Chizik Disappointed About Robinson, Practice

Auburn coach Gene Chizik talks about losing Jovon Robinson for the season and about a less than good practice.

Auburn, Ala.--Coach Gene Chizik said on Friday night it is a tough situation for Jovon Robinson that he will not be able to play for Auburn this season, but noted there is a chance the high school All-American tailback will return to the AU football team in the future.

"We found out today," Chizik said when asked about Robinson being declared academically ineligible. "He was ruled a non-qualifier by the eligibility center (the NCAA Clearinghouse)," the coach said.

"Our main focus now for Jovon, who is not enrolled in school here obviously, is we are looking for the best option for him outside Auburn," Chizik noted. "Our focus for right now is to make sure we get him in the best situation we can to help him in his future. We are still looking into that."

Chizik said the options include Robinson attending prep school this fall and working to become an academic qualifier there. In a best-case scenario he could be qualified in time to play at Auburn for the 2013 season and play football this fall while doing it. He would still have four years of eligibility if he succeeds going the prep school route.

Another option is for the tailback to attend a junior college. If he does that he will have to earn a degree from the junior college before he can transfer to Auburn. The earliest return to Auburn in that scenario would be for the 2014 season. If he plays two seasons of juco ball, he would be a junior in eligibility when he returned to AU or he could have three years of eligibility if he plays one season and redshirts another.

"Without question he wants to come back here," Chizik said of the running back. "It has been a tough road here in the last few hours. As you can imagine he is down."

Jovon Robinson is shown at an AU practice.

Robinson, from Wooddale High School, had received praise from his teammates for his efforts during the summer voluntary workouts as well as the opening days of team practices.

He was shut down from practices after Auburn's August 8th scrimmage when AU officials learned there was a potential issue with the grades on his high school transcript being altered.

A U.S. Army All-American, he was a three-year standout at Wooddale in Memphis, where he was considered the top running back prospect in he state of Tennessee for the 2012 signing class. He was ranked as the No. 22 tailback prospect in the country and a four-star recruit by Scout.com.

Chizik has normally been pleased with the August practices. That was not the case on Friday evening as the Tigers tuned up for what will be their fourth scrimmage of the preseason on Saturday morning at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

"I thought we were sluggish and I didn't think we practiced very well," the coach said. "I think we were sloppy offensively, for sure. I was not impressed at all.

"We have a lot of work to do," Chizik added. "Hopefully, some of these seniors and older guys will step up and show some improvement."

Saturday's scrimmage will be a situational one, the coach said. The Tigers will go over their pre-game warmup routine, special teams play and do "a little bit of scrimmaging," Chizik said.

After Wednesday's scrimmage, the third in eight days, Chizik said if the Tigers had a fourth scrimmage it may be just for young players, but on Friday night he said that all the players would participate. "We have a lot of situational things we have got to get done," he noted. "It will be a very valuable day."


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