Apparently, Jim Harbaugh begat Bruce Pearl.

Per a USA Today story Wednesday, multiple SEC coaches allegedly thought Auburn basketball was using a secret camera to film the opposing team’s practices in AU's Neville Arena during the 2017-18 season.

Further, one source tells Tide 100.9 that Alabama's Nate Oats is one of those coaches even though he was not yet at Alabama when they allege the taping occurred. The source said Oats found out that during his first season at Alabama in 2020 his team's walk through at Neville was secretly taped and now the Tide does those walkthroughs at an Auburn hotel instead.

An Auburn spokesperson told the program does not have a statement in response to the story. The original article says Auburn did not respond to USA Today’s request for comment.

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USA Today's story cites several anonymous sources who claim the allegations were brought up at an SEC coaches meeting following the 2017-18 season.

To be fair, neither the article nor the accusations offer any concrete proof that Auburn actually cheated, but where there's smoke... Well, you know the rest.

Per USA Today: “An SEC spokesperson confirmed to USA TODAY Sports that the conversation took place in 2018 after the SEC office was ‘made aware of general concerns about video cameras in basketball arenas related to visiting team practices and informally received information involving an individual institution. Uncorroborated information is typically shared with an involved institution, which occurred during the off-season period.’”

“The SEC did not name the institution, but according to six people affiliated with different SEC programs, Auburn was the team at the center of the spying allegations. With head coach Bruce Pearl in the room, however, nobody wanted to stand up and point the finger directly. During a tense moment, according to those people with knowledge of the meeting, then-South Carolina coach Frank Martin implored his colleagues to stop with anonymous sniping and say what they wanted to say.”

The USA piece further states there was a “change in the men’s basketball manual for the 2019 season. The new procedure required a member of the home team’s game-management staff to notify a member of the visiting team’s traveling party about the location of all video cameras, which had to be powered off with a cover applied to the lens if one was available.”

Miami v Auburn
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 The irony here is that the USA Today story surfaced while the University of Michigan continues dealing with the aftermath of its sign-stealing scandal that led to a three-game suspension for head coach Harbaugh. The article says most cheating, like what it accuses Auburn of, is frequent and hard to prove, which is quite true. Most scandals do not have a “smoking gun” like Connor Stalions at Michigan, Wolken writes for USA Today.

That's pretty damning.
Further, Wolken wrote: “There’s no way they could have known,” said the coach, who no longer works in the SEC.” [My guess: Martin, but that's just a theory.]
“The reason he came to that conclusion was simple, he said: Before the shootaround at Auburn, they had never run the play or used that signal before.”
It will be interesting to see if Pearl again skates as a result of these allegations as he did when former assistant Chuck Person was caught paying a recruit a few seasons back.

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