AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 18: Head coach Gene Chizik of the Auburn Tigers celebrates after their 27-24 overtime win over the Clemson Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
We were all getting ready to start off our Thanksgiving weekend when Pat Forde decided to drop a pretty juicy story on us all. According to Forde's report for Yahoo! Sports, the NCAA is investigating Auburn for potential recruiting violations.
I know, you're shocked. Right?
The repost says the NCAA is focusing their investigation on a pair of Auburn assistant coaches, and not head coach Gene Chizik but this all surely cannot end well for the embattled head coach of the Tigers.
According to the report, assistant coaches Trooper Taylor and Curtis Looper are the primary assistant coaches of interest for the NCAA. Confirming previous reports, Forde reports Taylor and Looper were recently pulled from the recruiting trail as the investigation has now been going on for weeks. The player in question is 2012 signee Jovon Robinson, who was ruled ineligible to play this season as a result of a forged academic transcript.
From Yahoo! Sports...
According to multiple sources, NCAA investigators have been working for weeks on potential improprieties involving Auburn recruits, players, coaches, representatives of the school's athletic interests and third parties. Assistant coaches Trooper Taylor and Curtis Luper have been scrutinized by the NCAA, sources said.
And it does not stop there. The NCAA is also reportedly investigating potential impermissible benefits to Robinson by his physical education teacher in high school, an Auburn alum and fan of the team. Transpiration to Auburn's campus is under question in the investigation.
Again, from Yahoo! Sports...
In addition to the academic issues involving Robinson, sources told Yahoo! Sports the NCAA has investigated whether a Wooddale P.E. teacher, Rhonda Wilkinson, provided impermissible benefits to the player during his recruitment, including transportation to the Auburn campus on at least one occasion. Wilkinson is an Auburn graduate and fan – her vehicle and home are extensively decorated with Auburn memorabilia.
At this time we do not know how deep in to the process the NCAA is with Auburn, nor do we have any indication how soon we are to learning if any sanctions will come out of this from the NCAA. What we do know is this is not a good sign for Chizik, who could very well be coaching his final game this weekend against Alabama.
Chizik was likely at the end of his time in Auburn anyway after winning just three games this season and seeing the program spiral downward in the two seasons following a BCS championship with Cam Newton having a magical Heisman season. This latest report rehashes the Cam Newton investigation talk, but according to the report the NCAA is not about to re-open the investigation previously dropped regarding Newton's recruitment. But you have to wonder just how many times a school can deal with recruiting violation investigations before getting hit with something.
And if Chizik is at the helm for two separate recruiting investigations in a short period of time, you would be forgiven for thinking something is not right.
But we'll see how this all plays out. It is possible Chizik is let go before the NCAA issues any statement on this whole investigation.
Kevin McGuire is the national college football writer for Examiner.com and host of the No 2-Minute Warning podcast.
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