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.
"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 Thursday in a statement given to The Associated Press through his attorney at the law firm Butler Snow in Jackson, Miss. "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."
Auburn officials didn't immediately responded to messages seeking comment.
ESPN.com, which first reported the story, is citing unidentified people saying Bond's former teammate Kenny Rogers was the one soliciting payment. ESPN.com reports the school refused to get involved with Rogers, who has separately come under scrutiny from the NFL Players Association and the NCAA.
In a statement, the school said "we are comfortable that representatives of Mississippi State University's interests conducted themselves appropriately and in compliance with all NCAA by-laws."
Newton's father, Cecil Newton, tells The Associated Press that the family denies any allegations and is "cooperating with the investigation."
MSU compliance director Bracky Brett refused to comment in a text message to the AP.