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ESPN: Bill Bell Got Text Message Outlining Payment Plan

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ESPN's three original reporters on the Cam Newton case (Mark Schlabach, Chris Low, and Pat Forde) have come out with a new story regarding what Bill Bell told the NCAA.

According to those three, Bell got a text message from Kenny Rogers (claiming to represent Cecil Newton) that outlined a payment plan for Cam Newton's services. It was to be $80,000 the day after Newton committed, $50,000 a month later, and $50,000 more another month later.

Bell kept the message on his phone, but it was water damaged and he's working with his carrier to recover the message. He also has voice mails from Rogers that he played for the NCAA. Also new to the story is that Bell claims that Cecil Newton talked to him directly and indicated that it would take money to get Cam to Mississippi State. Previously, we had only head about Rogers contacting Bell, not Newton too.

It's unclear whether the three guys got their information from Bell directly or the NCAA. All the quotes from Bell in the article could either be from Bell or from a transcript of his NCAA testimony. It's also worth noting that nothing in this new report implicates Auburn, though it is the first sign we have that there's firm evidence against Cecil Newton.

This story broke right as Kirk Herbstreit was making an appearance on Paul Finebaum's show. When asked his reaction, Herbie said that "another story is probably going to break later tonight or tomorrow." I'm not sure if he was saying that as fact or as speculation, but his tone indicated more the former than the latter.