Auburn officially responds to Selena Roberts' Roopstigo report

Kevin C. Cox

The Auburn athletic department provided a pretty firm push back against Selena Roberts' story.

Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs released results from the schools self-investigation that resulted from a report by independent journalist Selena Roberts. Jacobs posted the results in an open letter to Auburn fans Wednesday, and they seem to discredit a number of claims.

The investigation's results focus on allegations by Roberts' story that academic fraud and failed drug tests were a rampant problem at Auburn. While pretty hard evidence is offered, Roberts, and anyone who wants to believe her, will likely point to Monday's report as just another instance of Auburn trying to cover up the truth. However, that line of thinking appears to be more and more foolish.

A few highlights from the investigation's results:

Roopstigo quoted Mike Blanc assaying, "We thought we would be without Michael Dyer because he was one of them."

Mr. Dyer was neve rin any jeopardy of being ineligible for the 2011 BCS game. He passed 15 hours during the fall. He only needed 6 to be eligible per NCAA rules. Mr. Dyer actually passed a total of 24 hours through the Summer and Fall semesters in 2010. He had a 2.8 GPA at the end of the Fall semester.

Campbell (McNeil's mother) was also quoted as saying, "To this day, no one from the University has talked to the family."

Phone records show that Athletics Department employees talked with a member of the family on March 12, 2011. Calls were made at 11:41 a.m. (1 minute) and 11:44 a.m. (5 minutes). Athletics employees also talked to a member of the family on March 13, 2011. Calls were made at 12:07 p.m. (1 minute) and 8:54 p.m. (18 minutes). In addition, Auburn's team chaplain had continued conversations with a family member, including an 80‐minute phone conversation on April 1, 2011.

Ms. Roberts wrote, "As players recall, more than 40 players tested positive for recreational drugs after the National Championship."

In a six‐month period from August 2010 through February 2011, three football players tested positive for recreational drugs out of 231 tests performed. In the two months after the National Championship game, an additional seven football players tested positive for synthetic marijuana, prior to synthetic marijuana being added to Auburn's drug policy as a banned substance.

Mr. McNeil says he recalls coaches giving him $500 to host Dre Kirkpatrick while Mr. Kirkpatrick was on an Official Visit to Auburn.

Dre Kirkpatrick never attended Auburn on an official visit. After the article was published, Mr. Kirkpatrick publicly stated about his unofficial visit to Auburn, "Nobody gave me any money, and nobody spent anymoney onme that I know of. I don't know what they would have spent it on. We went to a party, but nobody was paying to get in there. We just walked in like everybody else seemed to be doing."

You can read the full open letter from Jacobs here and the full response to Roberts' story here. In the letter, Jacobs not only discussed Auburn's response to the allegations, but also how the school is bouncing back from a rough year and Saturday's A-Day/Toomer's celebrations. Jacobs still deserves plenty of criticism for the current state of the athletic department, but one of his final statements was right on point.

The trees might be dead, but the Auburn spirit is alive. And it's stronger than ever.

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