Cam Newton greeted warmly at home

Updated: November 8, 2010, 11:30 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn quarterback Cam Newton received a warm greeting from fans two days after recruiting allegations surfaced.

The Heisman hopeful was greeted by loud applause when he was introduced before Auburn (No. 2 BCS, No. 3 AP) beat Chattanooga 62-24. He sported a grin going through Tiger Walk, then stretched his arms as if he were flying as he ran onto the field with teammates about two hours before Saturday's kickoff.

When asked following the game if he felt differently this week, Newton shot back: "I feel 10-0. That's about it."

The NCAA is reviewing allegations that a man allegedly tried to secure payment from Mississippi State during Newton's recruitment.

Tailgaters sported signs in his defense outside Jordan-Hare Stadium, like "Don't HATE on Cam" and "So what, he deserves to get paid."

When asked about the support he received Saturday, Newton explained, "You feel it physically, emotionally and it does wonders in a person's mind and especially in my heart."

After throwing for a career-high 317 yards and four touchdowns against the Mocs, Newton again professed his innocence.

"I haven't done anything wrong," Newton said. "I'm an Auburn athlete, and I'm still playing for Auburn. I love Auburn, and that's all I've got to say."

A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press Friday that Auburn has had "no contact whatsoever" with the man allegedly involved.

ESPN.com reported Thursday that a teammate of John Bond, a Mississippi State quarterback in the 1980s, contacted Bond soon after Newton's official visit to the school during the Ole Miss game in December 2009. He said he was representing Newton and soliciting a six-figure payment.

Sources told ESPN.com that Bond's former teammate is Kenny Rogers, who played at Mississippi State from 1982 to '85. Bond told ESPN.com that the former teammate told him other schools already had offered $200,000, but because Newton really liked Mississippi State and had a relationship with coach Dan Mullen from their time at Florida, Mississippi State could get him for $180,000.

"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."

When asked following Saturday's game about the allegations, Newton said, "I wish I could talk about it right now but I can't. That's how it goes. ... I don't think it's right for me to talk about it right now."

Rogers denied having solicited Newton to Mississippi State in an interview with ESPN 103.3 FM in Dallas. Rogers has a company called Elite Football Preparation, which holds camps in Alabama, Chicago and Mississippi, and matches football prospects with colleges.

"A school never paid me for a kid and alumni never paid me for a kid. Period. Point blank," Rogers said.

Auburn, in the meantime, has not received a letter of inquiry from the NCAA, the person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press Friday, on condition of anonymity.

The person said Newton's eligibility "has at no point been in jeopardy."

"We have been made aware of the allegation. Unfortunately, we cannot comment at this time," Auburn assistant athletic director Kirk Sampson said Thursday. "However, Cam Newton is eligible to play football at Auburn."

Cecil Newton, Cam's father, denied any wrongdoing in an interview Thursday with ESPN.com.

"If Rogers tried to solicit money from Mississippi State, he did it on his own, without our knowledge," Cecil Newton said.

"Let me tell you something. This is a great kid," Auburn head coach Gene Chizik said after Saturday's victory. "I can speak intelligently on that one. This is a great kid. And you can go back and you can talk to elementary coaches, high school, this is a great kid and he's been a great kid at Auburn University every day he's been around me, this staff and his teammates.

"I don't know what's out there and I don't know what hits you're talking about, but I can assure you this: this is a phenomenal young man. Make no mistake about that."

Information from ESPN.com college football reporters Pat Forde, Mark Schlabach and Chris Low as well as The Associated Press is included in this report.

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