2011 Auburn Cost To Keep NCAA Jail Away: $401K

Thanks to breaking news reported Wednesday by Clay Travis on his new website OutkickTheCoverage.com we learned why the NCAA investigation into the Auburn football program, as Travis put it today, “has now stretched into its tenth month.”

Auburn NCAA Defense Fund

(Aubs: $170K Over 7-Day Period To Keep NCAA Jail Away From The Plains)

Travis reported that the latest round of investigatory activity took place in Montgomery in late June:

NCAA investigator Jackie Thurnes checked in to the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Montgomery and conducted interviews in conference rooms there. Thurnes investigation dealt with continuing issues surrounding the eligibilty of Cam Newton and other Auburn players implicated in pay-for-play scandals. 

Travis noted Thurnes was specifically looking into allegations made by former Auburn football players during a recent HBO Real Sports episode.  During her visit to Alabama, the NCAA investigator also attempted to confirm the validity of a separate claim that Cam Newton may have received discounts from a Montgomery-based clothier.

Of the lingering inquiry into the Auburn football program, Travis added:

The NCAA investigation has now stretched into its tenth month, leaving Auburn and SEC officials chastened. In SanDestin at the SEC spring meetings, Florida SEC Commissioner Mike Slive told me that there was no doubt the NCAA’s timeframe often conflicted with the immediacy of media coverage. That dichotomy, between media coverage of allegations and tangible proof of wrongdoing, leaves programs dwelling in a perpetual cloud of impropriety.

Often that cloud can impact recruiting, a point that was driven home to me by Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley in SanDestin. Indeed, it was Dooley’s questioning of the NCAA investigator in SanDestin that led to Chizik’s insistence on whether the NCAA had completed its investigation.

Recruiting issues may have prompted Chizik’s assertive tact, though the looting of the university’s “Auxiliary Enterprises-Athletics” fund by lawyers defending the school may too have something to do with it. Read more…

Auburn Payroll: Tens of Thousands To Hostesses

A recent financial audit by Sports by Brooks of payments made by Auburn University to student football recruiting hostesses since late 2009 revealed that the state-funded institution paid out tens of thousands of dollars to the student “Tigerettes” charged with escorting football players during recruiting visits to the school.

Auburn pays recruiting hostesses tens of thousands of dollars in past two years

A Jan. 28, 2011, article in the AUBURN PLAINSMAN detailed the background of the longstanding, school-sponsored group:

The Tigerettes got their start in the late 1970s during former football head coach Doug Barfield’s tenure.

At first, the program used local high school seniors and Auburn freshman as guides for prospects, but as the program expanded, interviews and training processes were added, and participation in the program was limited to female Auburn students, at which point they became known as the Tigerettes.

The program further expanded once former coach Pat Dye came to Auburn.

“We used more of them because he brought in large numbers of recruits, trying to build the program back up” said Sue Locklar, on-campus recruiting coordinator. “We started going through a very hard selection process.”

Locklar said there are typically between 400–500 applicants who go through the selection process.

Those selected undergo in-depth training seminars about football, the football program and the coaching staff.

Males were added to the group as “Tiger” hosts in 1992 but the demographic makeup of the Auburn football recruiting organization remains almost entirely female.

Auburn pays recruiting hostesses tens of thousands of dollars in past two years

According to employee payroll data available to the public on the official Auburn University website, 21 Tigerettes were paid $78,044.26 between Oct. 2, 2009, and May 31, 2011. Five male “Tiger” hosts were paid $6,880.19 during the same period. (The 27 school employees are currently listed as “2010-2011″ officers and members of the organizaton on the Tigerettes official website.)

Here is a sampling of Auburn students who have been paid by the school as “Tigerettes”:

Jamie Nolen (female): $12,840.48 (since 3/19/2010)
Emily Jenkins: $8,415.49 (since 2/19/2010)
Jordan Poitevint (female): $7.547.25 (since 3/5/2010)
Dominique Neville (female): $6,521.45 (since 10/2/2009)
Morgan Stewart (female): $4,132.50 (since 9/3/2010)

All tolled, Auburn has paid out $84,924.45  to student football recruiting hostesses and hosts since Oct. 2, 2009.

Auburn pays recruiting hostesses tens of thousands of dollars in past two years

So what does Auburn get for that money? In late 2009 Simpson Fletcher of the AUBURN PLAINSMAN reported:

(Dominique) Neville’s duties as president of the group include serving primarily as the liaison between Auburn University Athletic Department administrators and the organization, daily hostings of prospective students and prospective student-athletes, providing clerical and administrative support for the athletic department, and serving at various athletic department functions.

In the same article, Fletcher reported of a student Tigerette named Audra Brawley:

Audra Brawley, a sophomore Tigerette in biomedical sciences, said the main duties of Tigerettes and Tiger Hosts are recruiting the best young men to become Auburn football players, aiding the coaches, helping the secretaries in the office with mail outs to prospective players and working with the athletic department in recruiting students.

“I absolutely love Auburn football because I grew up watching it every Saturday in the fall with my dad,” Brawley said. “He has three daughters and turned me into his makeshift son. We would come to games and see the girls with recruits, and I knew how much impact they had on the future of Auburn football. I wanted to be them so I could impact Auburn football too.”

The Jan. 28, 2011, Plainsman piece on Tigerettes also mentioned Auburn football recruiting hostess Jamie Nolen:

Jamie Nolen, senior in public relations and third-year Tigerette, said her friends give her a hard time because she doesn’t come home enough.

“I love it so much, so I’ll be up here until three o’clock in the morning if I need to get something right. I’ll put in extra time,” Nolen said. “Pretty much the only time we were at home this weekend was to put our pajamas on and go to bed.”

Since March 19, 2010, Auburn has paid Nolen $12,840.48 for her work as a Tigerette football recruiting hostess.

Part of Nolen’s official duties as a Auburn football recruiting hostess apparently include tracking prospective Auburn football players on Facebook.

Greg Robinson, a highly-recruited lineman from Thibodaux, La., who signed with Auburn last February recently noted in a Facebook entry dated May 28, 2011, that he was moving to Auburn for the summer.

The next entry on Robinson’s public Facebook page timeline was the Auburn recruit adding Nolen as a “friend”.

Jamie Nolen: Tigerette Paid Thousands

In a Jan. 8, 2011, report on FOXSports.com, Thayer Evans wrote of Robinson’s recruitment by Auburn:

Former Thibodaux High coach Dennis Lorio says several coaches and students saw Robinson show off cash and a new iPhone at school after a visit to Auburn. Robinson wrote in a Facebook message in July that he got the phone when “I came to Alabama.”

… “How did players from Thibodaux, La., become so interested in Auburn?” Lorio asks. “That’s a really good question. (Auburn Assistant Coach) Trooper Taylor and (NCAA-targeted Robinson associate) Sean Nelson would know.”

… Nelson drove Robinson to Auburn for unofficial visits — two of them, both say. Nelson says he didn’t approach Robinson about taking the trips but let Robinson ride along on trips Nelson already had planned. Robinson says he told Taylor he wanted to visit the school, and Taylor called Nelson to see if Robinson could ride with him. 

A crosscheck of Scout.com articles about Robinson revealed that between late May, 2010 and Feb. 2., 2011 (signing day), Robinson reportedly took six visits to Auburn. Five of those visits were of the unofficial variety.

On Feb. 16, 2011, Sports by Brooks reported:

Monday NCAA investigators descended on Thibodaux, Louisiana, to meet individually with Auburn football recruit Greg Robinson, Robinson’s mother Lydia, Robinson associate Sean Nelson and Robinson’s former Thibodaux High School Coach Dennis Lorio.

Here is a list of all of the checks reported by Auburn University’s official website to Nolen:

Jamie Nolen: Tigerette Paid Thousands

In addition to Nolen, Robinson is confirmed Facebook friends with multiple other Tigerettes, including Morgan Stewart ($4,132.50), Hillarie Deen ($4.377.00), Adrianne Redding ($3,610.50) and Jordan Bocage ($3,367.63).

Follow Brooks on Twitter and join him on Facebook for more about this and other stories. 

Gray Area In Auburn Auction Of Cam BCS Pants?

Cam Newton’s game-worn football pants from the BCS National Championship Game are being auctioned off on the official Auburn University athletic department website.

Cam Newton Game-Worn Pants Being Auctioned

(Poor lighting why Cam’s pants don’t look white?)

Description:

This pair of authentic Auburn football pants was worn by Heisman Trophy winner and 2011 NFL #1 Overall Draft Pick Cam Newton in the BCS National Championship game on January 10, 2011 in Glendale, AZ. The inside waistband of the pants is marked with Newton’s locker number (102) and the outside of the pants still retain grass stains from the game. This item comes with a certificate of authenticity from the Auburn Athletics Department.”

But didn’t Newton wear white pants during the game?

Cam Newton White Pants

Or are the pants actually white, with the photo subject to extremely poor lighting and/or processing?

At any rate, at any other school, a Heisman Trophy winner’s national championship slacks would certainly be the fanciest pants on campus.

But Auburn isn’t just any other school.

Pat Dye's pants being auctioned off

Instead, it’s pants that belong to Pat Dye - recovered from Lake Martin a few years ago - that’ll forever garner the most acclaim on The Plains.

So … you won’t catch Auburn auctioning off a piece of that great sports moment for a measly three figures.

Pat Dye's pants being auctioned off

(Full-size image for your convenience)

Opening bid for Coach Dye’s infamous britches: $50,000,000. (Too high? Try talking down former Colonial Bank shareholders.)

Description:

“This pair of authentic, lake-worn Auburn pants was worn by former AU head football coach Pat Dye. You are also bidding on the contents of Coach Dye’s pants pockets, which include: Half-pint bottle of Ancient Age (empty), a Cam Newton bottle cap keychain, a satellite phone (Interpol registration expired) certified to be untappable (inside Lee County lines only) and a wallet. The items come with a certificate of authenticity signed by the late [name identified upon purchase] night manager of the Phenix City Econo Lodge. (Now closed.)”

Pat Dye's wallet

A little short?

Umm. Uh, gotta Cheerwine?

Follow Brooks on Twitter or join him on Facebook for real-time updates.

Confirmed: Auburn Has Spent $170,000 On Newton

Jon Solomon of the BIRMINGHAM NEWS reports today that Auburn University has - so far - spent $170,000 on behalf of Cam Newton.

Cecil Newton was at the BCS Championship Game

Those would be attorney fees in the quest to maintain Newton’s eligibilty for the completed 2010-11 season.

Sam Franklin Auburn Lead Attorney In Newton Case Repping Robert Geddie In FBI Case

(Same lawyer for Cam is Pat Dye, Bobby Lowder personal attorney)

Solomon: Read more…

Pat Dye’s Daughter Spotted On Recruit’s Facebook

Friday James Wagner of the WASHINGTON POST reported that prized high school football recruit Cyrus Kouandjio will decide between Auburn and Alabama on Monday.

Pat Dye's Daughter Sends Waffling Recruit Facebook Message

(Dye’s daughter tries to convince Kouandjio to attend Auburn)

Kouandjio to the Post:

“I’m going to go through the weekend, sit down and talk to everybody. You know, see their opinions on things.”

“It’s so clutch right now, it’s really down to me. Everybody just be pointing their finger down to me. I can’t go to anybody and be like, ‘Hey, can you tell me differently where I should go?’ Everybody just backed off, got their foot out and said, ‘Cyrus, you’re on your own.’”

Actually not everyone has backed off.

Pat Dye's Daughter Sends Waffling Recruit Facebook Message

The daughter of former Auburn head football coach Pat Dye, Missy Dye McDonald, posted a message on Kouandjio’s personal Facebook page today that read: Read more…

FBI Case Filing: Cam’s Auburn Lawyer Mentioned

On November 10, 2010, Kevin Scarbinsky of the BIRMINGHAM NEWS reported that the Birmingham law firm of Lightfoot, Franklin and White had been retained by Auburn to defend the school against recent inquiries involving Cam Newton and his father.

Sam Franklin Auburn Lead Attorney In Newton Case Served FBI Case Documents

(Cam’s Auburn lawyer Sam Franklin also repped Pat Dye)

More specifically, the News reported:

According to two people familiar with the Newton inquiry, the law firm’s point men on this issue are William King and Sam Franklin.

Beginning in 1991, it’s well-documented that attorney Sam Franklin and his firm have defended Auburn and its former football coach Pat Dye against multiple NCAA inquiries, including cases which resulted in serious NCAA sanctions being placed on the school’s football and basketball programs.

More specifically, Franklin served as Dye’s personal attorney when the then-Auburn coach was forced to resign after being caught on tape facilitating an improper bank loan to Tiger football player Eric Ramsey.

On November 17, 2010, TMZ.com reported a possible link between an FBI investigation into political corruption in Alabama - supported by thousands of wiretapped conversations - and the “Newton recruiting controversy.”:

According to sources connected to the probe … FBI agents looking into the Newton recruiting controversy are also asking about Milton McGregor — a dog track owner arrested last month for allegedly bribing Alabama politicians to vote pro gambling.

We’re told agents asked someone connected to the Newton case if he was familiar with McGregor or the bribery scandal.

McGregor recently donated $1 million to Auburn to help facilitate the construction of the school’s new basketball arena.

Also arrested by the FBI was prominent Auburn alumnus Robert Geddie, whose lobbying firm was reportedly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by a private fundraising arm of Auburn athletics called Tigers Unlimited. (The same Tigers Unlimited that current Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs oversaw before taking over as AD.)

In all, 11 men were arrested as a result of FBI investigation.

Another of the those individuals charged in the political corruption case, Ronnie Gilley, filed a motion in U.S. District Court on December 3 that requested a continuance of the federal criminal trial he and his fellow 10 defendants were scheduled to face on April 4, 2011.

While Gilley’s request, which was subsequently denied, was of little consequence, one document filed in federal court by Gilley’s attorney may indicate that Auburn athletics could indeed be intertwined with the FBI’s wiretap-driven investigation. Read more…

“Gagged” By Auburn, Pat Dye’s “Show Is Over”

For nearly two decades former Auburn football coach and athletic director Pat Dye has made regularly scheduled appearances on the nationally-syndicated Paul Finebaum Show.

But as the Iron Bowl approached last week, Dye did not appear for his weekly sponsored segment with former Alabama Coach Gene Stallings. Of that absence, Finebaum said, “He’s been on this show for 17 years. This is the first no-show in history.

Paul Finebaum Pat Dye

The timing of Dye’s “no-show” may have not been coincidental, considering the former Auburn coach confirmed yesterday to Finebaum that he has been instructed by Auburn school officials not to talk about the controversy involving the recruitment of Cam Newton. An exchange from Monday’s show between Dye and Finebaum:

Finbaum: “Who at Auburn has told him (Cam Newton) he can’t talk and why not? … Have you (Dye) been gagged as well?

Dye: “Yeah.

Why is Dye under a gag order? Good question. Though Dye is not formerly under the full-time employ of the school, the former Auburn Athletic Director maintains close ties to the football program and athletic department and was reportedly instrumental in Gene Chizik securing the school’s head football coaching job at Auburn in 2008.

Last year the BIRMINGHAM NEWS reported that Dye spoke to the Auburn football team - at Chizik invitation. Excerpt:

Auburn practiced in Jordan-Hare Stadium — on Pat Dye Field — after Dye spoke about some Auburn traditions. Running backs coach Curtis Luper was impressed. “He’s been around to the office a bunch,” Luper said. “I’m locked into every single word he says because there’s so much wisdom in his words. He’s experienced a lot.”

That’s right, the playing surface at venerable Jordan-Hare stadium is also named after Dye. The coach is also a frequent speaker at Auburn booster and alumni functions.

All that didn’t deter Birmingham-based radio show host Finebaum from pressing Dye on why he was a “no-show” for the program last week. The former coach maintained that he had planned to appear on the show but that he never received a call from the program’s producer.

That led to this testy exchange: Read more…

Poll: What Was This Alabama Fan Arrested Fer?

This MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER, via BustedCoverage.com, reports this individual was “arrested Friday in a Autauga County grand jury sweep.”: (image #5)

Alabama Fan Poll

What was this Alabama fan arrested fer?*

View Results

Read more…

Pat Dye’s Muddy Pantaloons Worth Eight Grand!!!

Let this be a lesson to you, folks. If you’re ever walking along, just minding your own business, and come across a pair of muddy pants lying on the ground, don’t simply pass them up and carry on your merry way. They could be former Auburn football coach Pat Dye’s pants! And they could be worth $8,000!

Pat Dye

LAKE MARTIN MAGAZINE has the story: A miss Shannon McDuffie was walking along the shoreline in the Emerald Shores area when she spotted something strange residing in the muddy embankment below, a pair of plaid golf pants. After bringing them home and cleaning them off, she found a wallet inside that contained Dye’s ID cards.

Leaving aside the obvious question about what kind of person picks up a pair of used golf pants from the mud in the first place, just how did Pat Dye explain away his lost pants?

Read more…