Report: Ex-Auburn players say they were paid

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Auburn has been dealing with NCAA issues and allegations for months now, and Chizik once again finds himself defending his program.

“That’s not what we stand for,” he said. “That’s not how this program is going to be run.”

Chizik added, “I know in my heart of hearts that we’re doing things the right way here at Auburn.”

The NCAA has been investigating the recruitment of Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton, who led the Tigers to the 2010 national title in his lone season. Newton’s father, Cecil, has admitted to soliciting money from Mississippi State during the recruiting process but said neither the player nor Auburn knew about his pay-for-play attempt.

Former Auburn defensive end Quentin Groves said he was never aware of McClover or any other teammates receiving improper payments.

“I just think it was totally and utterly ridiculous to go and say something like that about the school that gave you so much and then be mad because of selfish reasons,” Groves, who is now a Raiders linebacker, told AP in a phone interview Wednesday.

Groves said HBO contacted him and at least nine other former Auburn players for the report. He said he was never paid while at Auburn.

McClover’s 2004 teammate Junior Rosegreen, who also went to Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said McClover bought the car with money from a Pell Grant and that it didn’t cost $7,000.

“That is bogus,” said Rosegreen, who called McClover “a damn storyteller.”

McClover, who spent two years at Auburn before turning pro after the 2005 season, also said he received cash during “money handshakes” with LSU and Michigan State and received sexual favors during a visit to Ohio State.

The Southeastern Conference said in a statement that representatives from Auburn, LSU and the SEC “have communicated with the NCAA Enforcement Staff” about the report.

“The involved institutions and the NCAA staff will pursue the allegations in a timely manner,” the league said.

In a statement, Michigan State spokesman John Lewandowski said, “Our compliance office was never alerted to this alleged handshake.”

Ohio State spokeswoman Shelly Poe said the school had no comment because the “the report is so far back and so many years ago and he’s just coming forward with it.” She said the incident described would have violated “our policies in the NCAA.”

Joe Alleva, LSU’s vice chancellor and athletic director, said the school would not comment but added that LSU “vigorously enforces NCAA and SEC rules and we work diligently to educate boosters on NCAA rules compliance.”

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