Miss. St. booster claims Cecil Newton inferred about pay-for-play
Let’s see. Yep, it’s been four full hours. Time for a sCam Newton update*.
The latest development in the constantly evolving Newton saga now involves another Mississippi State figure. This time, the focus is on Bill Bell, a former player and current booster of the program.
ESPN’s Mark Schlabach reports that Bell “told the NCAA he received a text message from a man claiming to represent Cam Newton’s father that outlined a payment plan designed to bring the quarterback to the Bulldogs,” and that “Bell said former teammate Kenny Rogers told him Cecil Newton wanted money for his son to play at Mississippi State.”
Bell claimed that he handed over a series of voicemails from Rogers to the NCAA last week. Rogers, who has been the labeled middleman of the Newton story, told ESPN radio 103.3 Dallas last week that Cecil Newton said it would take “anywhere between $100,000 and $180,000" for Cam to go to Starkville.
Bell said he also had text messages from Rogers, but water damage prevented him from sharing those with the NCAA. Bell is currently working with his service provider to recover the messages.
Among those texts Bell claims Rogers sent him were payment installment plans that included a request for $80,000 the day after Cam signed with the Bulldogs, $50,000 30 days after that date and another $50,000 30 days later -- $180,000 in all.
It should be noted that Bell claims he also spoke with Cecil Newton on a number of occasions, but at no point did Newton ever come out and say blatantly that he wanted money for Cam to sign with Mississippi State. Rather, Bell insisted that Newton “inferred it” and was present during calls between Rogers and Bell.
Under NCAA rules, even the solicitation of benefits by a student-athlete’s family is an NCAA violation. Last week, an Atlanta news outlet reported that Newton admitted to soliciting money for his son’s talents.
Although none of the phone conversations or text messages have been made public, what’s important to point out is that there are now multiple sources handing over supposed evidence to the NCAA. What began as a series of independent rumors has now turned into a full fledged scandal with more layers than any of us probably know.
Everyone is innocent until proven guilty and Cam Newton is no exception, but the amount of reasonable suspicion is growing and, assuming any of this evidence is brought forth, the Heisman trophy front runner could become Reggie Bush 2.0.
*John Taylor came up with the sCam Newton play on words, so if it’s funny, cool. If it’s not, blame him.