OPELIKA, Ala. — A former Auburn safety will go on trial next week on robbery charges, despite his attorney’s request for a delay because of recent articles about the player and university, a judge ruled Friday.
Mike McNeil, who was the starting safety on Auburn’s 2010 national championship team, was charged in a 2011 armed home invasion in which three of his teammates were also arrested. His attorney, Ben Hand, said the trial should be delayed because allegations made in the stories could be important to McNeil.
Earlier this week, Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said the school was reviewing allegations of NCAA rules violations in the football program during its 2010 season but doesn’t believe they’re credible.
Jacobs issued a statement Thursday in response to a report by Selena Roberts that was posted on www.roop stigo.com. The story quoted McNeil and former teammate Darvin Adams alleging they received or were offered money from coaches. McNeil said he had a grade changed to stay eligible.
Hand also cited a report Thursday by ESPN.com alleging widespread use of synthetic marijuana by Auburn players.
Jacobs said in a statement the school had administered 2,500-plus drug tests since synthetic marijuana was included among its banned substances in August 2011, and only had three positive tests.
FLORIDA: Because the Gators are down to five healthy scholarship offensive linemen, coach Will Muschamp and his staff decided to alter the format of today’s spring game.
There will be some 11-on-11 drills, including the first-team offense and defense, but those full-contact scrimmages will be limited because of depth issues.
Muschamp says “he’s comfortable” with the changes.
Florida opened spring without starting offensive tackle Chaz Green (ankle), backup guard Ian Silberman (shoulder) and highly touted guard Jessamen Dunker (suspension). Making matters worse, starting guard Jon Halapio (shoulder) has been limited.
The line got even thinner last week when guards Max Garcia (back) and Trip Thurman (torn labrum) went down with injuries.