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Report: Failed Drug Tests Kept Secret At Auburn

InvestigationA dozen players on Auburn’s 2010 football team failed tests for synthetic marijuana and while former coach Gene Chizik and A.D. Jay Jacobs were aware of the tests, they kept the results secret, even from players’ parents.  That’s what ESPN The Magazine and the cable network’s program “E:60″  are claiming after a six-month investigation into Auburn athletics.  

ESPN says freshman tight end Dakota Mosley failed seven consecutive weekly tests for the drug but was never punished.  He was, however, suspended in a separate incident.  The network obtained text messages between Mosley and his father, Harrison, from March 2011.  Mosley had just met with an NCAA investigator after meeting with Chizik.   His father was concerned about a photo circulating on the Internet showing Dakota with stacks of bills:

 

Harrison: “Did you ever visit with the NCAA lady?”

Dakota: “Yeah, I did.”

Harrison: “So what was said?”

Dakota: “Just asked about the trips.”

Harrison: “What about the picture?”

Dakota: “Just told them it was from my mom selling her car.”

Harrison: “That was it?”

Harrison: “Call me for a minute.”

 

An Auburn spokesman there was no connection between Mosley’s meeting with Chizik and the one Mosley had with the NCAA.

In an interview with the network, Auburn A.D. Jay Jacobs says because synthetic marijuana, also called “spice”, was new and it was not part of the university’s official drug-testing policy. Therefore, it was not something coaches could punish students for using.

Regarding the meeting with Chizik, Mosley told ESPN, ”The whole time, I was thinking, ‘They can’t do nothing about the spice,’”  The day after the meeting, Mosley took part in an incident that left him and three other players charged with armed home invasion robbery.

A report from Auburnsports.com disputes the ESPN contention that test results were kept secret from parents.  The Rivals site spoke with the parent of a former player who said he was informed by the school of his son’s positive test. “I haven’t seen the ESPN story, but if they said the parents weren’t notified, that’s not true. I was called and I know two other parents that were notified, too.”

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Auburn A.D. Reviewing Allegations, Chizik And Muschamp Deny Charges

gfx - they said itCharges made in a story by ESPN’s Roopstigo.com’s Selena Roberts accusing the Auburn football program of multiple violations are having a ripple effect throughout the SEC today.  Late this afternoon, Auburn A.D. Jay Jacobs issued a statement saying those allegations will be reviewed.

 

Anytime accusations are made against Auburn, we take them seriously. We have no reason to believe these allegations are either accurate or credible. However, as a matter of procedure, we are reviewing them carefully.

It is important to note that several of the sources in this story have since indicated they were either misquoted, quoted out of context or denied the allegations.

Unfortunately, the reporter who published this story did not fully represent to us what the story was about when requesting an interview. We were only told that the reporter was working on a story about the alleged armed robbery involving four former football players, which occurred over two years ago.

We were never told the story would include allegations about academic fraud or improper benefits. Had we known that, we would have responded immediately with the statement above.

 

Jacobs is not the only one commenting on the story. Former Auburn coach Gene Chizik also issued a statement today taking issue with the story, calling it “long on accusation and inference, but short on facts and logic. It is noteworthy that the story comes just days before a player mentioned most prominently in the article is set to go to trial for felony armed robbery.” Former Auburn safety McNeil goes on trial Monday for felony armed robbery stemming from an incident in 2011.

Chizik took aim directly at Roberts, saying: “If there is a sad truth here, it is that there are no repercussions for bloggers who blast out widespread, venomous allegations and inferences in such an irresponsible manner.”

Cam Newton declined to answer questions but did say this: “I’m going to let the right people to talk about it.  Of course I’m concerned, but I think the truth will come out.”

NCAA President Mark Emmert called it a “newspaper story,” saying that, ” We haven’t done anything with that case because we don’t know anything about it.”

Part of the story concerned current Florida coach and former Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, who was accused of giving an Auburn player nearly $400 in cash.  “Totally deny it,” Muschamp told The Gainesville Sun. “I don’t know where this is coming from.”

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SEC Headlines 3/21/2013

headlines-thuSEC Football

1. Ole Miss wide receiver Philander Moore dismissed from team following domestic assault arrest.

2. The lasting legacy of Alabama A.D. Mal Moore, who announced yesterday he’s stepping down.  While at Miami, Nick Saban called his wife Terry and told her he wouldn’t be leaving for Alabama: “She said, ‘Oh, Mal’s already here. We’ve been talking for an hour.’  That was his first step in the right direction.”

3. An outpouring of tributes and support for Moore from A.D.s and coaches around the country.

4. Crimson Tide may have found their replacement for Barrett Jones in Ryan Kelly. Alabama left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio: “I trust him as much as trusted Barrett Jones last year.”

5. Alabama will open its 2015 season against Wisconsin at Cowboys Stadium.

6. The big attraction at Kentucky’s spring practice will be the three-way quarterback competition – Maxwell Smith, Patrick Towles and Jalen Whitlow all vying for the job. Fifteen players participating in pro day at Kentucky.

7. Big challenge at Missouri – gaping holes in the defense.  In SEC play, only Tennessee and Arkansas gave up more plays of 10 yards or more than Missouri (180) and more pass plays of 20 yards or more than Missouri (44).

8. Spring practice underway at Mississippi State.  Two JUCO transfers could start right away.

9. Tennessee coach Butch Jones at the last practice before spring break:  ”The soft guys will get exposed!”

10. With Jacoby Brissett no longer looking over his shoulder, Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel is more comfortable this spring. “This year, I’m the guy, and that does take a little bit off my shoulders.”

11. Most experienced tight end at LSU this fall will be Travis Dickson – he’s started on game in his career.

12. Auburn’s returning senior class wants to set a new tone. Defensive end Dee Ford: ”We’re taking more of a player approach to leadership, taking ownership.”

13. Ole Miss starting defensive end C.J. Johnson is having surgery today on his broken fibula – will miss the rest of spring practice.

14. JUCO transfer Jonathon Rumph is hoping to make an impact at wide receiver for Georgia this fall:  “Nothing’s going to be given to me. I just came in to work hard and try to earn my spot just like everybody else.”

15. Fans can watch Vanderbilt scrimmage the next two Saturday mornings – spring game set for April 13.

16. Georgia pro day today - 18 players will work out for NFL scouts. Bulldogs have as many as nine guys projected to go in the first three rounds of the draft.

17. At Tennessee’s pro day Wednesday, quarterback Tyler Bray was asked about his draft stock.  ”It’s whatever (NFL Network Analyst) Mr. (Mike) Mayock says it is.”

SEC Basketball

18. Missouri plays Colorado State tonight in Lexington.  Frank Haith wants the Tigers to attack: “When the game’s on the line, the aggressive team wins.” Matchup ranked as one of the best in the first round.

19. Guard Phil Pressey hears what people are saying about Missouri. “You mean that we have enough talent to be in the Final Four, but we can just as easily shoot ourselves in the foot and lose in the first round?”

20. Ole Miss guard Nick Williams started his college career at Indiana, so he knows Wisconsin and the Big Ten style of basketball. ”It’s a fight to score points in that style.”

21. Can you guess which Ole Miss guard gets mentioned as one of the ten names to know in the NCAA Tournament?

22. This will be Florida’s 17th NCAA Tournament – a compilation of the best and worst of the openers.

23. Losing four players to season-ending injuries this past year, coach Rick Ray sees a brighter future for Mississippi State basketball.

24. Even with a huge freshmen class coming in, Kentucky coach John Calipari will have scholarship flexibility next season.

Extras

25. Five things to watch for today in the NCAA Tournament.

26. What’s a victory in the NCAA Tournament worth?  $1.5 million.

27. Report: “College football and men’s basketball players at the NCAA FBS level have an average annual fair market value of $137,000 and $289,000.”

28. Want to change college athletics?  Hit coaches where it hurts – their wallets.

29. Proposed changes to loosen rules on recruiting are headed back to the drawing board.

30. What was Tim Tebow doing at SMU Wednesday?

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Auburn A.D. Jacobs To Have Say In Chizik Decision

There’s a little good news for Gene Chizik this afternoon.  Good news for Jay Jacobs, too.  And what will be viewed as bad news for Auburn fans demanding that heads roll on the Plains.

For the past few weeks a number of media members, bloggers and fans have called for not only the ouster of Auburn coach Gene Chizik, but also for the dismissal of Jacobs, the athletic director who hired him.  Some have even called for AU president Jay Gogue to be rubbished as well.

But last week, a report claimed that Gogue was actually planning to stand by Jacobs and that Chizik’s situation would be settled after the season.  Today, Al.com takes things a step further claiming that “people familiar with the decision-making process” believe Jacobs will be “a key player” in helping decide the fate of Chizik.

Jacobs and Chizik are close.  So if Gogue’s standing by Jacobs, it’s possible he’ll stand by Chizik, too… if Jacobs recommends he do so.  And it’s quite likely Jacobs will make just such a recommendation.

Chizik has recruited well and he’s just two years removed from a BCS championship.  It can be argued — whether you buy it or not is up to you — that Auburn’s season has been adversely impacted by the arrival of two new coordinators with two new systems.  Jacobs could make the case that Chizik deserves another year to see if these moves and his big recruiting hauls finally pay off in 2013.

And don’t forget, keep Chizik for another year would see his buyout drop from about $7.5 million on December 1st of this year to about $5 million next December 1st.  If AU’s brass is looking for reasons to patient with Chizik, there are at least about 2.5 million of them.

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Report: Auburn President Preparing For Possible Change

Auburn president Jay Gogue is preparing to possibly replace football coach Gene Chizik, according to a report from AuburnUndercover.com.

The website reports Gogue has informed some members of Auburn’s Board of Trustees of his plan. Here’s more from the report:

“Gogue also told the trustees to whom he talked that he plans to retain athletics director Jay Jacobs and reassign executive associate athletics director Tim Jackson, who oversees football.

“In telephone calls with some members of the Board of Trustees last week and early this week, Gogue said he intends to form a committee to help with the decision and plans to move quickly, ideally naming a new head coach within days after the end of the season should the decision be made that Chizik will not be retained.”

Louisville offensive coordinator Shawn Watson is a potential candidate to replace Chizik, according to AuburnUndercover.

To be clear, the report doesn’t state that Gogue has decided to fire Chizik. Gogue is preparing for the possibility, according to AuburnUndercover.

That’s with the expectation that things are about to get worse for Auburn. The Tigers (2-7, 0-6 SEC) will host Georgia on Saturday before playing Alabama A&M at home and Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

At that point, the possibility of Chizik being out might turn into a reality.

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Writer Calls For Total “Regime Change” At Auburn

Yesterday, Auburn president Jay Gogue posted a note “to the Auburn Family about Auburn football” on the school’s official website.  In it he told fans that he’d heard their complaints.  He promised that a complete evaluation of the football program — in the midst of a 1-6 start — would be forthcoming at year’s end.  He asked fans to continue to support the Tigers.

He did not mention or provide any sort of vote of confidence for Gene Chizik, a man who’s job appears to be on the line just two years after winning a BCS championship.  Welcome to the sporting world of 2012.  Yesterday doesn’t count, only today matters.

Writer Kevin Scarbinsky of The Birmingham News took Gogue’s note as a sign that Chizik is in serious, serious trouble.  Further, he suggests a change of football’s head coach might not be all that Auburn needs or is going to see.

Read the rest of this entry »

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AU’s Compliance Director Hoping For A Less Stressful Year

Asked what he would wish for over the next 12 months, Auburn NCAA compliance director Rich McGlynn cut right to the chase:


“Hopefully, next year is not as stressful.  I hope next year is as eventful on the field.  It’s been an interesting year for sure.  I love Auburn.  I love working for Jay Jacobs.  I love our coaching staff and I love our kids.  It’s been a wild ride.  From a professional and personal level, the stress has been there.

We’re working hard.  Does that mean we’re perfect at what we do?  Absolutely not, but no one is.  But we are doing it the right way, and we’re building a program.”


McGlynn said that he also hopes the NCAA will grant Mike Blakely a waiver allowing the former Florida running back to play right away on The Plains.  The freshman Blakely signed with the Gators but never played or practiced with UF before deciding to transfer.

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Auburn To Unveil Statues Of Heisman Winners

In the “irony can be pretty ironic sometimes” category, this one’s a peach.

Auburn announced last night that the school will unveil bronze statues of its three Heisman Trophy winners at Jordan-Hare Stadium sometime in this academic year.

Athletic director Jay Jacobs said that an artist had already begun work on statues of Pat Sullivan and Bo Jackson earlier this year.  In a letter announcing the statues, Jacobs said: “Little did we know that we would need to add a third statue so soon.”

The third statue, of course, will be a likeness of Cam Newton.

Here’s the irony part: As you know, many Auburn fans and Alabama fans don’t exactly get along.  If one school does something, the rival fanbase often mocks that thing.  Alabama’s new statue of Nick Saban is just such a thing.  And Auburn fans have mocked it.  One even took to The Birmingham News’ sound-off comment page to suggest that the folks in Tuscaloosa had made a false idol.

So what’s that guy going to say now?

The lesson: Be careful how you make fun of your rivals.

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Auburn AD Jacobs Talks About NCAA Issues

AuburnSports.com — the Rivals site covering the Tigers — sat down this week for an interview with AU athletic director Jay Jacobs.  Naturally, recent rumors and allegations of rules violations came up. 

For the full interview you’ll need a subscription.  But by way of a tease, we found a couple of Jacobs’ responses to be interesting.

When asked if there is anything Auburn can do to cool all the NCAA talk, Jacobs said: “With all the different rumors and reports swirling around, we don’t have the time or energy to combat all of those… and we’re not going to.  We are going to keep doing things the right way, keep moving this program forward and not take the time or energy to combat all of the negative rumors.”

Sounds like he’s not a fan of energy vampires.

Asked specifically about AU’s compliance department, Jacobs gushed: “We have the best compliance department in the SEC.  Those guys are on top of everything and examine all details and work hand in hand with our coaches.  I couldn’t bee more proud of how they represent Auburn.  we are going to be vigilant and diligent in our compliance.”

While folks across the SEC will no doubt roll their eyes at those comments, it’s important to remember that despite all of the rumors, accusations, allegations and chatter, Auburn has not been charged by the NCAA with a single rules violation regarding Cam Newton or the HBO Four.  Not one.

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Auburn Didn’t Give Cecil Newton A Ticket To BCS Title Game

On Monday, Jay Jacobs said that Cecil Newton and Auburn had agreed that he had best not attend the BCS Championship Game out of respect for his son.

But after the game, a photo captured Cam Newton hugging his father.  The embrace came after the younger Newton had scanned the crowd for his dad.

Three Auburn fans have already emailed to say that they saw Cecil watching the game at a nearby hotel.  Interesting that I’ve gotten three emails and one posted comment on this topic, but none of those folks chose to mention the name of the hotel where they spotted Cecil.  Nor do they explain how the man got from the hotel to the stadium (and into the stadium) so quickly after the game’s climax.

Whether Tiger fans support Cecil/Cam or not — and the vast majority do — the elder Newton has once again left Auburn’s PR wing in a lurch.  On a day when Auburn staffers should have been answering questions about victory parades and interviews, instead they were having to answer questions about Cecil.

And according to AU staffers, the school didn’t provide Newton with a ticket to the game.  And athletic department officials did not expect him to attend the game.

The NCAA told Auburn that it should allow only limited access to Cecil after learning that he had asked Mississippi State representatives for cash.  Sneaking into a game to watch his son win a BCS title shouldn’t be considered a violation of that “suggestion” as far as MrSEC.com is concerned.

But this incident once again proves that the elder Newton is a loose cannon and that AU officials — if you believe them — really have no idea what he’s going to do from one minute to the next.

If his son were a backup kicker, Tiger fans would want this guy run out of town on the proverbial rail.  But since his son is the best player in the land, some instead offer up more defense of Cecil.  Even though he put Auburn officials in a bad light.  Again.

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