Earlier today I broke the news that NCAA investigators were in Louisiana Monday taking a hard look at the football recruiting practices of Auburn University.
(Bond: No NCAA Justice For Auburn To Spring More Media Leaks?)
At the center of that NCAA investigation is Sean Nelson, a so-called “street agent” who may have unduly assisted Auburn football coaches in the recruitment of Trovon Reed and Greg Robinson.
Another possible concern for Auburn on the NCAA investigatory front involves ex-Mississippi State football player and now-notorious college football recruiting go-between Kenny Rogers.
It was Rogers’ now-admitted solicitation of funds from a Mississippi State booster on Cecil Newton’s behalf that led the father of ex-Auburn quarterback Cam Newton to admit to NCAA investigators that he had been a willing participant in a scheme to offer his son’s football services to Mississippi State in exchange for a cash payment.
Today I learned that for that past month representatives of HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel have repeatedly asked Rogers for a sitdown interview to further discuss his involvement with Cam Newton’s recruitment. Recently, Rogers agreed, and will be interviewed on March 1 with the visit to air on a yet-to-be determined date.
That date of the Rogers interview on HBO may depend on the cooperation of former Mississippi State quarterback John Bond and ex-MSU player and booster Bill Bell. HBO has also been pressing them for sitdowns the past month, but so far neither has agreed to participate. Read more…
Mark Schlabach, Chris Low and Pat Forde of ESPN.com report today that former Mississippi State football player and current MSU booster Bill Bell, “shared a series of voice mail messages from Rogers with the NCAA last week. Bell said Cecil Newton never specifically asked him for money, but that Newton was present during three-way calls in which Rogers discussed a pay-for-play scheme.”
Bell said he told the NCAA that Rogers sent him a text message outlining a payment schedule. Bell said the text included a request for $80,000 the day after Cam Newton signed his letter-of-intent with Mississippi State, $50,000 after 30 days after that and another $50,000 30 days later.
Extraordinary detail from Bell on the record, but it will likely not change Cam Newton’s status for the Iron Bowl. Read more…
In an interview today on Dallas radio station KESN-FM, former Mississippi State player Kenny Rogers accused the father of Auburn quarterback Cam Newton of seeking upwards of $180,000 in exchange for Newton signing a letter of intent to play football at Mississippi State.
(MSU AD Scott Stricklin recognized Bell at an alumni event last June)
During his comments, Rogers, who is accused of soliciting payment on behalf of Cecil Newton, added that he had sought such financial compensation for Newton from former Mississippi State football player and current booster Bill Bell.
Bell, president of Bel-Mac Roofing company in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., has since confirmed that Cecil Newton indeed placed a price on his son’s services as a college football quarterback.
From Pat Forde, Mark Schlabach and Chris Low ESPN.com late Thursday: Read more…