There are in the world scholars whose good nature has worn itself out in seeking a middle ground between antagonistic statements. They are like the little chap who, asked for the square of the number two, when one neighbor whispered “four” and the other “eight,” thought he had hit the mark in answering “six.” —Marc Bloch, The Historian’s Craft

Auburn logic at its finest. “Jacobs wasn’t honest, but he wasn’t lying, either.

He wasn’t honest, but he wasn’t lying?

What the hell kind of rhetorical nonsense is that? Care to define what the meaning of “is” is? Or maybe you’d like to tell us how someone can be a little bit pregnant? Or how a bad tree brings forth good fruit?

You either tell the truth or you tell a lie. It is that simple. There is no middle ground. It is sophistry to claim a statement isn’t honest, but isn’t a lie. That’s a pathetic debating trick designed to confuse. If Jacobs was attempting to deceive it was a lie. 2+2=4; it doesn’t equal five.

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Pilate might have asked, “What is truth?”, but it isn’t that complex a question for practical application. Here is a simple rule of thumb, a statement can’t be true and false at the same time.

Understanding that rule is important when trying to make sense of the rumors and falsehoods swirling during a coaching search.

Also, to make sense of the rumors you must attempt to validate the sources. I attempted to share with Auburn readers important information regarding Tuberville’s termination. The O-A News reported Tuberville’s mother said the coach was fired. The report was filed the night Tuberville was fired and printed December 3.

I offered the judgment that Tuberville’s mother was a viable source because she had less motive to lie than either her son or the administration. But it goes further. Her view was more reliable than statements made later because the conversation took place the day of the termination—from a historical perspective, testimony closest to the event is more reliable than statements made further away as time and agenda have a way of corrupting memory. Also, it was more reliable because the statement was given in an off-the-cuff manner without any PR preparation.

Understanding deeper motivation helps too. With this mildly insulting statement the Auburn fan dismisses Tuberville’s mother because it is Tuberville’s mother, “Moms are awesome, ’cause they’ll say anything if it’ll make you look better or feel better. Why, I bet if you asked the Capstone Report’s mothers, they’d even tell you their blog was worth reading.”

Ignoring the insult, the Auburn fan might have a point—a mother might want to make Tuberville look better. But this is where a detective, historian, journalist, intelligence analyst earns his pay—what would Tuberville’s mother say to make her son look better?

I guarantee it wouldn’t be that Auburn fired him. It would make her son look bad to be fired. Her generation isn’t a generation to brag about being fired. Her generation valued work and didn’t embrace the modern slacker work ethic. Tuberville’s mother is more than just a mom—she is a product of her time and values.

One last thing to consider: lies are told for a benefit. Who had the greatest incentive to lie? Tuberville’s mom or Auburn?

When making sense of the Tuberville termination or wading through the volumes of information filtering out from the coaching search, don’t become apologists for the administration. Find the truth and hold the leadership accountable.

Other Auburn coaching search readings
O-A News columnist believes Tuberville’s mother

Student’s protest Tuberville’s firing

AU interviews to continue beyond New York

Richt supports Garner

Coaching community confused about what is happening at Auburn

18 thoughts on “Advice to Auburn fans (on the coaching search)”

  1. It is pretty obvious.
    Auburn isnt bestowed with the wealth of say…. the University of Texas. And yet, they are paying out close to $10 million dollars to coaches who …..aren’t even coaching.
    In the case of Tuberville…. IF HE QUIT and IF THEY ARE STILL PAYING HIM $5 MILLION DOLLARS. That is one of the most generous gestures in the history of sports. Considering there are lots of sports and other things that money could have went to around the Auburn Campus.
    Really, the gesture was a bit TOO generous.
    Plainly put, it looks like they are paying him to put a good spin on “The Auburn Family” reputation. Whats more…(and please consider I dont make these alegations lightly or often,) It looks like hush money.

    Since then, the coaching search has begun and the expectations have went down like a $2 hooker.

    It Started with Leech. (who in my opinion is not as good a coach as Tommy Tuberville) and the limbo stick keeps getting lower by the day.
    The last I saw Turner Gill was the hot guy.
    The problem with Turner Gill is if you put him against the recruiting trimvirate of Richt, Saban and Meyers, Turner Gill would be Road kill with a trendy sounding name.

  2. tmc1,

    You wrote exactly what I was thinking. The $5.1 million dollars is all the evidence you need to know. Tuberville was fired, and the Jays insult everyone when they pretend otherwise.

    I will give them credit as decent liars. They do a good job of providing details that make the lies more palatable.

    Things like, we begged Tuberville to come back to Auburn 3 times. We thought it was the right thing to do, in reference to the $5.1 million.

  3. Tommy was shown the door , and then he walked through it ….I still think that if Tommy really wanted to turn the team around , he would still be the coach.

    Tmc1…….Your half right. Auburn doesnt produce the amount of boosters that Texas does. But, the profram is just as profitable as the longhorns program is. Look it up.

  4. And another thing……..You would think that we would learn from Bamas failures and succeses. The question is , can you afford not to hire the best ?

  5. exactly right Ballplay…
    auburn is in the unenviable position of not wanting to spend the money BUT since they bestowed such a hefty buyout package on Tuberville. It is a gaurantee that Jimmy Sexton is about to put the big hurt on them. He will be fishing for big money on 2nd tier and asst. coaches now. Because Jay and Jay have shown that if they are desperate they will spare no expense.
    The whole move may have priced auburn right out of a marquee name coach.

  6. You guys do get what Im saying right ? Not slamming about the probation thing, BUT, I can guaruntee you that if Saban had been there for the last 8 years, Bama would have already won a title…..Probation or not. That is the whole point of what Im saying. There is no more imprtant person on the team than the head coach. You cant afford to not get the best head coach money can buy. When your talking about a 5 mill buyout to get rid of your previous coach, another couple of mill to buy out another coach, and then strike a deal for his contract, Its gonna be upward of 10 million.

    I want the best that we can buy. Heck man , look at Bill Billick (old Ravens coach), some big name X-pro coachs. Wandstat is working out well for Pitt. Go that route. I could see more success that route than with an 8-5 WACMAC coach.

    An I the only one that sees it like this ?

    I think that Sabans a better coach after spending time in the NFL. The SEC is more like the NFL than a college conference anyhow.

    AGREE ?

  7. I think Auburn deserves a good coach and can get one. As for the NFL making a coach better—possibly.

    I’m not sold on Lane Kiffin at Tennessee. I think he’ll do OK, but someone like Paul Johnson or Brian Kelly would be better for Auburn or Tennessee.

    What Auburn needs is a leader—just like Alabama needed a leader when it hired Nick Saban. If you get the right qualities in a man, it doesn’t matter where the guy comes from.

  8. Is it Brian Billeck or Bill Billeck ? Why is his name not in the hat? Hes unemployed, Heck, dudes won a Superbowl. What harm could a phone call do ? Maybe hs just not been thought of or isnt interested.

    Anyone else have some names not mentioned yet ?

  9. Ballplay, why compare to Bama? Bama had its own problems before Saban. But Cap is right. You need a leader, not someone who is trying to learn how to be one. Auburn has a different problem than what Bama had to deal with. I just don’t think Jay Jacobs is capable of making great decisions or hires. Which is why I don’t think he is really the one who is going to do it. We all know it is Lowder who will ultimately decide.

  10. I am not comparing our situation to Bamas in the terms of the behind the scenes stuff. Those are different problems, I agree. But, winning takes care of all those problems. Bama had a string of not so good coaches, or coaches without much sense (Price)….The bottom line is this…….Yall got sick of the bullcrap , and went out and got the best coach that money could buy. Saban is all business. He was the right guy for ANY school. He just does his job not just to the best of HIS abailities, but to singlehandedly out perform every one else.

    Ill put it this way,,,,,,Was Saban worth the 4 mill year ? Dang right he was.

    Would he be worth 8 mill a year , assuming he can keep Bama this competitive ? Dang right he would be.

    If your going to spend 10 mill to change a coach, get the best coach. Kinda like Bama did.

  11. Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian,

    I agree with you 100% on all of your points.

  12. AAnd Cap..I see your point and agree. dont care if the future coach is from a D2 school as long as he proves that he can dominate. 8-5…..Does that sound like domination. that would be considered a crappy year for Auburn. Its a crowning achievement at Buffallo. What gives?

  13. Kreskin, I knew that an obnoxious Bammer would rear his ugly head. Thanks for not disappointing. If we have been averaging 8-5 for the last ten years, your team has been averaging 5-8.

  14. I keep thinking that the only coach in America that can stand Auburn back up is Steve Spurrier.
    1. He is Steve freakin’ Spurrier. Instant Respect…Instant PR exposure….And it is a hire that would say in the boldest terms….YES AUBURN IS A BIG TIME PROGRAM!
    2. Recruiting…SS knows every rabbit warren and pig trail in the geographical area of Auburn. And he is probably the only Coach available with the ‘STAR” name to compete with Saban Richt and Meyers. Really guys, Even today, Steve Surrier has forgotten more talent pools in the southeast than the rest of these coaches know about.
    3. Which statement sounds more likely.n A hot shot recruit who is being recruited by Saban, Meyer, and Richt would say:
    A… I want to play for Steve Spurrier.
    B….I want to play for turner Gill.
    4. Spurrier may coach 5 more years. And in the meantime Auburn can build the coaching infrastructure for thier next coach.

    IF “money is no object” as Jay Jacobs is saying.. this is the wise move.
    Empthy the bank. Because Spurrier can fill it back up on name alone.

  15. Ballplay: Bamas average is 9-4 under Saban so far, if they win the bowl game it will be 10-3. What has Auburns record been the past two years? I have heard from some Auburn people, even Stan White say that Auburn is loaded and Alabama is not ahead with talent. Who is left at Auburn that is so great? I heard Tubbs say numerous times this year they just did not have any play makers. That is the thing with Auburn. You can’t tell who is telling the truth and who is lying.

    tmc1: I think Spurriers better coaching days are behind him. I don’t think he likes to recruit as much as Saban does. With that said, it would be a great hire! Bring him on!

  16. Hold it Brando……That was a response to Kreskins jackleg comment. Not to mention he said the last TEN years. I know that your record is higher than that for ten years. I saved you the trouble of checking. But I agree that Spurrier is about ready for the glue factory.

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