Was Auburn booster involved in the Cam Newton pay-for-play scandal?

AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 06: Quarterback Cam Newton  of the Auburn Tigers stretches before play against the Chattanooga Mocs November 6, 2010 at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Milton McGregor may become a name that grows synonymous with the Cam Newton pay-for-play scandal involving Auburn and Mississippi State.

The FBI is looking into whether or not McGregor (an Auburn booster) was involved in the recruitment process for Newton last year. Apparently the FBI arrested McGregor last month in a bribery sting over an attempt to buy off politicians in order to pay off gambling debts. Just two years ago, he reportedly gave Auburn one million and is considered to be a major booster for the school.

Those that believe the university didn’t have anything to do with a pay-for-play deal with Newton and that a rouge booster was involved now have a catalyst in McGregor. This doesn’t mean Auburn would be let off the hook, but in the eyes of the NCAA it’s better if a booster acted alone in this situation.

In a related report, ESPN.com says that a Mississippi State booster named Bill Bell told the NCAA that he received a text message from Kenny Rogers outlining a payment plan for Newton to sign with MSU. According to the report, there was a three-way phone conversation between Bell, Rogers and Cam’s father Cecil about how the payments would work ($80,000 the day after Cam signed, $50,000 30 days later and then another $50,000 60 days later).

“When he asked for it, it was like, ‘Bam! He (Rogers) 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.’ ”

“(Cecil Newton) didn’t come out and say, ‘I want $180,000,’ 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.’ ”

“He said it was going to take more than just a relationship with Dan Mullen and that Cam’s relationship with Mullen wasn’t what Mullen thought it was. 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.’ “

I’m no Columbo, but if you read between the lines it appears as though Bell told Rogers and Newton to buzz off but McGregor obliged to pay the freight. And thus, that’s why Cam is currently running around on Saturdays in an Auburn Tigers uniform.

But that’s just speculation on my part and I encourage everyone not to jump to conclusions before all the facts come out. There is new information on this scandal everyday and I’m sure mores to come.

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