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          BARNER HELL
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                           WELCOME TO HELL YOU BARNER VERMIN!!!
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  Barner Athletic Dept
Employee, On The Job!

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                    THE NIGHTMARE CONTINUES...

                         Hey, Auburn: Go ahead and play the game!!!

                                               By CLYDE BOLTON
                                                   News staff writer

    Crawfishing out of its 1999 football opener with Florida State wouldn't be good for
    Auburn or anyone else.  Play the game, for crying out loud!

    I realize college football has become big business, and big business has convoluted
    methods of operation, but there's a time to simply make a fist and yell "bring'em on"
    and do the manly thing, which is usually the right thing. This is one of those times. 
    To do otherwise would, in fact, be shameful.

    When it was originally scheduled it was a dream game.It would match Birmingham's
    Bobby Bowden, the old master, against Terry Bowden, his son, who was a bright
    star in the coaching heavens.  But Terry, certain he was going to be canned at the
    end of the 1998 season, resigned after six games. So what we have now is Bobby
    Bowden vs. Tommy Tuberville, who is Terry's successor.  Hey, it's no dream game,
    but it's still marquee stuff. Auburn's new coach makes his debut  against one of the
    all-time greats of  the profession.

    A victory would bond Tuberville to the Auburn people like they'd all bathed in Super
    Glue. A loss wouldn't be a disaster, because it would merely be what most expected.
    And everybody could say, "Well, it was Terry's players." Terry gets blamed for
    everything, anyway.

    Tuberville has said he would like to see the game canceled and that he and Auburn
    AD David Housel have discussed canceling it. Tuberville said he hates to see all the
    turmoil of recent months at Auburn rehashed. Housel said he is "looking at all of the
    options that would be suitable for handling this situation."  Auburn would have to pay
     $500,000 to cancel. If it can waste that kind of money it must be well off indeed.

    The Auburn turmoil is going to be rehashed before opening day anyway, whether
    Auburn plays FSU or substitutes South Georgia Mortuary College. So what? Surely
    the AU managers aren't so thin-skinned they'll faint from it. What sort of message
    would canceling the game send to Auburn's players? If they're worth their salt, they
    believe they can beat FSU, and they're looking forward to having the opportunity.

    ESPN and FSU say they expect Auburn to honor its commitment. "We're not in favor
    of changing it, because we've gone to such extremes to play it," Bobby Bowden told
    me Thursday.  "Five years ago we drew up this contract. At first Terry and I were
    very reluctant to play it, because we've never said we wanted to play father-son. But
    we got to thinking maybe we should do it."  Now it's budgeted into this season, "and
    we're counting on that packed stadium. How  would we ever pick up another game
    unless it was with a I-AA school, and then you're talking about 20,000 fewer people."

    When Terry resigned, Bobby said he would like to see the game canceled, but he
    now says that was just a knee-jerk reaction, and "after I thought about it and talked
    to our administration I definitely felt we should not cancel it." Dave Hart, Florida
    State's AD, said: "I've had no conversation with David Housel of any nature for a
    couple of months. David told me when we talked that Auburn would honor their
    contractual commitment and be in Tallahassee Sept. 2, so it has never been an issue
    with me. "We have the Atlantic Coast Conference and TV commitments to honor, not
    to mention mailing out season ticket information."

   Just play the game, Auburn!!!

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                     Albarn Shames It's Own Fans

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     A fellow I don't know stopped me in a parking lot and said, "I went to Auburn, and
     this  is embarrassing."  I would feel the same way if I had attended Auburn. For
     that matter, I didn't attend Auburn, and I do feel the same way.  In fact, I think
     anyone who ever played sports could feel embarrassed by Auburn's retreat. This
     mess has struck such a nerve with the public because it transcends a school
     altering its football schedule. It repudiates the values that coaches, from Vince
     Lombardi to Little League, teach.

      I thought it revealing that the speaker at Monday's Tip-Off Club luncheon,
      Lipscomb University basketball coach Don Meyer, took it upon himself to toss a
      brief verbal jab at Auburn. He sounded frustrated, even betrayed, and I think he
      might have considered that, in some small way, he was speaking for all coaches
     and all players of all sports.

     I have thought much about this strange episode. It persists as a subject over
     morning  coffee and happy hour cocktails. It is multi faceted:  Has anyone
     considered the feelings of the Auburn players?  The message the school is
     sending to them is, "You aren't good enough to play FSU, so we scheduled  
     Appalachian State instead."  What will the players think later when the coaches
     are telling them before the game that they can whip Tennessee or at halftime
     that they can come back from 21 down and beat Florida?

     You can be certain the Auburn players wouldn't have dodged Florida State if it  
     had been their call. They were looking forward to testing the mighty Seminoles.
     It was a big, big game, even without the Bowden factor, the kind real football
     players live for. Auburn players are the ones I feel sorry for.

     And how about the Appalachian players? They're being told, "We don't think our
     guys can beat FSU, but we think they can beat you." What more could a coach
     want in the way of bulletin board material? Appalachian will have the  
     psychological advantage, for  whatever it's worth.  Say this for Auburn, its
     timing was right. It waited until after signing  day. That was too late for other
     colleges to call it chicken, too late for impressionable recruits to back out.

     What effect will this have on the relationship between Auburn and TV? Auburn's
     1993 opener against Ole Miss was supposed to be on ESPN, but it couldn't be
     televised because Auburn was on probation. Now ESPN gets shafted by Auburn

     Whose idea was this anyway? David Housel's? Bobby Lowders? Tommy
     Tuberville's?  Who actually made it happen? Who could have failed to realize in
     advance this would be a massive public relations blunder?  Who really could have
     believed that canceling the FSU game would quiet things down for Auburn?
    What must Cliff Ellis be thinking? He gives the school its greatest basketball
     team, and the powers that be draw the headlines by running from a football game.

     And there's that most intriguing question of all:

     Where the heck is Appalachian State?