The NCAA released a statement on Wednesday saying it had closed its investigation of allegations involving the Auburn football program.
Most notably, Auburn was cleared of any major violations regarding the alleged pay-for-play scheme involving former star quarterback and 2010 Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton.
The NCAA said it spent 13 months investigating the Newton allegations and other allegations involving four other former players.
In its statement, the NCAA said “any allegations of major rules violations must meet a burden of proof, which is a higher standard than rampant public speculation online and in the media.”
In a letter to Auburn, the NCAA said its enforcement staff had conducted 50 interviews and reviewed financial records, tax documents, telephone records and e-mail messages related to the recruitment of Newton. The NCAA did agree with Auburn’s Nov. 30, 2010 self-report that a “violation of amateurism legislation occurred” when Newton’s father and the owner of a scouting service had shopped Newton’s services.
The NCAA’s investigation concluded that Newton nor Auburn had any knowledge of the activity.
The NCAA also cleared Auburn regarding allegations made by four former players. The players – Raven Gray, Stanley McClover Chaz Ramsey and Troy Reddick – alleged on HBO’s “Real Sports” that they received “impermissible inducements” and extra benefits while at Auburn.
The NCAA concluded that the allegations could not be substantiated.
Finally, the NCAA said it could re-open the investigation if new information becomes available.
“We appreciate the NCAA and thank them for their professionalism and thoroughness during this exhaustive investigation,” Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said in a statement. “We are pleased to put this matter behind us.”