Charges 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.”