It’s been a bad week for Gene Chizik. First, thanks to an unforgotten blunder early in the Auburn transition, he lost his recruiting expert in the Mobile areaâ€”one of the nation’s hottest hotbeds for talent. And that coach didn’t just go anywhere. He went to his fiercest rival. Now a decision not to give Clinton Durst a scholarship has cost Auburn’s new head man his punter.
If you’ll remember, Durst was single-handedly the only thing going for Auburn in the Iron Bowl. Before the beatdown ensued, Durst successfully pinned Alabama deep inside its redzone, giving Auburn the short field it needed to make a run at an upset. His efforts almost paid off when a deflected John Parker Wilson pass hung for what seemed like days in the air before falling to the turf. It could have been an easy six and a leg up in a game that Auburn didn’t have much chance of winning. In return for such performances, Tommy Tuberville had promised Durst a scholarship, saying he had done enough to earn a scholarship spot on the team. But apparently, Chizik needed the scholarship to usher in more grade-A talent on the Plains, leaving a college student in a lurch (as Evan Woodbery reports in the Mobile Press-Register today).
Losing an All-SEC member of the Auburn “fambly,” then your best punter in one week. Hmm. Watching last season, it was abundantly clear that Auburn didn’t have many playmakers on offense. And watching the recruiting horizon, it doesn’t appear anything better is on the way. Doesn’t that mean they kind of needed a good punter? Not a good move.
When Chizik was hired, one of the comments that you heard continually from the press close to the Iowa State program centered around the questionable, sometimes mindless decisions that he made. Looks like he’s brought that bag with him from Ames.