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Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011

Auburn football: NCAA investigating Tigers again

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Recruitment of Reed, Robinson is new focus

By ANDY BITTER

abitter@ledger-enquirer.com

AUBURN, Ala. -- Two NCAA investigators interviewed several people in Thibodaux, La., on Monday about Auburn’s recruitment of Greg Robinson and Trovon Reed, according to a report by FoxSports.com Wednesday.

Robinson, an offensive lineman, signed with Auburn in February. Reed, a wide receiver, signed with the Tigers in 2010 and redshirted last season. Both played at Thibodaux High.

The FoxSports.com article said the investigators were looking into the players’ involvement with Sean Nelson, who is Reed’s legal guardian and, according to the report, took both players on visits to Auburn.

Former Thibodaux coach Dennis Lorio, who resigned after last year, said he spoke for 45 minutes to two NCAA investigators who asked him whether he thinks Auburn committed NCAA violations in its recruitment of Robinson.

“I can’t say what Auburn did because I don’t know and I wasn’t involved very much,” Lorio told FoxSports Wednesday. “I really don’t know truthfully.”

“My answer is what went on with Greg’s recruitment, you’re going to have ask Trooper Taylor, Greg, his parents and, I believe, Sean Nelson. I don’t have any more answers because I don’t know.”

Lorio told FoxSports in January that several coaches and students saw Robinson show off cash and a new iPhone at school after making an unofficial visit to Auburn last year. Efforts to contact Lorio Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Before the BCS national title game, Taylor, who was the primary recruiter for Reed and Robinson, said he did not give money or items to the players at any point.

The NCAA investigators also spoke to Robinson for “a couple of hours” Monday, Lorio said, in addition to Robinson’s mother.

Nelson, in past interviews, said he has was not paid by anyone associated with Auburn in relation to Reed and Robinson’s recruitment.

Auburn officials did not have a comment on the situation. The school has not received a letter of inquiry from the NCAA about the two players.

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