Former Auburn football coach Gene Chizik on Thursday blasted a story in which several former players accused the school and coaches of many NCAA violations, calling it "long on accusation and inference but short on facts and logic."
Chizik, a Clearwater High graduate, said in a statement he "never authorized, instructed or directed" anyone to change a player's grade or provide an illegal payment. Chizik, 51, was at Auburn from 2009-12, when he was fired after a 3-9 season two years after winning the national title. He is now an ESPN analyst.
Among the allegations in the story on the sports multimedia website roopstigo.com is one by former safety Mike McNeil, scheduled for trial next week on armed robbery charges, that Florida coach Will Muschamp once gave him $400 while Muschamp was Auburn's defensive coordinator in 2007. Muschamp has denied the allegation. He told the Gainesville Sun on Thursday, "I don't know where this is coming from."
Multiple players quoted in the story have issued denials of what was attributed to them.
Athletic director Jay Jacobs said Auburn is reviewing the allegations but doesn't believe they're credible.
The story's writer, former Sports Illustrated, New York Times and Orlando Sentinel writer Selena Roberts, said she stands by the story and a "part two" is coming.
Meanwhile, ESPN reported Auburn kept quiet the results of several failed drug tests for synthetic marijuana in 2010. Jacobs said the drug was not part of its testing policy at the time, so players couldn't be punished for using it.