Alabama high school officials clear Reuben Foster’s transfer (UPDATED)

Reuben Foster, nation's No. 2 overall prospect who is committed to Auburn (AJC)

Reuben Foster, nation's No. 2 overall prospect who is committed to Auburn (AJC)

Reuben Foster, who is ranked as the nation’s No. 2 football recruit, has been cleared to play for Auburn High School this season and his transfer from Troup High in LaGrange was within the rules of the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA), Auburn City Schools said in news release on Thursday.

“We are lovely, yes we are,” his mother, Anita Paige, told the AJC exclusively on Thursday. “I wasn’t worried about Reuben being able to play because I know we didn’t do anything wrong.”

Earlier in the week, there was confusion as to whether the 5-star linebacker and his mother were interviewing with officials from the AHSAA or NCAA. After the AJC received a tip from a source that requested anonymity on Monday morning, the AJC asked Paige specifically if she and her son were meeting with the NCAA later in the day Monday. She responded, “Yes, how did you know?”

Paige was also asked specifically about what the NCAA wanted to discuss. There then were reports in Alabama later in the day that the meeting was only with AHSAA officials.

On Monday night, Paige again spoke exclusively with the AJC and was asked to clarify whether the meeting was with the AHSAA or NCAA, and said, “I can’t say. I’m not allowed to comment on that.”

On Thursday, Paige set the record straight: “I thought you were asking me if was I meeting with the Alabama high schools that day. Maybe I did misunderstand what you were saying. Maybe I did.”

She also said it was her own choice – and under nobody else’s orders – to not clarify who she met with on Monday.

“I didn’t want my name slammed around again like it was slammed on Monday about a misunderstanding,” Paige said. “Because of what you said and what I thought I said, that’s why I didn’t want to talk anymore on Monday. That’s all.”

Foster switched to Auburn after being committed to rival Alabama for 12 months (Photo courtesy of Rusty Mansell/247Sports)

Foster switched to Auburn after being committed to rival Alabama for 12 months (Photo courtesy of Rusty Mansell/247Sports)

Paige said Monday’s meeting lasted 20-30 minutes, and only included high school officials. She said her son’s stunning decision last month to switch his commitment to Auburn after being committed to Alabama for 12 months was not discussed.

Because Foster is such a high-profile recruit, his changing of high schools and college commitment has come under scrutiny by both the media and fans on message boards. He moved with his family to Auburn, Ala., in mid-April.

In her Monday interview, Paige had other interesting things to say about the transfer and decommitment that got overshadowed by the meeting report:

  • On the reason for the transfer: Paige reiterated that Foster left Troupe because his coach, Charles Flowers, was fired after last season. She added that “I picked Auburn High School for us because it’s a better school system for academics. Reuben only has one more year of high school, but it was my baby girl [Kayla, 12 years old] who I was more worried about. I want them to get a good education.”
  • On the backlash of the decommitment from Alabama on July 12: “Yes, the Alabama people have said all kinds of awful things, saying he is a traitor, and that ‘You can go play with the pigs if you want.’ They told him you won’t be playing for any championships at Auburn the next four years … just a lot of mean stuff,” she said.
  • On why the switch to Auburn: “Reuben said I won’t have to travel so far for his games since we live in Auburn now. Plus it had to do with those shootings at Auburn. Ladarious Phillips was his cousin who played football at Auburn and was one of those who got killed. That played a big role in Reuben’s decision. He wants to carry on Ladarious’ legacy at Auburn.”
  • On the tattoo: One day after flipping to Auburn, Foster cemented the decision by getting a gigantic Auburn tattoo on his forearm. His mother said the commitment remains so strong that the entire family intends to get Auburn tattoos, as well.

5-star LB Reuben Foster, surrounded by family, will meet with NCAA investigators on Monday (247sports.com)

5-star LB Reuben Foster, surrounded by family, has been cleared to play this season by Alabama's high school association (247sports.com)

This is what was previously reported ..

UPDATE (2:17 p.m Thursday): Auburn City Schools issued a brief news release Thursday afternoon that said Reuben Foster has been cleared to play for Auburn High School this season and that his transfer from Troup High in Lagrange, Ga., was within Alabama High School Athletic Association rules. Check back for updates

Reuben Foster’s change of high schools and college commitment led to a meeting with investigators on Monday afternoon, his mother, Anita Paige, told the AJC. While at first, she said that it was NCAA representatives holding the meeting, there were multiple reports in Alabama that the interview was held instead by the state of Alabama high school association.

Given a chance to clarify Monday night, she said she could not comment and it’s unclear what the next step is and whether she misspoke when she first identified the meeting as being with the NCAA.

Foster, who is ranked as the nation’s No. 2 overall college football prospect, transferred from Troup High School to Alabama’s Auburn High School 40 miles away in mid-April.

Last month, the 5-star linebacker who is entering his senior season also announced his new college destination would be Auburn after being committed to rival Alabama for 12 months.

When contacted around 1 p.m. Monday, Paige was asked directly if she was meeting later in the day with the NCAA and she replied, “Yes, how did you know?” The reports later in the afternoon, including by AuburnUndercover.com’s Bryan Matthews, were that the early evening meeting would be with Alabama high school officials.

When reached at 9 p.m. Monday and asked to clarify whether the meeting was held with the NCAA or Alabama high school officials, Paige responded, “I can’t say. I’m not allowed to comment on that.”

Earlier in the day, Paige told the AJC, “They are talking with Reuben and me. They want to make sure there was nothing illegal done to get us down here, or anything like that. They want to make sure there wasn’t a college booster involved.

“No, there was not a booster involved or anybody from the college involved. There was nothing illegal.”

Foster has said the reason he left Troup was because his coach, Charles Flowers, was fired after last season. His mother reiterated that on Monday, while also adding, “I picked Auburn High School for us because it’s a better school system for academics. Reuben only has one more year of high school, but it was my baby girl [Kayla, 12 years old] who I was more worried about. I want them to get a good education.”

Since Foster flipped from Alabama to Auburn on July 12, there has been a ton of backlash, according to Paige. “Yes, the Alabama people have said all kinds of awful things, saying he is a traitor, and that ‘You can go play with the pigs if you want.’ They told him you won’t be playing for any championships at Auburn the next four years … just a lot of mean stuff.”

Why did Foster switch to Auburn? When Foster went public with the decision, he only read a short statement and did not take any questions from reporters. Paige provided some insight:

One day after flipping from Alabama, Reuben Foster got a gigantic Auburn tattoo on his forearm. His mother said the entire family intends to get Auburn tattoos

One day after flipping from Alabama, Reuben Foster got a gigantic Auburn tattoo on his forearm. His mother said the commitment is so strong that the entire family intends to get Auburn tattoos

“Reuben said I won’t have to travel so far for his games since we live in Auburn now. Plus it had to do with those shootings at Auburn. Ladarious Phillips was his cousin who played football at Auburn and was one of those who got killed. That played a big role in Reuben’s decision. He wants to carry on Ladarious’ legacy at Auburn.”

One day after flipping to Auburn, Foster cemented the decision by getting a gigantic Auburn tattoo on his forearm. His mother said the commitment remains so strong that the entire family intends to get Auburn tattoos, also.

RELATED: Two of Auburn’s current freshmen recruits are also dealing with the NCAA, including one player facing allegations that his high school transcript was falsified (click here for more)

THIS JUST IN …

BECAUSE WE MISS THE OLYMPICS

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– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

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592 comments Add your comment

RxDawg

August 13th, 2012
1:44 pm

It’s about time this “school” gets caught. But they’re pretty good at what they do, so I highly doubt it will happen.

UF Girl

August 13th, 2012
1:47 pm

The smoke is smoldering again in Auburn.

Chi Town

August 13th, 2012
1:47 pm

The Barn will go down in flames for this.

Respect, Saban.

Ryan

August 13th, 2012
1:48 pm

Not sure why you would include Jaquay as “dealing with the NCAA”…he’s trying to get qualified to go to school, something that happens at every school in the country. Him and Jovon’s situations aren’t anywhere close to the same thing.

Cdpridg

August 13th, 2012
1:51 pm

Ah.ha……just had some convo with AU supporters a few hours ago about the activities and shady dealings of Auburn University

Mako

August 13th, 2012
1:51 pm

Revenge of the Sabin

[...] Foster’s family is all in, babee. One day after flipping to Auburn, Foster cemented the decision by getting a gigantic Auburn tattoo [...]

UF Fan

August 13th, 2012
1:53 pm

His mom is suddenly worried about academics after having her children in the same school system after 7+ years? That seems awfully convenient. When my son becomes a 5* recruit, that means I should take educations serilus.

CB48

August 13th, 2012
1:53 pm

From this Bama fan, I wish Reuben Foster well. In the end you have to do what you have to do! At least that is what Trooper Taylor probably told him.

Dee12

August 13th, 2012
1:55 pm

Are they that good at cheating or is it just wishful thinking on your part that they are cheating.plus wrong University try BAMA U now that’s who’s good at it, national champs in cheating.

ronnie maddox

August 13th, 2012
1:56 pm

I think it was the alabama and gerogia fans crying. alabama cant stand it when get a good player ,and far a while he said he was going to alabama.what or they going say when O J HOWARD flips.georgia crying cause they lost there a player from there on state.MR. TRAY MATTHEWS best freind plays at AUBURN guess what georgia he likes AUBURN
WAR EAGLE

GTech

August 13th, 2012
1:57 pm

The Dirtiest Little Village on the Plains!!!!

bill

August 13th, 2012
1:57 pm

Sounds like there is literally zero concrete evidence or reason to think there is anything legitimate here at all. Good story mike.

Happy Ending

August 13th, 2012
1:57 pm

Trooper Taylor is going to land the ‘Barn is some serious trouble.

ToccoaDawg

August 13th, 2012
1:57 pm

As the Barn Burns.

WDE

August 13th, 2012
1:58 pm

If the NCAA couldn’t pin anything on Cam’s daddy after he confessed he shopped Cam I doubt they can touch this kid…move on..

againstcorruption

August 13th, 2012
1:59 pm

They didn’t do anything to the tide about the suit deal, thats where the NCAA should be today.

Happy Ending

August 13th, 2012
1:59 pm

Wonder how the test scores at the ‘Barn high school compare to the Troup county test scores since it is about the “quality education” that is driving their decisions.

wrestler

August 13th, 2012
2:00 pm

Yeah it was ok when he was committed to Alabama. When he changed his mind, good ole Saban started making those phone calls. Don’t screw with Saban, he will eat your lunch.

[...] Reuben Foster: NCAA investigators to meet with Auburn 5-star LB recruit | AJC College Sports Recruit… [...]

TTsTowel

August 13th, 2012
2:01 pm

We’re buying all the recruits. DWI.

Gorilla Biscuit

August 13th, 2012
2:01 pm

Reuben’s mama is a fine looking female. And above all concerned about her family’s education. I might consider adding her to my troupe. Might be hard to keep her in bamboo shoots though.

“One day after flipping to Auburn, Foster cemented the decision by getting a gigantic Auburn tattoo on his forearm. His mother said the commitment remains so strong that the entire family intends to get Auburn tattoos, also.”

Baby girl Kayla is going to just be a heartbreaker with her new tattoo. Wonder where she’ll put it?

Happy Ending

August 13th, 2012
2:01 pm

Exactly what career vocation has Ms. Anita Page chosen that would allow her to up and move two children to a better school system in Alabama? I was under the impression that the job market is tight.

DawginLex

August 13th, 2012
2:02 pm

You AU tards can give it up on Tray Matthews.

He is all Dawg

He is just buddies with foster but he is not going to school with him

TTsTowel

August 13th, 2012
2:02 pm

umad, everybody?

CB48

August 13th, 2012
2:03 pm

If Mom is so worried about academics, Rueben could have transferred to Sandy Creek High School in Fayette County. Fayette County has great academics, a great team, great coaches…He did meet with Coach Walker during his search for a new school.
Sorry Mrs. Paige, no one buys the “worried about his and his 12 year old sisters academics” B.S.

RxDawg

August 13th, 2012
2:03 pm

“Trooper Taylor is going to land the ‘Barn is some serious trouble.”

It’s not Trooper. Well… he’s not the one calling the shots anyways. He’s just a grunt willing to do what the administration and boosters over there push. Gene Chizic is a head coach in name, he doesn’t run that program. Auburn is infested with a philosophy of breaking the rules in order to win.

Gator Mike

August 13th, 2012
2:03 pm

Cam’s daddy is a preacher; therefore, Cam was proven clean. Maybe this kid has a preacher in the family. Also, does anyone know the story on a Freshman on the AU football team who got inot AU on a falsified high school transcript? They may have more than a tree to worry about on the Plains.

TTsTowel

August 13th, 2012
2:03 pm

DawginLex, just wait until we throw iPhones, cash, and hookers at Tray Matthews…

Oh wait, we already did. That’s why he’s a silent to us. DWI.

Bama Time

August 13th, 2012
2:04 pm

The NCAA still has some butthurt over the Cam affair. Cecil solicts money and the NCAA cannot do anything about it- The NCAA is going to remember that. That maybe why “NCAA and Aubaurn” are in so many articles…

Big Crimson 75

August 13th, 2012
2:05 pm

UF Fan — well said, sir.

As for Mrs. Paige(what are the odds she actually would have the same last name as her son), cry me a river lady!!
‘You can go play with the pigs if you want.’ They told him you won’t be playing for any championships at Auburn the next four years … just a lot of mean stuff.”
A lot of mean stuff!!!!??? — yes, the truth hurts honey.

I’m beginning to think this kid is more drama than Robert N.

Wow

August 13th, 2012
2:06 pm

I guess the pressure is on at Auburn since Bama won NC last yr.

Auburn’s motto – Best Team Money Can Buy!

CC

August 13th, 2012
2:08 pm

Oh boy! Maybe the NCAA will finally bury Auburn and Trooper Taylor.

TK

August 13th, 2012
2:08 pm

AU is ditry and Terry Bowden admitted they paid players. ADMITTED IT. Just ask Cam’s daddy. Cha-ching. Don’t laugh bamers, you own cheating and if AU are the amateurs, you Bamers are the pros.

ATL Guy

August 13th, 2012
2:09 pm

@HappyEnding – shows how much you know. Auburn High School has scores in the top 5% and nationally ranked 28th best non-magnet public high school in the country by Newsweek – just sayin clown

satxdawg

August 13th, 2012
2:12 pm

I guess its far fetched to say him and his family already knew he was going to auburn. So like she said they would be closer to him and able to go to the games. Not to mention the fact he has a child ..

Ohio State Meyer

August 13th, 2012
2:13 pm

They hired that thug trash Newton,so who is suprised by this?

Aren’t they the most penalized team in the SEC as far as cheating?

Bama Man

August 13th, 2012
2:13 pm

There’s always something going on in Auburn! Who would want to play for that program after the way Arkansas and Georgia manhandled them last season. Not to mention Bama hahaha. The whole family is getting Auburn tattoos? Classy. They will wish they never got those things pretty soon. Why not get a giant Auburn flag or jerseys if you want to express yourself??

SM

August 13th, 2012
2:14 pm

This smells… like a Barn. And just exactly what does his mama do for a living that she can up and move like that? In this economy, I doubt she even HAS a job.

Bad Dawg

August 13th, 2012
2:14 pm

Who cares if Auburn cheats? As long as we keep beating them on Saturdays I could care less. Congrats to Rueben and Go Dawgs!

James

August 13th, 2012
2:14 pm

They want to carry on the legacy of a guy that was not on the team anymore. That makes sense. Maybe they’re asking about her new job in Auburn?

Cheese

August 13th, 2012
2:15 pm

UGA Mad! Bama Mad! NCAA Mad! U Mad! AJC Mad! hahahahahahahaha, love it and war damn eagle!

auburnu008

August 13th, 2012
2:15 pm

@Wow, @TK, @RxDawg, @CB48, @Happy Ending, I am the bagman. How about them apples?

HBCU Supporter

August 13th, 2012
2:15 pm

When will these parents stop letting these schools pimp our black boys?

[...] the AJC website for the story, but here is the money [...]

Ohio State Meyer

August 13th, 2012
2:18 pm

They should spend the money they pay these recruits to plant those trees back the retards roll.

SM

August 13th, 2012
2:18 pm

@ATL Guy – This school is in Alabama, right? You’re telling me that there is a school IN ALABAMA that ranks 28th in the COUNTRY???? I’m not buying it, no matter who printed it.

ATL Guy

August 13th, 2012
2:18 pm

Pimp out, serious!? You mean scholarship and free ride to a University for an education with national scouting to the NFL. End of the day, its on the players to decide their future with the opportunities presented to them. Hard to call University Athletes as victims

alahunter

August 13th, 2012
2:19 pm

I am an idiot. I am aubsessed with all things Auburn.

auburnu008

August 13th, 2012
2:20 pm

@SM Look it up idiot