Though it sounded sensational at the time, the involvement of the FBI in the Cam Newton investigation has turned out to be far from conjecture. John Bond, the ex-Bulldog player who serves as the connection from Mississippi State University to agent-like substance and alleged Newton family representative Kenny Rogers, confirmed through his lawyer that he's spoken with agents regarding this case. And according to Rogers' own lawyer, he's apparently next in line to be questioned by the feds.
So as far as the investigation itself, where are we regarding Cam Newton's eligibility? Three tidbits from the latest ESPN report mark the way:
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.
Auburn has contended that Newton is an "eligible student-athlete" in light of reports that Rogers, acting on behalf of Cecil Newton, told two Mississippi State representatives -- Bond and Bill Bell -- that it would take money to get Newton to play at their school.
[MSU booster Bill] Bell, contacted Thursday night by ESPN.com, confirmed Cecil Newton did ask for money in exchange for Cam Newton to sign with Mississippi State. Bell said he was contacted by the NCAA about the matter and spoke to an investigator earlier this week.
We have a federal investigation; we have an NCAA investigation, but nothing that's been made public indicates that Auburn University was involved in financial dealings with the Newton family, which puts him in the clear, no? Not so, according to blogger/lawyer hybrid Clay Travis:
If this is true, a clear reading of this SEC bylaw would suggest that in making this demand "a student-athlete or any member of his/her family ... agrees to receive, directly or directly," an improper benefit that would rule him ineligible not just at the school in question but at all schools in the conference in every sport. A solicitation is a request or encouragement of another to perform an act. If Cecil Newton solicited Mississippi State then he agreed to receive the improper benefits by nature of the solicitation.
Will Newton's father's alleged actions during his recruitment by Mississippi State torpedo his time at Auburn, and take with it the Tigers' undefeated season? A better question might be: Will there even be the slightest headway made in this matter before Cam Newton graduates and/or takes off for the draft?