AUBURN – After a review conducted by the Auburn athletic department and a separate review by the university marketing arm found no evidence of wrongdoing, Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs responded forcefully Monday to an article written earlier this month by Selena Roberts on her Roopstigo web site.
Mike Dyer passed 15 hours and had a 2.8 GPA in the fall of 2010
“As the facts demonstrate, the article is clearly flawed,” Jacobs said in a letter to Auburn supporters. “I want you to know I will always act on the basis of facts. I will continue to fight for Auburn University, and I will continue to defend this great institution against such attacks.”
Roberts, an Auburn graduate, made numerous accusations in a story about Mike McNeil, who recently pleaded guilty to armed robbery for an incident that occurred in March of 2011, two months after Auburn won the 2010 BCS championship.
Jacobs vehemently defended against accusation of academic fraud, pointing out that running back Mike Dyer passed 15 hours in the fall semester in 2010 and had a 2.8 GPA.
Point by point, Jacobs disputed Roberts’ claim.
On the claim by Melodie Campbell, Mike McNeil’s mother, that she didn’t get a call until 3:30 p.m. on March 11
Auburn’s response: Phone records show that athletics department employees talked with the family three times before 3:30 p.m. and once afterward on March 11, 2011. Calls were made at 11 a.m. (3 minutes), 11:34 a.m. (9 minutes), 1:07 p.m. (7 minutes) and 4:45 p.m. (10 minutes).
Campbell was quoted as saying “to this day, no one from the university has talked to the family.”
Auburn’s response: Phone records show at least three conversations. Auburn team chaplain Chette Williams had continued contact with the family, including an 80-minute conversation on April 1, 2011.
Roopstigo claimed that the 2010 team was told as many as nine players could be ineligible for the BCS Championship Game.
Auburn’s response: An internal review by Auburn athletics and an independent review by Auburn University Internal Auditing found no evidence that improper grade changes occurred. In fact, six players were ruled ineligible for the game.
Roopstigo quoted former DT Mike Blanc as saying “We thought we would be without Mike Dyer, because he was one of them.”
Auburn’s response: Dyer was never in danger of being ineligible. He passed 15 hours in the fall and only had to pass six to be eligible. He had a 2.8 GPA at the end of the fall semester and passed 24 hours through fall and spring.
McNeil contends that an academic advisor was able to get a computer class grade changed from an F to a C.
Auburn’s response: McNeil’s grade was changed after documented excused absences, due to medical reasons, were provided to his professor. The professor followed institutional policy in making the change.
McNeil was quoted as saying he was given $500 to host Dre Kirkpatrick while he was on an official visit to Auburn.
Auburn’s response: Kirkpatrick never took an official visit to Auburn. He responded to the story by saying when, on an unofficial visit, he saw nothing unusual and received no money.
Roberts said that more than 40 players tested positive for recreational drugs after the BCS Championship Game
Auburn’s response: In the six-month period between August 2010 and February 2011 three football players tested positive for recreational drugs out of 231 tests performed. In the two months after the BCS Championship Game an additional seven players tested positive for synthetic marijuana before it was added to Auburn’s drug policy as a banned substance.
Roopstigo quoted McNeil as saying, “When the new coaches came in under Chizik, they implemented new rules and it was kind of no tolerance, but it always seemed to be aimed at black guys. Chizik didn’t like tattoos and he didn’t like dreads.”
Auburn's response: Numerous players on the 2010, 2001 and 2012 teams wore dreadlocks. Specifically from the 2010 team, they included Darvin Adams, T’Sharvan Bell, Josh Bynes, Kenneth Carter, AJ Greene, Byron Isom, McNeil and Ryan Smith. None were made to cut them off.
The story contends McNeil was not read his Miranda rights
Auburn’s response: The Auburn police said in public arrest records he made a statement after he was read his rights.
Roberts contends Auburn obstructed McNeil’s transfer to Livingstone College
Auburn’s response: After his arrest, McNeil did not properly withdraw from school, making him ineligible to transfer under NCAA rules.
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