The man at the center of the controversy involving the recruitment of Auburn quarterback Cam Newton on Thursday offered more details about the plan to sell Newton’s skills.
In an interview with Dallas radio station KESN-FM, Kenny Rogers, a former Mississippi State football player, said he spoke with Newton’s father, Cecil, on Nov. 27, 2009, about how much money would be required to get Cam Newton to sign a letter of intent to play college football.
According to Rogers, he was told by Cecil Newton Sr. it would cost a school “anywhere between $100,000 and $180,000” for a school to sign his son, who is considered the leading contender to win the Heisman Trophy this year.
KESN-FM host Ian Fitzsimmons, who conducted the interview, asked Rogers if that amount was for Newton to play college football or to sign a letter of intent.
“Basically to get his son,” said Rogers, who acknowledged he was involved with Cecil Newton only regarding Mississippi State.
In another Dallas radio interview, with ESPN 103.3 FM, Rogers said he and Cecil Newton initially talked after Cam Newton left the University of Florida after the 2008 season. During that conversation, Rogers said Cecil Newton told him, "It's not gonna be free this time."
Rogers told 103.3 FM he had been referred to a Mississippi State booster named Bill Bell. Rogers said he called Bell and left a message that he was with Cecil Newton and Newton wanted to know if a deal could be done.
Contacted Thursday night by ESPN.com, Bell confirmed that Cecil Newton did ask for money in exchange for Cam Newton signing with Mississippi State. Bell said he was contacted by the NCAA about the matter and spoke to an investigator earlier this week.
"That's all I want to say about it at this point," Bell told ESPN.com.
Telephone messages left for Bell by FOXSports.com were not immediately returned.
Mississippi State spokesman Joe Galbraith declined to comment on Rogers’ interview.
A call to Cecil Newton’s home went to voicemail, which indicated it was full.
Auburn did not return telephone messages, text messages and e-mails, but is declining to comment on Rogers’ interview, according to ESPN.com.
In an e-mail to FOXSports.com, NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn wrote that, “The solicitation of cash or benefits by a prospective student-athlete or another individual on his or her behalf is not allowed under NCAA rules.”