The Auburn Tigers found themselves defending quarterback Cam Newton for the second time in five days, this time sticking up for the Heisman hopeful against allegations of academic cheating when he was at Florida.
In addition, ESPN reported on its website that Newton and his father each had a phone conversation with a Mississippi State recruiter that acknowledged a pay-for-play arrangement for the prized recruit.
One of the recruiters said Cecil Newton told him before Newton committed to Auburn that it would take "more than a scholarship" for his son to attend Mississippi State. An unidentified source told ESPN that another recruiter received a phone call from an emotional Cam Newton after he committed to the Tigers, when he said his father selected Auburn for him because "the money was too much."
Foxsports.com reported Monday that Newton was caught cheating three times and was to appear for a hearing in front of Florida's student committee facing possible expulsion during the spring semester of 2009.
Newton transferred to Blinn Junior College in Brenham, Texas, where he played last season. He declined to discuss the latest report, which came on the heels of former Mississippi State quarterback John Bond saying someone claiming to represent the Newton family sought money during his recruitment by the school.
"I'm not going to entertain something that took place not three months, not six months, not a year but two years ago," Newton said. "I'm not going to sit up here and say anything about it, whether I did or did not do it, because I don't want to beat a dead horse talking about it. It's not going to affect me any way, shape or fashion."
Tigers Coach Gene Chizik dismissed the latest report as "pure garbage" Tuesday.
Seattle outfielder Ichiro Suzuki won his 10th consecutive Gold Glove for fielding excellence as Rawlings announced the American League award winners. Chicago pitcher Mark Buehrle won again, perhaps clinching his spot with an acrobatic play on opening day.
Derek Jeter of New York won for the fifth time at shortstop. Also chosen were first baseman Mark Teixeira and second baseman Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees; third baseman Evan Longoria and outfielder Carl Crawford of Tampa Bay; Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer and Seattle outfielder Franklin Gutierrez.
Suzuki tied the AL record for Gold Gloves by an outfielder shared by Ken Griffey Jr. and Al Kaline. The Seattle right fielder has won every year he's been in the big leagues.
The overall record for outfielders is held by Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente with 12 each.
Hockey: Kings place Willie Mitchell on injured reserve
The Kings placed defenseman Willie Mitchell on injured reserve retroactive to Sunday and recalled defenseman Jake Muzzin from Manchester of the American Hockey League. Mitchell fractured his left wrist Saturday and is expected to be out four to six weeks.
NHL general managers, meeting in Toronto, discussed changes to the All-Star game pending expected approval from the NHL Players' Assn. The changes would be enacted for the next game, in Raleigh, N.C., on Jan. 30. Fan balloting will still determine starters but team captains and alternates would choose reserves from a pool chosen by the league's hockey operations department. The West vs. East format is also likely to change.
The general managers shelved a proposed coach's challenge and put off for future discussion possible changes in the overtime format that could extend the period beyond five minutes and go to three-on-three play.
— Helene Elliott
Horse racing: Zenyatta bosts TV ratings, track attendance
Zenyatta's star power nearly tripled television ratings for the Breeders' Cup Classic.
ESPN said the preliminary rating for the one-hour broadcast window that included her race was up 180% from last year.
The previously undefeated mare lost to Blame by a head Saturday.
Breeders' Cup officials reported record levels of business results and across-the-board increases from the 2009 Championships for their two-day World Championships held this past weekend at Churchill Downs in Louisville.
Both attendance and wagering handle for the 2010 Breeders' Cup World Championships increased by double-digits over the 2009 event at Santa Anita Park.
ETC.: Dan Hawkins fired as Colorado football coach
Dan Hawkins was fired as football coach at the University of Colorado.
Athletic Director Mike Bohn promoted longtime assistant Brian Cabral to interim coach for the final three games of the season.
A Las Vegas court has ordered boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. to stay away from his former girlfriend and their two sons after prosecutors say he hit her and threatened to beat his children if they called 911.
The 33-year-old Mayweather was not required to appear at a hearing Tuesday before Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Diana Sullivan on eight misdemeanor and felony charges. Sullivan gave Mayweather a week to pay $31,000 in bail.
Authorities allege Mayweather also took mobile phones belonging to Josie Harris and his sons following the Sept. 9 dispute.
Mayweather faces charges of felony coercion, grand larceny and robbery, and misdemeanor domestic battery and harassment. He could face up to 34 years in prison if convicted on all charges. He is due back in court Jan. 24.