As you may have seen this morning, Auburn University is in a bit of a sticky situation following allegations of improper recruiting tactics used to lure student-athletes into commitments. Former New York Times and Sports Illustrated reporter Selena Roberts originally broke the story on her website Roopstigo.com, claiming that Auburn was guilty of multiple NCAA violations, including rampant and excessive spending on high school players during campus visits.
Roberts' report named current Bengals CB Dre Kirkpatrick as one of the players who was the beneficiary of such flagrant spending. According to Joe Reedy of The Inquirer, however, Kirkpatrick is denying any such wrongdoing. Here is what he had to say about his visit to the Auburn campus.
"Nobody gave me any money, and nobody spent any money on me that I know of. I don’t know what they would have spent it on. We went to a party, but nobody was paying to get in there. We just walked in like everybody else seemed to be doing."
Quite the deviation from Roberts' allegation of a $500 entertainment budget that Auburn coaches approved of to welcome Kirkpatrick to the campus.
Regardless of how things actually went down, Kirkpatrick sounds like someone trying to distance themselves from an ugly situation. Recruiting violations are nothing new and in most cases the players themselves are innocent. Kirkpatrick was probably just in the wrong place at the wrong time, so to speak, the beneficiary of an over-zealous coaching staff trying to make a strong impression on a young athlete. It is extremely doubtful that Kirkpatrick's tangential involvement in the violations will result in any sort of punishment for him.
Auburn University, on the other hand, probably won't be as lucky. As our own Josh Kirkendall put it:
Auburn is boarding the windows for a Category Five sh*t-storm.