In the middle of Selena Roberts' epic broadside at Auburn's football program under Gene Chizik, there is one passage with an allegation from former Auburn player Mike McNeil that about Will Muschamp.
McNeil recalls having a difficult day at practice in 2007 and then-defensive coordinator, Will Muschamp, calling him into his office. "I had no clue what it was about because I’d never directly asked him for anything," says McNeil. "He slid about $400 over to me. He went into a drawer and gave me money and said, ‘Is this enough? Is this good?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I’m good.'" Muschamp, now the head football coach at the University of Florida, denied the payment through a spokesperson.
That's far from the most serious allegation leveled by McNeil: He charges that Auburn coaches, administrators, and community members were all complicit in a system that he paints as corrupt to the bone, and that they were responsible for grades being changed to make players eligible for the 2010 BCS National Championship Game, police officers systemically stopping players (especially black players) to keep tabs on them, and targeted drug testing that focused on black players with dreadlocks.
But alleging that a college football coach directly paid a player is a serious charge nonetheless, even if the accuser will soon stand trial for armed robbery, and will likely have his character raked over the coals in the days that follow, as Auburn deals with charges of sweeping corruption.
And though I'd guess Muschamp's denial to Roberts through a spokesman will be followed by a more elaborate denial from the man himself at some point, this will not go away quietly.