AD Jay Jacobs sends letter to Auburn family in response to ESPN - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

AD Jay Jacobs sends letter to Auburn family in response to ESPN "E:60" report

Posted: Updated:
Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs. (abc3340.com) Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs. (abc3340.com)

Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs sent a letter to the Auburn family Thursday night in response to an ESPN "E:60" report of a cover-up of failed drug tests by football players under former head coach Gene Chizik.

The report was based on an interview with former player Dakota Mosley, who was dismissed from the team in 2011 following his arrest in connection to a home invasion involving three other former players --Antonio Goodwin, Mike McNeil and Shawn Kitchens. Goodwin was convicted of first-degree robbery on June 19, 2012 and is currently serving a 15-year sentence in an Alabama prison.

McNeil appeared in court in Lee County for a status hearing today where Circuit Court Judge Christopher Hughes ordered the trial to proceed on two-counts of first-degree robbery.

Mosley said in the interview that he was never punished by Auburn coaches or the administration after failing "six or seven" drug tests for synthetic marijuana, more commonly known as "spice." At the time of the failed tests, spice was legal in the state of Alabama and was not included in school's list of banned substances for student-athletes.

Jacobs refutes the notion that the university attempted to conceal the results of the drug tests and says in the letter that the Tigers' athletic department was aggressive in its response to the "growing threat of synthetic marijuana."

Jacobs also released a statement earlier on Thursday in response to a roopstigo.com report by Selena Roberts that alleges several NCAA violations including paying cash to players, grade-changing and recruiting violations during Auburn's 2010 BCS National Championship season.

Read:  Jay Jacobs says school will look into allegations

Jay Jacobs' letter to the Auburn Family:


Dear Auburn Family,

You may have seen a story on ESPN.com this evening about the former Auburn football players who were dismissed two years ago for their involvement in an armed robbery.

The story chronicles the former players' use of synthetic marijuana, which the defendants in the robbery case have used as their primary defense in court. We expect another, more in-depth story to appear in an upcoming print edition of ESPN The Magazine.

We cooperated with ESPN in the story because of how appropriately and aggressively the Auburn Athletics Department and the Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics acted in response to the growing threat of synthetic marijuana during the 2010-2011 academic year.

As a father of three, I sympathize with the parents of the young men who face prison sentences for their alleged involvement in the armed robbery. While they have a right to speak out, I have an obligation to share the facts, which clearly show Auburn Athletics tried to help these former student-athletes.

Some of the statements made in the story are wrong and need to be corrected, while others need to be put into proper context. One player interviewed by ESPN, for example, alleges that up to half of the 2010 football team was using synthetic marijuana. It's hard to be more wrong than that. The facts and our drug testing results simply do not support such a claim.

A parent interviewed told ESPN they would have done more to help her son had we done more to let her know he was in trouble. That is incorrect. The facts demonstrate that our coaches and Sports Medicine professionals had regular communication with the parents and that every effort was made to warn our student-athletes about the dangers of synthetic marijuana.

Allow me to share with you the facts that we provided to the reporter. Some of them were included in the initial story. Some were not.

• Auburn Athletics began testing for synthetic marijuana three days after our testing company made a test available. A test became available on Jan. 24, 2011, and Auburn added the test to its panel on Jan. 27, 2011.

• Since our drug testing policy was amended to include synthetic marijuana as a banned substance, there have been three positive tests for the drug out of more than 2,500 drug tests administered. Those three individuals are no longer on Auburn Athletics rosters.

• As soon as our Director of Sports Medicine was aware that synthetic marijuana was a drug readily available in convenience stores in the fall of 2010, Auburn Athletics contacted our drug testing company to inquire about whether they had a test for synthetic marijuana and when one would be made available. They did not have a test at the time.

At the same time, our Director of Sports Medicine began education efforts aimed at our coaches and student-athletes.

• Auburn Athletics provided urine samples to the drug testing company to assist them in their efforts to develop a test.

• The Director of Sports Medicine and former Coach Gene Chizik both addressed the football team about the dangers of synthetic marijuana at multiple team meetings in the Fall of 2010, before a test was available. A story about the drug was placed on the locker of every football player on the team.

• Within the first few months of testing, 3 percent of our student-athletes tested positive for synthetic marijuana.

• Phone records show that more than 50 phone calls were made to the parents of two former student-athletes who were interviewed by ESPN.

• The father of one of the student-athletes who was apparently interviewed by ESPN was sent a letter informing him that his son had failed a drug test for regular marijuana two months before the robbery.

• The Auburn Drug Testing/Drug Education Advisory Committee recommended to the Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics that synthetic marijuana be added to the Auburn Athletics drug testing policy on March 14, 2011. The policy change was adopted that day.

• Penalties for the use of synthetic marijuana were put into place for the next academic year beginning in August of 2011. Since it became a banned substance under the drug testing policy, only three student-athletes have tested positive for synthetic marijuana out of more than 2,500 tests administered.

I hope the facts clear up any misconceptions about drug use among our student-athletes. It is important for you to know that Auburn Athletics conducts approximately 1,500 drug tests each academic year. Less than one percent of our student-athletes test positive for illegal substances.

  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • Moody High School students mourn death of classmate

    Moody High School students mourn death of classmate

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 3:51 PM EDT2014-08-19 19:51:03 GMT
    Students at Moody High School are mourning the loss of their classmate. 16-year-old Jonathan Harris, a sophomore died Monday night from injuries sustained in a weekend rollover accident on Roberts Mill Pond Road in Pell City. Students wore blue on Tuesday, the school color of Moody High School, the same color he wore on the football field and on the wrestling mat. "Jonathan was always one of those kids who had a smile on his face. You would never catch him frowning or in a bad mood. He was ...More >>
    Students at Moody High School are mourning the loss of their classmate. 16-year-old Jonathan Harris, a sophomore died Monday night from injuries sustained in a weekend rollover accident on Roberts Mill Pond Road in Pell City. Students wore blue on Tuesday, the school color of Moody High School, the same color he wore on the football field and on the wrestling mat. "Jonathan was always one of those kids who had a smile on his face. You would never catch him frowning or in a bad mood. He was ...More >>
  • Alabama alligator hunter demolishes state record with 15-foot, 1000-pound gator

    Alabama alligator hunter demolishes state record with 15-foot, 1000-pound gator

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 12:35 PM EDT2014-08-19 16:35:24 GMT
    A family battled a 1,000-pound alligator for more than five hours, putting several large hooks into the beast before firing a fatal shotgun blast into the gator's head.More >>
    A family battled a 1,000-pound alligator for more than five hours, putting several large hooks into the beast before firing a fatal shotgun blast into the gator's head.
    More >>
  • Essential oils not allowed to be kept in JeffCo schools

    Essential oils not allowed to be kept in JeffCo schools

    Monday, August 18 2014 5:02 PM EDT2014-08-18 21:02:48 GMT
    The latest item to hit school ban lists are essential oils. Parents say these plant oils help their children suffering from seemingly most ailments from asthma to allergies. Jefferson County schools will not allow school nurses to administer them. Students cannot even keep them in lockers.More >>
    The latest item to hit school ban lists are essential oils. Parents say these plant oils help their children suffering from seemingly most ailments from asthma to allergies. Jefferson County schools will not allow school nurses to administer them. Students cannot even keep them in lockers.
    More >>
  • Auburn University SportsMore>>

  • Auburn's Patrick Young could miss season with knee injury

    Auburn's Patrick Young could miss season with knee injury

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 10:32 PM EDT2014-08-20 02:32:07 GMT
    Auburn's H-back position has taken an injury hit for the second consecutive week.Patrick Young suffered a serious knee injury last week, and he may not be available to play at all in 2014."Patrick Young, that was kind of a tough deal," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. "Patrick Young hurt his knee, a senior walk-on, a guy's that's really been phenomenal for our program and finally was in a spot where he was going to get a chance to help us." Malzahn announced last week that H-back Gage Batten is...More >>
    Auburn's H-back position has taken an injury hit for the second consecutive week.Patrick Young suffered a serious knee injury last week, and he may not be available to play at all in 2014."Patrick Young, that was kind of a tough deal," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. "Patrick Young hurt his knee, a senior walk-on, a guy's that's really been phenomenal for our program and finally was in a spot where he was going to get a chance to help us." Malzahn announced last week that H-back Gage Batten is...More >>
  • Auburn QB Jeremy Johnson says Nick Marshall will win Heisman Trophy in 2014

    Auburn QB Jeremy Johnson says Nick Marshall will win Heisman Trophy in 2014

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 1:52 PM EDT2014-08-19 17:52:14 GMT
    Auburn's backup quarterback predicts Nick Marshall will win the Heisman Trophy this season.More >>
    Auburn's backup quarterback predicts Nick Marshall will win the Heisman Trophy this season.More >>
  • BALLOT BREAKDOWN: FSU No. 1 in AP preseason poll

    BALLOT BREAKDOWN: FSU No. 1 in AP preseason poll

    Monday, August 18 2014 4:24 PM EDT2014-08-18 20:24:03 GMT
    By RALPH D. RUSSO AP College Football Writer The Associated Press preseason Top 25 is out. Take a look at how the ballots break down, and find out what to watch for when the college football...More >>
    By RALPH D. RUSSO AP College Football Writer The Associated Press preseason Top 25 is out. Take a look at how the ballots break down, and find out what to watch for when the college football season begins...More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...
  • Local SportsMore>>

  • Carl Edwards to join JGR in 2015

    Carl Edwards to join JGR in 2015

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-08-20 03:08:24 GMT
    NASCAR's hottest free agent is off the board. Carl Edwards was introduced as the newest member of the Joe Gibbs Racing team on Tuesday."It means the world to me to have this opportunity and to be a part of this organization," Edwards said. "It'll be nice to finally talk about this."Rumor linked Edwards to JGR ever since he announced last month that he was ending his ten year partnership with Roush Fenway Racing.Edwards will drive the No. 19 Toyota next season. It's the fourth piece to an impr...More >>
    NASCAR's hottest free agent is off the board. Carl Edwards was introduced as the newest member of the Joe Gibbs Racing team on Tuesday."It means the world to me to have this opportunity and to be a part of this organization," Edwards said. "It'll be nice to finally talk about this."Rumor linked Edwards to JGR ever since he announced last month that he was ending his ten year partnership with Roush Fenway Racing.Edwards will drive the No. 19 Toyota next season. It's the fourth piece to an impr...More >>
  • Auburn's Patrick Young could miss season with knee injury

    Auburn's Patrick Young could miss season with knee injury

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 10:32 PM EDT2014-08-20 02:32:07 GMT
    Auburn's H-back position has taken an injury hit for the second consecutive week.Patrick Young suffered a serious knee injury last week, and he may not be available to play at all in 2014."Patrick Young, that was kind of a tough deal," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. "Patrick Young hurt his knee, a senior walk-on, a guy's that's really been phenomenal for our program and finally was in a spot where he was going to get a chance to help us." Malzahn announced last week that H-back Gage Batten is...More >>
    Auburn's H-back position has taken an injury hit for the second consecutive week.Patrick Young suffered a serious knee injury last week, and he may not be available to play at all in 2014."Patrick Young, that was kind of a tough deal," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. "Patrick Young hurt his knee, a senior walk-on, a guy's that's really been phenomenal for our program and finally was in a spot where he was going to get a chance to help us." Malzahn announced last week that H-back Gage Batten is...More >>
  • WATCH: Nick Saban, Alabama football team complete Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS

    WATCH: Nick Saban, Alabama football team complete Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 9:58 PM EDT2014-08-20 01:58:10 GMT
    You know Nick Saban would never back down from a challenge, especially one that's for such a worthy cause.More >>
    You know Nick Saban would never back down from a challenge, especially one that's for such a worthy cause.More >>
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Firefighters battle house fire in Ensley

    Firefighters battle house fire in Ensley

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 8:12 AM EDT2014-08-20 12:12:44 GMT
    Birmingham Fire and Rescue is battling a house fire in the 2600 block of Ave S in Ensley.More >>
    Birmingham Fire and Rescue is battling a house fire in the 2600 block of Ave S in Ensley.More >>
  • Civil rights icon believes protesters in Ferguson, MO can learn from Birmingham

    Civil rights icon believes protesters in Ferguson, MO can learn from Birmingham

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 11:50 PM EDT2014-08-20 03:50:00 GMT
    People in the Magic City are holding protests and expressing concern for the situation in Missouri. Sarah Snyder spoke with a local civil rights icon - who hopes Birmingham can be an example to people in Ferguson. More >>
    People in the Magic City are holding protests and expressing concern for the situation in Missouri. Sarah Snyder spoke with a local civil rights icon - who hopes Birmingham can be an example to people in Ferguson. More >>
  • Carl Edwards to join JGR in 2015

    Carl Edwards to join JGR in 2015

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-08-20 03:08:24 GMT
    NASCAR's hottest free agent is off the board. Carl Edwards was introduced as the newest member of the Joe Gibbs Racing team on Tuesday."It means the world to me to have this opportunity and to be a part of this organization," Edwards said. "It'll be nice to finally talk about this."Rumor linked Edwards to JGR ever since he announced last month that he was ending his ten year partnership with Roush Fenway Racing.Edwards will drive the No. 19 Toyota next season. It's the fourth piece to an impr...More >>
    NASCAR's hottest free agent is off the board. Carl Edwards was introduced as the newest member of the Joe Gibbs Racing team on Tuesday."It means the world to me to have this opportunity and to be a part of this organization," Edwards said. "It'll be nice to finally talk about this."Rumor linked Edwards to JGR ever since he announced last month that he was ending his ten year partnership with Roush Fenway Racing.Edwards will drive the No. 19 Toyota next season. It's the fourth piece to an impr...More >>
  • Auburn's Patrick Young could miss season with knee injury

    Auburn's Patrick Young could miss season with knee injury

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 10:32 PM EDT2014-08-20 02:32:07 GMT
    Auburn's H-back position has taken an injury hit for the second consecutive week.Patrick Young suffered a serious knee injury last week, and he may not be available to play at all in 2014."Patrick Young, that was kind of a tough deal," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. "Patrick Young hurt his knee, a senior walk-on, a guy's that's really been phenomenal for our program and finally was in a spot where he was going to get a chance to help us." Malzahn announced last week that H-back Gage Batten is...More >>
    Auburn's H-back position has taken an injury hit for the second consecutive week.Patrick Young suffered a serious knee injury last week, and he may not be available to play at all in 2014."Patrick Young, that was kind of a tough deal," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. "Patrick Young hurt his knee, a senior walk-on, a guy's that's really been phenomenal for our program and finally was in a spot where he was going to get a chance to help us." Malzahn announced last week that H-back Gage Batten is...More >>
  • WATCH: Nick Saban, Alabama football team complete Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS

    WATCH: Nick Saban, Alabama football team complete Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 9:58 PM EDT2014-08-20 01:58:10 GMT
    You know Nick Saban would never back down from a challenge, especially one that's for such a worthy cause.More >>
    You know Nick Saban would never back down from a challenge, especially one that's for such a worthy cause.More >>
  • 2 killed in helicopter crash in Tuscaloosa County (update)

    2 killed in helicopter crash in Tuscaloosa County (update)

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 9:15 PM EDT2014-08-20 01:15:41 GMT
    One of the two people killed in a helicopter crash in Tuscaloosa County was an Alabama Power employee, a company spokesperson confirmed to ABC 33/40.More >>
    One of the two people killed in a helicopter crash in Tuscaloosa County was an Alabama Power employee, a company spokesperson confirmed to ABC 33/40. More >>
  • Texas Gov. Perry booked on abuse of power charges

    Texas Gov. Perry booked on abuse of power charges

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 8:56 PM EDT2014-08-20 00:56:36 GMT
    Gov. Rick Perry was defiant Tuesday as he was booked on abuse of power charges, telling dozens of cheering supporters outside a Texas courthouse that he would "fight this injustice with every fiber of my being."More >>
    Gov. Rick Perry was defiant Tuesday as he was booked on abuse of power charges, telling dozens of cheering supporters outside a Texas courthouse that he would "fight this injustice with every fiber of my being."More >>
  • Birmingham council members consider forming task force to clean-up cemeteries

    Birmingham council members consider forming task force to clean-up cemeteries

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 7:39 PM EDT2014-08-19 23:39:33 GMT
    A cemetery you can't see is leading Birmingham city leaders to take a closer look at a growing problem. One council member wants the city to form a task force to clear out the hallowed grounds.More >>
    A cemetery you can't see is leading Birmingham city leaders to take a closer look at a growing problem. One council member wants the city to form a task force to clear out the hallowed grounds.More >>