The much awaited report of the committee on Auburn Athletics has given their report to University President Jay Gogue.
Dr Gogue had charged the committee to take a look at five criteria for evaluating the athletic department: (1) academic and support services for student-athletes, (2) financial management, (3)customer service, (4) competition, including winning, sportsmanship and compliance, and (5) management structure.
In an open letter to the Auburn Family, Dr Gogue voiced support for Jacobs and the Athletic department while at the same time saying he expects “improvement in the overall operations,” and the upgrading of, “how we interact and communicate with fans and alumni, and enhance the game-day experience, on and off the field.”
There has been increased interest this year in the President’s evaluation of Jacobs and the Athletic Department due to the most dismal two years of Auburn sports in recent memory.
While new Auburn Women’s Basketball Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy took her team to the WNIT and the Equestrian team won another National Championship , the major sports have not had a good year. In addition, since Auburn won the BCS Championship two years ago, the big three major sports have struggled.
The basketball team has been terrible, football had it’s worst season in 60 years and the baseball team has not made an NCAA Baseball Tournament since winning the West in 2010. Barring Pawlowski’s Tigers winning the SEC Tournament (an extreme longshot), Auburn will finish the year without winning a conference or division championship for the first time in 20 years.
The alumni and fans have been waiting to see if Dr Gogue takes any action. In his public response to the committee’s report he said:
“There’s much to celebrate about Auburn Athletics, but there’s also room for substantial improvement. I look forward to Jay providing the leadership needed to make the necessary improvements.”
Everyone agrees there is plenty of “room for substantial improvement” and Gogue says that, Jacobs will “talk more about what’s in store.” He is scheduled to speak to the Auburn Chamber of Commerce Tuesday morning. Wonder if we will hear what he plans to do to make those “necessary improvements”
Readers can view Dr Gogue’s open letter after the jump:
Dear Auburn family,
The committee I appointed to review operations of Auburn Athletics as part of the Department’s annual evaluation has provided its findings. I’m grateful to members of the committee for their hard work, good thinking and dedication to helping Auburn Athletics move forward.
We asked the committee to review the Department’s total body of work with a focus on five areas: academic and support services for student-athletes; financial management; customer service; competition, including winning, sportsmanship and compliance; and management structure.
Athletics Director Jay Jacobs and I have talked in length about their recommendations. In general, they center on steps to improve overall operations of the Department, upgrade how we interact and communicate with fans and alumni, and enhance the game-day experience, on and off the field. Jay will talk in more detail about what’s in store, and I’m confident he will move forward to put in place a plan to give the Auburn family what we all expect.
There’s much to celebrate about Auburn Athletics, but there’s also room for substantial improvement. I look forward to Jay providing the leadership needed to make the necessary improvements.