An angry Gene Chizik opened his weekly press conference with an impassioned 4½-minute response to the latest allegations about his quarterback Cam Newton, calling them "pure garbage."
"I'm standing up here on a very important week trying to defend something that quite frankly is garbage," he said. "Is there a wizard behind the curtain? I don't know."
Fox Sports reported late Monday night that Newton faced possible expulsion from the University of Florida for three instances of academic cheating before transferring to Blinn Junior College for the spring semester of 2009.
Chizik was taken aback by the allegations, saying that student records are protected by Federal privacy laws. He adamantly defended Newton's character.
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"If you really want to do your homework, go and start with his Little League coach, then go to his junior high coach, then go to his high school coach, then go to his junior college coach and then come talk to any coach at Auburn," Chizik said. "And you're all going to hear the same thing. So this is a waste of my time, but I'm going to address it because I'm defending a young man who deserves it."
Newton, who did not confirm or deny the cheating allegations, wondered aloud why he has been the focus of so many stories lately. Last Thursday, an ESPN.com report said a man claiming to represent Newton asked for $180,000 to from Mississippi State to secure his signature last fall.
"Am I hurt? No. Am I curious? A little bit," Newton said. "But it really doesn't bother me that much. I'm a blessed individual."
Florida coach Urban Meyer denied being the source of the story Tuesday. Asked specifically about Meyer, Newton said he believed the coach's comments.
"Absolutely," he said. "The coach that I knew, the one I once committed to, a man of integrity, I would hope he wouldn't say anything like that."
Newton doesn't know how this will affect his Heisman candidacy and is focusing on preparation for the Georgia game ahead on Saturday.
"I'm not up here to impress anybody trying to win Brownie points,'' he said. "I'm going to continue what I've been doing. I don't want to think about the Heisman Trophy. My whole focus right now is trying to beat Georgia."