Follow the Money: John Bond speaks with FBI

17 Nov

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

Phil Abernethy wrote in an e-mail Tuesday that John Bond met with federal and state investigators and “cooperated fully with both agencies.”

Abernethy says Bond would have no further comment because of the “ongoing nature” of the investigation. The FBI has declined comment.

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 by ESPN.com as Kenny Rogers.

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

Jody Wright, formerly an assistant athletic director overseeing football operations at Mississippi State and currently a University of Alabama football assistant, has been interviewed by the NCAA, sources told ESPN.com and The Tuscaloosa News. Wright was at Mississippi State when Newton was being recruited.

Newton’s father, Cecil, was accused last week by Rogers, a former Mississippi State player who has worked for a Chicago-based agent, of asking for anywhere from $100,000 to $180,000 for his son to sign a letter of intent with Mississippi State. According to an NCAA spokeswoman, “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.”

Friday, Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin acknowledged in a statement that the school “was approached with an offer to provide an extra benefit” and that the school refused.

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