Auburn Hits a New Low with Treatment of Tommy Tuberville
As many Alabama fans have stated in the past, Auburn is just plain dense when it comes to the football team.
The school that endured a massive probation in the 1950s, just to claim their only National Championship ever in 1957, does not seem to understand the consequences of their actions.
When the Plainsmen Society helped ease out the great Shug Jordan back in the 1970s, many followers of pigskin action in Dixie held their nose.
"That's a terrible decision," was what many said. It's a good thing Auburn replaced Shug with that legendary figure, Doug Barfield. He sure made an imprint on the program. Who?
The War Eagle clubbies were hot to bring in Wyoming coach Pat Dye, and he was successful in the 1980s. Some of the finest Auburn teams were under his watch. It's too bad "the game passed him by," so he could be replaced by Terry Bowden.
You remember Terry Bowden. A squeaky–voiced know–it–all whose claim to fame was two–fold. One, he won big with Pat Dye's players and then lost just as big with his own.
Two, his Daddy is a great coach. Yeah, it took Clemson 10 years to figure that one out.
After a variety of scenarios, even involving well–respected defensive coordinator Brother Bill Oliver in the madness, a member of the fearsome "Miami Hurricane–Mafia" that dominated college football for over a decade was brought in to win. Meet one Tommy Tuberville, "The Riverboat Gambler" who had even begun to win at moribund Ole Miss.
Tuberville has been very "unsuccessful" as the coach of Auburn. He was only able to beat Alabama six straight years until last week, only won five of the previous six Bowl games, and garnered only one perfect 13–0 season along the way. Ah, the grass is always greener.
Why did Auburn and Tuberville cut ties? Four reasons.
One, the Auburn family was embarrassed of the offense this season and thought such important people as local radio station hosts were making fun of them. A 3-2 ballgame early on hurt their feelings. Tell it all, Auburn.
Two, the Tiger faithful are envious of Alabama hiring Nick Saban. So fearful they will be dominated by Alabama in the future, they responded with a knee–jerk reaction of making things so uncomfortable for Tuberville to stay, leading to the joint separation. Why? Tuberville is 4–3 all–time versus Saban. Tell it all Auburn, tell it all.
Three, the relationship between coach, administration, and "fat cats" has been unsteady since five years ago when "Petrino–Gate" nearly caused the removal of Tuberville but instead, later found school administrators going back to teaching for a living and Bobby Petrino fleeing for his life from the NFL. Tell it all, Auburn, tell it all, the truth shall set you free.
And lastly, the fact that it cannot be determined what happened in the meeting with Tuberville and the administration reeks of a force-out based upon someone deciding "what hill to die on."
In this regard, we need some official word in order to release the pressure building, confession is good for the soul. Please, do not hand us "we discussed the matter and felt the best thing was for the Coach to resign". We're discussing the matter right now, do you feel compelled to resign from your job?
We can only imagine if it is true that the administration told Tuberville to get rid of his whole coaching staff. When he would not do that did he tell them he was leaving? Or, did they show him the door?
If Tommy T stood up for his coaches then hurray for him. In either case, the school administration did nothing to stop him.
It is embarrassing to watch this painful separation take place. It is uncomfortable for everybody except those characters who like to sit high in the stands and throw rocks at the coach when "their team" doesn't win.
And for those loyal Auburn fans who only "want what is best for the University," please tell us what you did to stop this from happening by giving your championship coach a chance to succeed? Are you a co–conspirator, not stopping it by speaking out during the season?
It was obvious that Tuberville was keeping up with the times when he hired Tony Franklin to run a more wide-open offense. Because Franklin had to be released during the season only added to the misery on the Plains.
Did Tuberville have the opportunity to install an offense during the off–season and come back next year with a vengeance? No.
Pressure to get rid of "that sissy offense" as one Tiger fan exclaimed on posterboard during an early season encounter with LSU suggests that the Auburn Nation was not ready for a change from "Tailback U." and the more traditional SEC-style offense.
Who will it be now? Jim Grobe? Jim Leavitt? Skip Holtz? Maybe Mike Leach himself? What difference does it make? If he loses to Alabama one time, throw him out also.
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