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Man asked for payment in Newton recruitment

by David Brandt
| November 5, 2010 9:00 PM

A man who said he represented Auburn quarterback and Heisman hopeful Cameron Newton during his recruitment out of junior college last year asked for payment to secure his commitment to Mississippi State, according to former MSU player John Bond.

Newton has led Auburn (9-0) to the No. 3 ranking in The Associated Press poll and the No. 2 spot in the most recent Bowl Championship Series standings.

"I will say this, very loud and very clear: Cameron Newton is eligible at Auburn University. Period. End of story," Auburn coach Gene Chizik said Thursday night on his weekly radio show.

Bond said he went straight to MSU with the allegations.

"During the 2009 football season, I was contacted by a former football teammate, who represented to me that he was speaking for the Newton camp," Bond said in a statement given to the AP through his attorney. "He told me that Cam Newton wanted to play at Mississippi State, but that a specified payment would have to be made.

"I reported the conversation to the Mississippi State Athletic Department," Bond said. "I was told by the Athletic Department that Mississippi State would not respond to the overture that was made to me, and that Mississippi State would continue to recruit Cam Newton as it does any other football recruit."

ESPN.com, which first reported the story, cited unidentified people who said Bond's former teammate Kenny Rogers was the one soliciting payment.

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