Jay Jacobs Stepping Down as Auburn AD
As reported here first by our AUDude, Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs announced in a letter today to Auburn fans that he would be stepping down as Athletic Director effective June 1, 2018. He said his tenure could end sooner than the June date if the University locates the person to succeed him.
Jacobs was named the National Athletic Director of the Year in May of this year. However, he cited a “series of controversies across several sports” as the reason for his early retirement.
After a scandal brought about the resignations of softball coach Clint Myers and his son Corey during the summer, the school was blindsided by the arrest of assistant men’s basketball coach Chuck Person. He was caught up in a national FBI sting investigation into bribery in NCAA college basketball. There were other controversies as well, but those two broke the camel’s back. “They have begun to take their toll,” said Jacobs. “And have raised questions about why Auburn must endure such problems.”
As former walk-on offensive tackle for Coach Pat Dye, who blocked for Bo Jackson, there is no doubt Jacobs loves Auburn, but he had become a divisive figure especially after the two scandals hit the news. He worked in different capacities within the athletic department before assuming the AD role in December 2004. He brought in millions of dollars to the program, and his best days were probably when Auburn won the 2010 BCS National Championship.
“I believe in Auburn and will fight for Auburn,” said Jacobs. “But as I consider the future and what is best for Auburn, I have prayerfully decided the time has come for me to step aside. Sometimes a new direction and new leadership are helpful in moving beyond current problems.”
One thing’s for certain, if an athletic program is to be successful, everyone, from the president to the AD to the boosters to the coaches and to the average fan, has to be pulling in the same direction. It’s been a while since that was the case.
Maybe now it can happen.