Ex-MSU player in Newton saga interviewed by FBI

By David Brandt

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 16 2010 2:55 p.m. MST

An attorney for the former Mississippi State player who helped spark the NCAA's investigation of Auburn quarterback Cam Newton said Tuesday his client has been interviewed by the FBI.

Phil Abernethy wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press that John Bond met with federal law enforcement and state investigators Tuesday and that he "cooperated fully with both agencies and has provided them all facts known by him."

Abernethy says Bond would have no further comment because of the "ongoing nature" of the investigation. The FBI also declined comment on Tuesday.

Newton's father, Cecil, has been accused of seeking cash during his son's recruitment. Cecil Newton has denied any wrongdoing and Mississippi State officials have said all of its employees acted appropriately.

Bond, a former Mississippi State quarterback, told MSU officials in January he had been asked for $180,000 by a former teammate in exchange for Newton's commitment to the Bulldogs. The man was later identified as Kenny Rogers in an ESPN.com report.

Rogers is expected to be interviewed by the NCAA, according to his attorney Doug Zeit.

Rogers told a Dallas radio show he met with Cecil Newton and two MSU assistant coaches in a Starkville, Miss., motel on Nov. 27, 2009. Rogers said during that meeting, Cecil Newton asked for between $100,000 and $180,000 in exchange for his son to sign with Mississippi State.

Bond's revelation to MSU officials, who gave their findings to the Southeastern Conference, set off a chain of events that have shaken college football and could impact who wins the Heisman Trophy and the national championship.

The allegations have cast a dark shadow over an otherwise dream season Newton and No. 2 Auburn (11-0), which has clinched a spot in the Southeastern Conference championship game. The Tigers have a week off before facing No. 10 Alabama on Nov. 26 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

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