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Bowden: Players Paid

September 17, 2003|From Times Wire Services

Former Auburn coach Terry Bowden said on tape two years ago that boosters were funneling thousands of dollars to players when he became coach in 1993, a time when the Tigers already were on NCAA probation.

"They were paying players cash, $12,000, $15,000 to sign," Bowden said on a recording reviewed by Associated Press.

"All I was told to do was shake hands and say, 'Thank you. I appreciate how much you love Auburn.' "

Bowden did not make clear whether he reported the payment scheme to the NCAA, but said on the tape: "When I came here, I put an end to it."

Bowden's comments were reported by the Opelika-Auburn News. Columnist Paul Davis taped the comments in a meeting about two years ago, and a copy of the tape was made available to Associated Press.

Bowden did not return a call to his home.

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Ohio State starting quarterback Craig Krenzel might miss Saturday's game against Bowling Green because of an elbow injury. Senior backup Scott McMullen took most of the snaps at practice.... Receiver Fred Gibson (hamstring) and tight end Ben Watson (sprained ankle) won't play for Georgia on Saturday at Louisiana State.... Pat Sullivan, who won the Heisman Trophy as Auburn's quarterback in 1971 and is now the offensive coordinator at Alabama Birmingham, was diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer following surgery on his neck.

Virginia Tech officials said Thursday night's game against Texas A&M will go on as scheduled unless Hurricane Isabel veers farther west than forecast.... Miami Hurricane running back Frank Gore missed parts of practice because of a sore left knee, but is expected to play Saturday at Boston College.... Iowa receiver Maurice Brown will miss at least four weeks because of an ankle injury.... Utah running back Marty Johnson has been suspended indefinitely for an unspecified violation of team rules.

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