Auburn Football: Report of NCAA Investigation Is Not Breaking News
On Wednesday, Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports had "exclusive breaking news". He reported that the NCAA is investigating Auburn.
According to multiple sources, NCAA investigators have spent weeks looking into potential improprieties involving Auburn recruits, players, coaches, representatives of the school's athletic interests and third parties. Assistant coaches Trooper Taylor and Curtis Luper have been scrutinized by the NCAA, sources said. Taylor is the assistant head coach and wide receivers coach, while Luper coaches running backs and is the recruiting coordinator.
Unfortunately for Forde, his report was not breaking news to people who have followed the Auburn program in 2012.
Ever since early August, it has been assumed that Auburn has been under NCAA investigation due to the falsified transcripts of RB signee Jovon Robinson out of Wooddale High School in Memphis.
Auburn University alerted Wooddale High School of the suspicious grade changes in August.
Robinson was held out of practice and subsequently ruled academically ineligible after the Memphis Commercial-Appeal reported the news of his falsified transcripts at the beginning of fall practice.
Forde's report was more of a rehash of events that Auburn fans have heard since August.
Not a ton of breaking news in the Yahoo report. Questions were asked and dodged about it weeks ago. More of a recap.— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) November 21, 2012
In October, oddsmaker Danny Sheridan told the Tuscaloosa QB club that the NCAA was investigating Auburn and that two Auburn assistants were taken off of the recruiting trail.
Forde's report confirmed what Sheridan had reported by saying that WR coach Trooper Taylor and RB coach Curtis Luper were relieved of their off-campus recruiting duties.
Both Taylor and Luper were taken off the road recruiting several weeks ago amid the NCAA probe, sources said.
Both Luper and Taylor declined to comment on the accusations in October (via Joel Erickson, AL.com):
"Obviously, we can't comment on any accusations, but I can tell you this," Taylor said. "We have a plan in place for recruiting. We stick to that plan, and what this coaching staff is focused on, outside of recruiting, is winning a football game."
The only news that could be considered breaking on Wednesday was from Charles Goldberg of Al.com. Goldberg reported that NCAA representatives have been on campus this week interviewing at least one Auburn assistant and several members of the team.
"The NCAA interviewed at least one Auburn assistant football coach and several players on campus this week in a continuing investigation of the signing of former Tigers' running back Jovon Robinson, according to someone familiar with the situation."
Head coach Gene Chizik would not comment on the reports by Forde and Goldberg in Monday's press conference.
#Auburn's Gene Chizik won't comment on the NCAA investigations. He said "this won't be a distraction to me" heading into the Alabama game.— Aaron Brenner (@wareagleextra) November 21, 2012
The timing of the story is interesting due to the fact that Chizik's contract states that Auburn can avoid paying a buyout if Chizik or any of his staff is under NCAA investigation, according to Aaron Brenner of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.
It has been a foregone conclusion that Chizik will be relieved of his duties as early as next week. Auburn is in the midst of a 3-8 season that includes being winless in the SEC for the first time since 1980.
While it is never good news to have the NCAA snooping around your program, today's report was far from breaking news.
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