“What Comes Next Sits Squarely on My Shoulders.”
Auburn A.D. Jay Jacobs says he has a plan … a plan to improve the athletics department including how to turnaround the lack of winning in the big three major sports.
Speaking before the Auburn Chamber of Commerce today, Jacobs said that University President Jay Gogue has made it clear that he has high expectations for the athletic department. And he told the business leaders, “I intend to meet them.”
After meeting with Dr. Gogue , Jacobs said, he is aware that, “What comes next sits squarely on my shoulders.”
“We have much work to do, but I’m convinced that our best days are not behind us … I will continue to defend Auburn, and I will continue to push us to get better every day.”
Without giving any details, he said he has a plan for improving the overall operations, enhancing the game day experience, improving facilities, and improving “how we interact and communicate with fans and alumni.”
Part of his plan is to act on future recommendations of the consulting firm ,JMI Sports, which was hired by the Universirty to complete a year long intensive evaluation of Auburn athletics.
He was vague about how he expects to turnaround the poor performance of Auburn’s major sports other than pointing out the enthusiasm surrounding the football program since the return of Gus Malzahn.
He said Tony Barbee must win in basketball but pointed out it took former coaches Sonny Smith and Cliff Ellis 5-7 years to make the NCAA Tournament.
To be fair, facilities have improved tremendously under his watch, more student athletes are achieving at a higher level, and there hasn’t been a major NCAA violation in over 20 years.
However, as important as all those things are, and they are very important, winning at a tradition rich place like Auburn has to improve and improve significantly.
Saying he knows that the football and basketball teams were a disappointment this year, he added, “I want to be clear that regardless of how well we are performing across our other goals, I know how important winning is to our fans.”
Sounds like this whole process has made Jacobs aware that it’s not just coaches who may be on the hot seat but the Athletic Director as well. I believe all Auburn people want to see things improve on the Plains but if that doesn’t happen … then it’s like Jay said today, “What comes next sits squarely on (his) shoulders.”