A former Mississippi State player who worked with agents says Cecil Newton told him it would take anywhere from $100,000 to $180,000 for his son, Cam, to sign a scholarship with Mississippi State.
Kenny Rogers told ESPN radio in Dallas on Thursday that when he and Cecil Newton met with two MSU coaches at a hotel in Starkville, Miss., last Nov. 27, one of the coaches said, "No, no I don't want to hear that," when Cecil Newton asked about the payment for Cam Newton to attend Mississippi State.
Cam Newton eventually signed with Auburn, where the school says the quarterback is eligible to play. Newton is a leading Heisman Trophy contender and has the unbeaten Tigers in the hunt for the national championship. He's expected to play Saturday against rival Georgia.
Cecil Newton has denied any wrongdoing. He has admitted that he knows Rogers, but has said if Rogers solicited money, he did it on his own.
Never miss a local story.
Rogers said Thursday his reputation was being attacked and people were "acting like the Newtons didn't know anything about anything."
Rogers' lawyer, who was also on the radio show, said his client has been contacted by the NCAA, but not by the FBI.
Rogers said he didn't know anything about Cam Newton's recruitment at Auburn and didn't know if Cecil Newton, a preacher in Atlanta, planned to funnel any money into his church.
In an e-mail to the AP, NCAA spokesman Stacy Osborn wrote that "solicitation of cash or benefits by a prospective student-athlete or another individual" could either be a secondary or major violation depending on the specific situation. She also wrote that "the school must make the determination whether a student-athlete is ineligible. Once they do so, they could request reinstatement from the NCAA on behalf of the student-athlete."
Rogers has a company called Elite Football Preparation, which holds camps in Alabama, Chicago and Mississippi, and matches football prospects with colleges.
Big year for academies
As the college football season enters its final weeks, all three service academies — Army (5-4), Navy (6-3) and Air Force (6-4) — have winning records. Only twice since 1960 have all three finished with winning records: In 1963, Army was 7-3, Air Force 7-4, and Navy 9-2 behind Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Roger Staubach, losing to Texas in the Cotton Bowl; and in 1996, Army was 10-2, Navy 9-3, and Air Force 6-5.
Army, which hasn't had a winning season since 1996, has two more chances to become bowl-eligible. The Black Knights play at Kent State (4-5) on Saturday and Notre Dame on Nov. 20 at Yankee Stadium. The Army-Navy game on Dec. 11 will be played too late to be counted toward eligible victories.
Army has switched to the triple option that Air Force and Navy have used to such success, and it has begun to thrive behind sophomore quarterback and Bowling Green graduate Trent Steelman (nine rushing touchdowns and five passing).
"They look like a bowl team," Temple Coach Al Golden said.
Around the nation
West Alabama: Coach Bobby Wallace, who led North Alabama to three straight Division II national championships, plans to retire after this season. Wallace led North Alabama to titles from 1993-95.
Montana: The Montana Grizzlies will stay in the Big Sky Conference and not move up to the Football Bowl Subdivision, President Royce Engstrom said Thursday.
The Western Athletic Conference had said Montana was high on its list as it looked for new members with the upcoming departures of Boise State, Nevada and Fresno State.