by DONNIE VAPHIDES Staff Writer
Former Auburn University football head coach Gene Chizik is under investigation for allegedly bribing college star players to come back to Auburn by paying them in money.
Chizik was fired following the 2012 season. He is accused of changing the grades of former star running back Mike Dyer so he could go to Auburn. Dyer attended during the team’s 2011 championship run. However, Dyer left the program a year after to go play for Arkansas State.
“We thought we would be without Mike Dyer because he said he was one of them, but Auburn found a way to make those dudes eligible,” said Mike Blanc, a former Auburn Tigers defensive linemen.
Dyer would turn out to be named the BCS National Championship game MVP.
“If they are good athletes, they should be promoted, but not changing their grades. I feel it is terrible that teachers would overlook this. This should be a federal crime. This is giving them grades that they do not deserve to get better grades then they earned,” said freshman Aaron Schwartz.
Selena Roberts made the story public and claimed that there were multiple reasons why players would be offered money to stay on campus. Claims were made that sometimes when players wanted to go to the pros, coaches would offer them money to stay in college.
Former wide receiver Darvin Adams said that they offered him “several thousand dollars” to come back to Auburn. Former running back Demetrius McNeil said he was offered $400 if he did not go to the NFL.
Former Auburn standout Neiko Thorpe said that coaches would give athletes $500 to entertain a high school recruit named Dre Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick ended up going to the University of Alabama and currently plays professional football for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Auburn is being hit with more allegations as there are reports that students were using synthetic marijuana on campus during the championship season. The players were unnamed, but the story now has people’s attention, wondering if star quarterback Cam Newton, who currently plays for the Carolina Panthers, was involved in the possible drug use.
“I’m going to let the right people talk about it. Of course I am concerned, but I think the truth will come out,” said Newton.
ESPN’s report shows that numerous Tigers football players failed drug tests during that season, including Dyer. Dakota Mosley, a freshman at the time who is a tight end at Auburn, failed multiple drug tests, but escaped punishment.
However, Mosley and three other Auburn players were connected to a armed home invasion robbery. They were all dismissed from the team and one player named Antonio Goodwin was convicted in June 2012 and is serving a 15 year sentence in jail. Former safety McNeil will have his trial sometime the week of April 7-12.
“It was a bad thing that they did. He should have been fired. They did the right thing,” said freshman Nick Petrie.
Throughout the investigations, more and more evidence is being uncovered and Auburn is denying the accusations present. The story will soon be fully revealed for what it truly is in the upcoming weeks and will be growing into a bigger story each day.