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Former MSU player Bond ratchets up Newton scandal

by Derrick Johnson on November 12, 2010

While Auburn quarterback Cam Newton has led the Tigers to a 10-0 record and put himself at the front of the Heisman race, his play on the field has been overshadowed in recent weeks by questions surrounding his recruitment. John Bond, a former Mississippi State quarterback, told the school that Newton was being shopped for thousands of dollars last year, and has vehemently defended his actions, ESPN.com reports.

The allegations became more serious early Thursday, when Kenny Rogers, also a former MSU player, told a radio station in Dallas that he was present when Cecil Newton, Cam Newton's father, told coaches they needed to pay anywhere from $100,000 to $180,000 for his son to go to the school.

Rogers' story has been backed up by claims from Bond that another former player, Bill Bell, called him and told him about the interaction with the elder Newton, who has denied any wrong doing.

"He said, 'We've got a problem,'" Bond told reporters outside his home Thursday. "He said, 'I don't know those guys [MSU officials], you do. Call them and tell them."

The NCAA is in the process of investigating the claims from Rogers and Bond. While some have alleged that Bond told MSU officials because he felt slighted that Newton ultimately chose SEC rival Auburn, he maintains that he informed the school well before Newton ever committed to Auburn.

Newton, a powerful 6-foot-6 quarterback, was one of the most sought after recruits coming out of Blinn College in Texas. He has put together one of the most impressive seasons in recent memory. In leading Auburn to an undefeated record and the number two ranking, he has thrown for 1,850 yards and tossed 19 touchdowns. He's been equally effective on the ground, rushing for more than 1,100 yards while scoring 15 times.

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