Posted: 11:05 a.m. Monday, April 22, 2013
By Chris Fuhrmeister
Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs released results from the schools self-investigation that resulted from a report by independent journalist Selena Roberts. Jacobs posted the results in an open letter to Auburn fans Wednesday, and they seem to discredit a number of claims.
The investigation's results focus on allegations by Roberts' story that academic fraud and failed drug tests were a rampant problem at Auburn. While pretty hard evidence is offered, Roberts, and anyone who wants to believe her, will likely point to Monday's report as just another instance of Auburn trying to cover up the truth. However, that line of thinking appears to be more and more foolish.
A few highlights from the investigation's results:
Mr. Dyer was neve rin any jeopardy of beingineligible for the 2011 BCS game. He passed 15hours during the fall. He only needed 6 to beeligible per NCAA rules. Mr. Dyer actually passed atotal of 24 hours through the Summer and Fallsemesters in 2010. He had a 2.8 GPA at the end ofthe Fall semester.
Campbell (McNeil's mother) was also quoted as saying, "To this day,no one from the University has talked to thefamily."
Phone records show that Athletics Departmentemployees talked with a member of the family onMarch 12, 2011. Calls were made at 11:41 a.m. (1minute) and 11:44 a.m. (5 minutes). Athleticsemployees also talked to a member of the familyon March 13, 2011. Calls were made at 12:07 p.m.(1 minute) and 8:54 p.m. (18 minutes). In addition,Auburn's team chaplain had continuedconversations with a family member, including an80‐minute phone conversation on April 1, 2011.
Ms. Roberts wrote, "As players recall, more than40 players tested positive for recreational drugsafter the National Championship."
In a six‐month period from August 2010 throughFebruary 2011, three football players testedpositive for recreational drugs out of 231 testsperformed. In the two months after the NationalChampionship game, an additional seven footballplayers tested positive for synthetic marijuana,prior to synthetic marijuana being added toAuburn's drug policy as a banned substance.
Mr. McNeil says he recalls coaches giving him$500 to host Dre Kirkpatrick while Mr. Kirkpatrickwas on an Official Visit to Auburn.
Dre Kirkpatrick never attended Auburn on anofficial visit. After the article was published, Mr.Kirkpatrick publicly stated about his unofficial visitto Auburn, "Nobody gave me any money, andnobody spent anymoney onme that I know of. Idon't know what they would have spent it on. Wewent to a party, but nobody was paying to get inthere. We just walked in like everybody elseseemed to be doing."
You can read the full open letter from Jacobs here and the full response to Roberts' story here. In the letter, Jacobs not only discussed Auburn's response to the allegations, but also how the school is bouncing back from a rough year and Saturday's A-Day/Toomer's celebrations. Jacobs still deserves plenty of criticism for the current state of the athletic department, but one of his final statements was right on point.
The trees might be dead, but the Auburn spirit is alive. And it's stronger than ever.