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Another Weekend, Another Auburn Disaster

By on February 25th, 2013 in Basketball 17 Comments »

I know basketball will never come close to reaching the level of excitement that Auburn football generates in a good year, but don’t you feel like you’re missing out on something?

With Auburn and school officials choosing to sit out another season of competitive SEC play, all fans had to look forward to this weekend were the NFL Combine and Auburn baseball taking on the likes of Middle Tennessee State and the College of Charleston.

Hell, I’d rather sit through an entire night at the Oscars than be subjected to those two events. No offense to John Pawlowski and company. I love you, but wake me up when the real season starts.

If Ole Miss can build a basketball program, why can’t Auburn? With the Tigers on the way to perhaps its worst season in a generation, athletic director Jay Jacobs continues to voice support for embattled coach Tony Barbee.

“We have to be patient,” wrote Jacobs last week to Tiger Unlimited members.

“Coach Barbee recently said we have to change the culture to elevate our program to a new level. History says he is right.”

Jacobs even compared the current plight to that of Sonny Smith who came more than 25 years earlier. “Our history says we can be successful in basketball, but it also says we have to be patient.”

I would also add that comparing Auburn basketball today with that of a former coach who walked the courts during the Reagan administration is moronic at best.

Despite proclaiming before the season that this year’s team was his best, Barbee has now lost 11 of its last 12 games. They’ve lost four of their last five home games and have been beaten by 30 or more points in two of its last three games.

Anybody that reads my weekly columns know I’m no fan of Jacobs. I just don’t get it. Since taking over nearly 10 years ago, Auburn has seen drastic declines in all four its major sports. Football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and baseball are all in significantly worse shape than when he inherited it.

Take the 2010 football season out of the equation and you realize this has been one of the darkest periods in Auburn history. Yet Jacobs continues to thrive. It’s one of the damndest things I’ve witnessed in my lifetime.

I’m still amazed that those who give the most to the athletic department hardly complain (at least publicly) about coughing up $7 million to let Gene Chizik sit home and watch Ellen every day at 3 o’clock.

If my hard earned money was going toward covering Jacobs’ mistakes, I believe I’d demand a change. I was only on the hook for three sets of season tickets this past season, and I still feel violated.

The good news is the basketball season is nearly complete and some will begin buying into Barbee’s promises for 2014. He’ll undoubtedly sign several blue chippers in the off-season who’ll not qualify academically and Jacobs will swear the culture is changing.

Meanwhile, both he and Barbee will pocket another couple of million dollars and the beat will go on.

It’s a good gig if you can get it – and keep it.


  1. tigrrr tigrrr says:

    First football, now basketball. Many many blowouts. What does this do to the Auburn psyche?

    This has to be bad for us. It has to permeate into everyday life. Our university gets creamed by our peers. The university thet prepared us for our careers. Is it okay for us to get creamed in business too?

    Get this weight off our shoulders. Get rid of Jay Jacobs. How about Sonny Smith for AD?


  2. War Eagle Girl War Eagle Girl says:

    Amen and Amen.

    I actually was excited for Bball after I witnessed the FSU win then………where is THAT team? This athletic dept is depressing. I graduated over 30 years ago and never have witnessed anything like this even after Barfield. Now swimming is taking a “dive”.

    When I got the word that ticket prices weren’t going up ~ I was like what? Why would they? We should be getting a refund for last year!! I sat through EVERY game until the END. I was supportive. And what do I get back? No increase in prices. As a War Eagle Girl, back in the day, we worked recruiting every Saturday morning and it was never a hard sale. I have know idea what they are selling these days.

    I was really excited about Scott Etheridge. I know we have intelligent, smart graduates out there that have succeeded in business and KNOW how to run one. Even old athletes if that’s what they are so intent upon using but there are successful business men that know sports and can run a multi-million dollar business. For the life of me, I CAN’T understand it. I hate that college athletics has become such big business but it is what it is and we can’t keep running it like a local good ole boys business. Even our coaches are tweeting ~ they understand about moving forward and keeping up with the world. Auburn is not a sleepy college town anymore!!

    Thanks for letting me rant! I am pretty sure I am not the only alum who feels this way!!!!!!

    • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

      …..Barfield was never as bad as our football program is now. Even when he was in his last season going 0-6 in the SEC, the team was competing. We lost by 4 to LSU, 3 to Mississippi State, 10 to Georgia, 11 to Florida… you get the idea. We weren’t down to anybody 42-0 a the half!

      ……I was harping on this 8 years ago. We could have had Scott Etheridge running the show, and Mike Anderson having our basketball team competing with Kentucky and Florida. Instead, we can’t throw a ball in the ocean in 2013.

    • tigrrr tigrrr says:

      I graduated in ’74. I have been through Bob Davis, Tommy Joe Eagles, Sonny, Cliff Ellis, Lebo and now Barbee. The first one I experienced while in school was a nut who drove around in a bright blue car with a fluorescent orange top. I think he even had John Mengelt.

      All of them except for Lebo and Barbee expected to get into the NCAA tournament. Bob Davis beat Kentucky AT LEXINGTON! Cliff Ellis had the Tigers pre season No. 1. Sonny was always in the tourney, and even the Elite 8.

      We don’t have that desire now. Losing seems okay.

      NOT IN MY BOOK! Let’s get rid of JJ and get somebody in who will make us proud of all of our programs.


      • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

        I attended Bob Davis’ bball camps at AU. We by God learned to box out, rebound, pass, and shoot freaking free throws. I think Davis’ problem was recruiting. I don’t know how or why, but some key players that could have made big differences, got away.

  3. Todd92 Todd92 says:

    Barbee hasn’t been an improvement over Lebo in any way… In fact I would say he has been a downgrade considering he’s doing this bad with the improved facilities. I’m not the one to call for a coaches head quickly but in my mind he has one more year for a huge improvement. The NIT isn’t enough. And Jay Jacobs has proven time and again that he is not capable of being AD…. Being a good fund raiser isn’t enough. Jay Jacobs is an incompetent buffoon.

    • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

      …..I’ll agree with one more year. But with Chubb, Payne and Sullivan gone next year, he’s again going to be moaning about rebuilding. I can hear it now.

      ……Yeah, he gets another grudging year to fix it, from me. But it’s not going to happen. I say the next basketball coach we hire, get the man who’s current guys have the best free throw percentage. If the guys’ team can’t can 70 percent from the line, he’s not going to win at Auburn.

  4. jdub jdub says:

    Why not get Mac and Bo to complete two more searches…AD then HBC

  5. jdub jdub says:

    Agree that Scott Etheridge would be a great candidate for AD

  6. buddy Ro shaka4244 says:

    Every program thinks they deserve a winning program in every sport. That isn’t going to happen. Every dedicated fan wants more. That fan is simply being… a fan. I understand the rebuilding process, I understand the efforts toward a new culture, I understand the need for state-of-the-art facilities, University pride, for coaches to get wildly creative in desperation(2012 AU fball, 2013 AU bball), players to respond with a lack of unity, all the pieces falling apart, etc. However, there is no fanbase in the nation who deserves being insulted by a delicately delivered pile of SH#! like Jacobs hands off over and over again. Demanding excellence throughout the Auburn Athletic Department is his job… and Auburn wouldn’t be half as bad if it were only one issue. Instead, Jacobs has allowed this to become a cancer.

    Crisis is usually formed over the course of MULTIPLE failures combined… and that is Jay Jacobs. I believe that the entire Auburn Athletic Dept. has suffered as a result of Jacobs’ lack of confidence and narrowed focus after the AU fball NC. I think he wants so hard to believe in other people (coaches), that he lacks the foresight and confidence to see the crisis ahead… and do his job to stop it. Bottom line, this AU AD has failed Auburn by being too weak.

    • KungFuPanda9 KungFuPanda9 says:

      Shaka, I understand what you are saying about unrealistic fan expectations. I agree to some extent. However, the last straw for me is the decline of the swimming program. AU has trained a huge number of Olympic swimmers from all over the world. They come to Auburn to train, and then they swim for their country in the Olympics. That speaks volumes about the quality of the program. But that is changing and I find that troubling.

      We not only attract the best swimmers in the USA but from all around the world.

      • buddy Ro shaka4244 says:

        Auburn is auburn.. I don’t have more expectations attached to one sport that I don’t reciprocate atop another… I had a high school buddy of mine swim for AU,… Then the Olympics and certainly AU has become a powerhouse, but freaking out when swimming doesn’t pull off it’s 17th straight is not on my priority list.

        I don’t have problem with fan expectation; it as it should be… And mostly within reason. Swimming would not be my JJ straw for me. Everyone makes mistakes, but perpetual nature of such would be my straw.

  7. WoodrowAU95 says:

    I was trying to think of something to add to the above posts, but they are all spot on!!!

    By the way, do you think JJ would hire me? It’s obvious you don’t have to do or be good at the job. I hear AU pays great and the buyout’s……..Phenomenal!!! Thanks, Jay.

  8. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    This coach has NEVER impressed me. For all the fan fare and expense that was diverted away from football and baseball… STILL all I can hear is crickets.

    I honestly think we would get a better return on investment if we replaced the basket ball flooring in the Arena and installed a pool

    Fire Barbee now. But fire Jacobs before you do it.

    Obviously Cam Newton was the ONLY reason we survived against bama when we played them a few weeks ago. And Auburn was never in a position to “challenge” tonight.

    Can we get CAM back?


    • WoodrowAU95 says:

      JJ isn’t going anywhere until he himself decides to retire or resign. We’re stuck with him. Mediocrity–here we come!!! Wait, I think we are there, dammit!!!