A word of warning, Auburn fans: Even if the Tigers do the expected and win the SEC regular-season title, you’re not going to stop hearing about the program’s alleged involvement in the FBI scandal rocking college basketball anytime soon.
Don’t believe that? Well, the fans at the University of Florida had a nice reminder for the Tigers as they left the floor following a 72-66 loss to the Gators. As Auburn headed back to the locker room, Gator fans serenaded them with chants of ‘F-B-I’ while throwing dollar bills down at the players:
Gators fans handing Auburn players money after the game while chanting “F-B-I” pic.twitter.com/VSvoXivExp
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) February 25, 2018
Though the latest reports from Yahoo! Sports have shown that the pay-for-play scandal affects several major programs, Auburn was one of the first to be implicated.
Back in September 2017, Auburn assistant Chuck Person was arrested on charges of conspiracy and fraud, as he is alleged to have accepted bribes to ensure that two Auburn players would eventually sign with a specific agent. Those two players — later revealed to be projected starters Danjel Purifoy and Austin Wiley — have not played for Auburn this season as a result of the investigation.
Auburn’s involvement in the scandal is particularly interested as it applies to head coach Bruce Pearl. There is an argument to be made that Pearl deserves to be both a) SEC Coach of the Year and b) fired after the season. This is not Pearl’s first major run-in with the NCAA, as he was given a show-cause for lying to the NCAA about an impermissible visit by a recruit while the head coach at the University of Tennessee.
All that is to say: this story isn’t going away anytime soon. And while the Tigers look positioned to close out their first SEC title in two decades, their reign at the top of the SEC could be short-lived.
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