Last night I reported that a sales manager who works at The Hotel at Auburn University, Ari Turnbull, was promoting a party that was being touted as a chance for fans to “party” with Auburn football “players”.
Since I published the report last night, the mention of Auburn football players has been removed from the the promotional Facebook page but not the fact that a $50-to-$750 cover charge is required to attend the party.
Bad enough that someone affiliated with Auburn University would be promoting such an event, considering that person is Facebook friends with numerous current and former Auburn football players, but perhaps even worse, at least from an NCAA rules perspective, is the notorious host of the party.
From the current, revised Facebook promo page for the party:
Uncle Luke (Luther Campbell) from 2 Live Crew is flying in from Miami to celebrate Auburn’s 2010 National Championship! Phenomenal entertainment, tons of dancing, light snacks and fabulous company.
In 1994, Dan Le Batard and Ken Rodriguez of the MIAMI HERALD wrote of a NCAA investigation that would eventually lead to significant NCAA sanctions for the Miami football program:
NCAA investigators also will look into possible violations such as $173,744 in Pell Grant fraud and players being paid for performance by ex-players and rap star Luther Campbell.
The Herald reported Campbell gave current Miami football players cash for stellar performances, including big hits during games. The newspaper said he paid as much as $500 for a touchdown, with those rewards taking place during victory celebrations at the rapper’s Miami nightclub.
During ESPN’s recent documentary on the Miami football program of that era, Campbell all but admitted the allegations made by the Miami Herald. Allegations that were part of the circumstantial evidence that led to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED in 1995 to call for Miami to drop its football program altogether and the inevitable NCAA sanctions that followed.
This is the guy an Auburn-affiliated person wants hosting a party that includes current Auburn football players and a $50 cover charge to get in the door?
And are we to believe that Auburn players who do attend will pay that cover charge, considering they are being used as a lure to get Auburn fans to the event?
Since my report, the Facebook page promoting the party has been altered to exclude any mention of current Auburn football players, but the news of Campbell’s appearance remains as does the Facebook friend status of many current Auburn football players on Turnbull’s personal Facebook page.
With Auburn likely still in the crosshairs of NCAA investigators thanks to the recruitment of Cam Newton, it’s unfathomable that the school would allow such a party to go on.
Or as some media observers might say, it’s unfathomable that the school would allow such a party to continue to go on.
UPDATE: Shortly after I published this post, the party was canceled.
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