Auburn is dealing with the fall out of their alleged violations during their 2010 title season. Some players are refuting the allegations made in the detailed report by Selena Roberts and retracting their comments, but more facts are coming to light that paint the Auburn football program as one that lacked institutional control.
ESPN learned that not only did Auburn have an epidemic involving their players abusing synthetic marijuana, they were late to start testing for the drug and then withheld the failed drug tests from the player’s parents.
The six-month investigation into the problem at Auburn led ESPN to the conclusion that 12 players, including Mike Dyer, failed drug tests and at least a dozen more got away with using the drug because testing didn’t begin until after the national championship game in Jan. of 2011.
The use of marijuana on college campuses is nothing new, but why would Auburn feel the need to keep that information from the parents of the players? There is no valid reason why it would make sense not to let a parent be aware of the fact their son has a drug problem.
According to quotes made by Auburn athletic director, Jay Jacobs in ESPN The Magazine’s Shaun Assael’s report: “We did all we could do to educate our student-athletes until [we] could understand exactly what we’re dealing with,” Jacobs told The Magazine. “I think just like the rest of the campus, and the nation, we were trying to figure it out.”
They were trying to figure it out?! It’s a drug that is linked to 11,000 emergency room visits a year and has been fatal in some instances. What is left to figure out? Auburn is lucky that a player didn’t abuse it to the point where it was lethal, because I can only imagine the storm that would have ensued while “they figured it out.”
Often you’ll hear that the cover-up is worse than the initial crime or act, and in this instance I completely agree. In no way do I condone the behavior of the dozen players that are confirmed to have failed the drug test, but for that behavior to be covered up by adults in a position to foster the development of these young men is deplorable.
Who knows what these findings from ESPN and Roberts’ report will mean to Auburn in the coming days, months and years, but you just have to wonder what the next bombshell from the Gene Chizik era is going to be.