Courtesy of MCT
Auburn University could be added in the near future to the list of the USC, Penn State and Ohio State as Football Bowl Subdivision schools with major sanctions handed out by the NCAA to their football program.
A report surfaced on Wednesday by former New York Times and Sports Illustrated columnist Selena Roberts that multiple former Auburn players are accusing the former coaching staff of committing major NCAA violations including paying players and academic deception.
Players Roberts interviewed gave specific examples, like that they were told then-Auburn running back Michael Dyer was not going to play in the 2011 BCS National Championship Game because of his grades but went on to play and was named the Offensive Player of the Game.
Also, former player Mike McNeil claimed that, in 2007, then-defensive coordinator and current University of Florida coach Will Muschamp called McNeil into his office and gave him $400. A spokesperson representing Muschamp has said he refutes the payment ever occurred.
Comparing Auburn’s situation to the cases of USC’s three athletes receiving improper benefits in 2010, OSU’s Tattoo-Gate in 2011 and Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky scandal in 2012 is like comparing apples and oranges but one common theme is a lack of control by the athletic departments.
All three of the schools the NCAA already punished received a reduction of scholarships, a ban from postseason play and had to vacate games and championships.
The University of Miami self-imposed a two-year bowl ban for their scandal involving a former booster providing players and recruits improper benefits but the NCAA is still investigating and has yet officially ruled on the issue.
The validity of Robert’s article is coming into question because two players she directly quoted were interviewed again after the story came out and are rescinding their quotes. The NCAA, though, has set a precedence in the cases of USC, Penn State and OSU.
An investigation by the NCAA should begin immediately into the serious claims, and if they are found to be true, the Auburn football program should receive the same punishment as USC: a reduction of 10 scholarships for three seasons, a two-year bowl ban and vacate their National Championship for the infractions.
The Tigers’ alleged infractions are most similar to USC’s and it would be hypocritical of the NCAA to rule that way in 2010 and not follow the precedent they set for themselves when deciding on a punishment for Auburn.