Unless you've been living in a cave for the last two months, you already know that Auburn's 2012 football season has been nothing short of a complete disaster.
A 2-7 record, 0-6 record within the conference, remarkably stagnant offense and rumors about head coach Gene Chizik's dismissal have dominated headlines on the Plains this season.
Now we may know why.
According to the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, Auburn hired a private security firm to enforce player curfews starting in August, after center Reese Dismukes was arrested for public intoxication.
Talk about creating a hostile working environment.
It's one thing if assistant coaches, trainers, graduate assistants and managers do bed checks. That's standard operating procedure.
But contracting a private outside company? That reeks of mistrust, paranoia and indicates a lack of leadership among players and coaches—even if it's being done by a security firm that already has other responsibilities on campus.
In other words, the wheels went flying off long before toe met leather in Auburn's season opener at the Georgia Dome versus Clemson.
"We have a curfew and we have to employ people to help us with some of the kids off campus," Chizik told AL.com after practice on Wednesday.
Several off-field incidents have occurred over the last few years that could certainly have led to the decision to hire additional security to ensure that players were safe and out of harm's way. No Auburn players have been arrested since Dismukes was cited for public intoxication one week before the start of the season.
But if the staff in place can't police the players, Auburn either has the wrong staff or the wrong players.
Coaches sell themselves as leaders who can mold the character of young men in the living rooms of potential student-athletes nonstop during recruiting season. But if they don't allow their players to grow, they won't.
Part of molding the character of young men is letting them figure out right from wrong on their own, not through threats that exist due to a program's own insecurities.
Auburn's decision to hire a private firm to enforce curfews shows Chizik's lack of confidence in his staff, his players and himself. Plus, recruiting against Auburn just became very easy for opposing coaches.
If you ever needed proof that a move needs to be made, here it is.
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