A list of people named in Selena Roberts' Auburn story yet to issue denials

Kevin C. Cox

More people have denied Selena Roberts' story about violations and underlying racism at Auburn than have stood their ground. That doesn't make it untrue, but it doesn't help.

Selena Roberts' blockbuster story on Auburn football has raised a bit of controversy, and for good reason. It's a wide-reaching story with both on-field implications - if Auburn did commit all the violations the story says they did - and more importantly, off-field ones - if Auburn's allegedly racist football environment helped lead Mike McNeil to a potential prison sentence.

The problem is, many people in the story deny it - even those who Roberts quoted.

For starters, here's a list of people who have issued denials:

  • Police chief Tommy Dawson: Featuring relatively detailed arguments against specific points in the story. Dawson is on leave from the police force as he deals with Parkinson's disease.
  • Former head coach Gene Chizik: In a very lengthy statement that addresses just about every claim in the story, Chizik says, "Unfortunately, Ms. Roberts' story is long on accusation and inference, but short on facts and logic. It is noteworthy that the story comes just days before a player mentioned most prominently in the article is set to go to trial for felony armed robbery." Athletic director Jay Jacobs also chimes in.
  • Former defensive back Neiko Thorpe, who was quoted as indicating Auburn recruits were given impermissible treatment:
  • Former safety Daren Bates, quoted as ... well, as saying McNeil's a good guy:
  • Former defensive end Mike Blanc, quoted as indicating Auburn changed grades:
  • Former running back Michael Dyer, who allegedly had a failing grade changed: Dyer's uncle denied the parts of the story Dyer was involved with for him.
  • Former defensive coordinator Will Muschamp: "Totally deny [McNeil's claim of handing over $400]. I don't know where this is coming from."
  • Former Alabama corner Dre Kirkpatrick, allegedly given $500 during his Auburn visit:
  • Former defensive end Antoine Carter, who was quoted as describing being targeted by racist police:

And here's who has yet to say anything:

  • Mike McNeil, the main character in the story, who levies most of the allegations.
  • Melodie Campbell, McNeil's mother.
  • Clifton McNeil, McNeil's grandfather.
  • Tommy Thigpen, McNeil's position coach, who is mentioned in passing once.
  • Darvin Adams, who was allegedly offered cash to stay in school.
  • Dakota Mosley and Shaun Kitchens, who are awaiting trial. Mosley took his story to ESPN.
  • Antonio Goodwin, who's serving 15 years for armed robbery. Goodwin is also quoted by ESPN.
  • Capt. Corey Welch. The denial by Dawson indicates Welch was never on the Auburn police force, but that he serves in a role as an administrator.
  • Ben Hand, McNeil's ex-attorney.

So, to summarize: McNeil, his family and legal counsel, people also implicated in the same robbery, and a couple others.

This doesn't mean that Roberts' story is wrong. After all, a lot of the people who have issued denials have something to lose from this story. And the majority of the denials relate to the issue of Auburn committing NCAA violations, not the more difficult-to-prove angle that the Auburn community perhaps contributed to a former player facing trial.

I think the best analysis of the story thus far comes from Tom Ley at Deadspin - that we're really dealing with two separate stories here lumped together by Roberts. One has led to somewhat meaningless denials by some people and a few would-be accusers backtracking on remarks. The other is still open for speculation. If the purpose of this story was to help Mike McNeil avoid being sentenced for a crime he allegedly didn't commit, the questions of the story's credibility created by people refuting the part about NCAA violations might keep it from accomplishing that goal.

More from SB Nation:

A Chizik-era Auburn scandals timeline

But is the Big East’s new name the most patriotic conference name?

Podcast: The Marcus Lattimore interview

Exclusive with Tommy Tuberville

Owlcatraz no more: FAU declines stadium deal

What if March Madness had football ... | ... Or football had Madness

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.