An open letter to Chette Williams (revisited)

Editor’s note: This column first appeared June 29, 2007. It is being republished due to Rev. Chette Williams recent appearance on the Opening Drive on WJOX. Rev. Williams appeared Feb. 27, the day after Jason Campbell appeared on Paul Finebaum’s radio program. Both interviews were conducted during turmoil over player arrests in Tuscaloosa. Second note: I was attempting to delete some spam on the site in comments section and killed the story too. Sorry, here it is reposted again.

Brother Chette,

The purpose of this letter is intended to serve as an invitation for you to clarify once and for all the true intent of your ministry at Auburn University. Although you probably think I’m investigating your operation because I am a well-known Crimson Tide supporter, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Sure, I’ll admit that was the case at the onset, but since you refused to address the public at Paul Finebaum’s request, my nose tells me you could have something to hide.

So, in light of our currently strained, silent relationship, I am going to ask you a series of questions which could potentially clear things up for me and the public in general.

Yes! I’m aware that you might not want to respond to a common web commentator’s mundane questions. Listen Chette, why don’t you loosen up, have some fun and give it a shot?

Does it concern you that the public and the young men in your charge might consider a $377,000 house and property with an unlimited salary to be hypocritical when you preach to players, who virtually have nothing, to hold fast to the humble teachings of Jesus?

Since there are probably 10 or 20 preachers in the Auburn area who would serve as team chaplain for free, how much better are you to have a net worth of a half-million or more?

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Why did you choose to remain silent when Selena Roberts and the New York Times came after you with guns a-blazing?

You pastored a church in Mobile, Al from 1991-1993. Auburn trustee Jack Miller is from Mobile. Does he, like Bobby Lowder, donate to your ministry?

How close are you to coach Hugh Nall and do either of you discuss academic guidance with the football players? How close do you work with athletic department academic counselor, Brent Wohlers?

You released a statement through Auburn that said, “In my role as Director of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, I provide spiritual advisements to the students on the Auburn Campus”. On tax forms your scope is much more focused, explaining your ministries purpose is to work effectively with “Auburn University athletes, especially with the football team, to encourage and stimulate better relations between players, coaches, and support staff, etc”. You are listed on the official Auburn Athletic website as the Team Champlain. Which title fits your true mission?

Does the idea that Wayne Hall has the authority to supplement your salary, yet is also listed as the organization’s treasurer seem like a conflict of interest to you?

Why does a reporter who wishes to speak with you have to go through the head coach’s office only?

Why does Chette Williams Ministries have no listed phone number? By the way, I checked the National Phone Registry.

Does it concern you that Bobby Lowder’s donations and the board’s ability to boost your paycheck, might lead those people to believe they can exert influence over you?

Do the comments by your former player, Reggie Torbor, bother you? He said that you liked to “help people” and you doing that “would give off the impression of cheating and doing something he knows he shouldn’t do”. “It’s a fine line there”. “He pointed us in the right direction”.

Prior to New York Times article, you were a celebrity, heard statewide on the speech and radio circuit. Since you no longer are heard from, I’m wondering, did the NCAA tell you to cease?

Did the NCAA tell you that you were possibly breaking the rules because your message was specifically aimed at athletes, including potential recruits and their families?

Finally, does it bother you that despite being labeled as a hire of Tommy Tubervile’s, Auburn officials insist you are not a salaried employee?

Oh, yeah! I do have one more question. How do you spend all that money?

Sincerely,
Shane