Auburn will investigate claims by four former football players, who have told HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" they received thousands of dollars while being recruited by or playing for the Tigers.
Stanley McClover, Troy Reddick, Chaz Ramsey and Raven Gray told HBO for an episode which aired Wednesday they received cash payments – in book bags, envelopes and even handshakes. Ramsey played at Auburn most recently in 2007.
“While HBO confirmed to us they have no proof that any of these claims are true, we contacted both the NCAA and Southeastern Conference as soon as these allegations surfaced,” athletic director Jay Jacobs said in a statement. “We have engaged outside counsel to investigate this matter.”
Tommy Tuberville, Auburn’s coach during the recruitment of all four players, declined comment. He is now the coach at Texas Tech.
McClover said he “felt totally obligated” to play for the Tigers after getting money – he wasn’t sure how much – in a book bag.
“I almost passed out. I literally almost passed out, I couldn’t believe it was true,” the ex-defensive end told HBO. “I felt like I owed them.”
McClover said he later received $7,000 from an unidentified Auburn booster for a 1973 Chevrolet Impala and would get sacks of money, typically $300 or $400, after games. He said he got four bags totaling $4,000 after logging four sacks against rival Alabama in 2004, when he was a first-team all-Southeastern Conference player.
FIESTA ON NOTICE
BCS executive director Bill Hancock put the Fiesta Bowl on notice: “Follow the letter of the law” or lose its place in college football’s lucrative championship system.
BCS officials want assurances that the hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions of dollars in “excessive compensation, nonbusiness and inappropriate expenditures and inappropriate gifts” behind the firing of longtime CEO and president John Junker will never happen again.
Otherwise, the BCS said it can kick out the Fiesta Bowl altogether.
Jim Seymour, a star Notre Dame receiver in the 1960s who helped the Fighting Irish win a national title, has died at age 64. Notre Dame will play a home football game at night for the first time in 21 years when the Irish host USC on Oct. 22.