ESPN’s Mark Schlabach, Chris Low, and Pat Forde report Mississippi St. Bulldogs booster Bill Bell has told the NCAA he received text messages from Kenny Rogers defining a series of payments that would bring Cam Newton to MSU. He said Rogers’ plan involved $80,000 the day after Newton’s signing, plus two $50,000 payments.
Bell also said he played voice recordings for the NCAA of Rogers, and that Rogers was the one discussing money while Cecil Newton sat nearby condoningly, which is not a word. He also said he talked with Cecil Newton directly, and that Newton claimed it would take more than his son’s relationship with MSU coach Dan Mullen for the Dawgs to get him.
Each known participant from Mississippi St.‘s end now has told his story, and they all line up straight, giving us this narrative: Cecil Newton contacted coaches and a booster via and with Kenny Rogers, offering his son’s letter of intent in return for $180,000. Unless the NCAA somehow concludes everyone is lying or that Cecil Newton was not an official representative of his son (who left the choice between MSU and Auburn to his dad, according to Sports Illustrated), the Auburn Tigers are playing Newton on borrowed time, whether they did anything wrong during his recruitment or not, which is also in question as of today.