Bad news for Auburn: Finebaum on ESPN today

Alabama talk radio host and newspaper columnist Paul Finebaum was slated to appear on Tuesday’s edition of Outside the Lines on ESPN (2 p.m. Central). The topic is likely to be Auburn’s disastrous hiring of Gene Chizik as head football coach. Finebaum always has an opinion, and you can bet the mess at Auburn will inspire entertaining commentary.

Chizik was hired over Buffalo’s Turner Gill. Gill was wildly popular with Auburn fans if you judge based on posts on the Internet. However, passing over the successful Gill for the questionable Chizik prompted charges of racism.

Charles Barkley on ESPN (and in an Associated Press interview you can read below) declared racism was involved in Auburn’s decision. “I believe race had a factor. Of course I do,” Barkley, a former Auburn and NBA star, said Monday in a phone interview with The Associated Press hours after Chizik was introduced. “First of all you can’t compare these two, their records. That’s not even close to being fair. I look at things from a commonsense standpoint, how do you interview Turner Gill and pick Gene Chizik over Turner Gill?”

Auburn denied the decision to hire Chizik had anything to do with race. Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said he hired the “best fit” for Auburn.

No word on whether “best fit for Auburn” excludes persons of color.

While racism is getting major play, there are other topics being examined on Internet message boards and in the media:
•The influence of Pat Dye on the Chizik hiring, and shaping of Chizik’s staff.
•Are the Neil Callaway rumors true?
•The role Auburn trustee Bobby Lowder played in the ouster of Tuberville.
•Fallout of the hiring on Auburn president Jay Gogue.
•Fallout of the hiring on the recruiting trail.
•How soon will Auburn fans rally behind the new head coach?

20 Comments

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  1. 1
    Plainsman04

    The problem is the huge disconnect between the homers that run the show and that fans that love Auburn. In the past twelve years three full graduating classes have passed through the University. Our idea of what it means to be an Auburn man or woman is very different from what the BOT and the Athletic Department perceive it to be. We all love Auburn, but she has changed. The last thing we needed to do was take steps in the wrong direction. We have come too far.

  2. 3
    julio

    My disdain over the decision to hire Chizik is no secret at this point. However, this garbage about racism being a factor in the decision not to hire Turner Gill is ridiculous. Auburn gave serious consideration to two different black coaches for this position, and Gill was probably the first runner up. Did Tennessee do that? Did Ole Miss do that when they hired Nutt? Did Ga Tech do that last year? The reality is that Gill has some type of factor to him that makes him a risky hire, and it’s got nothing to do with his skin color. How do we know this? Well, it’s pretty damn simple. Look at the two jobs the guy would have been the most obvious choice for, and they didn’t hire him either. Nebraska, where he played as a star qb and was an asst. for 10 freakin years (including being named asst head coach), didn’t hire him. (Have no illusions, either. Gill’s college coach and later boss Tom Osborne was the sole decision maker on that hire, and Osborne knew Gill better than anyone. That speaks volumes.) Don’t see anybody calling Nebraska racist. Syracuse??? Are you kidding me?? Gill was right down the road at Buffalo. Who would know better how to take over the program at Syracuse than a coach who was successful at Buffalo? And yet, Syracuse didn’t hire him. Is Syracuse racist?? No, but a school the guy has absolutely no connection with, in a conference the guy has absolutely no connection with, in a region of the country the guy is completely unfamiliar with, doesn’t hire the guy and it’s racism. The same school that gave him as much, if not more, consideration than his own own alma mater and a school within rock throwing distance of his current employer.

    One last final note about Barkley – who cares what that idiot thinks?? He’s never been anything but an embarrasment. This is the same guy who threw someone through a plate glass window in a drunken bar brawl, and proudly proclaimed that he hates white people. I care what he thinks about who Auburn’s coach should be about as much I care about Susan Sarandon telling me who she thinks should be president.

  3. 4
    capstonereport

    I heard some rumors last night that Callaway might get a job offer for the AU staff.

    And Julio, I may collect a couple of your comments on this thing and post them as a regular blog post…..because I think they bring clarity to the situation.

    Also, I don’t think it is fair to say racism the way some in the media do. The AU fans were embracing Gill and wanted him. Unfortunately, the fans are the ones who bear the brunt of the stupidity of this hire.

  4. 5
    julio

    Feel free to do so Cappy. The thing that the these idiots in the media don’t seem to understand is that they are sending a message that a school had better not even consider a black coach unless they are positively sure they are going to hire him. Otherwise, they’ll be vilified as racist. The sad truth is that Auburn would be better off right now from a p.r. standpoint if they had never even interviewed Turner Gill. Don’t believe it?? Look no further than Knoxville, where the word racist has not even been whispered because they never even considered a black coach.

  5. 6
    OMNIPRESENT

    I think its Chizniks record BUUUUT lets look at Mr. GIll and his 3 years at IS goes
    1st 2 and 10
    2nd 5 and 7
    total for 1st 2 years 7 and 17 not much better than OL GENE
    and this year was 7 and 5 and a CIndarella beating of BS! soooo
    3 years its 14 of 24 ….. NOT THAT GOOD HUH? And I will say it there are only 3 black headcoaches in our division and its not only racism but it is racism and you can beleive it or not but IMO it is!

    WPB!!!

  6. 7
    Dave(not that one, the other one)

    Why would Calloway leave the no pressure head coaching job for UAB, for a position coach job at Auburn. It’s clear that UAB doesn’t care about it’s football program, so he has no pressure, meanwhile, Auburn will be getting another new coach in 3 years if it doesn’t work out.

  7. 9
    Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian.

    Neither Chizik nor Gill should have been offered the job. They are both so-so IMO………Paul Finebaums big mouth will catch up to him one day. You dont slander people like he does and get away with it.He makes money off of slandering people. Hes a jerk. And I said that when he was doing it to you guys too. That kind of crap comes back to haunt you.

  8. 10
    JW

    This coaching thing at Auburn has gotten to be a train wreck.I feel bad for the fans being that the Crimson Tide went through this that i think is the same case.All i can say is War Eagle fans hang in there and support your team and who knows this man could really turn things around.You never know.It was really fun talking with every one this season and War Eagle ””” Rollllllll Tideeeeeeeeee

  9. 11
    SportsInsiderGuy.com

    The auburn Board of Trustees met today in an undisclosed location to set the agenda for the future fo AU football.

    Several items were discussed and here is a tidbit of some of the ideas put on the table.

    *Bringing in Callaway as OC, Pat Dye as QB coach, Bo Jackson as Backs Coach, Bringing in Lawyer Tillman to coach the reiciving corps. And Pat Dye made the strong recomdenation for Mr. T. as the Defensive Co-ordinator. Which spawned the always lame “I pity the fool…” attmepts at humor. (Everyone laughed…as usual.)

    *there will be more advertisements at Dye field for… you guessed it….Colonial Bank.

    A recommendation for a bronze Statue of Pat Dye kicking Doug Barfield in the backside with the inscription…”You aint man enough to Coach at Auburn.” To be put at an undesignated corner of Dye Stadium. It was agreed to alocate $2,200 dollars toward the building of the statue and a weekly budget of $10,000 to go to the football players who have the job of hosing the bird poop off of it.

    It was unanamously agreed that Bobby Lowder will be referred to as “Emporer, Lord and Master” and given Godlike reverence at every opportunity.

    A special budget was allocated for Pat Dye for Depends undergarments and aqua velva after shave.

    In the most heated discussion it was agreed that the BOT, Jay Jacobs, Jay Gogue, and Pat Dye would give the hiring of Gene Chizak their support publically, because they knew that Chizak was the only candidate on thier hire list who would let them run the show.

    *The meeting ended with a rousing singalong version of “War Eagle” (the auburn fight song) which ended after the first sentence because no one knew the rest of the words.

    Back to you Cappy.

  10. 12
    Bama Fan In NYC

    At times like this, I often have to ask myself…

    Where are you little Kevin? We heard your SHIT for two years, and after we pick up the broken pieces, you hide like a little girl…

    That shows how much of a man you REALLY are.

  11. 13
    Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian.

    Sportsguy……….That would be one heck of a coaching staff. I say call em up baby.

  12. 14
    BamaBrando

    Well, combined with the fraternity racist incident, and now one of Auburns own prominent alumni saying racism, this has become a nasty situation that will affect Auburn in the short term. It is an embarrassing time for Auburn. It will pass eventually, and Auburn will be stronger for it if they commit to changing the culture there. Lowder needs to man up and do the right thing. To change the perception, it will have to start with him. The longer he is in a position to pull the strings, things like this will continue to happen. If it wasn’t for him, Tuberville would still be there and we wouldn’t even be talking about this.

  13. 15
    Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian.

    My dream coaching staff would be as follows………….

    Head Coach……Chuck Norris (Of course).

    Offensive coordinator……..Steven Segal (No one besides Chuck delivers a better roundhouse kick IMO ) He definately knows how to bring on the offense.

    Defensive coordinator………Id have to go with Mr. T. You dont pull anything over on him. Plus , like you said, The whole “I pity the fool” thing comes with him. Our new T-shirts would be cool. “I pity the fool that tries to score on us”…etc.

    Offensive line coach…………Butter Bean…Do I have to explain ?

    Defensive line coach……..Billy Dee Williams…….He was pretty cool in Star Wars.Underrated as an ass kicker IMO.

    Wide recievers……..Shaft. Enough said.

    Running backs…. Jean – Claude Vandam…Think of the moves after a touchdown.

    The jury is sstill out on Linebackers/defensive backs/quarterbacks/special teams.

    Any suggestions ?

  14. 18
    BamaBrando

    Ballplay, I can’t believe Samuel L. Jackson wouldn’t be considered over Chuck Norris. I am calling Jesse Jackson.

  15. 19
    Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian.

    Sorry. How could I be such a racist. And I didnt even know it !!!!!!!! Thanks for letting me in on what a bigot I am…

  16. 20
    SportsInsiderGuy.com

    It is official. Offers will be made to all of the above and in a surprise move Pat Dye recommends getting that whacked-out Dr. Emmitt Brown from the “Back to the Future” movies To bring back young Bo Jackson and clone him….sevral times.
    Jimmy Raines in the meantime thinks that there is still a good chance that the SEC will allow new additions to the stadium to be built with “yella-wood”.

    There was a bit of a disagreement when it was voted (unanamously) the Jimmy Raines should stop wearing the ridiculous looking yellow cowboy outfit to games. Raines stomped out screaming insults about Pat Dye’s pants and Jay Jacobs mother… (It was an ugly, ugly scene. And in this reporters humble opinion could cause a major rift in the future.)
    Also in the meeting it was agreed that every recruit Auburn can get to commit will recieve tons of hype. It will be leaked to the “freindly media” that every recruit is a possible shoe-in for the Heisman Trophy, 6’6 or better, 300+ lbs, and they will all run a sub 4 forty. Furthermore Auburn would start its own recruiting publication to assist Phillip Marshall and rate all potential commits 5+ stars. (Unless they are interested in Bama.)

    There was more to the meeting but after these items left the agenda everyone was so drunk the were just mumbling unintelligible noises.

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