AUBURN, Ala. — The investigation into whether Cecil Newton requested money during his son Cam’s recruitment to Mississippi State last year got into full swing Tuesday.
Former Mississippi State quarterback John Bond met with the FBI, his lawyer confirmed in an e-mail to the Associated Press. Bond’s attorney Phil Abernathy said his client would have no further comment because of the “ongoing nature” of the issue.
Bond is a key figure in the Nov. 4 ESPN.com report that sparked the Newton recruiting controversy. He said 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.
Several reports have identified that ex-MSU teammate as Kenny Rogers, who was scheduled to meet with the NCAA Tuesday.
Rogers works for a company that matches college athletes with schools but also has been identified as a “recruiter” for an NFL agent. He denied any involvement in Newton’s recruitment but went on Ian Fitzsimmons’ ESPN radio show in Dallas last week to say Cecil Newton asked for “anywhere from $100,000 to $180,000” for his son to sign with Mississippi State.
Rogers said he merely relayed the information to MSU booster Bill Bell.
Bell confirmed to ESPN.com last week that Cecil Newton did ask for money in exchange for Cam signing with Mississippi State and said he already spoke to the NCAA about the matter.
The NCAA also met Tuesday with Jody Wright, a football support staff member at Alabama, a source told the Tuscaloosa News.
Wright was MSU’s assistant athletics director overseeing football operations during Newton’s recruitment.
A source told Atlanta TV reporter Mark Winne last week that Cecil admitted to talking about money with Mississippi State but insisted Cam had no knowledge of it. Cecil said no money ever was 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 accused of any wrongdoing in the matter.
Cam and his father reportedly met with the NCAA before the Georgia game last week.
No suspension for Fairley
Defensive tackle Nick Fairley will not be suspended by the SEC for hits during the Georgia game that have come under scrutiny.
“The matter is being handled internally between the conference and the institution,” SEC spokesman Charles Bloom wrote in an e-mail to the Macon Telegraph.
Fairley, the SEC leader in tackles for a loss, was flagged for a personal foul penalty after spearing Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray in the back with the crown of his helmet after he released the ball on one play.
Hits involving the helmet are under scrutiny by the SEC, but it was not to the head or neck area, so no suspension is in order.
Fairley was partially blocked into Murray’s leg near the end of the game, a hit Georgia took exception to, leading to two scuffles in the final minute.
Reserve Tigers defensive linemen Michael Goggans and Mike Blanc were ejected for throwing punches and, per NCAA rules, will miss the first half of the Iron Bowl.
Walter Camp watch list
Newton and Fairley were named two of 15 players to watch for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.
Newton is one of nine quarterbacks on the watch list. Fairley is one of two defensive players. Five finalists will be announced Dec. 1, with the winner named Dec. 9.