That’s not to say that Roberts shouldn’t have pursued the story. As my distinguished colleague M Shannon Smallwood pointed out Thursday, where there is smoke, there is fire. Roberts was absolutely right to start asking questions about any alleged wrong-doing on the Auburn campus. She owed it to herself and her readers to keep investigating until she definitively concluded what transpired. No one should fault her for that.
However, given Roberts’ somewhat controversial past, it only makes sense for some people — especially Auburn fans — to be skeptical about the validity of the accusations made in the article. Since it’s unlikely that we’ll ever find a proverbial smoking gun in this case, it’s going to take a long time to sort out the details. Even then, it’s debatable whether we’ll know the whole truth about what actually happened.
The last paragraph frustrates me to no end. Until more information comes to light, this scandal is going to dominate most of the media coverage surrounding Auburn football. Instead of talking about whether Gus Malzahn will lead the Tigers to a bowl this season, or which player has stepped forward to win the open quarterback competition, the topic of conversation will shift to the latest development in this ongoing drama. Even when the stories center on what’s happening on the gridiron, there’s almost certain to be a paragraph that states that there’s an investigation into alleged wrongdoing on the Plains.
Let’s be honest: the current players on the Auburn roster deserve better than that. After all, many of them were in high school or junior high when the in question allegedly took place. Do we really want to hold the current players accountable for the alleged misdeeds of others?