Auburn alumna alleges paid players, changed grades during 2010 season

A former New York Times and Sports Illustrated reporter alleges Auburn committed a variety of NCAA violations during the 2010 BCS National Championship season.

Selena Roberts, an Auburn alumna, writes in a story on Roopstigo, a website she founded, that Auburn committed a variety of NCAA violations including payment of players and changing grades in 2010.

Roberts interviewed former Auburn safety Mike McNeil, one of four former Tigers who were arrested for an armed robbery in 2011, and “more than a dozen players” from the BCS title team including Neiko Thorpe, Darvin Adams and Mike Blanc. She goes on record reporting that players had grades changed to remain academically eligible, were provided with excessive sums of money for hosting recuits and “more than 40” tested positive for drugs after the title game.

According to her story, said the former Auburn safety: “It’s a business and there are players on the payroll.”

Auburn University has refused to comment on the story.

In the report, as many as nine players, including running back Mike Dyer, would be ineligible for the 2010 title game due to academic ineligibility, though Dyer is not quoted in the story. McNeil said he had a grade changed in a computer science class from “an F to a C.”

Other allegations covered in the story:
• McNeil was given $400 after a practice by former defensive coordinator Will Muschamp
• Former receiver Darvin Adams was offered “several thousand dollars” to return for his senior season
• McNeil was given $500 to entertain top recruit Dre Kirkpatrick on his visit to Auburn

Thorpe is quoted as saying, “Auburn does whatever Auburn wants” and “a special recruit was treated like a king.”

Roberts reports that “dozens of players were being randomly drug tested internally” prior to the BCS title game, and “more than 40” tested positive afterward.

Muschamp, Thorpe and Blanc have offered denials since the report was released. And I believe them. Nothing like this would ever happen in Lee County.

Auburn is still thought to be under NCAA investigation for a number of issues, including the grade changing saga of Memphis standout Jovan Robinson.

Watch Selena Roberts’ video on ESPN regarding her allegations here.

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