Auburn Shooting is a Warning to City Officials
Talk to any Auburn student and they’ll tell you it wasn’t a surprise what happened in the early hours of Sunday morning just off campus. One person was killed and three more wounded outside the McDonald’s on West Magnolia Avenue near campus.
For years now, nonstudents have flocked to downtown bars on weekends, most just looking for a good time. For some, though, it’s an opportunity to cause trouble, and Saturday was the culmination of a problem that’s been brewing for years.
One recent graduate said it’s widely known that you stay away from that part of campus where the restaurant sits. “It’s downright scary on weekends,” she said. “There’s a bad crowd that hangs out around that McDonald’s. You just don’t feel safe walking much past SkyBar (a popular local bar up the street.).”
Just a few years ago, it would be unfathomable to think of any part of Auburn’s campus or surrounding area as unsafe. It’s now up to Auburn city and campus officials to take back that part of campus where things have gone from bad to worse. Downtown needs to be a place for Auburn students and their friends. All others need to be shown to the city limits.
On to football…
Besides everyone on the roster plus a section of the North End Zone getting to play in Saturday night’s win over Alabama State, the talk of the game was speedy receiver, Anthony Schwartz. Called by more than a few the fastest man in college football, he put that speed on display with three catches for 67 yards and a touchdown, The biggest catch came on a beautiful 57-yard touchdown pass from Jarrett Stidham in the first quarter.
Washington took away Auburn’s patented jet sweep last week with its defensive alignment. That is expected to change in the coming weeks. Saturday was just a preview of what figures to be a lot of Schwartz as the SEC schedule picks up. The freshman finished second at the Under 20 World Games in the 100-meter dash. The best part of the story is he apparently has the hands to match the speed.
Baffling is the only word to describe ESPN’s decision to head to Ft. Worth this weekend for College Gameday. TCU–Ohio St. was picked over Auburn–LSU even though the game is being played at a neutral site at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. To make things stranger, the show will originate from campus, not outside the stadium some 20 miles away.
The network clearly wants to ride the Urban Meyer drama all the way into the ground. He is set to return to the sidelines following this weekend’s game. Some have suggested that because the show came to Auburn late last season for the Iron Bowl they chose to look elsewhere. I don’t buy it. If the location would have been Tuscaloosa or Athens, there’s no doubt they would be in the Southeast.
Former Auburn Athletic Director and Sports Information Director David Housel ended a streak this past weekend. On Friday, he posted a message on his Facebook saying the Alabama State game would be his first home absence in 53 years. Not since the Georgia game of 1964 has Housel been away from Jordan-Hare Stadium when the team took the field.
The Auburn legend is coming off a double knee replacement surgery that could sideline him for more games this year. Always one to take things in stride, Housel looked on the bright side. “I have a big screen TV and memories. Oh, the memories,” wrote Housel.
Here’s to hoping David is back in the press box that adorns his name sooner rather than later!
Until next time…