Three days before the Iron Bowl, Auburn is in the news again regarding a reported NCAA investigation.
Most, if not all, of what was reported in a Yahoo report was old news that has been widely known and reported since running back Jovon Robinson of Memphis was ruled ineligible by Auburn officials last August in the wake of accusations that a grade had been changed on his high school transcript.
What is new today is a report by Charles Goldberg of The Birmingham News that players and at least one coach had been interviewed by NCAA investigators.
Here are some questions and answers about what we know:
Q: Has Auburn received any kind of letter of inquiry
A: It has not.
Q: Is the NCAA looking into other matters besides Robinson?
A: When NCAA investigators are around, there is always concern that they will turn over a rock and find something other than what they are looking for.
A: The widely held assumption is it was because of the Memphis matter. However, that is not accurate. They were taken off the road by Auburn officials because of a secondary violation. It had nothing whatsoever to do with Memphis.
Q: Is there hard evidence of wrongdoing by Taylor or Luper?
A: Not that we know of at this point. If the NCAA had hard evidence, it's likely they would have been removed from the field, not just the road. If you recall, a Mississippi State assistant coach was fired because of alleged NCAA violations in Memphis last summer.
Q: Could this hurt Chizik's chances of returning next season as head coach?
A: It can't help, but it probably won't have any impact one way or the other.
Q: Could this negatively impact Auburn's search for a new coach should Chizik be dismissed?
A: That's certainly possible. For sure, Auburn officials will have questions to answer from prospective candidates.
Q: Will this be a long process like the Cam Newton investigation?
A: Not likely unless something else turns up.
Q: Would Auburn face devastating sanctions should it be found that a coach knew or should have known a grade was changed?
A: That's impossible to say with any certainty, but if it was found to be an isolated incident and not a pattern, it's not likely that sanctions would be program-destroying.
Q: Would it help Auburn's case if any coaches found to have committed wrongdoing were no longer employed at Auburn?
A: It could help, but it certainly wouldn't mean Auburn would get a free pass.
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