Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Is Meyer Behind the Newton Leak?

The Cam Newton eligibility saga got a little more interesting today. First, it was reported that Newton was caught cheating at Florida, and left the school before appearing in front of the Florida Student Conduct Committee. Then, it came out that the FBI was getting involved, and would like to speak with John Bond.

Throughout the day, one thing has remained constant, the murmurs that somehow Urban Meyer and/or someone on his staff is behind this entire thing. Some theories paint Meyer as a jilted former coach that wanted to thrust Florida back into the spotlight while diminishing Newton's accomplishments. Others have him just being a "bad guy" that's looking to get Newton declared ineligible prior to a possible Auburn vs Florida SEC Championship Game.

In any case, what would Urban Meyer gain from leaking this info?

Meyer would certainly realize that any NCAA investigation into Newton's eligibility probably wouldn't be completed until after the SEC Championship Game, and even that is being quite generous with the timeframe. Leaking the info, and hoping for swift action from the NCAA isn't exactly a calculating move by a supposedly ruthless coach.

Meyer also seems to realize that leaking confidential student records is a serious offense, and has done his best to get out in front of those rumors. And what would he gain now from telling everyone that Newton was caught cheating at Florida roughly two years ago? If anything, telling prospective recruits that their secrets are safe within the locker room, and that the coaches will do their best to keep them insulated from outsiders should anything "bad" happen is a powerful recruiting tool. Meyer is fully aware of how the recruiting game is played, and there's little chance that he would risk missing out on 5-star recruits after being labeled a "snitch" or "tattle-tale".

Also, in case no one noticed, this is the biggest game week of the year for Florida. They win, and they're in the SEC Championship Game even after losing three conference games in a row a few weeks back. Do you think Meyer wants this distraction piled on top of preparing for the 'Ol Ball Coach coming back to The Swamp in search of his first SEC East title at South Carolina? He's got enough to worry about, and being asked if he was the source of these leaks this entire week isn't exactly conducive to stress-free preparation.

All in all, Meyer being the source of these leaks does far more harm than good. The most he could "gain" would be the possibility of Newton sitting out an SEC Championship Game that neither Florida nor Auburn is guaranteed to play in right now. On the flipside, being at the head of this would certainly tarnish any legacy Meyer is building, and only ratchet up the vitriol that some enjoy lobbing his direction.

Meyer may certainly come across as a dick to some people, but he's never been accused of being stupid. Meyer leaking this info would be nothing short of idiotic, possibly illegal and detrimental to his own football program.

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