Not surprisingly, and at least initially, Auburn is firing back at a damning report.
Wednesday, ESPN‘s Outside the Lines reported that a part-time academic support staff member took an online final exam for at least one football player from the 2015 Tigers football team. Neither the football player/players involved nor the academic support staffer have been identified.
As a result of the allegations, a law firm was hired by the university to investigate the alleged misconduct.
In an initial statement, AU labeled the accusations as “simply not true.” In a more extensive statement released later, the university doubled-down by labeling the report “false.” The qualifier “based on our review to date” was part of the release, it should be noted.
The statement further notes that the football player allegedly involved was a former AU football player who came back to school to finish his degree. That player has denied the allegations.
Below is the school’s full statement, in its entirety:
The player for which we are conducting an investigation is not a member of the current team and was not a member of the team at the time of the allegation. He is a former player who came back to school to complete his degree. As you know from our statement he categorically denies the claim.
The allegation made in the ESPN story is false based on our review to date. The person making the accusation was a part-time employee placed on administrative leave in late August. She is making claims not supported by facts, and based on what ESPN told us this morning, before the story came out, she keeps changing her story. Neither she, her attorney, nor our investigation have produced anything to support her claims. Neither has ESPN.
It should also be noted that the accuser has signed thirty-eight bi-monthly time sheets during her part-time employment stating that she has no knowledge or has not witnessed or assisted a student-athlete in participating in academic dishonesty. She has also signed compliance forms indicating no knowledge of wrongdoing.
We have no reason to think the allegation about the former student is true.