Four Auburn Players Allege Pay-For-Play In HBO Special; Coaches, Players Deny Claims

HBO is set to drop a special on pay-for-play in college football that prominently features Auburn players. LSU gets an unflattering mention, too.

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Gene Chizik On HBO's Auburn Football Special: 'Pathetic And Pure Garbage'

Wednesday night’s HBO Real Sports special on money in college football was a disappointment for lovers of spectacle and haters of the Auburn Tigers, but it at least got Gene Chizik riled up. The Auburn coach gave a post-practice press conference while the show was airing, calling into question HBO’s fairness:

I think it is pathetic and pure garbage … It’s very sad to me that HBO is going to go ahead and air something that, really admittedly, they’ve got no proof on anything. What’s disturbing to me is that they interviewed other former Auburn football players who had exactly the opposite to say but somehow or another that failed to make the air … When I was the defensive coordinator here from 2002 to 2004 … I had no knowledge of any of that stuff.

I root against Auburn every chance I get, and pretty much everything about that HBO show was suspect. Agreeing with Chizik isn’t something I go out of my way to do all that often, but the story presents four ex-players with stories to tell and absolutely nothing else of any substance.

For more on Auburn, visit Track Em Tigers and Team Speed Kills.


HBO Denies Paying Auburn Football Players For Real Sports Documentary

Former Auburn Tigers football player Junior Rosegreen has alleged Stanley McClover was paid $20,000 by HBO for appearing in its Real Sports show on pay-for-play in college football, in which McClover made all sorts of allegations against the program. Teammates and coaches have spoken out against McClover's role in the show, but Rosegreen's charge against HBO is something else.

Rosegreen, to

HBO gave him $20,000. He told (Dillard) Coach Herman Lovett that HBO paid him $20,000 for the interview.

Wednesday, Sports By Brooks tweeted:

An HBO official told my this morning, for the fourth time, "We would not and do not pay for interviews."

Andrea Kremer has also claimed HBO does not pay for interviews. I'll leave it up to you as to which side you'll choose to believe. Of course, there's always the possibility that McClover just likes going around alleging every entity with which he comes in contact of having paid him.

For more on Auburn football, visit Track Em Tigers and Team Speed Kills.


Stanley McClover's Role In HBO Real Sports Show Draws Criticism From Teammates, Coaches

Most of the reaction by former Auburn Tigers players critical of the upcoming HBO Real Sports documentary on SEC and Big Ten pay-for-play has been directed at Stanley McClover. Here are a few more names to add to McClover's disbelievers: his own high school coach Ken Scott and Auburn recruiter Eddie Gran.

Scott told he was in the middle of talking about McClover's positive recruiting experience when he was directed by McClover to start talking about a specific indicent:

I'm talking about positive things and he interrupts me and says, 'No Coach, they don't want to hear that. They want to hear about the time when the Auburn coaches came here and put you out of your office. That's when everything went down.' I stopped in the middle of that interview and said, 'What are you talking about? That never happened.'

Gran didn't have quite as explosive an anecdote for Auburn's Rivals site, but did say "That absolutely, positively never happened" in regards to a claim he was in on the dealings. OK den!

So far, I've yet to come across anyone associated with Auburn who (A) wasn't in the show and (B) agrees with any of the show's content. Have you? And have you made your mind up either way already?

For more on Auburn football, visit Track Em Tigers and Team Speed Kills.


HBO Auburn Football Show Prompts Quentin Groves, Junior Rosegreen Denials

Former Auburn Tigers football players continue to line up against the HBO Real Sports documentary that features four former players alleging the school is all about some pay-for-play from top to bottom. Quentin Groves, an Oakland Raiders LB who played for Auburn at the same time as HBO star Stanley McClover, denies ever receiving money at Auburn and expresses disappointment in his former teammate.

Groves to the AP:

I just think it was totally and utterly ridiculous to go and say something like that about the school that gave you so much and then be mad because of selfish reasons. I have no words for them.

Junior Rosegreen, the guy who nearly killed Reggie Brown, says he was approached by McClover about appearing in the show, but that he ended up cussing out a HBO producer who tried to coax him into an interview.

Rosegreen to

I called him and cussed his [butt] out. He would say, 'I just want to hear Stanley's story.' I said, 'Stanley's story is he's a storyteller. That's his story.' (Walker) tried so hard to get me to say something bad about Auburn. He would say, 'off the the record'. He said that about 10 times. I said, 'Fine. You want me to tell you something off the record? Here you go: Stanley is a damn liar.    

I don't know, man. Far be it from me to trust in the everlasting integrity of Auburn football's Tommy Tuberville era, but I'm really starting to wonder about this show. We'll see what comes of it, I guess. Popcorn up!

For more on Auburn football, visit Track Em Tigers and Team Speed Kills.


Auburn Football's HBO Real Sports Documentary Draws SEC Statement: 'Will Pursue Allegations'

With the HBO Real Sports special set to air in just a few hours, the SEC issued a statement on the roles of the Auburn Tigers and LSU Tigers (but mainly Auburn Tigers) in the report on money in college football. The conference is aware, and has ensured both schools have been in touch with the NCAA. I’d also prefer a serial comma in that second sentence:

We are aware of some of the information to be aired during this evening’s HBO Real Sports. Representatives from Auburn University, representatives from LSU and the SEC office have communicated with the NCAA Enforcement Staff. The involved institutions and the NCAA staff will pursue the allegations in a timely manner.

The special will run on HBO at 10 pm ET Wednesday night, and then frequently after that. If you’d like a sneak peek of the damage coming Auburn’s way, click here.

For more on Auburn football, visit Track Em Tigers and Team Speed Kills.


Cam Newton, Tommy Tuberville Declined HBO Real Sports Participation

Tommy Tuberville was given a chance to comment on Wednesday night’s HBO Real Sports special on money in college football, but declined, according to Andrea Kremer. Tuberville was the Auburn Tigers football head coach during the period in which Chaz Ramsey, Troy Reddick, Stanley McClover, and Raven Gray claim to have received money and so forth during and/or after their Auburn recruitment.

But there’s more! In that same article, Kremer also adds Cam Newton was nearly set to be associated with the HBO project but that … money was an issue. Kremer:

“The day I was getting on the plane they pulled the plug on it. HBO does not pay for interviews, and that was one of the issues that came up.” Kremer said the pay-for-interview request came from “one of the people who would speak with us.” That was `an’ issue, not the only issue," she said.

As Holly Anderson notes, Cecil Newton is a person close to Cam Newton and a person with a reputation of asking for money for his son’s participation in things. So there’s your best guess as to whom this person was.

For more on Auburn sports, visit Track Em Tigers and Team Speed Kills.


Auburn Football HBO Real Sports Story Denied By T.J. Jackson, Former Falcons DT

Add former All-SEC DT T.J. Jackson, a one-time member of the Atlanta Falcons, to the list of Auburn Tigers players denying the claims made by four players regarding pay-for-play money. Jackson, to the Opelika Auburn News:

I’m not saying this to brag, but I made all-conference my junior and senior year, and I didn’t get paid. And I wasn’t the only back-to-back, all-conference player and those guys didn’t get paid either. I always hated these shows where guys are coming back after the fact saying all this. I say, ‘Alright, dude. If you got paid, you should have fed a few of us. We played with you.’ Of course I’m speaking facetiously. But there seems to be other things going on with them than it just being about Auburn and football.

Jackson was a teammate of Troy Reddick and Stanley McClover, and attributes their current public crusade against the program to some other issue unrelated to money.

As Team Speed Kills notes, none of these denials amount to anything more concrete than the claims made by HBO’s guests, but it’s interesting to see multiple former players so adement against the accusations.

For more on Auburn sports, visit Track Em Tigers.


Lee Ziemba, Ryan Pugh Deny HBO Real Sports Auburn Football Story

As a HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel special on money in college football is set to air Wednesday night at 10 pm ET, Auburn Tigers linemen Lee Ziemba and Ryan Pugh have taken to Twitter to defend their program. Ziemba and Pugh were off-put by the claims former Tigers Chaz Ramsey, Troy Reddick, Stanley McClover, and Raven Gray made in the documentary, the most salacious of which you can read all about here.

While Ohio State, LSU, and Michigan State were also mentioned, Auburn is getting the brunt of the attention. Besides the fact that they have four players in the show, they're the defending national champs and have already had the most newsworthy offseason in recent college football history.

Ziemba has been tweeting about it for about 12 hours now:

Funny HBO story just broke. Couple former players lying to bring our past season down. Keep dreaming fellas. Ain't nothing gonnaless than a minute ago via TweetCaster

I started 52 games for auburn, played on a 14-0 national championship team...and saw no money from any boosters or the team itselfless than a minute ago via TweetCaster

Was recruited by the same folks as the hbo star bums, walked out the same locker room doors as them after games...never a dimeless than a minute ago via TweetCaster

I know the two players on this I played with both had bad divorces w/ auburn. Definately trying to get at us with liesless than a minute ago via TweetCaster

Pugh joined in later, sending out the call to other Auburn players on Twitter.

We all walked out of the same locker room and had the same coaches yet never had money given to us. It's a shame what people will sayless than a minute ago via Echofon

For more on Auburn football, visit Track Em Tigers and Team Speed Kills.

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