Shane was a little under the weather this week and is republishing this column.
Chizik hire is a sham
By Shane from Centerpoint
The former Auburn coach sat there with a huge smile plastered across his face. Pat Dye appeared secure and comfortable for the first time in years. Jay Gogue, the current Auburn University President (who was supposed to be the man in charge of the new head coach hiring), was nowhere to be found. Some say that a picture is worth a thousand words â€“ this one was priceless. Finally, Dye had his man â€“ he said so himself in his letter to Tiger Unlimited Fund members. If Gogue hired Gene Chizik and Dye was not involved, then somebody please explain why Dye was present and Gogue was as far away as he could get?
Want more proof of Dyeâ€™s re-emergence? Joe Whitt, a long time Dye crony, was immediately reactivated and assigned his old stomping grounds around Mobile, Alabama. Just look at the list of names being considered as possible assistants: Rodney Garner (Terry Bowden fired him because of the appearance of improprieties), Stacy Searels, Kurt Crain, Wayne Bolt, Tracy Rocker, and Patrick Nix. All are favorites of one man â€“ Pat Dye.
The hiring of Chizik, a loser as a head coach (5-19 at Iowa State), makes absolutely no sense when you consider the mandate laid-out by Auburn Athletic Director, Jay Jacobs. He stated that the checkbook was open and Auburn was going to hire the best coach available. Using those criteria, the hiring of Chizik was a joke.
It is more than evident that Dye believes that a return to the eighties is the solution to Auburnâ€™s problems. None of the potential candidates â€œfitâ€ his plan because most of them have no interest in being told who to hire on their staff.
Why didnâ€™t Pat just take the job himself? He, along with Lowder and Rane (a loose cannon who fashions himself as a coach anyway), evidently believe they can do a better job running the program than any of the â€œhotshotsâ€ who wanted to try their hand at taking the Tigers back to the top.
Why would anybody with a sound mind go down there and get mired in the midst of the incestuous soap opera that Auburn has become? Tuberville finally tired of Dye constantly looking over his shoulder, making suggestions for him to follow and knifing him in the back every time he made a mistake.
How many major college football programs have an ex-coach, who was removed from office because the NCAA caught the school cheating under his watch, remain on that schools payroll and participate in the hiring of that institutions new football coach?
Letâ€™s face it, Buffaloâ€™s Turner Gill didnâ€™t lose the Auburn job to Gene Chizik â€“ Auburn President Jay Gogue lost the power struggle to Bobby Lowder. The rest of the so-called coaching search is nothing but smoke and mirrors.
Certain members of the Auburn â€œfamilyâ€ are delighted by the direction that the University has taken. They are way out-numbered by fans and others who are simply baffled by the shenanigans involved with Chizikâ€™s hire and who simply have no choice but to shut-up and like it.
Personally, I believe that Auburn is embarking down a dangerous path. The NCAA will take notes, while watching the same old song and dance happen right in the scope of public view. As much as I would like to think that this hire was done by the book, my common sense tells me that this was done the Dye Way.
Tommy Tuberville ex-communicated Lowder, Rane, and Dye after the infamous â€œJet Gateâ€ incident of 2004. He forgot that time was on their side. They sat around like hungry vultures â€“ waiting for Tubby to fail. Now that heâ€™s gone and Chizik (Dyeâ€™s personal puppet) is in place, the â€œold schoolâ€ boys will start doing things the Auburn Way. One more thing, keep it down home cuz.
â€”Shane writes a weekly column for the Call News and the Capstone Report.