Auburn head football coach Gene Chizik is none too pleased after HBO’s Real Sports reported that at least four former Tigers players were paid illegally during their time on campus, calling the story was “pathetic and pure garbage.”
“It’s very sad to me that HBO is going to go ahead and air something that really admittedly they’ve got no proof on anything,” Chizik said. “What’s disturbing to me is they interviewed other former Auburn football players and they had exactly the opposite to say, but that failed to make the air.”
While HBO hasn’t said if that last part is true, although reporter Andrea Kremer says her interview with “one of the people” willing to talk was scrapped, in part because they wanted to be paid for it. Nonetheless, producers for Real Sports have said that they unsuccessfully attempted to get comments from university officials about the allegations – something that was also stated in the report. Chizik, who was Auburn’s defensive coordinator for some of the years in question, says that he was never contacted for the story.
If Auburn officials really did turn down a chance to defend themselves (and so far no one from the school has denied that the opportunity was extended), then it’s hard to fault HBO for their reporting. Plus if we’ve learned nothing else in the last bit of forever, it’s that when the NCAA bloodhounds start sniffing around something is bound to be uncovered. It may be best to save your outrage until the penalty police head home.