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March 30, 2011

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"...where completion is considered unlikely"

Auburn players took money

Imagine this: Football players in the SEC taking money in handshakes and payments on recruiting trips, even taking a payment reward for getting sacks in a game. Hard to believe, right?

Well, it’s not hard to believe because we’ve always known it goes down. Until now, we didn’t know where, to who or how it was happening.

Four former Auburn football players – Chaz Ramsey, Troy Reddick, Stanley McClover (left) and Raven Gray – will appear on the HBO show Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel Wednesday night, where they’ll admit taking payments from boosters.

All played under former head coach Tommy Tuberville at Auburn, between the seasons from 2001 and 2008. The report comes from an advance copy of the shows transcript printed on the website Sports by Brooks.

McClover, a former All-SEC defensive end selection, said he received handshakes from boosters containing hundreds of dollars during recruiting trips to LSU, Auburn, Michigan State and Ohio State.

The one-time commit to Ohio State says he moved his commitment to Auburn after he asked for and received an unspecified sum of money from a booster. He also claims to have received upwards of $400 for every sack in college. McClover played at Auburn from 2003-to-2005, ending his career with 15.5 sacks.

Gray, a former 2008 commit, proves the money process is still going on in college, as he said he got up to $3,000 thrown his way from boosters trying to convince him to sign with Auburn from junior college. He did sign with Auburn, but never ended up playing because of injury.

The full report can be seen on HBO at 9 p.m. eastern Wednesday night.

Pro Day update

The University of Miami welcomed back NFL scouts its annual pro day event March 25, after the first one held March 10 was canceled halfway through due to weather issues.

The Hurricanes have anywhere between four and five players who could go within the first two days of the NFL Draft, however many chose to stand on their numbers from the combine.

Cornerback Brandon Harris, wideout Leonard Hankerson and defensive lineman Allen Bailey, all considered possible first round choices, stood on their numbers but worked out in position drills.

Bailey, considered a ‘tweener’ prospect between defensive end and defensive tackle, reported at a weight of 275, below his 278 pounds at the combine. Harris, 5-foot-9, 194 pounds, stood on all of his numbers but his vertical, where he reported a 34.5 inch jump.

One prospect who stood out in South Florida was linebacker Colin McCarthy. Drawing mixed reviews from scouts and TV personalities, McCarthy turned in one of the better combine performances and is capable of playing the inside or outside positions at the next level. Reports are that McCarthy helped himself considerably, and could go as high as the late second round.

All 32 teams were represented at the University of Texas pro day Tuesday, where 53 coaches, scouts and team personnel turned out to one of the better annual events. Head coaches Mike Tomlin of Pittsburgh and Jim Schwartz of Detroit were both in attendance.

The Longhorns top prospects include cornerback Aaron Williams, outside linebacker Sam Acho and corner Curtis Brown, all of which stood on their combine numbers.

Williams, however, did run his 40, improving on his combine time with a 4.40 at the pro day workout.

Cornerback Chykie Brown, a combine standout a month earlier, ran 40 times of 4.40 and 4.37 and also reported a 39 inch vertical jump. Brown has been an intriguing prospect for scouts who may have over looked the talented corner with Williams and Curtis Brown also on the roster.

UCLA defensive standouts, Akeem Ayers and Rahim Moore, were on display at the Bruins pro day event Tuesday, where representatives from 27 teams were in attendance.

Ayers, an outside linebacker, ran his 40-yard dash once again, turning in times between 4.68 and 4.74, an improvement from his 4.82 at the NFL Combine. At 259 pounds, Ayers took part in drills at defensive end and outside linebacker, both of which he reportedly excelled.

Moore, a safety prospect, stood on all of his combine numbers besides his shuttle times, where he turned in a time of 4.16 in the short shuttle and 11.47 in the long shuttle. Considered the top safety prospect in the draft, Moore did nothing to disprove that Tuesday.

Both players are considered future first round choices, with Moore sitting on the fence between the bottom of the first round and top of the second.

Pro days to keep an eye on Wednesday include USC, Washington and New Mexico State.

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