NCAA ends AU investigation with no violations

AUBURN, AL (WSFA) - Auburn University says it has received a letter from the NCAA regarding the investigation of former quarterback Cam Newton and other student-athletes against whom allegations surfaced involving pay-for-play violations.

Auburn says the letter confirms the end of the NCAA's investigation of the University, Newton, Raven Gray, Stanley McClover, Chaz Ramsey and Troy Reddick and concludes that no major rules violations have been found.

The NCAA statement reads in part:

After conducting more than 80 interviews, the NCAA has concluded its investigation into Auburn University. The NCAA enforcement staff is committed to a fair and thorough investigative process.  As such, any allegations of major rules violations must meet a burden of proof, which is a higher standard than rampant public speculation online and in the media.  The allegations must be based on credible and persuasive information and includes a good-faith belief that the Committee on Infractions could make a finding. As with any case, should the enforcement staff become aware of additional credible information, it will review the information to determine whether further investigation is warranted.

The NCAA left the door open for additional investigation of Auburn, however, if additional information was discovered that could prove violations of NCAA rules.

Auburn Athletics Director Jay Jacobs issued a statement a short time later saying, "We appreciate the NCAA and thank them for their professionalism and thoroughness during this exhaustive investigation.  We are pleased to put this matter behind us."

Newton's father admitted to shopping his son to Mississippi State before the future Heisman Trophy and National Championship winning football player joined the Auburn Tigers for an undefeated season in 2010. He was later drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft and when to the Carolina Panthers.

McClover, Gray, Ramsey and Reddick were all featured in an HBO Real Sports documentary called "Dirty Money".  Gray claimed he had received improper benefits while at Auburn, but the NCAA says Gray's allegations "were not substantiated" and that "sufficient evidence" could not be found to back up his allegations.

The NCAA says it attempted to contact McClover, Ramsey and Reddick for interviews, but "they refused to cooperate."

WSFA 12 News and our sports team will have more information as it becomes available.

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