That gathering of Auburn fans and recruits looks less â€œimpromptuâ€ with details that seven Auburn police were on the sceneâ€”a fact reported by the Opelika-Auburn News. One officer was on site 45 minutes before the event began, also according to the O-A News report by Andrew Gribble. Gribble provides this detail on how Auburn fans found out about the pep rally, â€œI know three major Auburn sports Web sites, all of which had thumbtack message postings at some point Saturday afternoon, promoted the event and urged Auburn fans to attend.â€
The fact that supposedly independent media outlets are promoting a school’s agenda damages the Rivals, Scout and ESPN brands. Particularly damaged in this case is the Rivals.com brand since the Rivalsâ€™ Auburn site apparently edited video of the event following allegations that Auburn might have violated NCAA recruiting rules.
So much for editorial integrity.
While Auburn fans are downplaying the alleged violations or saying no violation took place, Evan Woodbery of the Auburn Beat blog at al.com issued this forecast, â€œI’d be very surprised if Auburn didn’t self-report at least a couple of secondary violations. Whether the university will share that information with us remains to be seen. Auburn often takes months or in some cases years to release NCAA correspondence requested under Alabama’s open-records law.â€