Fisher says Texas A&M ‘very open’ in inquiry of allegations

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — New Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said Thursday his program will be “very open” to any inquiry into allegations of possible NCAA violations, but he is confident in how things have been handled since he arrived from Florida State.

Fisher was responding to allegations former Aggies linebacker Santino Marchiol made to USA Today this week about improper cash payments for hosting recruits, practices that went beyond allowable time limits and mishandling of his ankle injury. Marchiol has transferred to Arizona and raised the allegations against Texas A&M in an application to be allowed to play this season rather that sit out a year.

“We take them very seriously. We’re open to all inquiries and will be very open in our records of everything we have. We feel very confident in the things in which we have done,” Fisher said. “We’ll cooperate in any way, shape or form in which they want (us) to. I feel very confident in our program and how we’ve done things.”

The Texas A&M administration has said only that the school is “reviewing the situation with the NCAA and the SEC Office.”

Texas A&M hired Fisher away from Florida State with a 10-year, $75 million contract to replace Kevin Sumlin, who is now the Arizona coach. The Aggies open the season Aug. 30 against Northwestern State.

Several Texas A&M players brushed off the allegations of violations.

“We didn’t pay any attention to that. It was nonsense to us,” receiver Camron Buckley said.

“The coaching staff is great and hasn’t misled us in any way. It’s college football,” said senior fullback Cullen Gillaspia. “You’ve got to be tough. We’re grown men, and a lot of people here are training to go play at the next level. I can’t say enough good things about this staff and the way they’ve treated us.”