Notes from cocktail napkins...
I read the Selena Roberts article on Auburn Football last night. If one third of what some former players allege is true, Auburn's AD Jay Jacobs can expect the NCAA's investigators at his door next week. Critics of The SEC will see it as just another example of an out of control football factory running amok. But I'm calling shenanigans on this.
Consider the source.
It really sounds to me like some bad kids who got in trouble and are now playing sour grapes trying to bring down a program. The man making the allegations was kicked off the team. Selena Roberts paints the picture of student athlete and his family victimized by Auburn Football and The Auburn Police Department. Michael Dyer and other players having failing grades changed before the National Championship Game. Cash payments by former coaches including former Tiger Defensive Coordinator WiIl Muschamp. Almost all of the charges are leveled by Mike McNeil who was kicked off the team in April 2011 and faces 21 years to life in jail for armed robbery. Several players named in the story dispute the allegations by Roberts.
Mike McNeil apparently was just a victim of circumstance. He had no idea his roommates were intending to rob (at gunpoint) the local pot dealer the night they drove in his car to a trailer on the outskirts of Auburn.
Selena Roberts used to write for The New York Times and Sports Illustrated, she also wrote the scathing biography of Alex Rodriguez a few years ago, so it's not like this was some hack cutting and pasting stuff from a Bama's fans chat room. But if she has any credibility why is she posting this article on a website named after a Golden Retriever. I got that from their "about us" page on roopstigo.com. Granted we have seen less established website breaking some big stories, like Deadspin.com on Manti Te'o's make believe girlfriend. But this smacks of a reporter with an agenda.
Selena Roberts was one of the first reporters to buy the stripper's story in The Duke Lacrosse case. She railed against Duke and accused the players of racism and sexism. The case was dropped by North Carolina's Attorney General. All three players were exonerated, and the victim proven to be a liar. The prosecutor was later disbarred. Go back and read some of the columns Selena Roberts wrote about Duke Lacrosse it will give you some perspective on the Auburn story. By the way she never penned an apology column when nearly everything she accused the Duke players of was refuted.
Fans of other SEC schools who still believe the Tigers paid Cam Newton's Dad will revel in the latest allegations. The NCAA is taking it on the chin for using some unscrupulous means to get the goods on Miami. The same NCAA that spent nearly a year looking at Auburn and the Cam Newton recruitment and found nothing. According to Sports Illustrated, The NCAA was at Auburn just last year to look at recruiting and found one signee had a forged transcript. That's all.
So folks taking this Selena Roberts article as Gospel truth are in for a major let down.