Yesterday I reported that former Auburn football player Stanley McClover recently told HBO Real Sports that when he was a current player at Auburn, he received extra benefits from a former Auburn assistant coach that would be considered in violation of NCAA rules.
I’ve since learned more specifics about the situation from multiple sources familiar with the HBO production.
I’ve been told that during a recent interview in south Florida, McClover told HBO that he was paid by the aforementioned former Auburn assistant coach to sign with the school out of high school. Additionally, multiple sources told me today that McClover himself was paid by HBO for the interview.*(see update below)
After interviewing McClover, HBO approached McClover’s former Dillard High School football coach Ken Scott about McClover’s allegation regarding his recruitment by Auburn.
After serving as Dillard head football coach in 1991-94 and 1996-98, Scott returned to take over the football program in 2002, which was McClover’s senior year at the high school. (Scott replaced Rodney Gray.)
Here’s what McClover said about his relationship with Scott to the SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL on August 29, 2002:
“We love coach Scott. No disrespect to coach Gray, but that was coach Gray’s first year, and coach Scott has been in the game a long time. So we feel very comfortable with him because when he tells us something, he knows exactly what he’s talking about.”
I’ve been told that during his visit with HBO, Scott refuted McClover’s claim that the high school player had received money to attend Auburn. HBO then approached two more Dillard High School officials who similarly refuted McClover’s story.
One source, who is an assistant coach at a major college football program in the South, indicated that in the wake of Scott and current Dillard High School officials failing to confirm McClover’s claim about his Auburn recruitment, McClover is now wavering on the veracity of his claim and that HBO is pondering whether it should include the former Auburn player’s allegation in the March 30 Real Sports episode.
* UPDATE: In a statement Wednesday, HBO Vice President of Public Relations Ray Stallone denied that HBO paid McClover.
From HBO’s Stallone:
HBO Real Sports has never paid for an interview and never will.
The allegation that HBO paid for an interview is 100% false.
When asked, Stallone also denied that HBO made any offer of financial compensation, implied or otherwise, to McClover.