New Auburn president: Give tapes to NCAA

December 23, 1991|By Guerry Clegg | Guerry Clegg,Knight-Ridder

AUBURN, Ala. -- After hearing Eric Ramsey's secretly recorded tapes implicating Auburn coach Pat Dye and his football staff of committing NCAA violations, Auburn University president-elect William Muse last night called for Ramsey to give the tapes to the NCAA.

The NCAA is investigating Ramsey's charges that he received money and other improper benefits -- with Dye's unspoken approval -- from Auburn assistant coaches and a booster during his playing career from 1986-90.

"What Ramsey ought to do, if he wants to bring the investigation to a close, is turn the tapes over to the NCAA," Muse said. "They should be part of the investigation."

Muse watched the Ramsey report on "60 Minutes" last night with heightened curiosity. As successor to the retiring James Martin, Muse ultimately will decide Dye's fate as coach and athletic director. Last Tuesday, shortly before approving Muse as the new president, the Auburn Board of Trustees voted to give the president full authority over the athletic department.

While Muse said the report "certainly was interesting," he was noncommittal about Dye's future.

"I don't think it's appropriate at all to speculate about that," Muse said last night from his home in Akron, Ohio. "Once the NCAA investigation is completed, we'll sit down and discuss the appropriate action."

Though Muse won't take charge until next spring, he said he plans to meet with Dye in January. Muse said he was "not very familiar" with the Ramsey controversy until yesterday.

Ramsey said he began taping the transactions because older players warned him he was being used by the coaches.

Dye's attorney, Sam Franklin, has questioned the validity of the tapes. But "60 Minutes" hired an audio forensic specialist, who verified that the tapes were authentic.

Ramsey defended his actions to "60 Minutes" reporter Ed Bradley, saying "everybody else was getting it."

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