Auburn to Investigate Allegations of Tutor Taking Exam for Football Player

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 11, 2017

COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 07:  Auburn Tigers helmet sits on the bench at Kyle Field on November 7, 2015 in College Station, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

After allegations arose that a 2016 Auburn football player didn't take his own exam, the school has hired a law firm to investigate. 

The school provided a statement in response to the allegation from a tutor, via Mark Schlabach, Tom Junod and Paula Lavigne of ESPN.com:

"It's simply not true. The person making the accusation is a part-time employee placed on administrative leave on Aug. 31 because of a dispute with a coworker. She is making claims not supported by facts, and based on what ESPN told us, she keeps changing her story. Neither she, her attorney nor our investigation have produced anything to support her claims."

The school also clarified who the investigation is regarding, via Josh Vitale of OANow: 

"The player for which we are conducting an investigation is not a member of the current team and was not a member of the team at the time of the allegation. He is a former player who came back to school to complete his degree. As you know from our statement he categorically denies the claim.

(...)

"We have no reason to think the allegation about the former student is true."

The tutor said a mentor in Auburn's Student-Athlete Support Services department took the exam for a football player, who later admitted to her that he did not take the test.

The tutor—who exposed the situation to ESPN's Outside the Lines—first became suspicious after seeing the player receive a perfect grade on the final exam. After alerting a supervisor, she was told her job would not be renewed.

The Auburn athletic department hired the law firm of Lightfoot, Franklin & White from Birmingham, Alabama, to review the incident.

Auburn has had similar violations with its football program in the past, most notably under former coach Gene Chizik. According to ESPN, up to nine players had their grades changed prior to winning the national championship in 2011.

The program has also self-reported seven secondary violations of NCAA rules from 2014-16, per James Crepea of AL.com.