Thayer Evans of FoxSports.com is reporting that Mississippi State booster Bill Bell was interviewed last Wednesday by the Mississippi secretary of state’s office as part of its investigation into former MSU player Kenny Rogers.
As you know:
* Rogers now says — after initially issuing denials — that he tried to help Cecil Newton procure $100,000 to $180,000 from State boosters for his son’s signature on an MSU letter of intent.
* Bell — who also played at MSU — says that he was approached by Rogers and that he spoke (more than twice, less than a “handful” of times) with the elder Newton.
* Evans is the writer who claims Newton was on the verge of being booted from the University of Florida after numerous charges of academic cheating had been brought against him. A criminal investigation could result from Evans’ “academic cheating” story (meaning: Who leaked Newton’s federally protected academic records to Evans?).
A source tells Evans that Mississippi officials (the state, not the school) are “investigating whether Rogers violated state agent laws by acting as an intermediary between Bell and Newton’s father.”
The NCAA and FBI are also investigating Newton’s recruitment. The NCAA wants to know if Newton (or a representative for the quarterback) solicited or received payment for his signature. The FBI, presumably, wants to know if any money changed hands illegally — laundered cash, across state lines, via phone/wire fraud, etc. Now the state of Mississippi is targeting Rogers.
Amazingly, Newton could come out of this smelling like a rose while everyone around him — including those who tried to rat his papa out — could face legal issues of their own.