(Scroll to the bottom of this article for updates!)
New information has been leaked about a leaky situation at Auburn Arena.
An unnamed source indicates that the basketball court inside Auburn Arena has been tampered with this evening. Apparently, an anonymous and disgruntled maintenance employee wanted to give Auburn an advantage in tomorrow night's 8:00 pm matchup with Alabama.
The unnamed source has covered the Auburn-Alabama rivalry for several years and was behind the report that grounds crew employees watered down Pat Dye Field the night before this year's Iron Bowl at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Alabama won the game 29-13, but Heisman running back Derrick Henry and the rest of Alabama's offense seemed to be slipping uncontrollably during the first half of play despite Auburn's players being able to stay on their feet. The only reasonable explanation at the time was that Auburn's maintenance crew had helped the Tigers cheat in order to stop Alabama from routing the Tigers by flooding the field with extra sprinkler exposure and by giving Auburn special water cleats from Under Armor to make the best of the slippery conditions.
"It's clear that Auburn's dishonesty and cheating ways know no bounds," said the source, who, again, declined to share a name. "I mean, it's probably a lot easier to flood a field with grass and get away with it, but to flood a gym floor? What did they expect? There's water everywhere."
The source also managed to provide the picture above, which clearly shows the sub-irrigation system beneath Auburn Arena's hardwood floor. Additionally, the source is close with Under Armor reps and claims that the athletic apparel giant has been developing tighter gripping tread on their new basketball shoes. Auburn has a long history with Under Armor, and the school has a short, but indisputable history with flooding its own facilities and utilizing athletic footwear that, until recently, didn't seem to exist anywhere on earth or in anyone's imagination, ever.
Auburn was also designated as Alabama's "second biggest rival" during the 2015 football season, which brings into question why the Tigers would try so hard to gain an advantage over a school that claims every day on Twitter and on poorly edited fan sites not to think twice about them.
"It just goes to show how low the rivalry has sunk," said a witness on the scene that refused to state his team allegiance. "It's like teams can't even cheat the right way anymore."
"One thing's for sure," said the source, "Alabama is really going to have to #buckleup [he made the hashtag symbol with his hands] tomorrow night. I mean, they are actually going to have to buckle up. It's going to be slick out on the court. We're dealing with a safety issue here."
You can read more about this story here.
Auburn still plans on facing Alabama tomorrow night at 8:00 pm CT inside Auburn Arena. We'll keep you afloat of any new developments...
UPDATE - 1/19/16, 7:15 AM
It was presumed that Auburn's own maintenance crew was originally behind this incident, but check out this tweet from the Alabama Men's Basketball account:
Made a stop by Auburn Arena to get some shots up! #RollTide #BuckleUp pic.twitter.com/SyRgM8sAck— Alabama M Basketball (@AlabamaMBB) January 19, 2016
Now check out our original tweet from when the story broke last night:
BREAKING: Auburn Arena flooded before game against Alabama, according to sources https://t.co/K67VMmAHRr pic.twitter.com/hF5q52kKzh— Bobby Barkley (@bobby_barkley) January 19, 2016
The Bama hoops tweet came at 6:03, and our report broke at 6:05. Alabama is notorious for being efficient within two minutes (and certainly only those last two minutes is when anything exciting happens), so it's possible that the Tide is responsible for this, well, tide. However, this would imply that Nick Saban has a hand in the basketball program at Alabama, which is just utterly ridiculous and cannot be verified.
Those timestamps are certainly significant, although we confirmed reports last night that the annual team managers' basketball game was held shortly after this story broke out, which means that all available maintenance crew workers were there to mop up the water. No reports of any wood buckling at this time.
UPDATE - 1/19/16, 7:21 AM
Alabama fans should take caution, however, for tonight's game. Although we couldn't confirm this, it's been reported that Auburn's basketball players will in fact be wearing a special water basketball shoe from Under Armor:
UPDATE: Auburn will wear Under Armor camo "Duck Boot" style basketball shoes for tomorrow night's game against Bama pic.twitter.com/HjzQ9sr4iY— Bobby Barkley (@bobby_barkley) January 19, 2016
The camo design aims to honor the four or five Alabama basketball fans that will attempt to "blend in" when they arrive at the Arena tonight. As you may know, it is estimated that Alabama basketball fans increased in number from three to five upon head coach Avery Johnson's hire.
We'll continue to post updates as we receive them. #buckleup
UPDATE - 1/20/16, 11:04 AM
Apparently, there is still a lot of confusion on the Interwebs among Alabama basketball fans regarding this incident, so yesterday, on the drive to Auburn, I brought in the big guns to break this down in a language that perhaps Bammers can understand:
Bobby Barkley clears up the air about Auburn Arena flooding rumors on Paul Finebaum Show
We here at College and Mag will continue to monitor this situation on the day after the Barn successfully cheated its way to a victory against noted basketball school Alabama.