It's a bad week to be associated with the Auburn University football program.
Yesterday, a report emerged indicating that the program had committed a ton of different NCAA violations, including academic fraud, under former head coach Gene Chizik just prior to winning the 2011 BCS National Championship Game. And now comes the news that, during that same time period, the Tigers also had a number of players on their team test positive for synthetic marijuana and did absolutely nothing to punish them for it.
During a six-month investigation done by ESPN The Magazine and ESPN's E: 60, it was discovered that about a dozen Tigers players, including star running back Michael Dyer, tested positive for synthetic marijuana. But, the football program allegedly decided to keep those positive tests confidential and did nothing to penalize the players who were found to be using the designer drug. And, why did they do that? Well, according to Auburn, because synthetic marijuana was still so new that it wasn't a part of Auburn's drug-testing policy at that time. So, they didn't punish any players and didn't bother to tell their parents about the positive tests.
"We did all we could do to educate our student-athletes until [we] could understand exactly what we were dealing with," Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs told ESPN The Mag. "I think just like the rest of the campus, and the nation, we were trying to figure it out."
Now, they have to figure out how to get themselves out of a gigantic mess. What a week.