Pete Thamel of the NEW YORK TIMES reports Thursday on Twitter that he has, “on-record confirmation the NCAA is investigating the recruitment of Cameron Newton.”
More from Thamel on Twitter.com today:
John Bond, a former Mississippi State quarterback said today that “a payment had to be made” for Newton to play there. Miss State declined.
Bond spoke to the NCAA and said “he acted entirely appropriately throughout this matter.”
A former teammate of Bond’s at Mississippi State reportedly “contacted him soon after Newton’s official visit to Mississippi State during the Ole Miss game in December, and said he was representing Newton.“
“He said it would take some cash to get Cam. I called our athletic director, Greg Byrne, and he took it from there. That was pretty much it.
“I have no agenda other than protecting Mississippi State. We’ve done what we were supposed to do from the very beginning. Mississippi State has done nothing wrong, and I’ve done nothing wrong.”
“It’s been handed off to the NCAA, and it’s in their hands now. I don’t know what happened at Auburn. I don’t know why he went to Auburn. That’s not my concern. My concern is Mississippi State and making sure this doesn’t cause us any trouble.”
ESPN reports the former teammate who contacted Bond was Kenny Rogers, who played at Mississippi State from 1982-85.
The NCAA reportedly has contacted the father of Newton, the Rev. Cecil Newton, and asked for his bank records. There has reportedly been speculation that Auburn may have provided money to the Newton family in order to assist in the renovation of Rev. Newton’s church in Newnan, Georgia.
Though he did confirm talking to Rogers on several occasions, Rev. Newton denied allegations that he was involved in obtaining money during his son’s recruitment:
“If Rogers tried to solicit money from Mississippi State, he did it on his own, without our knowledge. I’m just trying to protect my son’s interests, because he’s fought very hard to get back where he is. It’s a hell of a fight when people give up on you and think they’ll never see you or hear from you again.”
When contacted, Auburn assistant athletic director, media relations Kirk Sampson said:
“We have been made aware of the allegation. Unfortunately, we cannot comment at this time. However, Cam Newton is eligible to play football at Auburn.”
The NCAA does not comment on investigations, but the SEC did confirm that it has been party to “information” involving the Newton allegation.
SEC associate commissioner Greg Sankey, who oversees conference compliance, said the league received “specific information” regarding the Newton allegation in late July of this year.
“When we get information, we share it with the institution when it is involved,” Sankey said.
Without specifically addressing the initial call from Mississippi State, which came several months earlier, Sankey said what the SEC originally was told about the allegation was “limited information.”
“We don’t deal in rumor and innuendo,” Sankey said. “We deal in facts.”
He said the SEC is not an investigative body, adding that it can share information with NCAA enforcement as needed. He declined to say whether the Newton allegation was shared with the NCAA.
More on this story as it develops.