Report: Chizik rips HBO show's reports
Auburn head football coach Gene Chizik on Wednesday dismissed as "garbage" an HBO program featuring former players claiming they were handed thousands of dollars by boosters on a "pay to play" scheme before and after they chose to play for the university, The Huntsville (Ala.) Times reported.
In an episode of HBO's "Real Sports" that aired Wednesday night, former players Chaz Ramsey, Troy Reddick, Stanley McClover and Raven Gray said they received money in bookbags and handshakes involving hundreds of dollars during the recruiting process from a number of teams.
Former defensive lineman McClover said he received $500 in a handshake from Louisiana State University and sexual favors at Ohio State — but even more money from Auburn.
Chizik, who served as defensive coordinator during McClover's first two seasons on campus — 2003 and 2004 — said he had "absolutely no knowledge of any of that . . . and I didn't have my head in the sand."
Chizik also took issue with HBO opting not to run interviews it had with players who said they were not paid.
"It's very sad to me, very sad, that HBO is going to run something that, admittedly, they've got no proof," Chizik said.
"I think that's pathetic and I think it's pure garbage."
Gray said he received $2,500 to $3,000 from an Auburn booster, adding, "Loyalty is the key. This man give me money, I'm going to be loyal to him and go to Auburn."
Ramsey said he was paid $300 to $400 a game.
Reddick played with Auburn from 2002 to 2005, McClover from 2004 to 2005 and Ramsey in 2007. Gray joined Auburn in 2007, but injury meant he never played for the team.
Auburn Athletics Director Jay Jacobs said although HBO acknowledged it had no proof the players' claims were true, the school would still investigate the accusations.
"(Auburn) will spare no resources to find the truth," Jacobs said in a statement.