Tuesday I broke the news that former Auburn football player Stanley McClover claimed in an interview with HBO Real Sports that he received extra benefits in violation of NCAA rules from a former Auburn assistant coach when the two were at the school.
Wednesday I reported that McClover was subsequently wavering on his claim about the former Auburn assistant coach after his former high school coach disputed his story.
In remarks to Charles Goldberg of the BIRMINGHAM NEWS today, current NFL and ex-Auburn football star Ronnie Brown essentially called out his former Auburn teammate McClover for his comments to HBO.
Brown to Goldberg about his recent conversations about McClover:
“He had told me that HBO had come to him and wanted to do a piece on should athletes get paid, and I said, ‘Oh.’
“And then Stanley said, ‘They’re going to do something on my charity.’ And I said, ‘That’s cool. That’s a good way to get the charity out there.’
“I found out that Stanley was talking about he had a choice to go to different colleges, and one of the reasons he chose Auburn was because they offered him money. So I called him. I said, ‘Whoa, what is this? What is this about?’
“He said, ‘Well, it has nothing to do with Auburn. I was just telling my story about me trying to help kids. I figured it would be good to tell my story.’
“I said, ‘What are you talking about? If you tell that story, people are going to say you were paid.’ He said, ‘This has nothing to do with the school. This is about me and my story, and trying to help kids.’
“I said, ‘You can’t implicate a school eight or nine years later. Why would you say that anyway?’”
Brown said McClover didn’t have an answer.
“This is kind of detrimental to Auburn.’”
Brown said he doesn’t know if McClover has tried to change his story or if he considers what he said a mistake.
“I hope he feels like he made a mistake,” Brown said.
Former Auburn player Jeris McIntyre also revealed to Goldberg that he’d been interviewed by HBO and that McClover’s claims, at least from his perspective, were not likely to be true:
“They approached me through Facebook,” McIntyre said. “He (HBO interviewer) said he was doing a story on big-time college football, and that’s the reason I gave him my number to talk about it. But once it got into the questioning, and I got those ‘off-the-record’ type of questions, I thought, ‘You’re not going to get me, buddy.’ A couple of days later, I saw where Stanley was going to do something with him.”
McIntyre talked with McClover after that.
“His answer was, ‘I’m telling my story, I’m helping my charity, I went to Auburn and was drafted in the late rounds.’”
McIntyre said it’s hard for him to believe McClover was paid. He said HBO asked him if he was paid.
“He asked me if players get paid under the table at Auburn. I told him, ‘No.’ We were pretty much struggling,” McIntyre said.
McIntyre said McClover would have been an unlikely candidate to receive extra benefits.
“He was a good player, don’t get me wrong,” McIntyre said, “but I played with Cadillac Williams, Ronnie Brown, Jason Campbell, Karlos Dansby, Dontarrious Thomas, Marcus McNeill, Quentin Groves. The list goes on, and all the players I talk to are saying, ‘No way.’”
Goldberg also confirmed my previous report that McClover’s former High School Coach Ken Scott had disputed McClover’s claim of getting paid by Auburn.
Scott, who started coaching at Dillard in 1979, disputed any notion of improprieties involving his players.
“I’ve been involved in every athlete they recruited here, either as an assistant coach, but mainly as the head coach, and, no, I’ve never had any inkling of anything out of the ordinary, and that includes the players who had a much higher standing than Stanley,” said Scott.
Scott said McClover has not returned his calls since he was interviewed.
Obviously it appears the walls are closing in on McClover, who sent me this Facebook message earlier this week:
Listen man quit harrassing me….you dnt care about my best intrest, you worried about making a big story off rumors your hearing…how bout you and the rest of the people who are busy bad mouthing me leave me the f—alone please!!!!!!!! Now put that in your f—in article!!!!
McClover’s message to me was in response to a message I had sent him asking about the possibility of him backing off his original story about Auburn to HBO.
I’ve sent McClover a total of three messages. The first was to ask to confirm his interview with HBO and his possible allegations against the former Auburn assistant coach.
The second to thank him for responding with a “no comment.”
And the third to ask him about changing or recanting his original claim.
As I reported Tuesday, HBO is scheduled to film a charity event in south Florida organized by McClover on Sunday.
Though I’ve yet to confirm any change in HBO’s production plan with McClover, with the negative publicity surrounding his allegations about the Auburn football program, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that the filming of McClover’s Sunday charity event may be jeopardy.