Golloway Not Going Away… Quietly.
Well it seems like Sunny Golloway wants to put Auburn baseball in the limelight during college football season. After Jay Jacob’s decision to fire Golloway yesterday amid compliance concerns under Golloway’s watch, the lawyer representing Sunny fired back today with a statement of his own.
John Saxon, the lawyer representing Golloway had this to say in a statement: “For Coach Sunny Golloway to be fired is outrageous. The allegations against him are pretextual. Coach Golloway has made no mistakes. If some, who want him gone, say mistakes were made, they are the mistakes of others who have conspired to make him the victim. If it is necessary in the coming days to air these matters, folks from Jay Jacobs on down–but not Sunny Golloway–will be the ones wishing Auburn had handles this differently. As for President Gogue, he does not know the facts. If he did, he would not have acquiesced this decision.
This is a program that hired a disgraced Bruce Pearl, yet now seeks to make a good man and a good coach, who is nothing but a winner, the fall guy.
Sunny Golloway is not only a winner, he is a fighter. He has four years left on his contract. There are good arguments, which we are prepared to test in court, that he actually has a lifetime contract. If serious offers of severance are not soon forthcoming, we will be fighting this matter in some forum, quite visible, as long as it takes to redeem Coach Golloway’s good name and to provide just compensating for him and his family”
So with all that being said, it becomes clearer why Jay Jacobs used the phrase “with cause” in his statement of dismissal of Golloway. It was two words that clarified that Golloway would be dismissed and Auburn would not owe him any money. Golloway’s lawyer disagrees and says that Auburn is just on a witch hunt with no evidence.
Some interesting thoughts on the lawyer’s statement: He notes that the current allegations against him are “pretextual.” Basically, he is saying that “some” (“from Jay Jacobs on down”) are fabricating something that has happened recently based on past events that labeled Golloway in a negative light. That tells me that Golloway doesn’t deny he has done some no-no’s in the past couple of years as skipper.
It’s no secret Golloway has been a problem with people in and around the Auburn baseball organization. His first year as head coach brought a lot of negative attention as numerous complaints about his mistreatment of players were investigated by Auburn officials. Golloway rubbed players and parents alike and it didn’t get any better as players were dismissed who didn’t follow Golloway’s way of coaching in a house cleaning. The dismissed players were upper classmen that were there before Golloway. Take all that and add last year’s embarrassing antics and profane screaming episode at one of the Crimson Tide coaches during a game and on TV and it sheds some light on just how volatile Golloway can be when agitated. Issues have continued to surface up to the present so much that Jay Jacobs had to hire a “student-athlete advocate” for the baseball program to protect the rights of the students. Folks, that’s not good.
Golloway’s reputation as being difficult in Oklahoma before coming to Auburn was no secret. I remember reading an article from a Oklahoma base paper that said “The end of Oklahoma baseball’s Sunny Golloway era elicited a wide variety of reactions: Anger, disappointment, indifference and — in some instances — outright glee”.
Did Jay Jacob’s know this? Of course. Did he think it would be different at Auburn? Perhaps. Unfortunately, he was wrong. Jay Jacobs took a chance and it was a swing and a miss. We may not know what was the latest incident that finally called for the dismissal of Golloway. Then again, it may all come out in the courts and Jay Jacob’s will have to do some explaining.
Before we get to hard on Jacobs, though, he did also take a swing at hiring Bruce Pearl with his baggage as well, and it appears so far to have been a good pick. Time will tell I guess. It is interesting though, that the Golloway lawyer took a “cheap shot” at Bruce Pearl in the middle of the statement. Lawyers. *sigh*
So, we will see what transpires from this mess. AL.com is reporting that associated head coach, Tom Holliday has also been placed on administrative leave. So there may be some more firing before this thing is over.
Don’t think for a second Sunny Golloway wants his job back or is trying to look saintly, he just wants his money. He won’t be back as coach. Whether Auburn pays out or not will be determined in or out of court.
Auburn, unfortunately, may lose either way by being in the public eye over a negative story.