Source: Booster meets state officials

BY foxsports • November 29, 2010

Mississippi State booster Bill Bell was interviewed last Wednesday by the Mississippi secretary of state's office as part of the investigation into Kenny Rogers' involvement in the recruitment of Auburn star quarterback Cameron Newton, a source familiar with the matter said Monday.

Bell met with investigators for nearly two hours at Bell's attorney’s office in Montgomery, Ala. The secretary of state's office had subpoenaed Bell.

According to the source, the agency is investigating whether Rogers violated state agent laws by acting as an intermediary between Bell and Newton’s father, Cecil Newton Sr.

Rogers has said that the elder Newton sought $100,000 to $180,000 for his son to attend Mississippi State. The probe is also looking into whether Rogers acted as a runner for Chicago-based NFL agent Ian Greengross.

Bell and his attorney declined comment Monday when contacted by FOXSports.com.

Pamela Weaver, a spokeswoman for Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, said the office does "not comment on current, pending or potential investigations."

Bell told ESPN.com earlier this month that Rogers, who played football with Bell at Mississippi State in the early 1980s, sent a text message to him with a payment schedule. The plan called for an $80,000 payment when Cameron Newton signed, a $50,000 payment 30 days later and another $50,000 30 days after that.

Newton, the front-runner for the Heisman Trophy entering BCS top-rated Auburn's matchup Saturday against South Carolina in the SEC title game, and his father have denied any wrongdoing.

Earlier this month, the NFL Players Association filed a complaint against Greengross for "violating numerous provisions of the NFLPA's Agent Regulations." In the complaint, the NFLPA alleges that Rogers, a Greengross associate, "misrepresented to prospective player-clients that he was an NFLPA employee, a club official and an official from a testing service in an effort to recruit them."

The players union also accused Rogers of trying to recruit players who had signed contracts with other agents, a violation of NFLPA rules.

Doug Zeit, Rogers' attorney, said Monday that Rogers was expected to be interviewed by the secretary of state's office during the week of Dec. 7 in Chicago.

"Presumably we'll answer most or all of their questions," Zeit said.

The secretary of state's office has also interviewed former Mississippi State player John Bond, who alleges that Rogers contacted him about Newton's father’s demands. Bond has also been interviewed by the FBI.

The NCAA is also investigating the Newton pay-for-play allegations and has interviewed Bell and Rogers about the matter.


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