Pat Forde at Yahoo! Sports is reporting today that Auburn’s football program is under NCAA investigation. Forde writes, “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. Taylor is the assistant head coach and wide receivers coach, while Luper coaches running backs and is the recruiting coordinator.”
Numerous reports say that NCAA officials were on campus this week talking with coaches and players.
When asked to comment on today’s report, Chizik said, “I’m not going to comment on any speculation out there. I will talk about the Iron Bowl and Alabama.”
Taylor and Luper have been pulled from recruiting activities for most of the season. In recent weeks they’ve been seen on the sidelines at Auburn High School football games where both of their sons star.
This story only adds fuel to the fire over speculation that both athletic director Jay Jacobs and coach Gene Chizik will be released following Saturday’s Iron Bowl.
So far, Auburn officials have declined to comment. NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn told Yahoo! Sports Wednesday that she cannot comment on current, pending or potential investigations.
Chizik has been asked about the status of Taylor and Luper on several occasions, most recently last month.
“I don’t have time for all of that,” Chizik said on October 30th. “I’ve got one direct focus: that is my team and my players. That has nothing to do with us winning. Whoever said that has nothing to do with anything, so I am not getting into any of that stuff. I’ve got one track, and that is our players and our coaches, and trying to get us to the next win, so, all of that stuff, I have no comment on that.”
He insists today’s news is not a distraction. “It’s not a distraction to me,” he said. “We haven’t thought one second about it. We’re right down the line on the Iron Bowl.”
Auburn heads into Saturday’s contest with Alabama a 34-point underdog.
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