Will Auburn’s Gogue Finally Take Action?
So this is what it’s like to be Vanderbilt? In defense of the Commodores, even they can’t say they’ve finished last in the SEC’s two major sports in the same season. But Auburn can. For those at home keeping score, 13 teams finished ahead of the Tigers in both basketball and football this academic year.
All In feels like a lifetime ago.
As expected, the Tony Barbee train finally landed at the bottom of the ditch Saturday at Miss State. The only thing left to wonder now is whether the rest of the athletic department will follow him.
Many of us longed for the day when Bobby Lowder was out of the picture. Now we’re getting an up-close glimpse of life without him. In case you missed it, Auburn Athletics is in a depression unparalleled in its history. It’s saddled with an incompetent athletic director and no one capable or willing to step in and save the program.
In Jay Gogue, it has a president that’s known as a genuinely good guy and great school administrator, except he knows zero about managing a multi-million dollar athletic department. His unwillingness to bring in someone who does has resulted in Auburn being a non-factor in all major sports across the board.
Ask anyone on the streets today about Jay Jacobs and they’ll tell you he’s way over his head as athletic director. Raise your hand if you thought he should have walked the plank with Gene Chizik in November? Exactly.
Yet there’s no one strong enough to force Gogue’s hand. The board of trustees has been crippled because of changes implemented during SACS probation in late 2003.
In less than a decade, Auburn’s gone from having one of the most heavy-handed alumni groups to one that’s virtually powerless to make needed changes in athletics. The only way to force change is to cut off the money. So far, that hasn’t happened.
Has Auburn now reached its tipping point?
Meanwhile, across the state in Tuscaloosa, Mal Moore has turned Alabama athletics into a juggernaut. Football gets all the press, but almost the entire program is playing at that level.
In a little over a year, Moore’s coaches have won five national championships in four different sports. Yet Jacobs incredibly, makes more money that his in-state counterpart. Auburn people continue to give until it hurts – and now it hurts everywhere.
All indications are that Barbee will be welcomed back for a fourth season after this week’s probable first round SEC Tournament loss. Despite having little hope of improvement next season, Jacobs apparently has made the determination that indeed, if you do the same thing over and over again, you will eventually get a different outcome.
Dr. Gogue apparently believes him and there’s nothing Auburn people can do to stop it. Or can they?
Say it ain’t so Bobby.