Earlier today I broke the news that NCAA investigators were in Louisiana Monday taking a hard look at the football recruiting practices of Auburn University.
(Bond: No NCAA Justice For Auburn To Spring More Media Leaks?)
At the center of that NCAA investigation is Sean Nelson, a so-called “street agent” who may have unduly assisted Auburn football coaches in the recruitment of Trovon Reed and Greg Robinson.
Another possible concern for Auburn on the NCAA investigatory front involves ex-Mississippi State football player and now-notorious college football recruiting go-between Kenny Rogers.
It was Rogers’ now-admitted solicitation of funds from a Mississippi State booster on Cecil Newton’s behalf that led the father of ex-Auburn quarterback Cam Newton to admit to NCAA investigators that he had been a willing participant in a scheme to offer his son’s football services to Mississippi State in exchange for a cash payment.
Today I learned that for that past month representatives of HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel have repeatedly asked Rogers for a sitdown interview to further discuss his involvement with Cam Newton’s recruitment. Recently, Rogers agreed, and will be interviewed on March 1 with the visit to air on a yet-to-be determined date.
That date of the Rogers interview on HBO may depend on the cooperation of former Mississippi State quarterback John Bond and ex-MSU player and booster Bill Bell. HBO has also been pressing them for sitdowns the past month, but so far neither has agreed to participate.
Bond was the key cog in the ESPN report in early November that started the Cam Newton recruiting controversy. On Nov. 5, 2010, Pat Forde, Chris Low and Mark Schlabach reported on ESPN.com:
Former Mississippi State quarterback John Bond told ESPN.com a teammate of Bond’s at Mississippi State in the early 1980s contacted him soon after Newton’s official visit to Mississippi State during the Ole Miss game in December, and said he was representing Newton.
“He said it would take some cash to get Cam,” Bond said. “I called our athletic director, Greg Byrne, and he took it from there. That was pretty much it.”
Multiple sources told ESPN.com that Mississippi State called the SEC office with Bond’s information shortly after he brought it to the attention of the school.
On November 18, 2010, ESPN.com’s Mark Schlabach, Chris Low and Pat Forde reported of Bell:
Bill Bell, a Mississippi State booster and former player at the school, told the NCAA he received a text message from a man claiming to represent Cam Newton’s father that outlined a payment plan designed to bring the quarterback to the Bulldogs.
Bell said former teammate Kenny Rogers told him Cecil Newton wanted money for his son to play at Mississippi State.
Tuesday night on WZZN-FM in Huntsville, Alabama, Bond said of being approached by HBO:
“They’ve (HBO) wore me out for a month and I think Bill and I have decided we’re just going to hold off. For right now. We’re going to sit around and see what happens.
“It’s a situation nobody wants to be in .. it’s unbelievable what’s going on and we’ll figure it out and it’ll all come out and everything will be fine in the end.”
From “sitting around to see what happens,” does Bond mean he thinks Mississippi State has already provided enough evidence to the NCAA for the governing body to mete out some manner of significant sanctions that could ultimately impact the Auburn football program?
Surely Bond wouldn’t be interested in continuing to talk if he thought Mississippi State was still in the NCAA’s crosshairs when it came to Cecil Newton’s shenanigans.
And is Bond also sounding a warning to the NCAA that he’ll once again go public with additional details of Cecil Newton-related activities pertaining to MSU if the NCAA’s final ruling in the case doesn’t meet with the ex-MSU quarterback’s expectations?
If Bond isn’t ready to tell-all if the NCAA falls down on the job, how else does he know “it’ll all come out in the end.”?
Bond either has an inadvisable amount of confidence in NCAA investigators or he knows something we don’t.
Notice to Readers: It has been brought to my attention that the photograph originally included in this article (and others articles posted on this blog) about John Bond did not depict the former MSU quarterback John Bond being discussed. The photographs were of Georgia State University Offensive Coordinator (and former Arkansas player) John Bond, and I regret this inadvertent error.