Lawsuit alleges Auburn pressured professor to change football player's grade prior to 2020 Outback Bowl
Last week, former Auburn employee Travis Thomas Sr. filed a lawsuit against the university, claiming he was discriminated against.
As part of that lawsuit, Thomas alleges that an Auburn professor was pressured to change a grade for a football player following the 2019 season ahead of Auburn’s appearance in the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day 2020.
Per AL.com’s Tom Green, the player involved in the lawsuit was likely former TE/H-back Jay Jay Wilson. Though Wilson wasn’t named in the lawsuit, he’s the only player who fit the description:
According to the lawsuit, Auburn “caused, or allowed to be caused, significant pressure to be placed on” a university professor to change a failing grade of D to a passing grade of C for a player identified as an Auburn football graduate transfer from Arizona State. Former Auburn tight end-/H-back Jay Jay Wilson is the only player from the 2019 team who fits that description.
Auburn released a statement about the lawsuit:
“Mr. Thomas’s complaint does not include facts to support his allegations of discrimination, and Auburn will not further discuss the details of this personnel matter,” Auburn said in a statement released to AL.com on Monday afternoon. “However, Auburn is compelled to clarify that Mr. Thomas’s complaint includes egregious mischaracterizations regarding the academic record of a student athlete who was under his mentorship. Prior to filing this lawsuit, Auburn informed Mr. Thomas that this information was inaccurate. His decision to make false and damaging statements about a student for his personal benefit cannot be ignored. Auburn will use all available legal resources to protect our students and to defend the University against the allegations in the complaint.”
AL.com’s report goes into more detail about Thomas’s allegations. You can read the full report here.