Cecil Newton, a soft-spoken minister, was angry Tuesday morning. His son, he said, was under attack. He would be quiet no longer.
Auburn quarterback Cam Newton celebrates/AuburnUndercover.com photo
Since last Thursday, junior Auburn quarterback Cam Newton has been at the center of a media firestorm. ESPN.com reported that former Mississippi State quarterback John Bond claimed he'd been approached last December by a former teammate who said he could deliver Cam Newton for $180,000. Late Monday night, Thayer Evans of FoxSports.com posted a story quoting a single anonymous source saying Newton had been in trouble for cheating before leaving the University of Florida.
Cam Newton has led No. 2 Auburn to a 10-0 record and has emerged as the leading candidate to win the Heisman Trophy.
"This is a character assassination attempt," Cecil Newton told AuburnUndercover.com, his voice rising. "Who stands to profit in the smearing and character assassination? Who is going to profit and why are they are going to profit? We sure don’t. Any logical thinking individual should stand back and say 'what is really going on here?' "
Newton said he has his strongly held belief of what's going on.
"I think there is a group of people who have a hidden agenda and don’t want to see him as a Heisman nominee, let alone the Heisman winner," Newton said. "All of a sudden, all this starts leaping out of the corner and out of the dark.
"I’m going to use every waking breath in my body to contradict that."
Newton said he'd been trying throughout the morning to contact Atlanta radio stations in an effort to be heard and defend his son.
"I've dialed this phone until my fingers are about to fall off," he said. "They haven't responded yet."
The apparent compromising of Cam Newton's academic records in violation of federal law, he said, was beyond unacceptable.
"I'm Cameron's father, and I don’t have privilege to see Cameron’s personal file," Cecil Newton said, his voice rising again. "I'm the parent and I can't see it. Who in the hell has authority over a file to be reported on my son that I don’t even have access to?
"Who leaked it? That's all we want to know. We'll take it from there."
Newton said those who expect his son or his family to give in will be disappointed.
"I'm not going to allow my son to be paraded like this," Newton said. "We will ride this out. We are a close-knit family, and we'll get through it."