In the 2011 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions may have found themselves a steal at the 13th overall selection. The Lions took Lombardi Award winner and All-American defensive tackle Nick Fairley. Now the former Auburn University star is part of new NCAA investigations.
Former Auburn player Mike McNeil has become a whistle blower and accused his former school of changing grades, lying about drug tests and luring recruits with cash payments. The team that is being accused won the 2011 BCS National Championship behind Fairley’s commanding defense and Cam Newton‘s offensive statistics.
Fairley is sure to be asked about the allegations sometime during the 2013 NFL season or off-season. My hope is Fairley is not involved in any of the accusations. However, rumors will swirl around Fairley as he has had his own problems with drugs and grades.
After committing to Auburn in 2007, Fairley was not allowed to attend the Division I school and spent two seasons at Copiah-Lincoln Community College. The reason was academics and that could prove costly in this new investigation.
Part of the new reports have over a dozen players failing some type of drug test after the BCS National Championship game. Fairley was arrested in 2012 on separate charges of marijuana (April) and driving under the influence (May).
Fairley has become more of a key piece to the Lions defensive line. In 2012, Fairley played in 13 games and had 34 tackles, 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. This is the reason Fairley was drafted as the team hoped for him to be the perfect partner alongside Ndamukong Suh at the DT position.
Here’s hoping the accusations don’t impact Fairley’s 2013 NFL season. College teams continue to be investigated for violations. Whether Auburn was guilty of any of the crimes, Fairley is a Lion and is ready to break out in 2013.
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