Tuberville launches PR offensive to pressure AU bosses
Tommy Tuberville most likely will remain Auburnâ€™s football coach next season. Why? Heâ€™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 programâ€”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 Tubervilleâ€™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.
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, Scarbinskyâ€™s Wednesday column provided Tubervilleâ€™s motivationâ€”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 Auburnâ€™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 isnâ€™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 AUâ€™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 â€œRiverboat Gamblerâ€ 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.