Oct 29, 2011; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn flags are carried during the second half after the Auburn Tigers scored a touchdown against the Mississippi Rebels at Jordan Hare Stadium. The Tigers beat the Rebels 41-23. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Ex-Auburn Players Refute Report of Bribery and Grade Manipulation

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On Wednesday, former New York Times and Sports Illustrated writer Selena Roberts released a damning report on her website Roopstigo.com that alleged improper recruiting techniques, bribery of players and manipulation of grades by former Auburn head coach Gene Chizik and the entire Tigers coaching staff.

The report stated that players were offered several thousands of dollars to return to school rather than enter the NFL Draft and that as many as nine players had their grades adjusted so they would be eligible for the national championship game. You can read more on Roberts’ report here.

Now, some of the players mentioned in the report are coming forward and refuting Roberts’ claims. AL.com reached out to a number of the players and the strong denials came back quickly. Mike Blanc was one of the sources Roberts used in her report claiming that he acknowledged the bribery and payments to players, but Blanc is now saying he never made those claims. 

“Yeah. Me, personally, I don’t have any direct knowledge of it. You just hear stuff. I’m pretty sure other guys on the team that know more, like guys that were closer to Darvin [Adams] and these other players I know,” Blanc said. “Darvin probably would have told those guys. I know Mike and Darvin were really cool. Maybe Darvin could have shared some information with Mike. But, me, personally, I don’t know nothing factual that any guys got any money.”

Antoine Carter, another player quoted in the report, took to Twitter to claim his words were used out of context.

Former Auburn defensive back Neiko Thorpe was another player to deny the claims.

There is still plenty of information that needs to come out regarding the Roberts report, but the NCAA will certainly have to take some time to look into the allegations and make sure there were no wrongdoings. If the alleged violations are true, Auburn could find themselves in some serious trouble moving forward.

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Tags: Auburn Tigers Football

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