According to a report by former New York Times and Sports Illustrated writer Selena Roberts, the University of Auburn violated multiple recruiting rules and codes of conduct under former coach Gene Chizik and are sure to face the wrath of the NCAA in the coming weeks.
In Roberts' report, which appears on her website Roopstigo.com, three former Tigers players informed her that the team was told that nine of their players would be unavailable to play in their 2011 BCS National Championship game due to academic ineligibility. Former Auburn defensive lineman Mike Blanc told Roberts:
"We thought we would be without (running back) Mike Dyer because he said he was one of them, but Auburn found a way to make those dudes eligible."
Another portion of the report stated that multiple NFL-bound players were bribed with cash that, according to Blanc and Mike McNeil, another former Tiger, reached "several thousand dollars." McNeil, one of several Auburn players whose grades were miraculously changed in time for them to play the big game, stated:
“I had B work but I missed too many classes; and I went to the instructor and said, ‘I really need this grade'. He said that he was sorry but he wouldn’t change it. I went to the person over him. She was in a position of power and backed up the instructor. I then told my counselor with the athletic department.”
Shortly after confiding his situation with a counselor in the athletic department, McNeil found out his grade was changed from an F to a C.
One of their teammates, star receiver Darwin Adams, received the brunt of the bribes. Adams would turn down his coaches' offers of cash and go pro. Unfortunately, he went undrafted which, according to the report, was because of negative reports from his former coaches. Adams currently plays for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League, but he has no regrets:
"I play the cards I'm dealt."
If recent sanctions and punishments of other top universities are any indication, expect the NCAA to come down just as hard on Auburn when all's said and done.