By Jay Coulter
Judging from the message boards and internet sites around the state today, it’s apparent the anger toward Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs isn’t toning down.
I received a number of emails expressing anger toward Jacobs over the handling of the Will Muschamp departure to Texas.
More than 5,000 miles away the same scenario is being played out in Honolulu. Hawaii fans are angry over the way the school’s athletic director, Herman Frazier handled the contract negotiations with head coach June Jones.
You probably read that Jones accepted the coaching job at SMU on Monday. Things have gotten so bad for Frazier that he’s expected to step down at any moment.
Here’s a quote from a state representative on the island commenting about the contract negotiations with Jones…
“Was the ball dropped? Definitely. Is director Frazier to blame? I believe so,” said state Rep. K. Mark Takai, who led a legislative briefing in May regarding concerns with the athletics program.
“I don’t think that the athletics program can function now with Frazier at the helm. Changes are going to have to be made.”
Luckily for Hawaii, the president of the university stepped to the plate and handled the situation. President David McClain issued this statement…
“I also want to apologize to our fans and all of Hawaii for matters getting to this stage in the first place,” he said. “Exceptional performance deserves exceptional recognition and your university was slow to step up. That won’t happen again.”
Does this sound familiar?
Change the name of the schools and plug in Muschamp for Jones and you could be talking about the same place.
Again the question begs, if you are the athletic director at Auburn why engage in a heated argument with one of your most valued employees?
Muschamp didn’t leave Auburn because it was a better job. Nor did he leave for more money (he’s making the same amount at Texas).
Forget about talk of taking the Texas job because it set him up for a better position down the road.
He left for the same reason most everyone leaves a job. He didn’t feel appreciated where he was employed.
He didn’t feel like he had the support he needed. And don’t think for a minute it wasn’t lost on him how they treated Tommy Tuberville in his contract negotiations a few weeks earlier.
Now contrast this with the reception he received in Austin. Muschamp was not only met by head coach Mack Brown, but also was greeted by the school’s president. Both asked him to join their team.
What would you have done? I know where I’d be cashing my check.
As painful as this experience has been, it may end up working to Auburn’s advantage. Hopefully it has gotten the attention of Auburn President Jay Gogue.
Hawaii did the right thing. Will Auburn?