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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

FBI, NCAA interview key figures in Newton matter

The investigation into whether or not Cecil Newton requested money during his son Cam's recruitment to Mississippi State last year is in full swing.

Former Mississippi State quarterback John Bond met the FBI on Tuesday, his lawyer confirmed to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. Bond's attorney Phil Abernathy said his client would have no further comment because of the ongoing nature of the issue.

Bond said in a Nov. 4 ESPN.com report that he was approached by a former teammate who claimed to represent the Newton family's interests and solicited a six-figure payment to secure the quarterback's signature on a letter of intent.

That ex-MSU teammate is believed to be Kenny Rogers, who, according to a tweet by Dallas radio show host Ian Fitzsimmons, is scheduled to meet with the NCAA today.

Rogers works for a company that matches college athletes with schools but has also been identified as a "recruiter" for an NFL agent. He originally denied any involvement in Newton's recruitment but went on Fitzsimmons' show last week to say Cecil Newton asked for "anywhere from $100,000 to $180,000" for his son to sign with Mississippi State.

Bill Bell, a Mississippi State booster Rogers said he called to relay Cecil's request for money, told ESPN.com last week that he already spoke to the NCAA about the matter.

The NCAA also met Tuesday with Jody Wright, a football support staff member at Alabama, according to the Tuscaloosa News. Wright was MSU's assistant athletics director overseeing football operations when Newton's recruitment took place. The nature of Wright's interview was unclear.

Cecil, according to an Atlanta TV report last week, admitted to talking about money with Mississippi State but insisted Cam had no knowledge of it, according to a source. Cecil said no money was ever exchanged.

NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn has said "the solicitation of cash or benefits by a prospective student-athlete or another individual on his or her behalf is not allowed under NCAA rules."

Auburn has not been specifically accused of any wrongdoing in the matter.

Cam and his father reportedly met with the NCAA prior to the Georgia game last week. The quarterback was eligible for the game and accounted for 299 yards and four touchdowns in the Tigers' 49-31 win.

25 comments:

Orlando said...

Awesome picture Andy lol

michael said...

Hey Andy, what's gonna happen?

Andy Bitter said...

No idea. This sounds like the information gathering process of things. It could take a while.

michael said...

All the Auburn beat hacks seem a lot more sympathetic to Auburn's decision to play Newton. Some national guys are certain that Newton should be ruled ineligible. Most of you guys are far from homers. What secrets do you know? Come one, you can tell me, I can keep a secret.

Nancy said...

We may never know what is said but you better bet that when Bond and others start talking to the FBI if they have any brains,all this vague innuendo stuff will go by the boards. Stuff like "$100-180K", or "$200K but special deal for MSU at $180K", etc, etc.

AUBURN GUYS said...

No Money... no Problem. I just hope the CAM haters will be as vocal when he is innocent.

Clint Richardson said...

AU Guys, man you know they wont. Haters hate no mater what.

AB, what's the deal with the NCAA interviewing this GA at Alabama? What did he have to do with Auburn, MSU, and/or Cam, other than being a MSU grad?

Andy Bitter said...

"Wright was MSU's assistant athletics director overseeing football operations when Newton's recruitment took place."

Seems like if something was amiss, he would have known about it.

Anonymous said...

"NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn has said 'the solicitation of cash or benefits by a prospective student-athlete or another individual on his or her behalf is not allowed under NCAA rules.'"

You know what would make this article much better? The actual NCAA rules. Allow me to provide the link for you:

http://www.ncaapublications.com/productdownloads/D111.pdf

Of particular interest to you might be Sections 12.3.1.2 (says nothing about solicitation), 13.01.1 (says that only Cam's eligibility at MSU would be affected), and 13.02.3 (explains why MSU, not Auburn, is going down for this).

It really should not be that hard. If you want to put out the facts, then do it. If you want to continue to recycle misinformed rumors reported by others, then I guess continue to do that.

I'm not trying to insult you because I love this blog. I guess that is why I hold you to a higher standard than the national mudslingers.

Andy Bitter said...

When an NCAA spokeswoman is saying the mere solicitation of benefits violates NCAA rules, then that's what I'll report.

I understand it is not explicitly stated in the NCAA handbook. Perhaps this is the governing body's interpretation of what the rules mean.

But this is still the position of the NCAA on this matter if that's what it's spokespeople are saying.

beer_motor said...

Yeah just cause the rules say one thing, doesn't mean the NCAA has a wacky interpretation of them that's not written down. That said, you have to think that were this going to come to anything, it would have months ago. Just look at the UNC thing.

My money is actually on the FBI investigating those ex-MSU turds for trying to extort money, maybe from MSU or maybe from the Newtons.

Anyway, don't be so harsh on Andy. He does a better job than most of the turkeys out there. Would rather he be impartial than a homer. Hate it as we might, it's newsworthy.

Anonymous said...

"on his or her behalf" this phrase IMHO can be very tricky, seems to me that there would have to be knowledge of and a benefit from.

ie if Cam niether knew it was happening and or he did not benefit from the transaction then it was not "on his behalf"

any two people could enter into a transaction with certain promises made but if the player 1 wasn't aware of or 2 didn't benefit from then where is the crime?

Justin said...

Andy, I got a question.

The Atlanta TV report last week seemed to me like it was very carefully and specifically worded. Is it possible that Winne's source, whoever that may be, rewarded him the scoop under the condition that he word it that way, where it does not specify who initiated the conversation between Cecil and the MSU booster? It seems to me as if Winne, if he were allowed to elaborate, would have in another report by now. Is this a precedented practice in the media, or am I just a crazy conspiracy theorist?

Andy Bitter said...

When people give information like that, they dictate the terms. There's a reason why the source is unnamed: he or she wouldn't have done it any other way.

If you trust the source, you go with the information that source allows. Sometimes, that's how it works.

Mitchell Wrap said...

An obvious point in all of this has seemingly been lost in the "scandal" and the sensationalism with this all having to do with the likely Heisman winner right after everyone watched it implode with Bush and the vacated award. No one wants to see that happen again.

But Rogers was a QB, Bond is a booster etc. They sure forwarded the alleged "request" and information up the food chain at MSU. If the allegation is true, why didn't Rogers, who must know better, and the booster, who definitely should have known better, told old man Cecil that that would just get his kid kicked out of football....and would definitely impact MSU in a hugely negative way. Could it be a normal type of request for these guys? They might just have misjudged the caliber (like everyone else) of Cam Newton and it blows up in their face. Varying memories and phrases like "I can't remember" from Rogers is less than stellar testimony. Now Rodgers sounds like he is humping a book deal out of all this.

Rogers tales smell a bit. Time for the FBI to strap the VSA on them.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Aubiester said...

http://www.warblogle.com/2010/11/16/football/the-first-look-scamdal-edition/#more-6807

Someone with some possible "inside" info.

Clint Richardson said...

I read another rumor that the final interviews regarding MSU and Rogers, Bond could be by this Friday. AB, have you heard any of this?

Justin said...

Thanks for the answer Andy.

I suppose, then, that it would not be outside the realm of possibility that a story with such an oddly specific dictation attached to it may have come from the source bringing it to the reporter.

And it makes one wonder who the source could be, seeing as it was brought to a local TV station reporter rather than another media outlet. It's funny, because no one watches the local news any more -- except of course the folks that are involved in the local community, like doctors, teachers, and, oh, say, I don't know, pastors...

Interesting.

Anonymous said...

Interesting stuff. The mere fact that the FBI is involved points to way more than someone asking for money which many seem to think is the deal. The FBI would only get involved if: 1.This is part of a bigger case they are working; 2. Extortion; 3. Some other Federal Law has been broken. Last time I checked I do not think it is against the law for someone to ask for money for an athlete to play a sport at a school. It is wrong and violates NCAA rules but it is not illegal. Anyway, I am leaning more toward the extortion side of things and I could be wrong but right now I am thinking things are looking to good for Bond and Co. Just my two cents. Also, I wanted to bring up another very similar case. Anyone remember Albert Means??? Anyone??? What happened to him? If I recall pretty much nothing, he went on to have a mediocre career at Memphis and was never declared ineligible by the NCAA and that case actual money changed hands. I am just sayin

Anonymous said...

"NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn has said 'the solicitation of cash or benefits by a prospective student-athlete or another individual on his or her behalf is not allowed under NCAA rules.'"

You know what would make this article much better? The actual NCAA rules. Allow me to provide the link for you:

http://www.ncaapublications.com/productdownloads/D111.pdf

Of particular interest to you might be Sections 12.3.1.2 (says nothing about solicitation), 13.01.1 (says that only Cam's eligibility at MSU would be affected), and 13.02.3 (explains why MSU, not Auburn, is going down for this).



Read more: http://wareagleextra.blogspot.com/2010/11/fbi-ncaa-interview-key-figures-in.html#ixzz15dWt5dEm

tptoomers said...

Just throwing this out there, but isnt it possible that with all of this investigation, the NCAA or FBI has finally traced the story back to its origin, namely this assistant at UAT. That seems to make sense to me. I mean Bond, Rogers, Bell, MSU, Auburn, the Newtons, and the NCAA, all knew about this story apparently, and yet nothing had been said or done publicly. Then, all of a sudden, there comes this leak to the media. I know we have all been distracted with rumors about Urban Meyer and MSU, but isnt it possible that this story was leaked by UAT in hopes that Cam is DQ prior to the iron bowl. That just fits to well to be ignored in my book.

Anonymous said...

Proof Proof Proof. Audio or written proof. He said She said does not do it for me. If NCAA imposes infractions on Newton and AU w/o the above necessary means, then I will create a conspiracy of 2 to 3 people or just myself to report all other schools doing illegal operations. Whether true or not I will go shatter anyone's dreams of a national championship.

Anonymous said...

that WarBlogle piece is really interesting...

Sounds plausible given the way things have played out thus far.

Anonymous said...

Do not give the FBI too much credit here. They are a highly political animal as well. I've worked with them regularly and they have done things simply for the cameras.