Auburn Football: Reported Scandal Must Be Handled Quickly

Dan TalintyreSenior Analyst IIApril 4, 2013

AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 10:  Head coach Gene Chizik of the Auburn Tigers speaks to his players while warming up before their game against the Georgia Bulldogs on November 10, 2012 at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama. Georgia defeated Auburn 38-0 and clinched the SEC East division.  (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
Michael Chang/Getty Images

Auburn football is coming under fire at the moment with reported allegations and violations rocking the program to its core.

According to former Sports Illustrated and New York Times reporter Selena Roberts (per, various NCAA rules have been violated by the program over the past few years with grade-tampering and bribery two of the biggest allegations to surface.

Roberts interviewed former players in the Tigers' program who said that as many as nine players saw their grades tampered with before the 2010 BCS Championship Game, and that Darvin Adams was offered money to forgo the NFL draft and stay in school for his senior year.

The allegations and reports are incredibly serious and damaging, and would no doubt have profound consequences on the Tigers' program, the individuals involved in the front office and indeed and the entire college football world. After all, if the allegations are true, then the Tigers may well see their championship stripped and the NCAA may impose even further penalties on Auburn.

But all of that aside, at the moment, the response from Auburn must be nothing other than swift, immediate action that gets out in front of the story.

The college football world—and indeed the sporting world as a whole—is going to be desperate to know the details and information about what happened under Gene Chizik. And unless the Tigers handle the situation quickly, it could escalate very quickly and completely get out of hand.

Well, more than it already has done.

The Tigers must answer these allegations with information—either admitting to the allegations or denying that they violated the rules. Either way, they must be completely transparent with the NCAA and indeed the general public, who will no doubt have their prying eyes all over the college.

It seems we're only just getting the beginning of the story now, and the upcoming days and weeks will no doubt provide plenty more information and talking points. But until Auburn come forward and deal with the situation by providing a statement, the speculation and allegations will linger around.

More than that—they'll grow in seriousness until a statement is made—and that growth could well suffocate the program's chances at success in 2013.

It could potentially even stunt the development of the players within it.

Auburn already went through a horror season last year—winning just three games all year and none against SEC opponents. But the reality is that unless they handle this latest situation before it escalates, then that season could well seem like a dream compared to what they're about to experience from the media and the NCAA investigators.

For the sake of the players and the program's future, Auburn must provide full and immediate disclosure about these very serious allegations.

Regardless of whether they're in the right or not.


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