Waiting for spring practice is an exercise in torment for Auburn fans this year.
Due to the penchant in the local media for spying on one team for another and the constant sniping of some in the local media, the Auburn program is locked down tight these days. Very little information is forthcoming from the program other than the games themselves.
While this appears to have been instigated by a need to control damage done by the media, it has led to speculation and misinformation and some loss of a connection with the Auburn fan base.
The very limited attempts to make contact with the fanbase during A-Day and other events have been diluted due to their rarity and a tendency to mislead fans. This could be eased if the program were a little more forthcoming on information like progress in strength and conditioning and progress on rehabilitation after a player returns from injury.
The truth is that Auburn is a small fanbase when compared to programs like Alabama, Florida, LSU, Tennessee and other such programs in the conference. They are a loyal fanbase and fill one of the larger stadiums in the country every Saturday, but a disconnect from them could lead to very profound results very soon.
Auburn fans love their team, but money is hard to come by for many, and some have noticed a disconnect and lack of accurate information flowing from the program. A little more effort from the athletic department to keep fans informed on their team would be appreciated in more ways than one.
- Keep the roster current with player names, numbers, height and weight. This has not been done in the past, and it's hard to see how this could damage the team in any way.
- Give some information on progress in strength and conditioning. This is an area where the flow of information has been miserable for quite some time. The information does not have to be specific, but a simple note that one player or another has put in extra effort would be nice.
- Make A-Day a regular game format complete with statistics. It might be too much to ask that the team be allowed to use generic plays they will use in the coming season, but it could be formatted like a game that fans can understand. The deception and ridiculously complicated format and scoring system have made A-Day a laughing stock, and fans are becoming disinterested.
- Either give an answer or simply say no answer will be forthcoming when addressing the media. This especially applies to Coach Chizik who is not the best public speaker to begin with. He simply has a deceptive look on his face when he starts his speeches and talks in circles. It would be better to simply say no answer is forthcoming and be done with it.
No Auburn fan wants information that could be used to damage a player or the program to get out. Most Auburn fans watched and listened as the media created a smear campaign for most of 2010 and into 2011.
We all know there are those in the media business that will harm the program with most of the information they receive. If they receive no information, many of them will simply make it up as they have in the past.
The point is that there is a lot of information that has little chance of harming the program or tipping off other teams that could be released. It would certainly help the program if more effort were concentrated toward getting some of it out.