Auburn Football: Tigers Made Right Choice Firing Gene Chizik

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IFebruary 18, 2017

November 24, 2012; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA;  Auburn Tigers head coach Gene Chizik talks to the media following the Tigers 49-0 loss against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant Denny Stadium. Chizik refused to address his coaching future at Auburn University. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE
John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE

Gene Chizik may have led Auburn to a national championship two years ago, but the football program has been marred by poor play on the field and controversy off it since then.

That is why Auburn was right to fire Chizik on Sunday.

In addition to Auburn's 11-14 record since 2010, the football program has seen several players arrested since March 2011 and the NCAA has launched an investigation into "potential improprieties" involving recruits, coaches, players and third parties, according to Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports.

To put it simply, Chizik was in the business of what-have-you-done-for-me-lately, and the Tigers have been going backward ever since that magical 2010 season. It hasn't just been the lack of success on the field, but the whirlwind of negativity that has surrounded Auburn off it.

It's certainly not all Chizik's fault, but he has a responsibility as not only a football coach, but a life coach to his players. The structure that existed in 2010 has crumbled, leaving only a bare bones skeleton in its wake, and it was clear after the 49-0 disaster to end the season against Alabama that it was time to move on.

Two ESPN 150 recruits from the 2013 class have decommitted from Auburn since Chizik's firing (receiver Ja'Quay Williams and linebacker Trey Johnson). If there's one thing you could say about Chizik throughout this disaster, it's that he's undeniably been a strong recruiter.

But before the Tigers can have success with recruits, they have to find a man to give the program the direction it has been lacking for the past two seasons. Talent isn't everything, and that was plain to see this season.

You can blame it on the Auburn quarterback situation, or the loss of Cam Newton and Nick Fairley, but, ultimately, it was Chizik's job to at least put the Tigers in position to rebound and they didn't make much progress, if any, throughout 2012.


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