AUBURN, Ala. — Despite being out of the headlines for several months while other schools have come under scrutiny, the NCAA's investigation into Auburn is apparently not over.
Julie Roe Lach, the NCAA's vice president for enforcement, said as much during last month's SEC spring meetings in Destin, Fla., after a testy exchange with Tigers head coach Gene Chizik, according to a report in the New York Times on Wednesday night.
After Roe Lach finished a presentation to a gathering of the league's athletics directors and football and men's basketball coaches, she opened up the floor for questions.
Chizik reportedly peppered her with questions about the NCAA's investigation into the recruitment of quarterback Cam Newton and why college football's governing body had not publicly declared it over, claiming the open-endedness had damaged the Tigers' recruiting efforts.
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According to the article, Chizik followed up with at least three questions before Roe Lach shot back, “You'll know when we're finished. And we're not finished.”
The Times' article quotes several SEC basketball coaches who witnessed the exchange, including Vanderbilt's Kevin Stallings, Arkansas' Mike Anderson and Ole Miss' Andy Kennedy.
Chizik, who was at the ESPYs with Newton in Los Angeles on Wednesday night, was not available for comment.
The NCAA began looking into the recruitment of the Heisman Trophy-winning Newton after news broke last fall that the quarterback's father, Cecil, sought $180,000 from Mississippi State for his son to sign with the Bulldogs out of junior college in 2009. Cam claimed to have no knowledge of his father's dealings.
After a month of uncertainty, the NCAA determined a rules violation had taken place and temporarily declared Newton ineligible. He was reinstated less than 24 hours later and did not miss a game during Auburn's BCS championship run.
Chizik has repeatedly said Auburn did nothing wrong in its recruitment of Newton.
The NCAA generally does not comment on the status of ongoing investigations.
Despite rumors to the contrary, Auburn spokesman Kirk Sampson said earlier week he was not aware of the school receiving a Notice of Inquiry, a formal declaration from the NCAA that the enforcement staff is investigating.