Kenny Rogers Denies Everything

Kenny Rogers talked Ian Fitzsimmons from the ESPN Radio station in Dallas this evening. I listened to it live and jotted down these notes.

  • When asked if he ever took money to place a high schooler, he responded, "Heck no! I've never done that. A school has never paid me for a kid. An alumni has never paid me for a kid. Period. Point blank." He says he hasn't talked to John Bond in over 20 years. He was especially offended that someone suggested he'd ask for money out of his own alma mater.
  • The business model for his recruiting service is that parents pay him to help get their sons better recruiting offers.
  • He says he never had contact with anyone at Mississippi State until Cecil Newton introduced him to Dan Mullen. 
  • He explicitly denied ever contacting anyone at Auburn.
  • He claims to have been contacted by parents and coaches telling him that they know he does good work and to keep his head up.

Given that the NFLPA has filed an official complaint against agent Ian Greengross and Rogers, his employee, we know that not everything Rogers has done has been on the up and up. However, Rogers is probably entitled to get his denials out there just like everyone else.

That said, either Rogers or John Bond is lying. There's no going back on that matter at this point. The only thing the two agree on is that they went over 20 years without talking to each other. Only time will tell which is right, or at least more right, than the other.

ADDENDUM

Something else doesn't quite add up. Rogers claimed not to have talked to Bond. Going back and listening to what Bond said, he may or may not agree with that.

The phrase Bond used is, "there was two people in between us, but basically that's, yes, that's what happened" when asked if Rogers was shopping Newton's services to him. I'm not sure if Bond means that Rogers spoke to someone who spoke to someone who spoke to Bond, or if Rogers spoke with Bond and two other people concurrently. The former is more likely I think, given the way Bond said it and Rogers' denial of ever having spoke to Bond.

That explanation also clears up one loose end: why Rogers would go to Bond to try to get money in the first place. Bond is the Director of Business Development for the Eutaw Construction Company. Eutaw has 400 employees and annual revenue of around $77 million. That's not a big enough company for anyone below the C level executives to have $200,000 just lying around to give to a recruit, and Bond is not at that level.

So it seems to be that both agree that they never talked. If Bond is right, then Rogers was shopping Newton around to other people who then spread the word about it to Bond. If Rogers is right, then whoever Bond's sources are lied. Independent sources of ESPN's are the ones that outed Rogers as the guy who Bond accused, but those sources only passed along what information they knew the SEC had. The only person of all the sources named and unnamed to have fingered Rogers is Bond.

So anyway, it's possible that neither are lying. Rogers might not have been shopping Newton, and Bond might have gotten bad information from his sources. That would make Bond incorrect but not a liar.

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