During the course of the recent Auburn coaching search, it became clear that Auburn university officials are prejudiced. Influential boosters and other behind the scenes power brokers have an obvious bias against balding people.
What else can explain Auburn bypassing TCU's Gary Patterson and hiring Gene Chizik instead?
Chizik has a full head of hair. Patterson is losing his.
Patterson has a vastly superior resume. He took over a TCU program that had spent most of the past 70 years mired in futility and raised it to a level few other programs in the country can claim. Five 10-win seasons out of the last seven attests to his coaching ability.
Chizik, on the other hand, has been an abject failure in his two seasons at Iowa State.
He took a bad Cyclone program and buried it even further into the muck of despair. Chizik led ISU to a zero-win Big 12 record in 2008 without benefit of poundings by Texas, Oklahoma, or Texas Tech.
When you compare the two, the only possible reason for Chizik being hired instead of Patterson has to be hair. Chizik has it, Patterson's is receding.
When was the last time Auburn had a bald head coach?
Tommy Tuberville has a full head of hair. So does Terry Bowden.
Pat Dye, Doug Barfield, and Shug Jordan all sported full manes during their reigns.
Two SEC coaches who declined to be identified for this article said before Chizik was hired that there was no way Auburn would consider a balding coach. It appears they were right.
Noted bald man Charles Barkley weighed in after the hire.
"Auburn has a problem with bald people," Barkley said. "You can spin it any way you want, but the old timers down there just aren't going to hire a bald man."
He also said, "Oh, they got a bald eagle they use to fly around before the games, but that's just a backup eagle. Their real one isn't bald. I think they're baldists."
In all fairness, if Auburn is prejudiced against bald men, Clemson, Syracuse, Tennessee, and San Diego State must be lumped into the same biased pot. None of the coaches they hired had a significantly receding hairline.
Across the state, Alabama's head coach Nick Saban has a ridiculously lush pate. His predecessor, Mike Shula, was known more for his hair than his coaching ability. He was hired at the Capstone over the more accomplished, but focally challenged Sylvester Croom.
It's a shame that in this day and age, this blatant discrimination against the bald persists. Perhaps one day a coach will be judged by the content of his resume with no thought given to his hairstyle.
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