With a huge SEC game against Georgia this weekend, Auburn coach Gene Chizik came to the defense of quarterback Cam Newton for the second time in five days following reports he committed academic misconduct during his two years at Florida.
"I'm standing up here on a very important week trying to defend something that, quite frankly, is garbage," Chizik said in a statement that kicked off his weekly news conference. "Is there a wizard behind the curtain? I don't know and I don't care."
Four days after reports that a man claiming to represent Newton's interests asked Mississippi State for a six-figure payment during the quarterback's recruitment last year came a Fox Sports report that said Newton faced possible expulsion from the University of Florida for three instances of academic cheating.
In Gainesville, Florida coach Urban Meyer said in a statement that neither he nor anyone on his staff leaked information on Newton's academic record, calling it a "ridiculous claim."