The Moral Crumbling of Auburn: Four Players Arrested for Armed Robbery

Larry BurtonSenior Writer IMarch 11, 2011

Gene Chizik hugging Auburn's other and now past problem child.
Gene Chizik hugging Auburn's other and now past problem child.Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

At Auburn, they're all in, baby.

Forget telling the truth; forget future ramifications; forget about what's right—let's just go all in for right now!

Well, the chickens are coming home to roost.  Fans across the nation are wondering what's going on at Auburn, when four players on Auburn's football team brandished a hand gun and broke into a private home and stole valuables.

This is not alleged—they were arrested with the gun and items in their vehicle.

Auburn police arrested them shortly after they left the scene. The players involved were Kowaski Kitchens, Michael McNeil, Antonio Goodwin and Harrison Mosely. They range from freshmen to seniors.

McNeil was a main player on the team—sixth in tackles—while Kitchens only played in eight games and made one reception. Goodwin was a special teams player who participated in 13 games.

All were arrested and taken to jail early Friday morning and placed on $511,000 bail. Each will serve jail time for this crime.

Auburn Coach Gene Chizik, of course, immediately dismissed all four from the team stating that, "This type of behavior will not be tolerated at Auburn."

"The players arrested in connection with this deeply troubling incident have been permanently dismissed from our football team," Chizik said in a statement. "While we realize the legal process will run its course and these young men have a right for their case to be heard, playing for Auburn University is an honor and a privilege. It is not a right."

As a person outside the Auburn family, it troubles me to think that these students were part of the mentality that "anything goes" at Auburn. They saw coaches tell falsehoods to recruits and continue to play a player whose time at Auburn may cost them more games than he won for them.  They saw Nick Fairley go from a "cheap shot" artist, to first-round NFL pick.

That "all in" mentality may have corrupted their thinking. That "live for the moment, to hell with the future" thinking may have influenced them as well.

This is the first time a "posse" of players have done such a thing since Lane Kiffin's boys pulled a gun on a man in a parking lot of a convenience store.  We now know what disarray that program was in; is Auburn's the same?

Auburn is now the official NCAA poster child for problems—and Jim Tressel is sending a thank-you note to Chizik today for taking the glare and heat off him.

Parents will now wonder—rightfully so—if Auburn is a safe place to send their sons to be mentored in such a program

Auburn has some serious problems and they may start at the top.