On January 8, 2011, there were two new articles about questionable goings-on with the football team in the Land of the Auburnite.
Briefly, there is a Fox Sports article talking about two recruits from Thibodaux, LA, who chose to go to Auburn, and are both connected to Sean Nelson. You can read that article here: http://nmsn.foxsports.com/collegefootball/story/Cameron-Newton-Auburn-Tigers-recruiting-Trovon-Reed-Thibodaux-LSU-Tigers-Sean-Nelson-010811.
As near as I can tell, there's really nothing new in the New York Times article; it's just general background information about Bobby Lowder. You can read that article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/sports/ncaafootball/09boosters.html.
Specifically, the Fox Sports article sets out some questions regarding Auburn's successful recruitment of wide receiver Trovon Reed, the top-ranked player in Louisiana last year, and offensive tackle Greg Robinson, one of the nation's top offensive line prospects.
The common denominator between Reed and Robinson is Nelson. Many people here are upset about their beloved LSU losing out on such highly touted players, especially to a rival SEC program, and some wonder whether Nelson steered them to Auburn for personal gain.
Nelson says he has been Reed’s guardian since Reed’s mother died nearly two years ago and insists he is not involved in Robinson’s recruitment, even though he drove both players on unofficial visits to Auburn, a six-hour trip. Robinson also is part of a nonprofit mentoring group that Nelson recently started.
Former Thibodaux High coach Dennis Lorio says several coaches and students saw Robinson show off cash and a new iPhone at school after a visit to Auburn. Robinson wrote in a Facebook message in July that he got the phone when "I came to Alabama."
But after a practice Thursday for Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl, a high school all-star game in San Antonio, Robinson denied that he was given money or an iPhone from anyone associated with Auburn.
The article inveitably gets to Trooper Taylor, stating that
Taylor is Auburn’s controversial assistant head coach, who was the primary recruiter of Reed and Robinson. Taylor also was involved in the Tigers’ successful pursuit of star quarterback Cameron Newton, whose recruitment is the subject of an NCAA enforcement investigation begun after it was revealed that his father shopped him to Mississippi State for $180,000 in an attempted pay-for-play scheme.
As mentioned before the jump, there's really not much new information in the New York Times article, as near as I can tell. It appears, however, that the NYT is not simply going away, and is still asking questions on the plains.
For those of you who don't already know,
Since being appointed to Auburn’s board by Gov. George Wallace in 1983, Lowder has exerted undeniable influence. In 2009, in the midst of the financial crisis, he stepped down as the chairman and chief executive of Colonial BancGroup in 2009 after personally losing $160 million, according to reports. Prominent Auburn alumni, including the former football coach Pat Dye and the Alabama gambling magnate Milton E. McGregor, lost millions, too. McGregor, who was indicted last year by a federal grand jury on charges of public corruption, lost at least $19 million in Colonial stock.
Since the bank’s implosion, investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Securities and Exchange Commission have sifted through Florida real estate deals involving Colonial, and a shareholder lawsuit has accused the bank of misleading investors into believing Colonial could secure money through the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.
A decade ago, Lowder’s influence over Auburn was silent but immutable. The university scuttled its economics program, a department dear to one of Lowder’s critics on the board of trustees. After the student newspaper began crusading against Lowder’s influence, the university folded the journalism department into its communications program. When the trustees fired the university’s president, William Muse, in 2001, faculty members and students blamed Lowder.