News from the Tennessee Valley Sports
SATURDAY, MAY 26, 2007

Report: Two AU recruits had grades raised

By Bradley Handwerger 340-2462

Less than a year after a grade-fixing scandal shook Auburn University, the school finds itself in the middle of another similar affair.

This time, Auburn's involvement is only peripheral as it involves two football signees from Mobile.

The two students in question, Ryan Williams from B.C. Rain and Nick Fairley from Williamson, have transcripts that show different grades from the same class on different versions of transcripts, the Mobile Press-Register reported Friday. Williams and Fairley were both Class 5A first-team all-state picks.

"There seems to be some variance in the scores," Mobile county superintendent Harold Dodge told the Press-Register. "On a first blush, it looks like either the first transcripts were really wrong" or the grades were changed for some other reason.

Auburn's only involvement would seem to be that the two students have signed to play football at the university. The newspaper reported that it does not appear that anybody at Auburn had anything to do with the grade changes.

Final transcripts, which will find their way to the NCAA Clearinghouse, also will go to Auburn for university officials to examine.

"Our normal process includes a review of final transcripts of all incoming signees to insure that they are in good academic standing and are prepared to be successful students," Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said in a statement. "If there is an issue, we will respond appropriately."

In July 2006, a sociology professor alleged that some grades were being given out for little or no work. Some of the students involved were athletes, making the scandal one that hit national newspapers and sporting Web sites. But Auburn's athletic department was cleared of any involvement by the school and NCAA.

Officials said that for now, Auburn won't be under investigation for the recruitment of either athlete, the Press-Register reported.

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