The Devil may or may not be messin’, but Urban Meyer certainly seems to be. Fox Sports’ Thayer Evans, a known associate of Meyer, primed us with a jab and a straight right in recent days. Now, he’s delivering the left hook. According to “a source,” the true reason Cam Newton left Florida was a two-part instance of academic fraud that could have seen him expelled.
Cam Newton did not want to write a paper. He stole another student’s and put his name on it. He was caught. Florida bizarrely gave him another chance to write the paper. It was later found that he bought that paper on the Internet. He left Florida before a hearing related to the incident.
The report may be true. It’s behavior coincident with Newton’s other instances of dimwitted sociopathy. The question is why is it coming out now, two years afterward. Florida could be angry with him, justifiably. But, why not leak this after he left or as he was being recruited by SEC rivals? Why wait until he was the Heisman frontrunner and leading a team to the national title to kneecap him? Is Meyer that jealous and cruel? Is this all a ploy to unsettle Newton before the SEC title game?
More importantly, why are journalists apparently queuing up to be Urban Meyer’s mouthpiece? Evans absolves himself from responsibility by attributing the story to a source. He offers a vague outline of events devoid of exact details. His only apparent verification attempt is an aborted attempt to get Newton’s father to comment.
This isn’t some harmless bit of gossip. It’s controversial hard news with serious ramifications for a human being, a university and college football. Why is an anonymous, unverified account from a presumably biased source enough to warrant publication? If Fox Sports gets clicks, credit and controversy, do the foundations or ethics involved even matter?