- Associated Press - Friday, November 5, 2010

AUBURN, ALA. (AP) - Auburn has had “no contact whatsoever” with a man who allegedly tried to secure payment from Mississippi State during the recruitment of Tigers quarterback and Heisman Trophy hopeful Cam Newton, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Newton also said Friday he has done nothing wrong.

The NCAA is reviewing the recruitment of Newton, but Auburn has not received a letter of inquiry, the person told The Associated Press on Friday on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to comment publicly.

Cam’s eligibility has at no point been in jeopardy,” the person said. Newton, who will start for the third-ranked Tigers against Chattanooga on Saturday, denied any wrongdoing.

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” Newton said Friday before stepping on the bus to the team hotel to Montgomery. “I’m blessed to be at Auburn right now and I’m sure the smoke will settle.”

Asked about how tough the past two days had been, Newton said: “It’s been all right. I’ve had worse days, but God continues to bless me throughout this process, me and my family and most importantly the team.”

The person familiar with the situation said Auburn’s compliance office has reviewed personal and church bank records of Newton’s dad, Cecil, as well as phone and e-mail records of the Tigers’ football staff, and is “extremely confident there was no wrongdoing” during the school’s recruitment of the quarterback.

The person told AP that the Southeastern Conference informed Auburn months ago of the allegations reported by Mississippi State.

Newton, who started his career at Florida, has been one of college football’s biggest sensations since transferring from Blinn Junior College in Texas. He has led the Tigers (9-0) to national title contention, accounting for a nation’s-best 30 touchdowns. He leads the SEC in rushing.

Newton decided to leave Florida following a November 2008 arrest after he bought a stolen computer. The charges were dropped last December when he completed a pretrial intervention program for first-time offenders.

Auburn fans have quickly rallied to Newton’s defense in the recruiting scandal. A Facebook page supporting the quarterback gained more than 7,400 members less than a day after it was created.

Former Mississippi State player John Bond has said an ex-teammate was soliciting payment during Newton’s recruitment by that school last season. ESPN.com reported the teammate was Kenny Rogers, citing unidentified people.

“He told me that Cam Newton wanted to play at Mississippi State, but that a specified payment would have to be made,” Bond said in a statement on Thursday.

Bond said he reported the conversation with the former teammate to then-Mississippi State athletic director Greg Byrne.

Byrne, who is now at Arizona, declined comment when reached by AP on Friday.

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