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November 4, 2010

Newton's eligibility not affected

Allegations that money was sought in exchange for Cam Newton's signature on a national letter of intent isn't affecting the Auburn quarterback's status with the Tigers.

"Cam Newton is eligible to play football at Auburn," Kirk Sampson, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations at Auburn, said in a statement released Thursday night.

Sampson's statement came in the aftermath of an espn.com article published earlier in the day, "Cash sought for Cam Newton".

The story includes allegations by former Mississippi State quarterback John Bond that a former teammate at State solicited money for Newton's signature. Sources told espn.com the former teammate is Kenny Rogers, now listed as an "agent" at Elite Football Preparation in Chicago, Ill..

Bond said in the story Rogers claimed he could get Newton to sign with Mississippi State for $180,000.

But Rogers wasn't acting on Newton's behalf.

"If Rogers tried to solicit money from Mississippi State, he did it on his own, without our knowledge," Newton's father, Cecil Newton, told epsn.com.

Cam Newton chose Auburn over Mississippi State Dec. 31.

According to a source close to the Auburn Athletic Department with knowledge of the situation, any allegations about Auburn being involved with Rogers are erroneous.

Auburn has looked into Bond's allegations of Rogers' solicitation and there is "absolutely no evidence of any contact at all between Rogers and Auburn.

"There are no NCAA allegations against anyone on the Auburn coaching staff or anyone associated with Auburn University in the recruitment of Cam Newton," the source said.

Auburn coach Gene Chizik quickly summed up his thoughts on the allegations during his weekly radio show Thursday.

"Here's what I can say very loud and clear: Cam Newton is eligible at Auburn," Chizik said. "End of story."




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