T he latest public relations maneuver (his high-profile trip to the Middle East) by Auburn head coach Thomas Hawley Tuberville spotlights his classless style. The trip should have been about honoring our great soldiers across the world in the Middle East. Instead, Tuberville â€“ as he is prone to do â€“ seized the opportunity to pull a sales job on the public.
Iâ€™ve heard nothing from the media about Tommyâ€™s perception of the experience, because his â€œseven finger flip-offâ€ is the hottest topic on all the airwaves. Somebody will have to explain to me what that childish act really has to do with comforting our armed forces – but whatever floats his boatâ€¦
Everybody and anybody who can grab a mike, camera, or a pen seem to be convinced that Tubbyâ€™s actions will aid his recruiting efforts. Tuberville was recruiting? Apparently Tommyâ€™s campaign to promote and highlight his trip in order to spread recruiting propaganda using certain media outlets has been somewhat successful.
Face it â€“ the man is desperate. Earlier this year Tuberville sends Jason Campbell and Brandon Cox (two former starting quarterbacks) to the top sports radio show in the South, with back-to-back interviews, while pitching the same message. Cox and Campbell were emphatic about their former coachâ€™s ability to control his players and instill discipline. Each left the audience with the impression that coach Tub was â€œBearâ€ Bryant reincarnated as far as tough expectations are concerned. Ironically those appearances coincided with the recent arrest of an Alabama player. Who could blame them? Thereâ€™s nothing like seizing an opportunity.
Finally, oleâ€™ Hawleyâ€™s made the single-most radical move of his career. Tommy (or somebody) decided that â€œturn them inâ€ Tony Franklin and his â€œSpreadâ€, formerly the pride of the Troy Trojans, is going to enhance Auburnâ€™s image enough to attract top offensive talent. Itâ€™s hard for those whoâ€™ve been familiar with Tubervilleâ€™s philosophy to believe heâ€™s made such a strange hire. Even the most ardent believers in Tommyâ€™s leadership capability have to be puzzled by this bizarre maneuver.
Lately, every move that coach Tubs makes seems to be designed to counter the dynamic recruiting machine that Nick Saban is running across the State. Tommy has definitely modified his style in an attempt to compete with the biggest challenge heâ€™s faced since his arrival on the Plains.
Many Auburn fans claim Tubby isnâ€™t worried and that everything is business as usual. They point to his recent record and the fact that Tommy just reloads athletes on a whim. However, there have been far too many new techniques deployed by Auburnâ€™s head man and his crew since the last signing day for any reasonable person to believe that it could possibly be true.
Yes, Tommy Tuberville is nervous. In the past heâ€™s been called â€œThe Gamblerâ€, because he always knew when to hold them or when to fold them. This time around, the evidence indicates something far different – - – heâ€™s already laying all his cards on the table. His latest â€œseven-finger-flip-offâ€- in front of a world audience – is yet another publicity stunt that serves as a clear sign that Turberville is willing to do anything to regain recruiting momentum in order to chase down the master.