Auburn acknowledges investigations by FBI, NCAA

NEW ORLEANS — Auburn officials acknowledged Thursday afternoon that its basketball program is currently under investigation by the FBI, NCAA and SEC, but remained vague about the nature of the probe.

“Auburn officials were made aware of a rumor regarding an allegation two weeks ago and immediately reported it to the FBI, the NCAA and the SEC,” Auburn assistant athletic director Cassie Arner said in a statement released by the school. “Because of the nature of the allegation, Auburn is not in a position to make any further comment on the situation.”

Yahoo!Sports, citing multiple sources, reported earlier Thursday that Auburn is being investigated for an alleged points-shaving scheme planned by Varez Ward, a sophomore guard from Montgomery. Ward, who transferred to Auburn from Texas, has been suspended indefinitely for the last three games for “conduct detrimental to the team.” Fellow guard Chris Denson of Columbus was suspended at the same time but was reinstated after one game.

No members of the Auburn basketball team have commented yet on the point-shaving allegations. The Tigers (15-15, 5-11 SEC) and first-year head caoch Tony Barbee are scheduled to play Ole Miss (18-12, 8-8) at 7:30 p.m. in the first round of the SEC tournament.

Ward was the Tigers’ starting point guard and was averaging 9.0 points and 3.8 assists when Auburn suspended him.

The NCAA is clearly taking the accusations seriously.

“We are very concerned by the point-shaving allegations involving Auburn University men’s basketball program and have been in contact with the school and the FBI since the issue arose in February,” the NCAA said in a statement released to media outlets Thursday night. “The NCAA takes any allegation of point shaving very seriously because sports wagering threatens two of our core principles – the well-being of student-athletes and the very integrity of intercollegiate sport. As allegations of point shaving, if proven, are also potential federal crimes, the NCAA will defer action until any process with the FBI has concluded.”

111 comments Add your comment

Say it ain't so

March 8th, 2012
5:14 pm

Auburn under investigation?
BBUUHHUUWWAAHHAAHHHAAHHHAA

Say it ain't so

March 8th, 2012
5:17 pm

I’m sure they are innocent, just like Cam and Cecil.
BBUUHHUUWAAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Say it ain't so

March 8th, 2012
5:19 pm

Auburn in trouble again?
Surely not.
BBUHHHUUUWWAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Say it ain't so

March 8th, 2012
5:21 pm

So really they are good, but have been pretending to suck all year?
BBUHHHUUUWWAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Say it ain't so

March 8th, 2012
5:22 pm

I’m sure having the FBI in the stands tonight won’t be distracting.
BBUHHHUUUWWAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

ToddA

March 8th, 2012
5:23 pm

Only when others than the SEC get involved does something happen. The whole sCam scam was swept under the rug and the NCAA turns a blind eye. Knowing it would have resulted in death penalty. What ever happened to former COACHES saying they paid recruits $15k to sign?

SEC Cheats

March 8th, 2012
5:24 pm

Only when others than the SEC get involved does something happen. The whole sCam scam was swept under the rug and the NCAA turns a blind eye. Knowing it would have resulted in death penalty. What ever happened to former COACHES saying they paid recruits $15k to sign?

Say it ain't so

March 8th, 2012
5:25 pm

The FBI, SEC, and the NCAA.
NIIIIIIIIIIIICCCCCCCCEEEEEEEE
At least they can use their usual offices.
BBUHHHUUUWWAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Say it ain't so

March 8th, 2012
5:26 pm

What’s it like to be constantly under investigation?
BBUHHHUUUWWAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Say it ain't so

March 8th, 2012
5:28 pm

I guess ToddA thinks the SEC Cheats. Nice double post.
Ohio State Fan?

piermontdawgny

March 8th, 2012
5:28 pm

what about cam newton? HE SHAVES!

evil empire

March 8th, 2012
5:31 pm

maybe it’s time we look into the removal of both auburn and bama from he sec…both have become an embarrassment to the conference…bama with the arrogance of saban and it’s crimson army of retards (tea-bagger, tree-killer)…and auburn…where to begin…s-cam, armed robberies, point shaving, dyer and the ex-OC…enough already…i’ve see enough…send ‘em both packing…

Say it ain't so

March 8th, 2012
5:35 pm

The NCAA, FBI, and SEC all back at their usual offices in Auburn.
I bet the coffee pots were still warm.
BBUUHHUUWWAAHHHAAHAHAHAHAHA

kevin

March 8th, 2012
6:11 pm

Simply put Auburn runs the dirtiest athletic program in the SEC. Closely followed by Alabama, $ is the root of all evil!

Nick

March 8th, 2012
6:19 pm

“Simply put Auburn runs the dirtiest athletic program in the SEC. Closely followed by Alabama, $ is the root of all evil!”

Nick

March 8th, 2012
6:20 pm

And EVERYONE knows this.

Nick

March 8th, 2012
6:21 pm

Kevin- Also should have changed SEC to this freaking country for both those schools.

Mike

March 8th, 2012
6:30 pm

Chip, the headline of Charles Robinson’s article went “Auburn’s Varez Ward at center of federal point-shaving probe.”

Your article’s title managed to mention “Auburn, FBI and NCAA.”

The first line of Charles Robinson’s article went

“Suspended Auburn University point guard Varez Ward is under investigation by federal authorities in an ongoing point-shaving probe, Yahoo! Sports has learned.”

While any allegation of point-shaving is extremely serious, you don’t feel this was a bit of headline grabbing?

Dawg48

March 8th, 2012
6:45 pm

The return of shoeless Joe Jackson!

Dean

March 8th, 2012
6:47 pm

Auburn? Cheating? nah, it can’t be!

but but but....I'm didn't do nothin

March 8th, 2012
6:55 pm

what’s the matter? Could not cough up the 180,000 that Auburn likes to have lying around

Charlie Hayes

March 8th, 2012
6:58 pm

Why is the FBI involved in a point-shaving scheme? That just doesn’t make sense to me….Maybe the basketball team is having to shave points to pay back the investors that took care of Scam Newton and his happy pappy! College sports are going down the drain due to stupid selfishness punks….Start putting them in jail instead of suspending them. Get their attention and set the bar for others that follow. Stop all the hand slapping bull-crap and crack down on these wasted scholarships…..

Brainiac(Dawg for life/Richt fan for life)

March 8th, 2012
7:13 pm

@ Charles Hayes:

Getting the FBI involved was because Grayshirt U has ALL Aladambama Law Enforcement on it’s payroll and they wouldn’t give The War Chickins a fair investigation.

Did anyone else notice the abscence of O Bama trolls on here???

St Simons - we're on Island time

March 8th, 2012
7:16 pm

they had to recoup the 200k bag money from the casino and
get it back to the Louder School of Bankin’

hey upside! – more cap room since Scam took a pay cut to go pro
heheheh I said “go pro”…like, well, you know

bardawg

March 8th, 2012
7:21 pm

East Alabama trailer trash doing what they do best!

Ralph

March 8th, 2012
7:24 pm

NCAA will hammer Auburn for Basketball but look the other way for Football. try and find one person that lives in the State of Ala. that gives a crap about Basketball.

Dean

March 8th, 2012
7:38 pm

ALL IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chip Towers

March 8th, 2012
7:44 pm

Mike: I think it’s accurate.

phil

March 8th, 2012
8:10 pm

Absolutely the headline is accurate.

Fraudburn….
Scam Newton
Gene Cheatzik

I’ll have some new names to add to the ole list soon it looks like.

Cam Newton

March 8th, 2012
8:12 pm

I should have played TE for UGA.

sports

March 8th, 2012
8:20 pm

The entire sports program at the Auburn Penitentiary needs investigating
that bunch is way overdue!

tenn.DAWG

March 8th, 2012
8:20 pm

Everyone knew the football program should have been penalized,who would of thought the BB program would have out done it.Man it doesn’t get much more serious than shaving points.

Big Crimson 75

March 8th, 2012
8:26 pm

This helps explain why Aubie hasn’t had a good basketball team since Chris Porter was terrorizing the SEC & the Campus !!!

Mike

March 8th, 2012
8:42 pm

Chip,

Not denying your headline wasn’t accurate. Just thought it was a regurgitation of another man’s work with a slanted headline that would generate page views and comments.

So far mission accomplished.

Cecil

March 8th, 2012
8:45 pm

Ward should have just come to me. The collection plate runneth over! Cam, pass the peas.

Mark (another one)

March 8th, 2012
9:18 pm

If I am reading correctly, Auburn turned Ward based on a rumor. That sounds like Auburn did the right thing when they heard the rumor. I’m a Dawg fan, and have no love for Auburn but this is an individual issue, not an institutional wrong doing.

Bob

March 8th, 2012
9:39 pm

From what I read in the Yahoo article, Auburn was notified of an allegation that a basketball player was shaving points and they contacted the FBI, NCAA, and SEC. Sounds like Bama is spreading bullshiat rumors again, e.g Cam.

KINGDAWG

March 8th, 2012
9:43 pm

Maybe the Charlie Daniels song should have be called “The Devil went down to Auburn/Alabama”.

Mike

March 8th, 2012
10:15 pm

Observer

March 8th, 2012
10:41 pm

BASKETBALL ???!!!!!?????

And not football?????

Tdawg

March 8th, 2012
11:03 pm

As much as I believe that Auburn was paying some of their athletes and at least some of the higher up’s knew so. This one though, I would have to believe that the Auburn officials knew nothing about this. Unless the coaches were involved in the point shaving scheme, which I highly doubt, I can not in all good conscience lay the blame at the door step of Auburn officials. Then again maybe this kid wasn’t being paid the money he felt he deserved. Hopefully the kid didn’t do what he is accused of doing. If he did, then he just blew his future out of the water and I don’t mean just as far as basketball goes.

Big Crimson 75

March 8th, 2012
11:14 pm

I’m no gambling man — so somebody help. I know you can bet on just about anything in any Sport. But, wouldn’t Auburn have to be favored for the Sharks to do really well in a point shaving scheme? This supposedly happened in fewer than 5 games. Were they favored in any of those games?

I watched the Bama – Auburn game from early Feb. which is reportedly one of the games in question, all you can say was UGLY!! Terrible game & I remember thinking — this Ward kid for AU sucks!!

MaJo

March 8th, 2012
11:16 pm

Keep playing to your Bulldog readership, Chip.

Charles Robinson (the Yahoo! journalist you referenced in your article) had this to say today:

“I don’t see any way for Auburn to be penalized for this,” Robinson said. “They became aware of the potential of something going on, from what we’re told, they moved very swiftly to get this taken care of. There’s not been any indication whatsoever that Auburn University was in the wrong.”

http://auburn.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1340786

Please, Chip, tell me how Auburn basketball as a whole is being investigated, rather than a particular player. Keep throwing meat to the Bulldog Nation. That’s all you’re good for.

kingdaddy

March 8th, 2012
11:57 pm

The only thing surprising is they got caught. Once again, I’m sure they will be completely exonerated of any and all charges. This cast a pall on the entire university and I can’t see how this will not effect their recruiting even in football. I think the 2012 football recruits from GA. Could and Should rethink _their commitment to a school under constant investigation. We let a couple get away who may be willing to rethink UGA. How about some feedback …

kingdaddy

March 9th, 2012
12:08 am

BC
You just saw evidence of allegations. You can be a hostile witness. LOL

AU!!

March 9th, 2012
1:05 am

football players taking money, basketball players shaving points. What is the baseball team doing to keep up???

Thomas Brown

March 9th, 2012
6:43 am

You look at these games where Varez Ward had inexplicable poor games, followed by 3 great games, then inexplicable poor games in this point-shaving investigation.

Aaron Murray has games that just smh

Nauti dawg

March 9th, 2012
7:05 am

The most lucrative village on the plains.

7576DAWG

March 9th, 2012
7:37 am

Ever since the Pat Dye thing Auburn has made it a point not to have any illegal, or rule breaking issues lead back to the school. I think they have been doing the way they do so long now that for anything to be linked back to the school would be impossible. If the Cam Newton situation didn’t prove anything nothing will.
The players may be in trouble but no way they will be able to tie Auburn to it.

Thomas Brown

March 9th, 2012
7:40 am

This one, I think they do tie back to Auburn basketball of this former Texas player, who sat out last season. Auburn has worked cooperatively and proactively on the investigation, mitigating their responsibilities for the kid being there in the 1st place. As for Auburn basketball, it wasn’t any good ever – like us.