Did Cam’s dad put him up for sale? Are we sickened yet?

How much is your child worth? How much is your child’s reputation worth? In 30-plus years of writing about sports, I’ve never really pondered those questions — why ponder the imponderable? — but now, thanks to the latest installment in the Cam Newton Saga, I am.

And, not to put too fine a point on it, I want to retch.

I don’t know if Cecil Newton put a price tag on his son Cam. I only know that Kenny Rogers, the former Mississippi State player who may (or may not) have been the link between the Newtons and John Bond, who touched off this whole tempest eight days ago, went on ESPN 103.3 in Dallas on Thursday and claimed the elder Newton named a price. Quoth Rogers: “Anywhere between $100,000 and $180,000.”

Understand: This doesn’t mean anything untoward actually happened. Rogers admitted Thursday that he doesn’t know if Auburn paid a dime for its quarterback. “No idea,” he said, and then he said it again.

Still, the details Rogers provided regarding his meeting with the Newtons — a date (Nov. 27, 2009) and a place (the Hilton Garden Inn in Starkville, Miss.) and another place (a Shell station off Highway 82) — indicates that he’s one of two things: A keen observer or a fabulist of the first rank. And now we must ask: Why would Kenny Rogers, who runs a company that supposedly matches prospects with schools, make this stuff up?

Rogers said he asked to go on-air with the Dallas station to clarify matters, and he clarified a few. He never spoke directly to Bond, as the former Valdosta quarterback suggested in an interview with fellow VHS alum Buck Belue last Friday on 680 The Fan, but talked instead with another Mississippi State alum named Bill Bell.

According to Brandon Marcello of the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, Bell played at MSU in 1978 and 1980-1982. Marcello reports that Bell owns a roofing company in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., and was said to be out of the country on Thursday.

We may never know if the Newtons received any money for Cam’s athletic services. But we now have reason to believe questions will forever hang over Cam Newton’s career: If his father was asking $180,000 from Mississippi State and Newton didn’t go there, was there in fact a selling price? If so, what? And if so, who paid it?

We also have growing reason to believe this: Cecil Newton isn’t the leading candidate for father of the year. Even if no money changed hands, the mere suggestion that money was being discussed has turned the happiest story in college football into the saddest. Thanks, Dad.

370 comments Add your comment

david

November 11th, 2010
6:32 pm

aren’t you about a week late on this story?

Freddy

November 11th, 2010
6:36 pm

Word.. Who cares anymore

Yaaawwwn

November 11th, 2010
6:39 pm

Enough already – let’s play some football.

Michael G.

November 11th, 2010
6:42 pm

just follow the money….all the way to cecil newton’s church.

todd grantham

November 11th, 2010
6:42 pm

Mark, where there’s money, there’s tomfoolery.

Chris Phillips

November 11th, 2010
6:43 pm

Terrible. And I hear his dad is supposedly a pastor.

The Gambler

November 11th, 2010
6:44 pm

If you had some comprehension of the article, it states that I went on the air today to tell my side of the story saying Papa Newton, not me, was the one looking for $$$$. Check the link.

todd grantham

November 11th, 2010
6:45 pm

i’ve been immursed in film and concluded the only way we can win is if cam is disqualified before saturday.

Michael G.

November 11th, 2010
6:46 pm

what is sad is that all these people are talking, but the ncaa will drag it heels and take forever with its investigation.

todd grantham

November 11th, 2010
6:47 pm

You applied the best word possible to this situation: “sickened”.

Worm

November 11th, 2010
6:47 pm

Hope UGAVIII bites him in the A@@!

I-90 Drifter

November 11th, 2010
6:47 pm

Coaches make millions; assistant coaches make hundreds of thousands; the BCS awards hundereds of millions to the elite schools. And we criticize this young man for wanting to capitalize on his talent. What is wrong with this picture?? As for his dad, the pastor? He ain’t immune.

LakeDawg

November 11th, 2010
6:47 pm

Way to go Mark. Libel a college kid and his family with zero proof and disguise it as supposition. What sickens me is the runaway media with no regard for the real lives they impact. Maybe pay for play was requested, but until we know you should STFU. Nothing wrong with reporting what is being said, but to take it a step further and act as if its true and then say your sickened is beyond the pale.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AJC , Mark Bradley, Perry L. Williams, Nathan Faulkner, mississippiDAWN and others. mississippiDAWN said: RT @ajc: RT @MarkBradleyAJC: Did #Cam Newton's dad put him up for sale? Are we sickened yet? http://bit.ly/9yjVcu [...]

General Mills

November 11th, 2010
6:48 pm

Obviously, you don’t know Cecil.Who paid Kenny Rogers?

Klingman

November 11th, 2010
6:48 pm

You for real Lake?

heartofdarkness

November 11th, 2010
6:48 pm

Dad did what any good agent would do. Two Hundred Large isn’t bad for semi-pro.

todd grantham

November 11th, 2010
6:48 pm

Bobby Lowder is capable of anything.

Delbert D.

November 11th, 2010
6:50 pm

Here is part of what the AP said today about that radio session:

“Kenny Rogers told ESPN radio in Dallas on Thursday that when he and Cecil Newton met with two MSU coaches at a hotel in Starkville, Miss., last Nov. 27, one of the coaches said “no, no I don’t want to hear that,” when Cecil Newton asked about the payment for Cam Newton to attend Mississippi State.”

todd grantham

November 11th, 2010
6:50 pm

IF you did vote for the Heisman, would you now vote for Cam?

Worm

November 11th, 2010
6:50 pm

Lakedawg, sorry, but if the family solicited a price-The kid and Auburn are toast!..Bobby Lowder is probably more nervous than a sheep in Wyoming!

todd grantham

November 11th, 2010
6:51 pm

Has “Elder” Newton made a public statement?

JJ

November 11th, 2010
6:52 pm

Players should be paid anyway. I love the (fake) outrage about this story. Coaches make millions, networks make hundreds of millions, advertisers make hundreds of millions, BCS bowls rake in tens of millions, the conferences have billion dollar contracts – players, on the other hand, are given a scholarship and told they had better not accept a meal, cash, a job or anything from anyone.

Players are treated almost as little slave boys to big corporations, the schools, and coaches. This is not 1970’s college football anymore. The time has come to start giving the players a wage on top of their scholarship. The days of protecting schools, advertisers, conferences, and coaches needs to end.

Perhaps some sharp law firm is watching and salivating over taking NCAA football to court for collusion. As far as I know, college football has no anti trust exemption. Perhaps someone will finally throw down a class action on behalf of the players and stop the plantation mentality that is today’s college football.

LakeDawg

November 11th, 2010
6:52 pm

Yeah, I’m for real Klingman. I know the AJC is competing with irresponsible blogs now, but I am still a fan of journalistic integrity. Call me old fashioned.

todd grantham

November 11th, 2010
6:53 pm

Maybe the Elder Newton was soliciting a tithe, not a bribe.

LakeDawg

November 11th, 2010
6:53 pm

Worm if thats the case, then you’re right.

KC

November 11th, 2010
6:55 pm

Good theory there MR Grantham, however…Bobby Lowder is broke and is in the midst of getting investigated for bad deals at Colonial. Cam was probably not tops on his to do list.

Bill

November 11th, 2010
6:56 pm

Mark I’m sure you can find something else to write about unless you get proof. This story is old…time to move on and “let the Powers that be” Law do the rest. Enough is enough.
I expect better from you than just Rumors.
You are right about one thing…There are some sorry Dads out there!

Larry

November 11th, 2010
6:56 pm

They tried the wrong school in Mississippi. Ole Miss would have paid the cash in a New York minute and also added the Oregon thug just to be sure.

Elder Newton

November 11th, 2010
6:56 pm

I never asked a price for Cam
that’s not the kind of man i am
but we all have a price
it ain’t always so nice
so i think i’ll go on the lam

todd grantham

November 11th, 2010
6:57 pm

KC, get a life bud

KC

November 11th, 2010
6:58 pm

I think it is sad that such a great success story has turned into a media frenzy. I guess the BAMA fans will have the subject they needed in order to defend their recent losses. No matter what happens now with Auburn’s success, it will be because so many have smeared Cam, and Auburn cheated. Great.

KC

November 11th, 2010
7:00 pm

Was not a cut on you Mr. Grantham, just a correction of information. Breathe

todd grantham

November 11th, 2010
7:00 pm

said Mark,
this whole thing is making me retch
even if cam is a good cetch
he’s just supposed to play
for no monetary pay
and just how much could his dad fetch

todd grantham

November 11th, 2010
7:01 pm

ok, didnt know Lowder had gotten caught up in the bad economy. my apologies.

Dawgman566

November 11th, 2010
7:02 pm

Why could we afford him? We could have sold a few more logos to go on the stadium to cover it.

Mark Bradley

November 11th, 2010
7:02 pm

Let’s put it this way: I’m kind of glad the ol’ AJC doesn’t let me vote for the Heisman anymore.

KC

November 11th, 2010
7:04 pm

Yea….he helped Colonial bank go under and is gonna end up like Scrushy.
Glad he is off the campus…and out of Auburn business

Dawgdad (The Original)

November 11th, 2010
7:05 pm

How many times have we heard stories like these? How many times did it turn out that there was no substance to the allegations. I don’t remember any that turned our to be fabrications. Remember Reggie Bush, the allegations were around for a year or so and he denied every allegation. The NCAA took forever, what was it four/five years to resolve it and remove his Heisman. What a sorry mess for college football.

The answer is to put College back into College Football. We need to improve academic standards and require recruits to meet eligibility standards, that other students at their university are required to meet.
Like Lester Maddox said to improve prisons you need prisoners with better character. Better academically qualified students will have better character.

todd grantham

November 11th, 2010
7:06 pm

Harper

November 11th, 2010
7:06 pm

I feel sorry for Can Newton. Daddy Newton may have messed it up for him

todd grantham

November 11th, 2010
7:07 pm

Wow, I bet this is the first time Lester Maddox made the blog!

Bill Toomer

November 11th, 2010
7:07 pm

Weatherman is now saying there will be a dark cloud over Jordan-Hare on Saturday.

todd grantham

November 11th, 2010
7:09 pm

Mark, did you ever dine at the Pickrick?

Bill

November 11th, 2010
7:09 pm

Mark I wish you did. I highly respect your opinion. Sometimes we make judgement without all the facts, I hope the kids is not guilty but we don’t know. What we do know is he will not win now thanks to all the press and rumors. Just keep up the good work and lets move on. Thanks, don’t the Falcons play tonight?

Mark Bradley

November 11th, 2010
7:10 pm

I’ve never dined at the Pickrick, TG. Don’t even know where it is.

Roll Tide

November 11th, 2010
7:10 pm

Don’t be distracted, just keep following the money trail; not only will it reveal the facts about the accusations, but character issues also, for all party’s involved…

RAID

November 11th, 2010
7:10 pm

BEWARE FOLKS!……..We’ve seen it all before……Where theres smoke theres fire!….Look at the NC situation, or the AJ Green saga……if the NCAA is in your back yard they wo’nt leave till they’ve found something……..This could get really bad……I hope not even though I’m a Dawg……I think Cam and AU will pay for past mistakes……jus sayin…….

Cam Saga

November 11th, 2010
7:10 pm

someone ought to call Lattimore’s mom in South Carolina because there is a rumor going on by some SC fans that Auburn tried to pay Lattimore’s mom for him as well

Mark Bradley

November 11th, 2010
7:11 pm

Silly me. It was Lester Maddox’s restaurant.