So, I was afraid I'd have to lead with the catastrophe that is Braxton Miller's new 'do but alas, Auburn came to the rescue.
Via Selena Roberts of roopstigo.com, comes a juicy story detailing all kinds of shenanigans taking place within the Tigers' football program. Before you scoff at the web source, take note that Roberts is a former columnist for the New York Times, senior writer for SI, and a graduate of Auburn University.
In her article surrounding a 2011 robbery allegedly carried out by players Mike McNeil, Antonio Goodwin, Shaun Kitchens and Dakota Mosley, Roberts details how Gene Chizik and the Auburn coaching staff supposedly left McNeil hanging out to dry in the name of protecting the program.
Further, the article contains allegations via quotes from said former players outlining various ways in which the coaching staff skirted a host of NCAA bylaws – beyond erecting churches without a paper trail – in an effort to keep the program in position to compete for SEC and national titles.
In the lengthy but worthy long read, highlights abound. On the topic of Academic Fraud:
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,” says Mike Blanc, a teammate and roommate of Mike McNeil’s. Dyer’s name was cited by McNeil, too. Dyer did not respond to calls to his cell phone.
Before the season, McNeil says 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,’” says McNeil. “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.” Within days, McNeil says, the grade was changed from an F to a C and he did not miss a game.