AUBURN, Ala. — Four former Auburn football players will say they received cash from boosters on an HBO special that airs tonight.
Chaz Ramsey, Troy Reddick, Stanley McClover and Raven Gray will appear on “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” at 10 p.m. and say they received money during their time at Auburn, according to a transcript from an advance copy of the show published by the website Sports by Brooks.
All four played during Tommy Tuberville’s time as Auburn’s coach.
McClover, an All-SEC defensive end who played for the Tigers from 2003-05, said he received “money handshakes” from boosters of LSU, Auburn, Ohio State and Michigan State during the recruiting process, getting slipped a couple of hundred dollars to consider their school.
After committing to Ohio State, he said he switched to Auburn after asking for and receiving an unspecified amount of money from a booster.
“I almost passed out,” he said. “I literally almost passed out. I couldn’t believe it was true. I felt like I owed them.”
He said he also received money from boosters for his performance on the field, getting anywhere from $300 to $400 per sack. For one Iron Bowl performance, he said he received $4,000. Asked if it was more money because it was a rivalry game, he said, “Definitely. No other game matters.”
Reddick, an offensive lineman from 2001-04, said he was contacted by a local alumnus in Auburn during the recruiting process and offered a large sum of money, but he did not take it.
Later in his career he was unhappy at Auburn and wanted to leave but stayed after he said he was given an envelope from one of the coaches containing $500. He said that happened two or three more times that year and seven more times his senior year. Gray, a highly touted defensive lineman who signed with the Tigers in 2008 but never played because of an injury, said he received $2,500 to $3,000 from boosters trying to convince him to go to Auburn coming out of junior college.
Ramsey, an offensive lineman who played for the Tigers in 2007, said he received “money handshakes” from fans after games, totaling $300 to $400 a contest.
“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,” he said.
Ramsey also said he made about $5,000 to $6,000 by selling game tickets provided by the school.
Ramsey’s career was cut short by a back injury. He filed a lawsuit against the school for mismanaging the injury that recently was thrown out of court, but he said he doesn’t have a vendetta against Auburn.
“I’m not out to get anybody,” he said. “I want high school athletes to know what they’re getting into. This is what college football is really about, it’s a business.”
McClover and Reddick’s claims fall outside the NCAA’s statute of limitations, which is four years; however, if the allegations fall into a pattern, the ruling body could waive that statute.
Auburn officials did not respond to a request for comment. In a transcript from the show, university officials declined to comment on “these alleged claims apparently made by a few former football players” and said, quote, “compliance with all NCAA and Southeastern Conference rules is a major emphasis and top priority for all of our athletic programs.”