Posted April 04, 2013

Report: Auburn paid players, altered grades under former coach Gene Chizik

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Former Auburn players are saying NCAA violations were committed under former coach Gene Chizik's watch. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Former Auburn players are saying NCAA violations were committed under former coach Gene Chizik’s watch. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Several former Auburn football players said that the program altered grades ensuring eligibility, offered several thousand dollars to entice future NFL draft picks to return for their senior seasons and violated NCAA recruiting rules, reports Roopstigo.com.

Former New York Times and Sports Illustrated columnist Selena Roberts reported that according to three former players, Auburn changed the grades of as many as nine players leading into the 2011 BCS national championship game, which Auburn won 22-19 over Oregon.

Each of the allegations occurred under coach Gene Chizik, who was fired after last season.

One player, Mike McNeil told his story to Roberts. He is charged with armed robbery and was dismissed from the team. His trial begins on April 8 and faces 21 years to life in prison if convicted.

From Roopstigo:

Three players say that before the BCS Championship game the team was told that as many as nine of their teammates would not be able to play in the title game because they were academically ineligible. “We thought we would be without Mike Dyer because he said he was one of them, but Auburn found a way to make those dudes eligible,” says Mike Blanc, a teammate and roommate of Mike McNeil’s. Dyer’s name was cited by McNeil, too. Dyer did not respond to calls to his cell phone. Before the season, McNeil says he was given an F for attendance in a computer science class. “I had B work but I missed too many classes; and I went to the instructor and said, ‘I really need this grade,’” says McNeil. “He said that he was sorry but he wouldn’t change it. I went to the person over him. She was in a position of power and backed up the instructor. I then told my counselor with the athletic department.” Within days, McNeil says, the grade was changed from an F to a C and he did not miss a game.

NCAA investigators paid Auburn a visit last year to look into their recruiting practices. They found that one signee had high school transcripts that were found to be forged.

Several players named in the article disputed McNeil’s account of what happened or said they were misquoted.


58 comments
garminycalling
garminycalling

Auburn fans were the type that said the holocaust wasn't going on because there was no proof other than everyone screaming their heads of

garminycalling
garminycalling

How many AU fans does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: 101. One to steal the bulb and screw it in and 100 to call the people liars who saw them steal it.

SECownsCFB
SECownsCFB

Whenever Auburn wins a national title there is always some kind of controversy to go along with it. AU is so desperate to try to keep up with Alabama that they do whatever it takes to win.

RoyKiefer
RoyKiefer

I have no dog in this fight, I am not an Auburn fan or alumnus, and I do not believe we yet have sufficient facts assess what really happened or what sanctions should potentially be imposed. With this said, let me highlight an important fact. Roberts is one of the most unprofessional, irresponsible and sensationalistic journalists to ever report the news. To document this fact, let me point out that during the 2006 Duke Lacrosse hoax, she made all sorts of unsubstantiated claims -- ALL of which were soon determined to be entirely false -- that maligned the players, the team, the university and the sport. Further, she never appologized -- not even one word -- when her egregious reports were proven to be only malicious fiction. Therefore, I wouldn't be overly eager to accept her "journalism" as the foundation for any conclusions.

MarkCleary
MarkCleary

DEEEEEAAAAATH PEEEEEEENALTYYYYYYYY!   DEEEEEAAAAATH PEEEEEEENALTYYYYYYYY!  DEEEEEAAAAATH PEEEEEEENALTYYYYYYY! 

 

Just thought I'd give everyone else a taste of what Hurricanes have been putting up with on SI.com for the last two years.

ReneGauthier
ReneGauthier

No more shortcuts...  not even a half-assed semi-final...

It's time to bring a better playoff system.

CobyPreimesberger
CobyPreimesberger

yeah before you kncok Selena Roberts, let's remember where she graduated form oh yeah that's right she's an Auburn alum, and again also many people after Auburn did win the title, what was the joke, how long before they have to vacate it

Kevi
Kevi

Someone said, Fly's don't come for no reason. 

Doug1
Doug1

Of course they are "retracting" their statements or saying they were misquoted.  Now that the story is out and their former team mates are after them for spilling the beans.

Mike The Tiger
Mike The Tiger

I'm no Auburn fan, but this story sounds bogus and two of the three who supposedly made statements to this reporter say she misquoted and took them out of context.  So basically one former player who was kicked off the team and has an axe to grind makes a statement that no one else will back up - this is not news, it is bad gossip and Selena Roberts should be either fired or severely reprimanded unless she can prove she didn't misquote the two players that accuse her of doing just that. 

DocOtt
DocOtt

What about the girl they raped?  Oh wait a minute, that was a Lacrosse team at another university.  How did that turn out Selena???

Simms2Bavaro
Simms2Bavaro

"If you ain't cheatin', you ain't competing"!

Signed,

The South Eastern Conference (SEC)

tooncesthekittycat
tooncesthekittycat

the only way aubie could win at a high level is to pay someone to play for him. Who would voluntarily go to auburn to play football?

donald5
donald5

I really don't like Auburn but all I see is one kid that is admitted to being mad at Auburn and on trial for armed robbery facing 21 to life.  The other 2 deny the quotes.  Unless this woman has these interviews on audio, where exactly can this go?  The word of one soon to be inmate is not going to bring a program down.  (FYI... the Shapiro and Miami situation had several corroborating witnesses)

SundeyPSU
SundeyPSU

Doesn't anyone care about the tree!!!

olansuddeth
olansuddeth

I know that it's cool to bash Auburn, and it's even cooler to call a program guilty before an investigation is ever launched... but before you get too slobbery over this, remember that the star witness for these allegations was kicked off the team and is standing trial for a felony home invasion/robbery charge. 

 

If there is evidence to support this, then Auburn deserves whatever sanctions are handed down.  Statements from one person (note that the others quoted say they were taken out of context or downright misquoted) is not evidence.

ThomasPeracchio
ThomasPeracchio

Hey, at least they didn't get free tatoos.  now THAT would have been scandalous! 

TURFKING
TURFKING

Steve Spurrier just bought the USC(jr) team rings as 2010 SEC Default Champs. Sad part is the gamecocks have sucked for so long they probably will do this if Auburn has to vacate wins.

TURFKING
TURFKING

Good luck to Auburn.  They won't be relevant in football for a decade because of this corruption.  Death penalty? maybe.

JasonMacBride
JasonMacBride

They offered potential draft choices "a few thousand" to stay? Why would the student athlete turn down half a million for a few thousand? Guess the Auburn education does not include math.

Cool
Cool

Sounds like some of the people she interviewed were over zealous to look like they were "in the know" and are just now realizing that their bragging might mean some future sanctions.  They probably won't be too welcome on campus if what they said is true.

JackWilliams
JackWilliams

Maybe there is a reason that Selena Roberts no longer works for the NYT or SI. She is the new media : rumormonger extraordinaire.

SeanSmith1
SeanSmith1

The NCAA is about to do what no other team could do. Break the SEC's National Championship streak.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

I'm stunned. Absolutely stunned. Who would think that the school that paid Cam Newton, er, excuse me, I mean Cam Newton's FATHER, $120,000 to $180,000 would violate NCAA rules? Just stunned.

garminycalling
garminycalling

 @RoyKiefer Auburn fans were the type that said the holocaust wasn't going on because there was no proof other than everyone screaming their heads of

MarkCleary
MarkCleary

Yeah, Nevin Shapiro, Nevin Shapiro, and...oh yes, Nevin Shapiro. And a couple of his collaborators whose testimony was illegally obtained.  Do keep up, 007.

PaulAncona
PaulAncona

 @TURFKING

 Death Penalty?So, you have been following this story for about 5 mins? Correct?

casata
casata

This is not even close to being a Death Penalty case.

MichaelDyer
MichaelDyer

 @JasonMacBride Adams left early b/c he had too many kids.  Thats why he was selected so late and was a junior.  Some love money for the family.

SeanAtkinson
SeanAtkinson

 @JasonMacBride While your comment is admittedly hilarious, I am guessing their argument would have been something along the lines of, "why be a low round draft pick when you can stay in school one more year, significantly improve your draft stock, and make a lot more money as a result?"

JeffBockert
JeffBockert

@SeanSmith1 the media got them voted into title games - fitting the media brings them down.

Mel
Mel

 @SeanSmith1 Because no team in no other conference has done such things. I mean schools like USC, Ohio State and Miami just run such clean, upstanding programs...

Predator
Predator

 @Rickapolis Are you really as ignorant as you sound, or are you just a good actor?

olansuddeth
olansuddeth

 @Rickapolis Actually, it was Mississippi State that allegedly had conversations about bringing Cam in for $180k.  Auburn was never once mentioned in conjunction with money.  Their tie in was due to the fact that Cam went there after the recruitment period in question, and if the MSU thing had been a proven offense that removed his eligibility, Auburn would have had to vacate wins.  Auburn did zero wrong in the Cam case.  But hey, why let facts get in the way of your bashing?

Fifilo
Fifilo

 @Rickapolis i am sure the other fine honorable institutions of higher learning that compose the august SEC are as appalled.

 

donald5
donald5

 @MarkCleary So illegally obtained means it wasn't true?  Great line of logic.  So you think that if a cop doesn't read a suspect their miranda warning, they can't be guilty because any confession they get would be illegally obtained?  Miami will probably get off just like OJ and Casey Anthony.  Try to keep up, I didn't make any judgement with whether they will be found guilty, just the believability of the witnesses.  Legally obtained or not, it sounds like Miami players were taking benefits they should not have.

Whatever
Whatever

 @donald5  @ThomasPeracchio No, the lying and covering up got the coach and Ohio State in trouble. The players STILL would have been guilty of NCAA violations, even though they sold their own personal property. THAT's the stupid thing -- that players selling their personal property committed a rules violation which the coach felt he needed to cover up. Stupid rule.

donald5
donald5

 @JeffBockert  @SeanSmith1 I guess the media is also responsible for going onto the field and kicking the crap out of the best the rest of the nation has to offer every year.  The media helped Florida beat Ohio State and Oklahoma.  The media helped LSU beat Ohio State.  The media helped Alabama beat Texas and ND.  The media helped Auburn beat Oregon.

donald5
donald5

 @Mel  @SeanSmith1 Don't forget Oregon and their $20,000 recruiting tapes that were of kids already in collge

Dustin Madlung
Dustin Madlung

@Mel @SeanSmith1 And those programs have had to vacate wins...

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

@olansuddeth Yeah, sure, you keep on believing that. How was Santa the last time you saw him?

MarkCleary
MarkCleary

Yes, you are exactly correct, if all the cop has is an illegally obtained confession, the suspect will be found not guilty.  Nevin Shapiro is all the NCAA has, and he is an actual convict, not a "soon to be" one.  And if you didn't think we were guilyt, you'd not have mentioned us.  The story certainly didn't.

DPE_ATL
DPE_ATL

 @donald5  I would like to see this information you have about "several corroborating witnesses" in the Miami case. Also, "the believeability of witnesses" statement of yours is a joke! THE witness, Nevin Shapiro, convicted felon. He's been so honest up to now, we should listen to everything he says. The NCAA has already stated that if Shapiro mentioned the information twice, that meant it was corroborated. This is obviously not the correct way to corroborate information. I'm not stupid, I'm sure some of the allegations presented by Shapiro probably did happen. All the Miami haters can go ahead and pipe down. It's not our fault the NCAA is so completely f-ed up right now. We've paid our dues and then some including having this BS cloud over all of our sports for 2+ years which HAS directly affected recruiting. The NCAA needs to drop it and move on.

PaulAncona
PaulAncona

 @olansuddeth  @Rickapolis The NCAA already cleared Auburn of all this a year ago. BUT I guess we can take a broke down "reporter" and a criminals word for it.

 

Whatever
Whatever

 @olansuddeth  @Rickapolis Yes, Auburn covered that one up very, very well. I'm sure Cam went to Auburn to play for free instead of MSU for $180,000 for a year.