A Mississippi State booster told the NCAA he received a payment plan from a man who said he represented Cam Newton's father that was designed to get the quarterback to sign with the Bulldogs, ESPN.com reported Wednesday.
Bill Bell, a former Mississippi State player, said Kenny Rogers sent him a text message outlining a payment schedule that included $80,000 on the day Newton signed, $50,000 30 days later, and $50,000 30 days after that. Rogers, who has worked for an agent, is also a former Mississippi State player.
"When he asked for it, it was like 'Bam!' " Bell said in the report. "He told me this kid's dad is going to want money, and the next day he sent me a text message. He didn't say anything other than, 'This is what I want and I want it in three installments.' "
Newton, a leading Heisman Trophy candidate, eventually signed with Auburn. Calls from the Associated Press to Rogers' attorney, Bell and Newton's father, Cecil, were not immediately returned.
Officials at Auburn, which has not been accused of wrongdoing, continued their stance of not commenting on the ongoing NCAA investigation.
Bell said in the report that the phone that contains Rogers' text message was damaged by water, but he's attempting to retrieve the text through his cell phone provider.
Bell said he was on three-way calls with Rogers and Cecil Newton when discussions about the payment plan took place. He said the elder Newton never directly asked for money and he has shared some voice messages with the NCAA.
"(Cecil Newton) didn't come out and say, 'I want $180,000,' " Bell said in the report. "He inferred it and talked about it but not directly. Kenny would talk about it in front of him, and (Cecil Newton) never corrected him or said, 'No, that's not what we're doing.' "
The NCAA has said the solicitation of cash or benefits by a recruit or someone on his behalf is a rules violation.
Bell said the initial contact to him came from Rogers. But Bell said he also had several conversations with Cecil Newton during his son's recruitment from Blinn (Texas) junior college, where he played after leaving Florida after the 2008 season.
"He said it was going to take more than just a relationship with (Mississippi State coach) Dan Mullen and that Cam's relationship with Mullen wasn't what Mullen thought it was," Bell said of Mullen, who was Newton's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Florida. "That's when he said, 'Dan Mullen is going to have to put a smile on my face if he thinks he's going to get my son.' "
Bell told ESPN.com he is talking about the payment plan to make clear Mississippi State did not break NCAA rules.
Rogers' attorney, Doug Zeit, told ESPN.com that the Mississippi Secretary of State has requested an interview with Rogers, but it hasn't occurred. He also confirmed Rogers has met with the NCAA.
Cecil Newton, according to an Atlanta TV report last week, admitted to talking about money with Mississippi State but insisted his son had no knowledge of it. Cecil said no money was exchanged.
In other news, TMZ.com reported FBI officials looking into the case asked someone about Milton McGregor, the owner of Victoryland casino indicted on charges of corruption last month after allegedly trying to buy pro-gambling votes in the Alabama legislature.
McGregor is an Auburn booster who donated $1 million toward the construction of the school's new $86 million basketball arena. His attorney denies any wrongdoing.
Iowa State: Senior quarterback Austen Arnaud needs reconstruction surgery on his left knee and is out for the season. Jerome Tiller will start Saturday against Missouri.
Washington: Quarterback Jake Locker (bruised rib) will start tonight against UCLA.