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Auburn in Trouble Following Investigative Report That Alleges Altered Grades, Payouts

Auburn University, Gene Chizik
Michael Chang/Getty Images

Auburn’s 2011 BCS National Championship may be in jeopardy after reports that the program paid players, and altered grades under former head coach Gene Chizik.

The report was done by Roopstigo.com, which was published by former New York Times and Sports Illustrated writer Selena Roberts. The report published that a few Auburn football players said the program altered grades to ensure eligibility, and offered several thousand dollars to try to get future NFL picks to return for their senior seasons.

Roberts spoke to three players that told her that at least nine players had grades altered.

Mike Blanc, an Auburn player told Roopstigo, “Three players say that before the BCS Championship game the team was told that as many as nine of their teammates would not be able to play in the title game because they were academically ineligible. We thought we would be without Mike Dyer because he said he was one of them, but Auburn found a way to make those dudes eligible.”

Mike McNeil, another former Auburn player, told Roopstigo that he was given an F for attendance in a computer science class. “I had B work but I missed too many classes; and I went to the instructor and said I really need this grade.” McNeil added that the professor said he was sorry but he wouldn’t change it. McNeil then went to the person over him, and they backed the instructor. McNeil took it a step further and told his counselor with the athletic department. Then, within days the grade was changed from a F to a C, and he did not miss a game.

Last year, NCAA investigators visited Auburn and found that one signee had high school transcripts that were found to be forged.

Players on Twitter disputed the reports, including Blanc which said, “Man this article is outrageous and isn’t true. The media will do anything for a juicy story.”

Neiko Thorpe said, “While I spoke to Selena Roberts about Mike, I have just read her article and not only am I misquoted but my words are very out of context. We didn’t talk about NCAA violations or recruiting. I’m proud to have played at Auburn and the opportunities it gave me.

These reports are just allegations and speculation right now, and likely the NCAA will investigate the Auburn 2011 football team that won a national championship.

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