Auburn review finds no evidence of fraud

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Auburn’s internal review into allegations by former players of academic fraud before the 2010 BCS championship game found no evidence of wrongdoing, athletic director Jay Jacobs said on Monday.

Jacobs posted in a letter to fans on the school’s Web site the results of a review by his department and the university’s Internal Auditing department, which he said refuted a report by former New York Times and Sports Illustrated reporter Selena Roberts.

Auburn worked with the NCAA in investigating the academic fraud, said Jack Smith, the athletic department’s director of strategic communications.

Meanwhile, former Tigers coach Gene Chizik called the allegations “ludicrous” in an interview on WJOX radio in Birmingham.

“I’m here because I care about my reputation, I care about the integrity of who I am and what I do,” Chizik said. “I’m simply giving out the facts, because I’m 100 percent confident that we did it right.”

ACC TV RIGHTS: University presidents have agreed for the league to retain media rights for a school that leaves the conference.

The league said Monday each of the current and future schools has signed the deal, which is effective immediately.

The grant of rights would appear to make the league more stable by essentially locking all 15 schools into the ACC through the length of a TV deal, including eventual new arrivals Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Notre Dame and Louisville.

BCS MEETINGS: With the how and when of college football playoffs determined, it’s time to lock in the where.

The conference commissioners in charge of putting together the four-team playoff system that will start after the 2014 regular season will meet starting Tuesday in Pasadena, Calif.

At the top of their agenda: Pick three more bowls to be used in the semifinal rotation and decide on a site for the first national title game.

“It will be another big step,” BCS executive director Bill Hancock said recently.

The Fiesta, Cotton and Chick-fil-A bowls are the overwhelming favorites to be chosen for the playoff rotation, and have been for a while. So much so that only one other bowl – the Holiday Bowl in San Diego – even put in a bid to be part of the system that will replace the Bowl Championship Series.

CENTRAL FLORIDA: The NCAA has granted the school’s appeal of a one-year postseason ban in football.

The decision was announced Monday, which will make it bowl-eligible as it moves into the American Athletic Conference this season.

In a release the NCAA wrote that its Committee on Infractions “determined the football postseason ban is excessive such that it constitutes an abuse of discretion.”

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