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Thursday, March 31, 2011
Auburn, Chizik respond to players' claims

By Chris Low

The fallout has begun from Wednesday night's episode of HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" that included four former Auburn players saying they were paid during their time at Auburn.

Coach Gene Chizik called it "pure garbage" and questioned why players HBO talked with who disputed the payment claims weren't included in the show.

Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said the school would conduct its own investigation.

"While HBO confirmed to us they have no proof that any of these claims are true, we contacted both the NCAA and Southeastern Conference as soon as these allegations surfaced," Jacobs said. "We have engaged outside counsel to investigate this matter and will spare no resources to find the truth."

Chizik was Auburn's defensive coordinator from 2002-04. Two of the players making the claims, Stanley McClover and Troy Reddick, were at Auburn while Chizik was the defensive coordinator. One of the players saying he was paid, Raven Gray, came to Auburn in 2008, but never played because of injuries. The other, Chaz Ramsey, played as a freshman in 2007, suffered injuries and later tried to sue a former Auburn offensive line coach and trainer for mismanaging his back injury. That suit was thrown out of court.

Lee Ziemba, an All-America offensive tackle for the Tigers last season, told ESPN.com on Wednesday that he "never received a dime" at Auburn. He and Ramsey roomed together as freshmen, and Ziemba said he doesn't believe Ramsey's claims.

Here's a video of a heated Chizik disputing the allegations.