A WORD FROM JAY JACOBS
April 22, 2013
to an article published by Roopstigo.com earlier this month, we have reviewed
the allegations of academic fraud made in the story. Even though many of the
sources interviewed for the article criticized the reporter for misquoting or
misrepresenting them as soon as the story appeared, the allegations were
serious enough to prompt an internal review.
document illustrates that there are numerous inaccuracies and misrepresentations
in the story.
serious allegation is the claim that academic fraud occurred prior to the 2011
BCS National Championship game. Auburn Athletics and Auburn University Internal
Auditing have completed independent reviews of the academic allegations. There
is no evidence academic fraud occurred.
alleges improper grade changes took place to make student-athletes eligible for
the 2011 BCS National Championship Game. That is false. In fact, six players
were academically ineligible for the BCS National Championship game, and none
of them made the trip to Arizona with the team.
also states that former football student-athlete Michael Dyer was academically
ineligible prior to the BCS National Championship game. That is also false. Mr.
Dyer was never in danger of academic ineligibility. In fact, he passed 15 hours
during the fall of 2010 (nine more than required by the NCAA) and had a 2.8 GPA
at the end of the fall semester. Mr. Dyer actually passed a combined 24 hours
in the summer and fall semesters.
also implies that an academic counselor who works with the athletic department
kept Mike McNeil eligible by changing his grade in a course from an F to a C.
The article fails to point out that the professor changed Mr. McNeil’s grade
after documented reasons were provided, including excused absences from classes
for medical reasons. The independent review by Auburn University Internal
Auditing showed that all institutional policies regarding grade changes for
excused absences were followed.
It is also
worth noting that while Mr. McNeil also alleges that former Auburn assistant
coach Will Muschamp paid him during the 2007 season, Coach Muschamp immediately
and publicly denied the allegations, as was widely reported throughout the
also claims that Mr. McNeil recalls receiving $500 cash to entertain a former
prospect, Dre Kirkpatrick, while Mr. Kirkpatrick was on an official visit to
Auburn. Mr. Kirkpatrick never took an official visit to Auburn. Mr. Kirkpatrick
has since publicly stated that no one at Auburn gave him money or spent money
on him during unofficial visits to our campus.
As Auburn's Athletics Director, it's my job—no matter how
proud I am of Auburn— to carefully review charges made against our program when
As the facts
demonstrate, the article is clearly flawed. I want you to know that 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
thing needs to be said about this story, which unfairly attacked former Head
Coach Gene Chizik. Coach Chizik came to Auburn with a strong record of rules
compliance and a reputation as a man of the utmost character and integrity. I
have enormous respect for Coach Chizik, the way he ran his program throughout
his entire tenure at Auburn and also the way he left—with dignity and
Auburn will bounce back
There is no
question that this has been a tough year for Auburn Athletics. We all expect
better, and we know we have to win. As disappointing as this year has been,
rest assured we will bounce back. We always have.
As part of
our efforts to get better, we are also committed to being as transparent as
possible with our stakeholders. That is why I wanted to let you know that a
top-notch team of current and former coaches, athletics administrators,
student-athletes and business executives will be coming in to give us a
comprehensive evaluation. We welcome this review.
committee, which was selected by President Gogue, is comprised of individuals
whose expertise and experience puts them in position to independently and
objectively evaluate the Athletics Department—while also offering insight into
our strengths as well as the areas in which we must improve.
It will be
a top-to-bottom review, but Dr. Gogue has asked the committee to focus on five
specific areas. They include the following: academic and support services for
our student-athletes; the department’s financial management and health; the gameday
experience for fans and customer service; all aspects of competition, including
sportsmanship, compliance and winning; and the department’s management
structure, including the effectiveness of its leadership.
of athletics is part of Dr. Gogue’s regular evaluation process that takes place
annually for all senior administrators and campus units.
An A-Day to remember, a title to
closing, I want to thank all 83,401 of you who came to Saturday’s A-Day game. I also want to thank the tens of thousands
who came to the celebration at Toomer’s Corner. It was a day none of us will
fitting that Saturday’s celebration ended up not being the last time to roll the
historic oaks. Coach Greg Williams and the Auburn Equestrian team gave us one
more good excuse to roll them again last night.
I know you
join me in congratulating the Equestrian team on winning both the overall and
Hunt Seat National Championships in Waco this weekend. The wins marked the
program’s third overall National Championship and its third Hunt Seat title.
might be dead, but the Auburn spirit is alive. And it’s stronger than ever.
and War Eagle!