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Reporter Responds To Auburn’s Response… More Responses To Come

gfx - they said itNot long after Auburn AD Jay Jacobs put out a statement designed to knock holes in a story posted by Selena Roberts, the reporter herself responded.  Her short, sweet statement to The Opelika-Auburn News read:


“I found the response to be self-revealing on Auburn’s part.  As I continue to report out a separate story for a later date, I will address some of the issues Auburn raised.”


Oh, goodie, Tiger fans… there’s more to come.

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Auburn Beatwriter Slices, Dices Reports Alleging Violations On The Plains

Ryan Wood of The Opelika-Auburn News is probably the most popular man on the Plains today.

Outside of Auburn, Alabama?  Well, he’s probably being dismissed as an A-1 Tiger homer.

We’ll allow you to decide for yourself as you read his point-by-point rundown of everything he says is wrong with the recent and ESPN The Magazine reports on the Auburn football program.  Not since OJ Simpson’s legal “Dream Team” has someone so skillfully sliced apart a string of allegations and accusations.

No fewer than 14 points in those two articles have been attacked by Wood for being misleading or short on actual facts.  He even focuses on a pair of “factual discrepancies” which seem to call the credibility of the original authors into question.  (In fairness, one wonders if Wood has ever mistakenly described a county cop as a city cop at any point in his career.  Perfection is the goal, but it’s seldom achieved.)

We wrote last week that we doubted these new allegations would amount to much in terms of actual NCAA penalties.  Once again, it seems there’s more smoke than fire surrounding AU, especially with numerous sources backtracking from the comments attributed to them.  But if fretting Auburn fans need some more help to feel better about things, they should just click the above list and read Wood’s attempted takedown of Selena Roberts and ESPN.


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Former Auburn DB McNeil Receives 3-Year Jail Sentence

mike-mcneilNormally, we don’t spend time here at cataloguing the prison sentences and punishments of ex-SEC athletes.  Doing so would require a lot more manpower.

However, since former Auburn safety Mike McNeil has been in the news due to recent allegations made against his old football program in the past week, we thought we’d make a quick exception.

McNeil — who recorded 14 tackles against Oregon in the Tigers’ January 2011 BCS Championship Game win — pled guilty today in the first-degree robbery case that led to his dismissal from Auburn’s team.  Three other player were also charged and dismissed in March of 2011.

As part of today’s plea deal, McNeil will be required to serve at least three years in prison, followed by three years on probation.  He will also have to pay $2,000 in restitution costs.

McNeil said in a report by Selena Roberts on the website last week that grades were changed during the 2010 season to keep him eligible and that he received $400 from former AU assistant Will Muschamp.

Muschamp, now Florida’s head coach, has denied paying McNeil.

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SEC Headlines 4/5/2013

headlines-friAuburn Investigation

1. Former Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick’s name was mentioned in Selena Roberts’ original report – a claim that former Auburn player Mike McNeil was given $500 from coaches to entertain Kirkpatrick during a recruiting visit.  ”Nobody gave me any money, and nobody spent any money on me that I know of.”

2. The uncle of former Auburn running back Michael Dyer says his nephew was never in danger of academic ineligibility at the school.

3. Auburn A.D. Jay Jacobs fires back at ESPN over their story on synthetic marijuana use.  ”Some of the statements made in the story are wrong and need to be corrected, while others need to be put into proper context.”

4. ESPN The Magazine writer  Shaun Assael:  ”I find this mystifying, a website seems to be reporting that a couple of parents were told that their kids were using (synthetic marijuana). So now my head is spinning.”

5. Multiple reports, multiple statements and denials.  Here’s a recap of the past few days.

6. Kevin Scarbinsky: “The NCAA’s failure to substantiate any allegations of major violations was not for a lack of looking.”

7. A timeline of Auburn being in the news for the wrong reasons.

SEC Football

8. More signs that Georgia’s John Theus will play left tackle this fall after manning the right side last season.  Will play on the left side during Saturday’s G-Day game.

9. Tennessee defensive line coach Steve Stripling on freshman Corey Vereen: “He is the most motivated freshman I’ve ever seen in my career. He is unbelievable.”

10. Johnny Manziel’s favorite target is wide receiver Mike Evans.  His goal this fall is to win the Biletnikoff Award – given to the nations’ best receiver. Had 82 catches for 1,105 yards last season.

11. Friday Night Lights scrimmage tonight at Texas A&M.

12. After missing the past two seasons with knee injuries, Ole Miss linebacker D.T. Shackelford is back on the practice field. ”Physically, I feel great. I feel like I’m 100 percent healthy.”

13. First scrimmage of the spring Saturday at Mississippi State.  Dan Mullen: “I want to see some young guys step up with some opportunities to play.”

14. Concern for the Arkansas defense - who will start at middle linebacker?

15. Assistant coach Deke Adams wants his South Carolina defensive line to have a sack every 15 passes.

16. Auburn has shoes to fill in its receiving corps - Jaylon Denson wants to be one of the guys the offense can count on. First full spring scrimmage at Auburn Saturday.

17. Friends, family and colleagues gathered to remember former Alabama A.D. Mal Moore, who passed away Saturday.  Nick Saban: ”He said, ‘You changed my life when you came here.’ I looked at him directly and said, ‘No, Mal, you changed my life.”

18. Future players, current players and the rules of the Twittersphere. Those rules aren’t always clean cut

SEC Basketball

19. Alabama assistant Dan Hipsher will be the new head coach at Texas-Pan American.

20. The Miami investigation, Missouri coach Frank Haith and the motion to dismiss. Andy Katz: Haith should have name cleared.

21. How good was Florida’s defense this past season?  In 37 games, only two teams hit their scoring average when they played the Gators.


22. Pat Forde on NCAA President Mark Emmert:  ”Emmert wins the prize as the most embattled NCAA president in the 62-year history of the position.”

23. A.D. Tim Pernetti out at Rutgers.

24. Hall of Famer Rick Pitino?

25. “Leno got fired?” Louisville’s Kevin Ware does Letterman’s Top 10 list.

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