This past Signing Day, Auburn was mocked for posting a bio of five-star linebacker recruit Rashaan Evans on its website, only to have Evans sign with Alabama. That mistake will get the Tigers a slap on the wrist at most, since it is against NCAA rules to promote an unsigned player.
Auburn reported the violation to the NCAA, but the school isn't taking it very well. According to AL.com, they largely denied responsibility for the incident, blaming it on a literal media hack job:
"Media personnel were able to hack into the site and 'find' the code to pull up the bio," Auburn officials explained in a self-reported violation submitted to the NCAA in March. "The bio for Evans was then publicized on media sites. [Auburn] never posted the information on its own site, and never intended for the bio to be visible."
None of this matters. But the tiny problem is, Auburn's explanation isn't exactly true. While Auburn did not link to the bio anywhere, the link was already a publicly available web page, just like the one you're reading right now. Evans' bio information was indeed posted on Auburn's site.
rashaan evans already up on auburn’s official site pic.twitter.com/zZUuBy4Z2x
— martin rickman (@martinrickman) February 5, 2014
Whether someone was able to "find the code" to get the bio's link or not, it was public. And although the athletic department never "intended" it to be visible, they still made it visible. It was even accompanied by a public Auburn YouTube video; we added Alabama's fight song to it and everything.
Auburn's staff told the NCAA it will "work harder to 'hide' the information in code, so that future successful hacking attempts do not result in violations."
Please stop hacking Auburn, everyone.