Wednesday evening, it was reported that the FBI was sniffing around a prominent Auburn booster in connection to the alleged solicitation of money in exchange for Cam Newton‘s signature on a Letter of Intent.
Later that night, the attorney for Michael McGregor denied any involvement on the part of his client, releasing a statement that read said in part “McGregor has never been asked to provide money for any recruitment or compensation of any current or perspective [sic] student athlete including Cam Newton at Auburn or any other school, and has never provided any type of compensation in that regard period no exceptions.”
Thursday brought another spate of reports attempting to dismiss allegations that McGregor is connected to the alleged Newton pay-for-play scheme. And that Cam Newton had any knowledge of any scheme. If there was one.
According to the Birmingham News, and citing multiple unnamed sources, “[w]iretaps made as part of the recent federal investigation into vote-buying in the Alabama Legislature contain no conversations that connect Victoryland owner Milton McGregor to quarterback Cam Newton’s recruitment to Auburn.” McGregor was one of several people indicted recently for allegedly playing a role in buying pro-gambling votes. He’s also a long-time Auburn booster who donated $1 million in 2008 toward the construction of a new arena.
Rumors have been bouncing around the vast expanses of the Internet of late regarding not only McGregor’s potential connection to the Newton situation, but that of other unnamed Auburn boosters as well, although the denials, as noted above and elsewhere, have been swift and have contained no gray area.
As for the Auburn quarterback himself, his lawyer spoke publicly for the first time today and vehemently denied any knowledge on the part of his client of what may or may not have happened monetarily during the recruiting process last year.
Speaking to WSB-TV Atlanta, attorney George Lawson, who claims to “represent the Newton family and particularly Cam Newton”, said he is “one million-percent confident that Cam Newton took no money from no one.”
“I don’t think there’s any question that Cam knew nothing about any money discussions, if any discussions were had,” Lawson said. That statement doesn’t necessarily jibe with a previous report regarding Newton’s knowledge of the alleged financial aspects of his recruitment; according to ESPN.com last week, “an emotional Cam Newton phoned another recruiter to express regret about his change of commitment from Mississippi State, stating that his father Cecil had chosen Auburn for him because ‘the money was too much.'”
Lawson also said that he “know[s] nothing about an FBI investigation”, which would strongly suggest the Newtons have not (yet) been approached by the feds.
Interestingly, and perhaps most tellingly during the course of today’s three-minute TV interview, Newton’s attorney wasn’t questioned by the reporter as to any knowledge Cecil Newton may have had about money discussions. Newton’s father, of course, has been fingered by more than a couple of individuals connected to the case as the engineer of the pay-for-play scheme. The latest of those fingerings comes from the hand of ex-MSU player Kenny Rogers‘ attorney, who told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger that “we are unequivocally saying that the entire thing was solicited by Cecil Newton and, unfortunately, (Rogers) stupidly became a rubber hose and passed it along.”