The former junior college coach of Auburn quarterback Cam Newton says the allegations that a former Mississippi State player was shopping the player's services are "false."
Brad Franchione, coach of Blinn Junior College, told CBSSports.com that he believes in the character of both Newton and his family.
|Cam Newton leads the SEC in rushing and is the No. 1 Heisman candidate. (AP)|
Franchione has no direct knowledge of the NCAA's ongoing investigation into Newton's recruitment to Auburn. The 36-year-old son of former coach Dennis Franchione said he has not been contacted by the NCAA or the SEC. ESPN.com reported Friday that a former teammate of Kenny Rogers at Mississippi State said that Rogers was believed be shopping Newton's services for $200,000. CBSSports.com confirmed that the former teammate, John Bond, contacted Mississippi State in the last year about the allegation. Mississippi State immediately stopped recruiting Newton after contact from Bond.
What is not known is if Auburn got an offer for Newton's services and, if so, if anyone paid. Cam's father Cecil has denied any wrongdoing.
Franchione coached Newton for the 2009 season after the quarterback's transfer from Florida. The coach told CBSSports.com that Newton came to the Brenham, Texas, campus sight unseen. The coach had met Newton and his family at an all-star game in Houston.
"I spoke with his father in early December ," Franchione told CBSSports.com last month. "At that time I didn't know if they truly decided if they were going to go juco or stay at Florida. We talked the entire month of December. As it got into the month of January , we were just developing a relationship on the phone."
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Newton has said repeatedly that his decision to attend Auburn was up to his father. The same goes for Blinn, an out-of-the-way juco an hour from Houston.
"For the most part my road to Blinn and Brenham, it was all up to my father," Newton told reporters two weeks ago. "Whatever way he felt I should go, that's the way I was going to go."
Newton described his arrival at Blinn as "a culture shock."
"I think it was one of the most influential changes in my life," Newton said. "Everybody has that turning point in their life where they can just say, 'That's when I really decided to put things together.'"
Newton led Blinn to a junior college national championship in 2009. He is the prohibitive favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, having led Auburn to an undefeated season. Auburn has said Newton is eligible. The Tigers play Chattanooga in a non-conference game on Saturday.
Said Franchione on Friday: "I hope it [investigation] doesn't cost him any losses or national awards."