t know what’s in his personal file, but if someone is bold enough to post something like that, there will be consequences.”
Newton and his father have been under fire since a former Mississippi State quarterback, John Bond, said that a man with ties to an N.F.L. agent had been shopping Newton’s services to colleges for a “specified payment.” ESPN.com reported that it was $180,000.
The Newtons have denied any wrongdoing.