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Firing Chizik Not Enough For Auburn People

By on November 26th, 2012 in Football 58 Comments »
jacobs press

A quick glance at Twitter and Facebook on Sunday told the story. Auburn people were not happy. It wasn’t because Gene Chizik was shown the door. It had more to do with the guy standing at the podium inside the Auburn Athletic Complex trying to explain why.

For many alumni and fans, athletic director Jay Jacobs remains public enemy number one. After orchestrating one of the worst contract extensions in modern college football history, Jacobs remarkably remains the last man standing.

While Chizik and his assistant coaches, along with associate athletic director Tim Jackson paid for their sins with their jobs, Jacobs stood in front of the media Sunday taking no responsibility for the biggest collapse in program history.

His survival has more to do with a personal relationship with a former board of trustee member than job performance. It goes without saying that Jacobs has equaled or surpassed Chizik’s on-field ineptness in the board room.

Give Jacobs credit. He somehow convinced two Heisman Trophy winners to provide ground cover while he again gets to make the ultimate decision. If you thought the good ole boy network died with Bobby Lowder, think again.

Even Bo’s daughter knows. Morgan Jackson, a junior at Auburn, tweeted last night, “at the end of the day Jay Jacobs makes the final decision! So if u love the person, that’s great, but if you hate him, don’t blame my dad!!”

It’s hard to imagine any Auburn person watching yesterday and coming away feeling good about the future of Auburn football.  And what about university president Jay Gogue? As has been his style since arriving, he was nowhere to be found. He didn’t even bother showing up for the game Saturday.

Against this backdrop, Auburn now embarks on another coaching search. All the principle characters remain from 2008. Only this time, if things go bad, the administration can blame it on Pat Sullivan and Bo Jackson.

Brilliant.

A new coach is yet to be hired and Auburn’s already failed its litmus test. Politics won out over sound reasoning; nothing new really. So much for hoping change was in the air.

In the coming days, Auburn will hope tradition and a ton of money will mask the stench of a dysfunctional athletic department. I fear the secret is already out. You can only hope that this search committee is real and not just a decoy.

I have my doubts, though I can’t imagine Bo agreeing without being actively involved – that’s my prayer anyway.

For those that love Auburn, patience will be necessary. Better days are ahead, but it will take time. Regardless of the hire, fans will need to get on-board fast. Times are changing in the SEC and we don’t want to become the next Ole Miss. The odds may appear long, but Auburn has always found a way.

It’s time for strong Auburn leadership to step forward before it’s too late.

58 Comments

  1. rn4au rn4au says:

    I am sorry but that man needs firing worse than any other person down there. He is responsible for the direction of athletics in general at the school and is failing miserably and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out! What is it going to take to get rid of the problem down there!! It is a serious question… what is it going to take???

  2. restless6 says:

    Good analysis Jay. I agree that Bo and Pat will be cannon fodder should Jay’s pick fail. Why in the hell would they agree to this?!

    I have said many times over, that the big problem is the entrenchment of the good ole boys. I guess money talks, huh?

    I think that we all should mount an email/phone campaign to Pat, Bo, Mac, and Gouge to express our displeasure with JJ. He must be fired!

  3. restless6 says:

    Also, can you or another writer do a piece on who these figures from 2008 are? I would love for everyone to be able to know who is in the shadows.

    Can you also tell us how Jay Jacobs was hired? Is he a puppet of the shadow guys, I.E., bourbon boys?

  4. almightytmc1 says:

    I juar read Scabo’s article at al.com. According to him,a lot of things were going on behind the scenes which led to the downfall of Chizik. If (I said “if”) what he is claiming is actually true, then I have to believe the following things.
    1. Jacobs is so clueless he had no idea of how bad things had gotten.
    2. Jacobs is an incompetent boob and patsy who allowed this abortion to occur.
    3. Jacobs new everything and kept his mouth shut.
    Given any of the above criteria I cannot see for the life of me why Jacobs is still on the Auburn payroll.
    I also understand that bringing in a couple of hall of fame players is a nice way to camoflage the status quo. But it is still the same old bulls**t refried and served up.
    Auburn’s only hope is that a sure-fire winner gets the coaching job and wins games, beces mor popular than the old boys network can controll and then he walls them all out. (kinda like Tuberville did.)

  5. KoolBell KoolBell says:

    This is one of those deals where we got 2 out of 3 wishes for AU football. Tim Jackson will no longer be associated with Auburn football in any way. With the firing of Chizik Auburn will have it’s 2 out of 3.

    My hope is that Jacobs knows that he must get this hire right. If Jacobs swings and misses with this one, he is gone. I think that is why Dr. Gogue insisted on having Mac Crawford, an AU grad who is also a businessman extraordinaire.

    I believe that this coaching search should result in the hire of Jay Jacobs AU life. Let’s hope he gets it right.

    • Todd92 Todd92 says:

      KB I hope Jacobs gets this hire right but I said 4 years ago that if Jay Jacobs gets this hire right it will be because he is lucky not good….. That still holds true…. Jacobs is a buffoon and needs to go, it’s that simple.

      • wde1988 wde1988 says:

        That still may happen.

        This has left a mark on Jacobs that won’t easily be overlooked in the future. Right now he is the only continuity that AU has… for better or for worse.

        Let’s hope for the better.

        WDE

    • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

      I agree KB…

  6. Randyc37 Randyc37 says:

    I see a major rebuilding process ahead for our alma mater. Now that Chizik is gone, I am sure that a lot of people will start talking. You will realize that we did not really know that much about what was going on behind the scenes of the Auburn football program.

    It is time to start the healing process.

    WDE!

  7. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    This should really come as no surprise to anyone.

    Remember, Gouge said he had faith in Jacobs. That is why Jacobs is still employed by AU.

    The real trick here is that regardless of what Gouge thinks… he has just saddled himself with Jacobs and that will be irreversible. If Jacobs goobs this up, then Gouge goes out with the wash.

    I am certain this has been explained to Jacobs. I bet everyone on the committee understands this as well. Why else would Jacobs reach out to Jackson and Sullivan – two AU heros?

    I think this is as good as it gets for AU for now. And if the worse happens and this committee screws up the next hiring of a coach…. then we get to see Jacobs and Gouge pack out thier offices.

    You all can see this as failure…. I am taking it as a win-win.

    WDE

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      By the way… as I stated before, this is going to take years to put this program back together.

      The worse isn’t over. There are going to be folks leaving the program… as the new coach and staff comes in and asserts itself. Further, we are going to lose recruits. It’s going to happen so get ready for it.

      Depending who we get… and if they have any credibility at all…. I look for things to get back to competitive in 2-3 years. Total down time? 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

      It’s the way of the world. And incidently, look for AU to take longer if we get put on probation by the NCAA. Talking with KB, I doubt that happens… building the program back is tough enough.

      WDE

  8. audude audude says:

    Well, when you are wrong you just have to admit it and move on. I was dead wrong about keeping CGC.

    If what Kevin Scarkbinsky at AL.com wrote “Long before Alabama 49, Auburn 0, official and unofficial Auburn power brokers were told during the past off-season that Gene Chizik’s football program was coming apart at the seams.” So why if JJ still around?

    The rest of Scarbinsky’s article: “Gene Chizik set the table for his own dismissal at Auburn” is a real eye opener.

  9. MobTownAub says:

    Jacobs needs to pull a Mal Moore and hire our Saban. Only way he makes it through the spring. Time is ticking Mr. Jacobs..

  10. uglyjoe says:

    Keep in mind that just as we lose some recruits due to the firing, we also stand to gain recruits based on who the new coach and staff might bring with them, if they get into place quick enough.

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      Very true.

      Again, this is a win win in my book. The ones that didn’t want to work hard and improve … we didn’t want them anyway.

      WDE

  11. SandMountainTiger SandMountainTiger says:

    Just an Idea from a lowly poster: Wish List thread? Got a feeling every thread from here until a new coach is hired is gonna turn into “We need ______! HARRUMPH HARRUMPH! I didn’t get a HARRUMPH outa that guy! Give the Governor a HARRUMPH.”

  12. MyAuburn myauburn says:

    For some strange reason I feel pretty good about this. There are a lot of good choices out there and I feel REALLY good about 3 of the 4 members of the search committee. I just hope they make a decision and get the guy on board FAST!!!

  13. MobTownAub says:

    Jacobs and others have stated that they expect this to be a quick process. Of the coaches mentioned, who would agree to come now? With almost all of their teams still having something to play for? It doesn’t make sense…the only option that really leaves is Petrino, and while I’d love for this to happen, I just don’t see it as the case. I think he’s being used as a smokescreen for someone else. I just haven’t the slightest idea of who that could be yet…

    • MyAuburn myauburn says:

      There has been a bunch of examples of coaches taking other jobs and staying on to coach a bowl game with the previous school. ie. Malzahn

  14. tigerpaw75 says:

    Everyone take a deep breath. Jacobs may still be on his way out, but they are retaining him for a while longer for a number of reasons. I’ve read these types of speculations:

    1. Jacobs is close to hitting 25 years as a state employee (January?). Apparently there are pension level implications to crossing that threshold. Maybe they wanted to give him the opportunity to hit that milestone.

    2. They are allowing him to stay to administratively run the selection process but that the committee of three – Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan, and Mac Crawford – hold most of the decision making power and/or have a veto on anyone Jacobs wants.

    3. I didn’t know who Mac Crawford was, but apparently he was the former Chief Executive Officer of MedPartners and Caremark, and prior to that an experienced turnaround specialist in medical related companies. He also received the most prestigous student athlete award during his time at Auburn. I saw this – http://www.wlu.edu/x48384.xml. Maybe this selection committee is a dry run for him to take over as AD, somewhat of a transitional figure, like Mike Lude was when Pat Dye gave up the post in 1992.

    4. Maybe, just maybe, they believe Jacobs could hit a home run with the hire ala Mal Moore in 2007 when he hired Saban. Bama folks were saying the same types of things about Moore after a string of bad hires (Fran, Price, and Shula). I don’t think you could find a Bama fan critial of Mal now.

    See what Texas A&M did last year. They let their lame duck AD hire Kevin Sumlin and then a few months later named a new AD. I’m sure Sumlin was privy to the plan when he was hired. I’m sure Auburn would do the same thing once they got to an offer/negotiation point in the process with a HC candidate.

    Good news is Chiz is gone, and Tim Jackson is out of the FB program. Give a little more time for the 3rd shoe to drop.

    • MyAuburn myauburn says:

      Indeed I hope you are a prophet.

    • Randyc37 Randyc37 says:

      Great post. Mac Crawford was a fullback at Auburn from 1968-1969. I remember him playing in the former Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl. He has ties to Pat Sullivan and played with him in 1969.

      May Auburn be as lucky as Texas A&M because their program was really down until Kevin Sumlin arrived.

    • Jay Coulter Jay Coulter says:

      Great info. Thanks for sharing.

    • JRoweMDN says:

      I thought the same thing when I read Mac Crawford’s resume. He seems like a great person to put in place of JJ since we are in need of some “turn around” and he has been there.

      • bb233 says:

        I am curious, has anyone looked at what the typical bio is for an AD in the SEC? Are they life long employees of one university or another or are they captains of industry?

  15. War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

    Heard one of the guy’s on the round table on WJOX claim that his AU sources were telling him that Petrino is being pushed for and just needs a few people to sign off. I sure hope this isn’t the case, because I have already said I wouldn’t watch AU if they hired a greasy coach like him (who employes their mistress with school/team dollars). I endured 49-0, but enabling Petrino to do things like that, and to ignore how he’s treated Louisville, the Falcons, Tubberville, and his family would be too far.

    • KevinATL KevinATL says:

      Could not agree more War_Eagle_2010. If Petrino comes, I am setting up an ebay account and you guys can buy a ton of AU gear. I can stand the losing, all teams struggle from time to time. The mass shootings, the hiring of security companies and the shady dealings behind the scenes ( and the overshadowing of the program by past coaches that make stupid statements on a weekly basis) are just too much. Hiring Petrino would be the icing on the slimy cake. I do not think he is seriously being considered.

  16. Jumpn Jack Flash says:

    My personal opinion is that the next coach has already been picked and all this committee stuff is just a smokescreen so that AU can say they did a proper coaching search. I think Chizik knew he was out the door sometime between the TAMU and Georgia games. My gut is it’s Petrino but I won’t be shocked if it’s Gus.

    • Tigerstripe Tigerstripe says:

      I hope you are correct about the next coach already being picked. That would make me feel better about Gogue’s leadership. It would show that he was a forward thinking and not “out of touch” or ill-prepared as some have said. And it might explain CGC washing his hands by hiring a security staff to watch the players several weeks ago… “Not my problem anymore”

      I would vote for Gus rather than Petrino but couldn’t Gus possibly go to Arkansas? I’m ready for an offensive minded coach who knows his true identity. Art Briles anyone?

    • War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

      The article’s premise is ridiculous in my opinion. If Auburn, during the height of Saban’s prowess, can win a championship in 2010 and nearly deny Bama their 2009 championship with below average coaches (not including Malzahn, Rocker, and I’d add Boulware) then an Auburn with above average coaches should be able to compete with Saban consistently every year.

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      A similar comment from UGA leg humper and former defensive end now ESPNU personality David Pollack. I couldn’t believe he disrespected Auburn like that… and it was the former Gator Jesse Palmer that actually defended us. Unbelievable.

      I wish these guys would leave us alone. Sadly its all a part of being an Auburn Tiger. You get thick skin quickly… either that or you die.

      WDE

      • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

        I’ve heard David Pollack refer to the Auburn Tigers as the ‘War Eagles’ during a pre-game broadcast earlier this season. So there’s that. Considering that Jesse pretty boy Palmer defended us–just punctuates the lack of credence to Pollack’s claims.

      • Randyc37 Randyc37 says:

        Pollack never gave Auburn any love when he did sports talk in Atlanta. Now he is paired with Jessie Palmer( a gator) and Reece Davis, a Bama grad. I have learned to just ignore the negative commentary.

    • MyAuburn myauburn says:

      Thus says the President of the REC

    • Randyc37 Randyc37 says:

      I wonder if this guy saw Texas A&M play Bama this year. I do not think that Kevin Sumlin feared Saban. Actually, I feel that Texas A&M is on the rise now that they are no longer in the same conference as Texas.

      If Auburn makes the right coaching choice, they could be back in the mix soon.

      • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

        ……I will be interested to see what Sumlin and Johnny Football do with a rebuilt offensive line next season. The current Aggie O-line is devastating. Everyone one of those guys just OWNS the man in front of them, and often go cruising for more big hits at the next level. And Sumlin didn’t build that line.

  17. MyAuburn myauburn says:

    I agree with you WDE, I have almost gotten numb to the Satan fan club media. It does get tiresome though.

    • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

      Folks are acting like it’s Saban’s fault that Chizik was fired. Unless I missed something, we did not play Bama 9 times this past season. We also were able to get talented (now scandalously underdeveloped) recruits, so I don’t buy into the notion that Saban owns the world of college football. They get the same number of recruits as everyone else. He knows how to develop the talent that he recruits. That’s the difference. It’s not rocket science; it’s execution.

      • MyAuburn myauburn says:

        Agreed TOTM, if Saban stops suddenly 3 sportswriters get their noses stuck in his butt.

      • Randyc37 Randyc37 says:

        Agreed. Saban was able to to over sign players until the practice was banned by the NCAA.

        Bama does seem to have trouble with a fast paced spread offense. I think that UGA will have a good day next Saturday passing the ball on the Alabama secondary. Of course, I will stay away from the Georgia Dome this weekend.

        • Jumpn Jack Flash says:

          I’m not sure when the rule changed, but there has been a 25 scholarship limit for a while now, longer than Saban has been coaching. You can’t really call him out and say he was the only coach taking advantage of greyshirts and medical hardships, when there were many other coaches doing the same thing, including Auburn. Houston Nutt signed 37 players one year at Ole Miss.

          • Randyc37 Randyc37 says:

            The SEC changed the rule in June of 2011. There is a nice summary of the over signing process on wikipedia.

        • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

          …..Except Georgia’s not fast paced. Bobo vs. Smart and Saban is not a good matchup of wits. And you KNOW Bama worked on this during Auburn week, too.

  18. MobTownAub says:

    A lot of teams got it right in the last cycle…Freeze at Ole Miss, Sumlin at ATM. No reason why Auburn can’t get it together and hire our own slam dunk. I just hope the administration is as desperate as we are.

    1. Break bank for right guy
    2. Give total control
    3. ?
    4. Profit

    • KevinATL KevinATL says:

      Auburn will not give total control. Period. And we will suffer until we do. Case in point: Having AU greats on the hiring committee? Do other teams do this? I have never heard of this crap before. Is that not what an AD does?

  19. KoolBell KoolBell says:

    You guys can forget about Petrino. He broke four Arkansas state laws on his way out the door. Auburn is a state institution, they can not hire felons( Petrino’s admission makes this so).

    • Todd92 Todd92 says:

      Unfortunately he’s only a felon if tried and convicted. Which won’t happen. I would rather hire just about anyone over Petrino.

  20. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..I didn’t have time to read this before work this morning, but I did see Phillip Marshall’s accumulated notes on the whole sordid mess. Evidently, he’s been holding back so he wouldn’t be barred from the Athletic building, or the press box. And the bottom line is that our athletic director is either complicit, or incompetent.

  21. Randyc37 Randyc37 says:

    I do feel that a new Auburn coach will be named right after the ACC and SEC trophy games this weekend. I did hear that Mac Crawford could be the next Auburn AD. He does know how to run a business which is what Auburn needs right now.

  22. Mike jimithing78 says:

    I’m lost here: “one of the worst contract extensions.” Please explain.

    In June 2011 his contract was extended to last 4 seasons (through 2015 – I’m assuming 2015 January game). That’s standard. It lets players know they’ll have the same coach for all 4 years. It’s a bad sign when your coach doesn’t have 4 years left on his contract and isn’t just old and about to retire. Why wouldn’t we have given him an extension after a national championship?

    His buyout amount is inline with what the market is going with these days. How many other coaches have a clause reducing the amount owed based on future earnings? How many other coaches have monthly payments? Most are paid annually. Monthly hurts the pocketbook less. Monthly gives him increased chances of finding football employment to reduce how much we owe him. If you ask me this monthly, reducing buyout is AUsome.

    Maybe I am just missing an extension that was made after June 2011?

  23. sparkey sparkey says:

    I don’t think the committee is there to take up the blame for Jacobs. Actually, I think the smokescreen is the committee itself. To me, the person has already been hired. The search committee has been put there to make Auburn people feel better about the hire. My guess, they are going to hire Petrino. It all makes too much sense. Look at how Petrino was being called a zero chance to now he’s considered even with Jimbo Fisher as one of the top two for the job. The difference, Petrino doesn’t have a job right now nor a championship game on the slate or BCS big time bowl game. Petrino also is not in a position to bunk any of the good ole boy network and he will allow the influence to stay in the program. Furthermore, the good ole boys will get to tinker with their favorite part of the game. They are going to get to play with the defense. For them, Petrino is the perfect hire. Call me insane all you want, Petrino is going to be Auburn’s next coach and it makes me sick to my stomach.