AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn coach Gene Chizik declined to comment on reports that the NCAA is investigating the program.
The Birmingham News reported Wednesday that the NCAA has interviewed at least one assistant and several players this week. The newspaper said the investigation includes but is not limited to the signing of Jovon Robinson, a running back from Memphis who was ruled ineligible amid allegations of academic improprieties.
Yahoo Sports reported that assistants Trooper Taylor and Curtis Luper haven't been allowed to recruit for several weeks and the NCAA is looking into if Wooddale High physical education teacher Rhonda Wilkinson provided impermissible benefits to Robinson, including transportation to Auburn. Wilkinson, an Auburn graduate, declined comment for that story.
The NCAA said it does not comment on current, pending or potential investigations.
Duke extends coach: David Cutcliffe, whose name has been linked to several vacancies, agreed to an extension that will keep him as Duke's coach through the 2018 season. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Cutcliffe, Peyton Manning's offensive coordinator at Tennessee and Eli Manning's coach at Mississippi, is 21-38 over five seasons. (The program won only 10 games over the previous eight seasons.) The Blue Devils are bowl eligible for the first time since 1994.
USC: The NCAA was "malicious" in its investigation of a former assistant who was linked to the scandal surrounding Heisman winner Reggie Bush, a judge said. The NCAA said Todd McNair lied about knowing about some of the gifts lavished on Bush's family by two aspiring sports marketers. McNair sued, saying the investigation was one-sided and hurt his future earnings. The NCAA sought to dismiss the case, but the judge ruled McNair showed a probability he can win the case. A trial date wasn't set.
ESPN gets playoff: The four-team playoff that starts with the 2014 season will air on ESPN. The network will own the rights to all six bowls involved for 12 years and pay about $470 million annually, the Associated Press reported. The title game will be played on a Monday, at least a week after the semifinals.