Was Gene Chizik and Auburn dirty after all?Published 11:35am Friday, April 5, 2013
As reports swirl regarding alleged multiple major violations surrounding the football program at Auburn, it brings back the continuing theory that the Cam Newton case is, well, not over.
There are reports now that players received hush money, in addition to money to stay for their senior years and multiple players receiving grade changes to make them eligible.
Again, these are alleged claims, but the information comes directly from ex-players.
In a report released by former New York Times and Sports Illustrated writer Selena Roberts, players received bribes, grades were changed to secure eligibility and substantial amounts of money changed hands so players would not leave for the NFL draft and violated NCAA recruiting rules under former head coach Gene Chizik.
Roberts now has her own website called Roopstigo.com.
In the report, as many as nine players’ grades were changed so they could remain eligible.
There are also rumblings from at least one former player’s father that there may be more to the Newton “pay for play” saga, and players may know what really happened and may expose the true “family secret.”
I will not judge Auburn guilty. That is not my position.
I will say this — I had suspicions the entire year Newton was involved at Auburn.
To decide on a Monday his father was guilty of violating NCAA rules and making Newton ineligible, then on Tuesday reversing the decision because “Cam was not aware of what his father was doing,” was just troubling for me and most of the college football world.
It was the same week of the SEC championship and the college football world was stuck with the possibilities of mass confusion and the SEC would have been in turmoil.
No, timing of the findings helped both Auburn and the SEC find a loophole.
If this would have been discovered at the beginning of the season, the entire picture would have been different, and Auburn would have been deemed ineligible if Newton stepped foot on the playing field.
Back to the future — I believe one NCAA spokesperson said to Chizik not so long ago when he asked, “is it finally over?” She responded with something to the effect of, “ Not until we say so.”
So my burning question is this: will this be the blood-story that sends the NCAA into a feeding frenzy and forces them to reopen the entire package surrounding Auburn football?
You can only have so many of these alleged allegations surface before you are forced to take action.
Do these allegations also coincide with the previous HBO special called “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” where players made allegations that they were also paid thousands of dollars?
Gene Chizik, who was the defensive coordinator during the years 2002-2004, responded by saying it was “pure garbage.”
Note to Chizik: Maybe, just maybe the stench of “pure garbage” is coming directly from you and your huge bankroll you are now receiving from the university.
Maybe that fan of Auburn who shouted “Loser” as you exited the plane knew more than any of us.
Remember, I was a supporter of the hire, and I felt he would make things right for the Tigers.
It’s apparent now that only time and the NCAA will decide the fate of Auburn and its football program.
If these alleged allegations are true and the NCAA decides to become retroactively proactive, then all bets are off, and Auburn may face some of the most devastating penalties ever.
The NCAA admittedly botched the Miami investigation, so this could come at a bad time for Auburn.
The infractions committee of the NCAA does not do well when they are embarrassed.
The Miami debacle embarrassed the NCAA- their second chance may come with their investigation of Auburn.
Until next time …
Meyers is a sports columnist for The Outlook. You can follow him on Twitter at @brucemeyers11.