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Auburn Shooting is a Warning to City Officials

By on September 10th, 2018 in Football, News 29 Comments »

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…


  1. meathead530 says:

    Not a fan of ESPN. Herbstreit the other day called our first game “The Washington Game” AFTER Auburn had won. And he bragged on their performance.

    Saturday’s game should be good if Gus does his job and coaches!

  2. Jason Wright says:

    If Auburn is to remain the loveliest village on The Plains, the officials need to act quick.

  3. SandMountainTiger SandMountainTiger says:

    You think ESPN is trying to quiet all the “SEC bias” talk from the rest of the country (well, mostly the Big 10, but whatever)?

  4. WDE says:

    Not that anyone asked me but I have a different thought on ESPN choosing TCU vs. Ohio State.

    Personally I think it was more financially driven than anything. ESPN is hurting (has been hurting). Did the Urban drama play a role? Yes! Had it been Tuscaloosa or Athens – would they have spent the money? Probably!

    But money talks and when push came to shove I really believe it was financially driven. They only had to move the trucks from College Station to Forth Worth. And ABC is broadcasting the TCU/OSU game thus you don’t have to put Maria and Herbstreit on a private jet to Dallas from Auburn. Moving Gameday 175 miles instead of 780 saved ESPN 10’s of thousands of dollars.

    They did the same thing during the recession in 2008 and 2009. The nightly ABC game largely dictated the location of Gameday.

  5. WDE7385 WDE7385 says:

    Will Hastings and Eli Stove expected to play LSU

    Hastings to right, Schwartz to the left or vice versa

    Too bad we are on CBS. Amazing how you can get used to the time gap between seeing and saying. CBS on screen, Auburn Network on radio.

    War Eagle !!!

  6. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ……What I do on CBS broadcasts is to switch over from the cable box to my antenna. I did that for Washington and ABC, as well. Anything to get more speed and comment in real-time!

  7. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ……The shooting news really makes me sad. I lived on West Mag for most of my time at Auburn, and walked that route at all hours. Never felt threatened.

    • sullivan013 sullivan013 says:

      Me too. The only thing I used to fear at McDonalds was the food,…

      Momma G’s was always worth the extra $s, even if I rarely had any as a student.

      • ATL_AU_FAN ATL_AU_FAN says:

        True story – I ate at Momma’s twice – literally twice – my entire time as a student because, to your point, I couldn’t afford it. But, wow, was that a treat!

        • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

          …..That McDonalds had really good fries, back in the day. Country’s had the best fries, though. I know, I worked there! We ran real potatoes through a slicer, then froze them for later. Frozen fries do best, in good quality oil. Crisp outside, and still potato-ey inside.

    • ATL_AU_FAN ATL_AU_FAN says:

      Same here – and I’m old… Never once thought safety – or lack thereof – to be an issue. And, speaking of old, I’m far beyond doing the bar-hopping I once did. I’m happy to leave Parking Lot X and head to Atlanta or, if a late game such as this past weekend, arrive at our hotel. Now sure, we may, and most often do when staying in town, stop for a bite to eat on the way, but we haven’t spent any time “downtown” after a game for, I don’t recall, a long time. That’s not because of this issue or the potential, it is just that I’ve done that a lot in the past.
      It does, however, sadden me to see Auburn make National headlines in this manner.
      I sure as heck-fire don’t mind the headlines when signing a great recruit, beating Bama and UGA, winning a National Championship, or applauding someone who has served our country to their fullest, but Auburn isn’t supposed to make headlines for violence.
      But, from what I am now hearing and reading, this particular “area” of town has progressively gotten worse – and why has nothing been done? Why is this a “reactive” move instead of some “proactive” measures that might have prevented this?
      Okay – rant over…

      War Eagle!!

      • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

        …..I ate breakfast twice at that McDonalds in July of 2010. My son’s team was in the state tennis tournament Auburn holds every summer. McDonalds had pretty good coffee, and we were craving those egg McMuffins. Again, no trouble at 6:00 AM, in that neighborhood.

        ……On a related note, I hope I never have to sit/stand around all day outdoors at Auburn again, when it’s 102 degrees outside!

        …..My last real bar-hopping night was around New Year’s of 1989. It was during a single-digit cold snap. We ended up at B’ham’s Louie-Louie, watching Hotel. You had to have gloves to hold your beer or drink… Well, ok. I went to my high school 40-year reunion this past August, and had a Corona. That doesn’t count as bar-hopping, does it?

        …..You know, on A-Days and gamedays, I like to take a stroll down West Mag. There are some pretty pricey condos on that street, where pizza joints like Chanelos and Godfathers used to stand.

      • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

        …..I’ve never parked in a lot at Auburn, for a game. I’m an old-school serious cheapskate, and just absolutely hate paying for parking. A mile long or more walk is fine, as long as I don’t have to pay! I typically park near the Auburn Jr. High, when I come down. Getting out of town the back way, taking Dean road is quicker, too. I take Dean to a left on University Drive, then a right very quickly at Shelton Mill Road. This takes one out to US 280, where there is a left turn light. That way, you get onto 280 before the big mess at The Bottle, at the end of North College Street.

        • ATL_AU_FAN ATL_AU_FAN says:

          Well, the parking is included in our ticket package and it’s right behind the Arena with plenty of room for tailgating – easy in and out – and I’m too old to walk the mile! But we have 6 tents, two generators, satellite TV, two fans, shop lights for the evening games as needed, 2 to 3 crock pots, etc. I cannot imagine hauling all of that any distance!!
          But we always have plenty of chairs and tables and any and all are welcome so come join us any time!!

  8. ToddH says:

    I can’t believe this happened in Auburn. I talked to my son and he wasn’t surprised as I guess it’s know about that part of town. The city and the university need to correct this issue quickly!

  9. ATL_AU_FAN ATL_AU_FAN says:

    Auburn vs Arkansas — either 6:00 or 6:30 CT on ESPN, ESPN2, or SEC Network. Another ALL-DAY tailgate!!

  10. DBAU81 says:

    It’s unthinkable to me that an area in such close proximity to campus and Toomer’s Corner would be unsafe, no matter what time of day or night it is. This is Auburn, not the South Side of Chicago. Some suggestions:

    1. Have a heightened and very visible police presence in that area during the late evening/early morning hours.

    2. Review and, if necessary, strengthen any anti-loitering ordinance. Then enforce it.

    3. If a public establishment is attracting troublemakers, consider having it declared a public nuisance and shut it down. There are plenty of other places to get bad food.

    4. The University needs to lean hard on the city to do something about this. That will get some results.

  11. easyedwin easyedwin says:

    There was no alcohol within 1 mile of campus when I was a student. We hopped to all the frat band parties on frat row [Magnolia]. I rode my bike to Glendean Drugs to buy a 12 pack of Busch for $1.50 + tax. We never felt unsafe the entire time we were enrolled [class of ’74]. I am saddened and infuriated at the same time about murder and injuries at the McDonalds. More police presence with foot patrols is needed. We are in Anders all the time, but not at night.

    • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

      …..Booze really isn’t the issue. Alcohol was illegal on campus when I was there, too. However, Super Foods on Gay Street sold beer, a block from campus. Getting drunk doesn’t cause a normally decent person shoot up a place. Worse drugs are at issue, here.

      • ATL_AU_FAN ATL_AU_FAN says:

        I tend to agree, Acid. Albeit “illegal”, we never had an issue acquiring booze of whatever variety when desired. Now I graduated in 1983 so we are speaking of, what, close to two generations? I cannot imagine anyone shooting someone, especially in that area or other areas around campus. And, I cannot speak with any authority, but I’m guessing there were probably some guns around back then.

      • WarSamEagle WarSamEagle says:

        Don’t kid yourself. My son’s a police officer. He’s told me alcohol is almost always part of the situation on “guns fired” calls they respond to; especially at 2:30 in the morning. Drugs may be too, but alcohol is usually always involved.

      • WarSamEagle WarSamEagle says:

        Not excusing one over the other. And yes people can get drunk without shooting someone just as people can get high on pot without doing that. But alcohol is most always part of the equation when they do. It impairs judgement and emboldens people to be more aggressive than they would be sober.

  12. sparkey sparkey says:

    I agree things need to be done, but shutting down downtown Auburn for nothing but the students simply won’t happen. For that matter, it shouldn’t happen either. Folks like me who don’t go to school but live there would be blocked from having a good time and for what? What did we do? You can do many things without doing that.

  13. GreenvilleAUfan GreenvilleAUfan says:

    On another note, it's LSU week. Do we get the Corndog story this year Jay?