Auburn's football program may be answering some questions about illegal benefits thanks to allegations raised by an HBO Real Sports special that will air tonight, but offensive linemen Ryan Pugh and Lee Ziemba both say they were never paid while at Auburn.
The linemen, both members of the 2010 Auburn team that won a BCS National Championship, told Sporting News that their pockets were never lined, and that those former Tigers telling HBO of improper conduct sound like people with axes to grind.
"I think the guys who have come on the air obviously had something against Auburn," Ziemba told Sporting News. "I played with two of them (Chaz Ramsey and Raven Gray). … Two of them I know had bad divorces with the university. (Ramsey) got involved in a lawsuit that he didn’t win and obviously, must hold a grudge because we went on to win the national championship and were very successful with the guys he came in and was recruited with. I’m not sure what they’re trying to say. I walked out the same locker room doors as they did after games. I was recruited by the same men, and didn’t see a dime. I did things the right way."
"If things like that are going on, you tend to see your players who have produced more for the university,” Pugh told Sporting News. “There are things going on out there in Division I college football as far as receiving money from boosters. If that stuff is going on, you would think that some of the major players who are the face of the program would see some of that. For us to have played for four years and to have never seen anything like that, it really makes it hard to believe that stuff like that was really going on."
For more on Auburn and the Tigers' reaction to these allegations, be sure to visit SB Nation's Auburn blog Track 'Em Tigers.