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Will Auburn’s Gogue Finally Take Action?

By on March 11th, 2013 in Football 21 Comments »
gogue

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. 

21 Comments

  1. WoodrowAU95 says:

    I just don’t see how the men’s basketball team will be any better next season. Will the players coming in be able to help at all? Or will we be stuck with “this is a young team” slogan yet again?

    Jay, you hit the nail on the head. Totally agree with your points.

    Will the baseball team be the next sport to go in the ditch this season? If so, is there room in that ditch? It’s getting crowded in there!

  2. Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

    Is Dr. Gouge even performing his job to standards we expect? It seems to me that our academic ranking has slipped recently. The following SEC universities rank ahead of Auburn in U.S. News and World Reports 2012 college and university rankings:

    Vandy #17
    Florida #54
    UGA #63
    Texas A&M #65
    Alabama #77
    Auburn # 89

    Throw in GA Tech at #36 and Clemson at #68 and it looks really bad.

  3. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    I don’t see how they can give Barbee another year. There hasn’t been even modest improvement. Maybe they don’t want the ‘new guy’ to get saddled with ‘rebuilding’ right away. So they will bide another year’s time. If Auburn is serious about basketball they will try to get an established coach (like HuggieBear from WVU), instead of an ‘up and comer’.

    JJ likely got lucky with the Malzahn hire…but he had serious oversight and help with that one. I’m not sure we want Charles Barkley on the search committee for a new round ball coach….

    • MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

      More than luck on the Gus hire. It was a no brainer. Having the committee he had at his disposal covered his butt big time.

    • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

      Not sure if Jay had much influence over the search committee selection or not. If he did he deserves some credit.

  4. Mike jimithing78 says:

    I’m as big of an Auburn fan as the rest of you, but…Auburn has a 53% lifetime winning percentage in basketball. Who do you propose to be the coach to break that? There is a reason why the new arena was built to be the 11th out of 12 in the SEC in capacity (now 13 out of 14 – Ole Miss is only 60 seats behind Auburn). Auburn will never be UNC or Duke.

    • Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

      That’s the thing. No one expects a coach to make AU “be UNC or Duke.” But we do expect to not be in last place in the SEC. That’s not acceptable and never should be.

    • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

      Just because Auburn’s all-time win percentage is 53% doesn’t mean we have to settle for that. Unfortunately, Barbee hasn’t even approached 53%.

  5. KoolBell KoolBell says:

    If there is a silver lining in all of this, Jay Jacobs actually has an out. With giving Barbee one more year, the “show cause” exemption placed against Bruce Pearl by the NCAA will be lifted after the basketball season next year(2014)

    If Barbee can not turn this around next year, expect the pressure to be placed on doing whatever it takes to get Pearl to Auburn. That might actually save JJ’s job.

    As to the ratings in the total education ranking, we should never expect anything less than the best. And that part of being Auburn is not negotiable, ever!

    I certainly am not anyone who has an opinion on whether the President of the University is doing their job properly. I’ll leave that to those who actually graduated from Auburn.

    • Todd92 Todd92 says:

      I’m not sure it give Jacobs an out but it does give AU a chance to hire a proven winner. I’m all for Pearl on the plains.

  6. DBAU81 says:

    Firing Barbee won’t help as long as JJ hires his replacement. If Dr. Gogue didn’t get rid of Jacobs after the worst football season in more than 60 years, he damn sure isn’t going to pull the trigger on him just because of yet another in a long line of lousy basketball seasons – a recurring theme at AU that long predates JJ’s tenure. The bottom line is JJ is here to stay unless the football program continues to struggle. So we get to pick our poison – are we willing to see the Gus Bus crash and burn just so we can get rid of Jacobs (I, for one, am not), or are we willing to hold our noses and keep JJ at the helm as long as we’re successful at the one sport that the vast majority of AU fans truly care the most about?

  7. el757 says:

    I love Jay Jacobs. He’s a great guy. I’ve been a staunch supporter of him for years but even I can’t defend him any more. Every single program, ALL OF THEM, are on a long decline under his leadership. Swimming and diving, equestrian, track and field, etc. are all declining. The only program doing well under his leadership is gymnastics. It’s so sad. (Also, Jimithing78, Auburn is 9-22 this season for a 29% winning clip. We’d have to double our wins to get back to that average.)

    • Mike jimithing78 says:

      Swimming and diving are declining? I would hardly call the men’s sixth place national finish in 2012 and second place SEC finish in 2013 “declining.” No school in any sport can remain number one forever (conference or nationally).

      Yes, Barbee is sitting at 38% after three seasons, but again who do you get that’s going to consistently get more than 53%? Bruce Pearl is an NCAA infraction waiting to happen.

      • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

        Great athletic directors find great coaches. I want a great AD.

      • Todd92 Todd92 says:

        Bruce Pearl made one major mistake with the NCAA… He lied about the cookout at his house. Had he told the truth about it they would have gotten off fairly easy and pearl would have gotten a slap on the wrist. If anything I think Pearl would be a very safe hire. He is unlikely to repeat his mistake and the guy can recruit and coach em up.

  8. sparkey sparkey says:

    I will not go to any games or anything like that anymore as long as Jacobs is the AD. In fact, I am having a hard time with the idea of watching games at Auburn at all. I’ve been to a couple baseball games this year. That’s about it. They look better, but they’ve played so many cream puffs it’s pathetic. Forgive me, I’m just not too excited about sweeping Brown.

  9. Todd92 Todd92 says:

    We are not simply experiencing AU without Lowder that is as short sided a statement as could be made about the situation. We are experiencing Lowder’s regime operating without Lowder. Lowder for all his evils was effective at creating above average results within the AD. But the evils far outweighed the good and he was and is an embarrassment to our Alma Matre. The problem is not that we don’t have Lowder to run things or another to take his place effectively. The problem is we still have his puppet as AD and he isn’t competent for the responsibilities he is given. Get rid of Jacobs and hire a real AD with a proven track record and AU ties be damned.

  10. au25432 says:

    Dr. Gogue is one of the best Presidents that Auburn University has ever been fortunate enough to have as a leader. He is an Auburn man and has been since his days as an undergraduate student and member of Sigma Nu. Dr. Gogue is NOT THE PROBLEM. The entire article is so slanted that the casual reader would walk away with very little in the way of factual information.

    As for Barbee and J Jacobs, I have to point one glaring FACT out that gets little mention. Although I am not a fan of many decisions made by Jacobs as A.D., the decision to hire Tony Barbee was a no brainer. Regardless of who sat in the AD chair 2 years ago, its very likely that Tony Barbee would have been courted, interviewed and hired. He was one of the hottest up and coming coaches in the country, player, assistant and disciple of Calipari that had proven success at UTEP of all places. And yes, this is Auburn, when it comes to hiring basketball coaches, we are positioned to either hire an older coach with a track record and issues or an up and comer. Look at Kentucky and how they hire football coaches, apply the same guide to our hiring and expectations with respect to basketball.

    • Todd92 Todd92 says:

      Gogue is not the problem until it is glaringly obvious that he can’t or won’t fix the problem. And Barbee may have been a splashy hire at the time but his results are placed on Jacobs tally sheet. We just got rid of a national championship winning coach because of a lack of results what other criteria should we judge Jacobs on? Fundraising? No I’m sorry but that is only a part of the equation and to be quite frank about it isn’t that tough to do at AU. Jacobs can only be judged by the success of the Atheletic Programs under his watch and particularly those with his hires at the helm. Going by this criteria he is a failure.

  11. War Eagle Girl War Eagle Girl says:

    I actually do like Gouge also. He has a good reputation as an administrator. But what I want is a competent AD that knows how to run an athletic department like a business. There are definitely some out there and some that are even Auburn graduates (if that is a “requirement”). Not someone that was put in there to run it like someone else wanted it run and now does not know how to do it without some kind of direction. I, for one, am glad that that person is not running the show anymore. As much as he loved Auburn, his good passion was out of control along with his power. He almost brought down the university instead of promoting athletics. We can’t run it like a “good ole boy” institution anymore ~ this is a multi-million dollar business (as much as I hate that) and we aren’t a small town anymore either. Times are changing and we better change with it.
    As far as Barbee goes, I hate it has come to this. But he has a 3 million dollar buyout and with Chiz on the line ~that is not more chicken feed. He will have to stay at least one more year. His reputation is on the line also as I am sure he thought this would be a stepping stone. Did the mentality with the football team permeate the whole athletic dept? One would think so.
    I don’t know what the answer is except that JJ needs to go. It’s a new day in Auburn and that should go through the whole athletic department!!

    • KoolBell KoolBell says:

      War Eagle Girl, and AU25432,

      You both make excellent points. The Athletic Department can not afford to keep paying people that do not coach here anymore. We all thought Tony Barbee was an excellent hire 3 years ago. I was excited that JJ had stepped out of the Auburn norm in hiring someone with really good basketball creds.

      I have always said: The more things change, the faster the next change comes.

      Auburn isn’t “small” anymore. We need to think like “Big Time” Champions, or we will get run over every time. See our football program. We thought we were Big Time, but we weren’t thinking like Big Time programs. Put another way, thinking you are the best, and doing the things to be the best are two completely different things. That starts with the AD, and trickles down through the coaches.

      One other thing, how much is all of this tied to former strength and conditioning coach Kevin Yoxall? Maybe, just maybe the new attitude in the football program will spill over. Wishful thinking, I’m sure…

      WAR EAGLE!