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Ex-Auburn player alleging violations pleads guilty

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02:34 PM ET 04.08 | Mike McNeil, the former Auburn player at the center of accusations that the school committed many NCAA violations under Gene Chizik, pled guilty to first-degree armed robbery Monday, casting doubts on the statements he gave to reporter Selena Roberts.

Roberts' story was damning of Auburn football on two fronts. On one, several ex-Auburn players, including McNeil accused former coaches of academic fraud and providing money to players and recruits. The other seemed to imply McNeil was railroaded into being punished for an armed robbery in 2011, a crime Roberts alleged there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute him for.

The majority of players besides McNeil renounced their claims or said Roberts spun their words, while by pleading guilty, McNeil trades away his ability to argue his innocence. He was sentenced to 15 years, at least three of which must be served with three years under supervised probation.

Associated Press

, Kevin C. Cox Kevin C. Cox
April 8, 2013  02:39 PM ET

Sounds like he has no credability. The reporter should've checked that out before using his accuzations in a story. I don't think journalism can sink much lower than it already has in this country. :^(

April 8, 2013  02:49 PM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Sounds like he has no credability. The reporter should've checked that out before using his accuzations in a story. I don't think journalism can sink much lower than it already has in this country. :^(

Good point, but do we know for sure that the reporter (Roberts), didn't check out these reports prior to reporting them??? Just how much can a reporter check out???? There were 2/3 players that said there were grades that were changed and money that changed hands. At this time, who do we believe????

April 8, 2013  03:11 PM ET

This came from the Selena Roberts report!!! Selena is an respected sportswriter!!! why would she lie????
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Academic fraud: Three players say that before the BCS Championship game the team was told that as many as nine of their teammates would not be able to play in the title game because they were academically ineligible. ???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,??? says Mike Blanc, a teammate and roommate of Mike McNeil???s. Dyer???s name was cited by McNeil, too. Dyer did not respond to calls to his cell phone. Before the season, McNeil says he was given an F for attendance in a computer science class. ???I had B work but I missed too many classes; and I went to the instructor and said, ???I really need this grade,?????? says McNeil. ???He said that he was sorry but he wouldn???t change it. I went to the person over him. She was in a position of power and backed up the instructor. I then told my counselor with the athletic department.??? Within days, McNeil says, the grade was changed from an F to a C and he did not miss a game.



Payments to players: Receiver Darvin Adams, a star player with NFL dreams and a family to support, wrestled with whether to turn pro after the championship season. He discussed his plans with teammates and told them how much pressure he was under by Auburn coaches to stay. McNeil and Blanc say Auburn coaches offered Adams several thousand dollars to stay for his senior year. ???It was sugar-coated in a way,??? says Adams, who confirmed he was offered financial incentives, but declined to detail the exact amount. ???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.??? Adams turned pro but went undrafted, a result, one NFL scout says, was due to negative reports on him from Auburn coaches. Adams plays for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League and refuses to be bitter. ???I play the cards I???m dealt,??? he says. Other players tell stories of in-season cash payments to players. ???Coaches would say, ???Don???t tell anyone where you got it from,????????? says Blanc. McNeil recalls having a difficult day at practice in 2007 and then-defensive coordinator, Will Muschamp, calling him into his office. ???I had no clue what it was about because I???d never directly asked him for anything,??? says McNeil. ???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.

April 8, 2013  03:38 PM ET

It will be very difficult to prove cash under the table, but if they were changing grades, there will be a trail, whether paper or electronic.

April 8, 2013  04:04 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

It will be very difficult to prove cash under the table, but if they were changing grades, there will be a trail, whether paper or electronic.

Not to mention profs with guilty consciences, or TAs that will crack under any kind of questioning by NCAA gumshoes.


But if UNC is any indication, academic fraud is ho-hum stuff to the NCAA these days.

April 8, 2013  04:06 PM ET

auburn people keep bringing up some story she was wrong on but forget that she was right on a bunch of other sotries, like the Alex Rodriguez story.

Sounds to me like a bunch of guys told some things and then realized what happens to public people when thousands of their fans are mad at them.

April 8, 2013  04:33 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

auburn people keep bringing up some story she was wrong on but forget that she was right on a bunch of other sotries, like the Alex Rodriguez story.Sounds to me like a bunch of guys told some things and then realized what happens to public people when thousands of their fans are mad at them.

"Some story she was wrong about?" Oh, that little story. You mnean the one about the Duke Lacrosse players accused of rape that she wrote the same kind of expose about, only to find out later that the rape victom recanted her story. No we have a thug who committed armed robbery, who she said in her story that he wouldn't take a plea deal because he was innocent. So now he pleasd guity. "A bunch of guys" were misquoted by Roberts and they have all come out publicly saying that they didn't say the crap she said that they did. None of these are current student athletes. All have graduated from Auburn and some are play NFL ball. They could care less if Auburn fan base is mad at them. Don't pretend to be so stupid.

April 8, 2013  04:36 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

"Some story she was wrong about?" Oh, that little story. You mnean the one about the Duke Lacrosse players accused of rape that she wrote the same kind of expose about, only to find out later that the rape victom recanted her story. No we have a thug who committed armed robbery, who she said in her story that he wouldn't take a plea deal because he was innocent. So now he pleasd guity. "A bunch of guys" were misquoted by Roberts and they have all come out publicly saying that they didn't say the crap she said that they did. None of these are current student athletes. All have graduated from Auburn and some are play NFL ball. They could care less if Auburn fan base is mad at them. Don't pretend to be so stupid.

She was, BTW, fired from her last two jobs because of the kind of "jounalism" she writes.

April 8, 2013  04:47 PM ET

Right about A-Rod? Really?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-kyle/the-decline-and-fall-of-s_b_19674 7.html

April 8, 2013  05:08 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

auburn people keep bringing up some story she was wrong on but forget that she was right on a bunch of other sotries, like the Alex Rodriguez story.Sounds to me like a bunch of guys told some things and then realized what happens to public people when thousands of their fans are mad at them.

bingo

April 8, 2013  08:43 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

She was, BTW, fired from her last two jobs because of the kind of "jounalism" she writes.

That doesn't mean what she wrote, "wasn't true"!!!

April 8, 2013  09:04 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

That doesn't mean what she wrote, "wasn't true"!!!

It is good to have "hope"....LOL

April 8, 2013  09:17 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

It is good to have "hope"....LOL

Yeah, but I just can't see an respected sportswriter like Roberts, fabricating a story like this :-)

April 8, 2013  10:50 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Yeah, but I just can't see an respected sportswriter like Roberts, fabricating a story like this :-)

Yeah, but I just can't see an respected sportswriter like Roberts, fabricating a story like this :-)

April 9, 2013  02:35 PM ET

Another tidbit to ponder.... I read in one of the articles that she is actually an Auburn grad herself.

 
April 9, 2013  06:58 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Another tidbit to ponder.... I read in one of the articles that she is actually an Auburn grad herself.

Yeah!!! What's your point?????

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