Honoring Bell; Examining Newton

Two stories that stand in stark contrast to each other have taken center stage this week. Last night, Nick Bell was memorialized on the Mississippi State campus, with players Kendrick Cook and Charles Mitchell both remembering their teammate, roommate and friend.

People came from all over for the service, which was held at Lee Hall. Today in Birmingham, from 1-6 p.m., there will be a visitation at Roberts Funeral Home, which is located at 1337 Bessemer Road.

Bell will be laid to rest at noon Saturday at Faith Chapel Christian Center in Birmingham. It’s located at 100 Lexington Street, and it’s apparently very spacious. Both the visitation and the funeral are open to the public.

In a nice gesture Thursday night, Georgia Tech’s players wore an MSU logo on the backs of their helmets during their game with Virginia Tech. The Yellow Jackets and Bulldogs played each other in 2008 and ’09. According to this writer, GT coach Paul Johnson called Mullen on Wednesday to ask about doing it. The AJC said the same thing, and added that the stickers arrived by express mail on Thursday in Blacksburg, Va., where the game was played.

• The other story involves Auburn QB Cam Newton and an apparently rogue agent who was selling Newton to the highest bidder. MSU was offered Newton at a discounted rate, according to the reports, because of his ties to coach Dan Mullen. The whistle-blower on this was ex-MSU quarterback John Bond, who was a teammate of that agent, Kenny Rogers.

I left Bond a voicemail last night, and he responded via text message asking who I was (I guess he didn’t listen to the voicemail). After I told him who I was, he did not call me. I then texted him that I would take that as a no-comment, but I gave him my e-mail address and asked if he could send me the statement he’d sent to other media outlets. No response, and so far no statement.

Let’s be clear: Bond has not alleged that Auburn paid Newton or anyone close to him, or that Newton was even aware of what was going on. His father, Cecil Newton, has told several media outlets that he was not aware of his son being shopped for money.