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Heisman candidate Cameron Newton was allegedly being shopped around as a recruit with a price tag of $180,000. Recruiting middleman Kenny Rogers is reported to have approached Mississippi State and offered the Bulldogs Newton's services for a ten percent discount. That was because Newton liked them, Rogers said.
It's all part of a bombshell report from ESPN, which while shocking, currently amounts to only allegations. The press reports have yet to submit any hard evidence. Yahoo! Sports writes that if Auburn did in fact pay $200,000 for Cam Newton, "they got an absolute steal." Never mind the fact that it would violate gobs of NCAA rules as well as being potentially illegal.
According to John Bond, a former Mississippi State quarterback, an ex-teammate of Bond's approached him and said he was representing Newton. Sources say that man was Kenny Rogers, who played with Bond at Mississippi State in the early 1980s. According to Bond, the man said "it would take some cash to get Cam." But Bond stopped short of saying that he believes that Auburn did anything wrong. "I don't know why he went to Auburn. That's not my concern," Bond told ESPNs. "My concern is Mississippi State and making sure this doesn't cause us any trouble."
Cam Newton publicly committed to Auburn in December 2009 and has since been electrifying. The Auburn Tigers are undefeated this season and currently ranked No. 2 in the BCS standings, which means that if they win out their games they are likely to play for the national championship. Newton has been brilliant, putting up impressive numbers both passing and running. He is currently in the race to win the Heisman Trophy.
The NCAA has not indicated whether or not they are conducting an investigation into the matter and declined specifically addressing the allegations. Supposedly Auburn has known about the allegations for months but made no public comment and didn't see any reason to sit their best player. So for now this is all allegations, sources and innuendo. Whether the case will become more substantial remains to be seen.