Auburn Tigers Changed Grades, Paid Football Players in Gene Chizik Era


November 24, 2012; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers head coach Gene Chizik talks to the media following the Tigers 49-0 loss against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant Denny Stadium. Chizik refused to address his coaching future at Auburn University. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Multiple former Auburn Tigers football players have said that grades were changed to grant eligibility and money was offered to a number of players to stay on the team for their senior season.

Mike McNeil, Darvin Adams, and Mike Blanc all talked to Selena Roberts on Roopstigo about all the violations Auburn committed under former Iowa State Cyclones football coach Gene Chizik when he was with the Tigers. Roberts was a columnist for the New York Times and Sports Illustrated.

Before the 2011 BCS Championship, nine players, including Michael Dyer, were going to be declared ineligible according to the three players. McNeil said he himself “had B work” in a computer science class but was going to receive a failing grade because of attendance. Despite the instructor and a person “in a position of power” above that saying they wouldn’t change the grade, the “counselor with the athletic department” was able to change the grade to a C and McNeil “did not miss a game.”

Darvin Adams, who led the team with 963 yards receiving on 52 catches (averaging 68.8 yards a catch), and also had seven receiving touchdowns in the championship year, had thousands of dollars offered to him to stay for his senior season. From Adams himself in the Roopstigo report:

"It was sugar-coated in a way. It was like, we’ll do this and that for you. But I’d rather do things the right way. I am happy I didn’t say yes to that stuff. That’s what I’d tell kids."

After McNeil had a a bad practice in 2007, the safety recollected when then defensive coordinator Will Muschamp (now the Florida Gators’ head coach) called him into the office. From Roberts’ report:

"“He slid about $400 over to me. He went into a drawer and gave me money and said, ‘Is this enough? Is this good?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I’m good.’” Muschamp, now the head football coach at the University of Florida, denied the payment through a spokesperson."

It should be noted that McNeil is scheduled to be on trial for armed robbery on April 8th. Much more information is included in the report, which is a must-read for all college football fans.