Tuberville staying at Auburn?

Tuberville launches PR offensive to pressure AU bosses

Tommy Tuberville most likely will remain Auburn’s football coach next season. Why? He’s already launched a PR offensive designed to pressure AU power brokers for more money and facility expansion.

What fuels this analysis? It was prompted by something Paul Finebaum said on his radio program—look who is writing Tuberville columns. Kevin Scarbinsky has used two columns in the Birmingham News to cheerlead for Tuberville. Scarbinsky used his Wednesday column, written from Auburn, to level with Tiger fans that Tuberville would be making a decision.

It is a safe assumption that Scarbinksy is Tuberville’s mouth-piece. And when you know that, this line from his Wednesday column becomes very important: Both the Tuberville camp and the Auburn camp believe A&M’s short list to pick up Dennis Franchione’s rope begins with Tuberville.

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The motive for the column comes a couple of paragraphs later: Before Tuberville has to answer the A&M question, his Auburn bosses will arrive at a crossroads of their own.
For the first time since 2003, when they wanted Tuberville to leave, they have to figure out how much they want him to stay.

In other words, Tuberville used the column to warn the Auburn leadership and fans the time to pay was nigh.

Of course, Scarbinsky’s Wednesday column provided Tuberville’s motivation—he is still pissed at Jetgate. The anger is understandable; however, Tuberville has been compensated with a strong buyout and good contract. In fairness to the Auburn leadership, it has paid its penance for Jetgate. But now Tuberville wants more.

The Friday Tuberville column penned by Scarbinsky is another interesting pro-Tommy piece. This time Scarbinsky attempts to show a division between Auburn’s most powerful booster and the rest of the Auburn fan base. Like this quote: PayTuberville.com is part of the “Keep Tubby Coalition,” if two Web sites equals a coalition. Tidwell’s site contains a link to KeepTommyTuberville.com, which includes a petition to sign for fans who want Auburn to make it happen. As of 4:30 p.m. Thursday, there were 3,040 signatures. No word on whether any of them came from the home office of Colonial Bank.

It is clear, Tuberville has a script and his media friends are staying on theme.

What isn’t clear is if Tuberville will stay on script. He needs to defeat Georgia (difficult) and Alabama (not as difficult) to conclude the season and force AU’s hand.

What happens if the pressure backfires? What happens if Tuberville gets blown out by one of his biggest rivals (again)? Will boosters and the administration be willing to play his game? Or will Auburn fans and boosters resent the money/power grab?

It is a dangerous game Tuberville is playing. But it suits a “Riverboat Gambler” personality.

Truthfully, if Tuberville wants a major job he would get it. And he knows that. He has decided this is a no-lose proposition. He can either force Auburn to do what he wants, and punish the Jetgate offenders again, or go his own way to a mega-job in the Big XII.

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  1. 1
    Kevin

    Coaching is a BUSINESS. Tuberville would be a fool not to negotiate the best deal he can get. After all, your hero Little Nicky did the same, didn’t he? $32 million and no buyout clause — that was some serious desperation on UAT’s part, and he took serious advantage. Of course, he took it because the job was “what was available,” too. That statement should sweep away any notion that Saban took the job due to a “respect” for the “tradition” at UAT.

    Bottom line for Tuberville — he deserves to negotiate his best deal, whether he stays at Auburn or not. And unlike UAT goobers, Auburn fans will not vilify him if he does decide to leave. Auburn won’t have to beg anyone to take the job, like Mal Moore did.

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