While the HBO special set to premiere tomorrow night originally generated much discussion and speculation, little has been said of its supposed revelations in recent weeks, and many have taken that as an indicator that there would be little, if anything, of interest revealed in the segment. And, um, yeah, let's just say that is apparently not entirely accurate.
SportsbyBrooks claims to have obtained a transcript of the program that will air on HBO tomorrow night, and if his report is to be believed then four former Auburn players -- Stanley McClover, Raven Gray, Troy Reddick, and Chaz Ramsey -- will make very serious pay-for-play allegations against their former school tomorrow night. By all means go read the entire piece, but just a few of the juicy tidbits revealed, first from former Auburn defensive end Stanley McClover:
Kremer voiceover: "McClover says what he asked for was money. A lot of it. And that he got it. Delivered in a bookbag, exact amount unknown."
Kremer to McClover: "You opened it up, what are you thinking?"
McClover: "I almost passed out. I literally almost passed out I couldn’t believe it was true. I felt like I owed them."
And remember "Honk if you sacked Brodie"? Um, yeah, 'bout that:
Kremer to McClover: "How much was a sack worth?"
McClover: "Anywhere between 300 and 400 dollars. For one."
Kremer to McClover: "I think in one game you had four sacks, what did you earn in that game?"
McClover: "Four thousand. Against Alabama."
McClover: "Alabama, a rivalry game."
Kremer: "More money because it’s Alabama?"
McClover: "Definitely. No other game matters."
Former Auburn defensive end Raven Gray:
Kremer voiceover: "Raven Gray was a top (Auburn) recruit in 2007, he says people affiliated with Auburn would visit him at his junior college and press the flesh there too."
Kremer to Gray: "How much do you think you got?"
Gray: "Twenty five-hundred to three thousand dollars. Loyalty is the key. This man give me money I’m going to be loyal to him and go to Auburn."
Former Auburn offensive lineman Chaz Ramsey:
Kremer voiceover: "Chaz Ramsey played for a year (for Auburn) in 2007, and says he too received money handshakes after games."
Ramsey: "You walk out and all the fans are waiting for you to sign autographs and everything and some random guy just walks up to you and shakes your hand and there’s a wad full of money."
Kremer: "How much are we talking about?"
Ramsey: "300 or 400 dollars a game."
Former offensive lineman Troy Reddick:
Reddick: "He (Auburn coach) said I got some mail for you up in my office."
Kremer to Reddick: "Some mail for you?"
Reddick: "And I followed him up to his office and he gave me an envelope. I didn’t open there, I walked out to my truck, took off. … It was about 500 dollars."
Kremer: "500 dollars in the envelope?"
Reddick: (nods yes)
Kremer: "How often did you get the money in the envelope?"
Reddick: "Over that season it happened like two or three more times. And it happened about six or seven times my senior year."
All in all, we're talking some very, very juicy, explosive allegations being made here. Having said that, though, I don't see anything currently mentioned here to the effect that any of the players making these accusations can corroborate their accusations with any extrinsic evidence. If they can do that then we are talking about major violations that could (and likely would) result in major sanctions, but if not this moves into the murky realm of unsubstantiated verbal allegations made by former players, and to say that the NCAA has an inconsistent history in dealing with those cases would easily be the understatement of the week -- a concern highlighted by the fact that one of the players making allegations against Auburn, Chaz Ramsey, is currently suing Auburn University over an injury he claims to have ended his football career.
We'll have to wait and see where this one goes next, but at very least if you thought for a moment that the Auburn pay-for-play melodrama was going to go away any time soon, you can quickly dismiss those notions if this is indeed what is revealed in the HBO special tomorrow night.
Update: Charles Goldberg, the beat reporter for Auburn football for several major Alabama newspapers, has confirmed the above transcript. Given that Goldberg has pretty much been Auburn's answer to Ron Ziegler the past six months, I think you can say with certainty, notwithstanding SportsbyBrooks' credibility, that these are indeed the allegations that will be made tomorrow night.