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Report: NCAA Investigating Auburn Football

Goodbye, Gene Chizik.

In what will most likely be the final nail in Chizik’s coaching coffin, Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports is reporting this afternoon that the NCAA is indeed investigating Auburn’s football program.  (Somewhere Danny Sheridan is shouting “I told ya so!” from a rooftop.)

Forde writes:

 

“According to multiple sources, NCAA investigators have been working for weeks on potential improprieties involving Auburn recruits, players, coaches, representatives of the school’s athletic interests and third parties. Assistant coaches Trooper Taylor and Curtis Luper have been scrutinized by the NCAA, sources said. Taylor is the assistant head coach and wide receivers coach, while Luper coaches running backs and is the recruiting coordinator.

Both Taylor and Luper were taken off the road recruiting several weeks ago amid the NCAA probe, sources said. Taylor was a finalist this season for national Assistant Coach of the Year honors from the American Football Coaches Association.”

 

It appeared as though there might still be the tiny flicker of a flame of hope for Chizik when it was learned that AU president Jay Gogue was planning to keep AD Jay Jacobs and allow him to have input on the Chizik situation.

But at 3-8 with Alabama left to play, an NCAA investigation will most likely serve to extinguish said flame once and for all.

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Wow Friday Headlines 11/2/2012

Commenting on his job status, Tennessee coach Derek Dooley tells a Nashville radio station this week, “Any of that stuff is beyond my control.”
ESPN analyst Brad Edwards says LSU needs assist from USC – which has home dates against Oregon and Notre Dame – to reach BCS title game
Florida football coach Will Muschamp says his team is battling the flu bug this week as it prepares to host Missouri Saturday
Arkansas receiver Brandon Mitchell will miss his second consecutive game Saturday for what is being classified as a violation of team rules
Ole Miss punter Jim Broadway plays at Georgia Saturday; father Jim Sr. was punter on Georgia’s 1980 national championship team
Auburn assistants Curtis Luper and Trooper Taylor refuse to comment on claims they’ve been pulled from recruiting due to NCAA probe
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WOW Headlines – 11/1/12

ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit tells Dallas radio station that Texas A&M is “more of a threat to Alabama” than LSU
LSU’s Les Miles is 36-1 in Saturday night games played in Baton Rouge
Auburn assistants Curtis Luper and Trooper Taylor refuse to comment on claims they’ve been pulled from recruiting due to NCAA probe
Alabama WR Amari Cooper is expected to be 100% healthy for Saturday’s game at LSU
Georgia DT John Jenkins is expected to play through ankle sprain Saturday against Ole Miss
Missouri’s Gary Pinkel says “The SEC has a lot more good teams” than the Big XII
Attendance-wise, Tennessee and Kentucky rank at the bottom of the SEC in terms of percentage of capacity filled
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Jordan Wilkins: Auburn ‘Probably’ No. 1

Auburn appears to still be the leader for running back Jordan Wilkins from St. Benedict at Auburndale High School in Cordova, Tenn.

Wilkins cited his relationship with Auburn’s coaching staff, including running backs coach Curtis Luper.

“Auburn is still way up there,” Wilkins told 247Sports. “I’m not going to lie, it’s probably my No. 1 school right now. I talk to Coach Luper day in and day out. They’re like family. I’m real close to all the coaches up there. So far, that’s where I like but I have a couple more visits and then I’ll go from there.”

Wilkins visited Vanderbilt on Saturday. He could also take trips to Tennessee and Michigan, the other two schools he’s considering.

Wilkins, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 4 all-purpose running back by 247Sports, has continued to say he plans to make a decision this summer.

Barton Simmons of 247Sports told WNML Radio on Wednesday that Auburn appeared to be the favorite to land Wilkins when he makes his final decision.

“He’s theirs to lose I think at this point,” Simmons said.

Auburn has 13 commitments for the class of 2013 but is still looking for its first pledge from a running back.

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SEC Headlines – 12/2/11

1.  Alabama’s 24-game home winning streak ended on a last-second shot by Georgetown in a 57-55 thriller last night.

2.  The Chick-fil-A Bowl would have no problem with an Auburn-Clemson rematch. 

3.  Auburn coaches received an eye-popping $2.6 million in bonuses for winning last season’s BCS Championship Game.  (Kinda puts LSU’s $1.15 million best-case bonuses to shame.)

4.  Arkansas is waiting to learn its bowl destination.

5.  UAB is reportedly interested speaking with Hog offensive coordinator Garrick McGee and Auburn running backs coach Curtis Luper — among others — about its head coaching job.

6.  The Ole Miss roundball team recorded a 70-68 win at DePaul last night.

7.  MSU’s Dee Bost is benefiting from a shade less playing time this season.

8.  Texas A&M might not have done itself any favors in firing Mike Sherman.

9.  After 20 years of success, was Florida due for a down season?

10.  Despite an 81-59 win over St. John’s (and North Carolina coming up next), John Calipari says his team was “just inept offensively.

11.  With a loss to Providence last night, South Carolina is off to its worst start in 47 years.  Ouch.

12.  This writer says Derek Dooley can’t ignore the role he played in Tennessee’s 5-7 season.

13.  James Franklin isn’t going anywhere… Vanderbilt will announce a new deal with the young coach today.

14.  Missouri has launched its own Mizzou Network… on the internet.

15.  Special bonus: How long before Nike brings this idea to the US… allowing you to put yourself on the field with your favorite team (sort of)?


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RB Mason Off To A Quick Start At Auburn

Mike Dyer and Onterio McCalebb are expected to be the featured backs at Auburn this year, but the man who filled in for those two in a weekend scrimmage is angling for playing time, too.

True freshman Tre Mason — who had three long touchdown runs in a scrimmage last Wednesday — had a solid outing during Auburn’s second scrimmage on Saturday.  So solid that running backs coach Curtis Luper was left to dole out plenty of praise:


“He’s cat-quick.  He’s smart.  He’s tough.  He’s going to be better than people think.”


Mason hasn’t learned enough of the quarterback protections for Gene Chizik to say that he’s fully arrived, but you can bet Gus Malzahn is dreaming up ways to get the 5-10, 190-pound speedster onto the field.

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In-State Running Back Chooses Auburn

Running back T.J. Yeldon from Daphne (Ala.) High School committed to Auburn on Tuesday afternoon.

Daphne is the first running back to commit to Auburn’s 2012 class. His ranking – Rivals considers him the nation’s No. 5 running back and 247Sports calls him the nation’s second-best all-purpose back – says he’s a nice pickup for the Tigers.

Yeldon chose Auburn over scholarship offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee and Florida State.

“I just knew in my heart,” Yeldon told 247 of his commitment to Auburn. “I like the family environment. I’m more relaxed with the coaches and everyone up there.”

Yeldon attended a camp on Auburn’s campus last weekend. His relationship with running backs coach Curtis Luper was a factor in the decision to commit.

“We’re really close,” Yeldon said. “I get along with all the coaches up there real good.”

Yeldon is the ninth player to commit to Auburn’s class of 2012. Seven of those prospects have received a four-star rating from Rivals.

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Newton Makes Unusual Journey to Heisman Favorite

Auburn wasn’t even looking for a quarterback when the Tigers happened upon Cam Newton at a little junior college in Texas. Tigers assistant coach Curtis Luper made a recruiting trip to little Blinn College in Texas about a year ago looking at wide receiver Dexter Ransom, not a passer.
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