On Thursday, pageant boss Donald Trump publicly denied that Conner was getting the boot.
But a source told TMZ that Nash, who is Miss California, was contacted with the news by a high-ranking pageant official and told she will take the title once Trump finally makes the official announcement in the coming week.
The Miss Universe Organization released a statement on Thursday stating that they are "evaluating" Conner's "behavioral and personal issues" in order to decide how they will go forward with her reign.
“Miss USA Tara Conner has not been dethroned," said Paula M. Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization. "The Miss Universe Organization and Mr. Donald J. Trump will be evaluating her behavioral and personal issues to see what we can do to work with her, and what we will do about her reign going forward.
"Mr. Trump will make a determination and announcement within the coming week,” she said.
Conner's troubles allegedly stem from inappropriate behavior at New York City nightclubs. The beauty queen turns 21 on Monday.
Sources told the New York Post that Conner's issues included substance abuse, failing to make Miss USA promotional appearances, chafing at other obligations and nonstop nightclubbing at Big Apple hot spots.
"She makes Paris Hilton look like a baby," a source, who confirmed Conner's conduct has been a concern since summer, told the Post.
The furor has led Conner to cancel plans to celebrate her upcoming 21st birthday with dual bashes at the Pure club in Las Vegas, and at Stereo in New York.
The beauty queen has been romantically linked to two of Stereo's owners and celebrities who cavort at the NYC hot spot, including MTV veejay Damien Fahey, according to the Post.
A source close to the New York nightclub Ultra told FOXNews.com that Conner had been there last Friday with several other beauty pageant title holders for a private party for a photographer, held in one of the club's VIP rooms.
He said Conner wasn't drinking, but she was dancing and having fun.
"We didn't witness her drinking any alcohol," said the source, who was at the club when Conner was. "She was a young girl having a good time — she was dancing, she was having a great time, but nothing that would be out of the ordinary for someone her age."
Conner didn't appear to be engaging in any questionable activity with men either, he said.
"We didn't see her kissing anybody," the source told FOXNews.com. "There were guys in the VIP room, but it didn't look like any inappropriate behavior. She didn't stand out as, oh my God, check out this girl, she's going wild."
The New York club Crobar said Conner had been there too, but hadn't gotten crazy there either.
"We have seen her here before," a spokesman for the venue, who requested anonymity, told FOXNews.com. "She has definitely partied and enjoyed herself in the VIP area at Crobar ... She's not been out of control. We have not had any problems with her."
He said he didn't know Conner was underage.
"She must have had a fake ID because we check every person — no matter who they are — with our ID scanners," he said. "I was not aware she was underage. We have undercover police and security here who make sure anybody caught drinking underage or doing drugs will be escorted immediately out of the club by law enforcement."
A rep for Guest House, another Manhattan club, said reports that Conner had partied there were unfounded.
"To our knowledge, she has not been at the club in any capacity," Guest House publicist Elizabeth Rosenthal told FOXNews.com. Rosenthal said the venue had reviewed photographs taken at the club and Conner wasn't in any of them.
Trump, who operates the pageant with NBC, refused to detail Conner's "issues," but called the situation "very serious."
"I'm concerned about her. And I want to make sure that she's treated really fairly. And I'm also concerned that we do the right thing for the pageant," he told the Post.
TMZ.com managing editor Harvey Levin told FOX News on Thursday that Conner, who is still under the U.S. legal age limit of 21 for alcohol consumption, had been "drinking too much, among other things."
He said his sources indicated pageant officials think "this Miss USA was out of control" and they "want her to fade into the background."
Rules dictate that the first runner-up — in this case Nash — would take the Miss USA crown and assume the duties that come with it if the reigning pageant queen is stripped of her title.
Nash is a Los Angeles native and appeared on NBC's "Deal or No Deal" earlier this year.
A representative for Nash told FOXNews.com that she was prepared to serve out the year if necessary.
"We're saddened to hear that there is any problem with the current title holder," said John Samatulski, a spokesman for K2 Productions, which sponsors the Miss California USA event. "But Tamiko Nash has always aspired to be Miss USA, and she would of course accept those duties if offered that."
Samatulski said he didn't know details of the problems surrounding Conner, but so far his company hasn't sent Nash to New York City, where the reigning Miss USA is based for the year she wears the crown. Nash, 26, lives in Los Angeles.
"I've just heard that there was a situation," he said. "We have not put her [Nash] on a plane."
Nash and Conner were "friendly" during the pageant proceedings, according to Samatulski. As for whether Nash was excited at the prospect of becoming Miss USA, he said "her main concern right now is just for Tara, hoping whatever the situation is, it resolves itself."
Every Miss USA must sign a contract about what is expected of her during the year she wears the crown.
"The rules are known to them before they take the title, and it's commonly accepted that they will abide by them," said Samatulski. "I think they're role models, and they must uphold the standards to which they participate in the event."
It isn't the first time problems have plagued a major American pageant. In July 1984, then Miss America Vanessa Williams of New York was forced to step down after nude magazine photographs she'd once posed for were circulated. Suzette Charles of New Jersey served out the remaining two months as Miss America.
Nash is the third African American woman to be crowed Miss California. She is currently working in the entertainment industry and has appeared in a number of national commercials, on rapper Snoop Dogg's new album cover and in an E! Networks behind-the-scenes show about Miss USA contestants, according to Samatulski.
Conner, of Russell Springs, Ky., has held the Miss USA title since winning it in April.
FOX News' Catherine Donaldson-Evans and The New York Post's Dan Mangan contributed to this report.