Employee, On The Job!
VERMIN HALL OF SHAME
Auburn: Go ahead and play the
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
methods of operation, but there's a time
to simply make a fist and yell "bring'em on"
the manly thing, which is usually the right thing. This is one of those
To do otherwise would, in fact, be
When it was originally scheduled it
was a dream game.It would match Birmingham's
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
Bowden vs. Tommy Tuberville, who is Terry's
successor. Hey, it's no dream game,
still marquee stuff. Auburn's new coach makes his debut against one
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
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
turmoil of recent months at Auburn rehashed.
Housel said he is "looking at all of the
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
The Auburn turmoil is going to be
rehashed before opening day anyway, whether
plays FSU or substitutes South Georgia Mortuary College. So what?
the AU managers aren't so thin-skinned
they'll faint from it. What sort of message
canceling the game send to Auburn's players? If they're worth their salt,
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
"Five years ago we drew up this contract. At first Terry and I
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,
we're counting on that packed stadium.
How would we ever pick up another game
it was with a I-AA school, and then you're talking about 20,000 fewer
When Terry resigned, Bobby said he
would like to see the game canceled, but he
that was just a knee-jerk reaction, and "after I thought about it and
to our administration I definitely felt we
should not cancel it." Dave Hart, Florida
AD, said: "I've had no conversation with David Housel of any nature for
couple of months. David told me when we talked
that Auburn would honor their
and be in Tallahassee Sept. 2, so it has never been an
with me. "We have the Atlantic Coast
Conference and TV commitments to honor, not
mention mailing out season ticket information."
play the game, Auburn!!!
Albarn Shames It's Own
fellow I don't know stopped me in a parking lot and said, "I went to
this is embarrassing."
I would feel the same way if I had attended Auburn.
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.
mess has struck such a nerve with the
public because it transcends a school
altering its football schedule. It repudiates the values that coaches,
Lombardi to Little League, teach.
I thought it revealing that the
speaker at Monday's Tip-Off Club
Lipscomb University basketball
coach Don Meyer, took it upon himself to toss
brief verbal jab at Auburn. He sounded
frustrated, even betrayed, and I think
might have considered that, in some
small way, he was speaking for all coaches
all players of all sports.
I have thought
much about this strange episode. It persists as a subject
morning coffee and happy hour
cocktails. It is multi faceted: Has
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
instead." What will the players think later when the
are telling them before the game that
they can whip Tennessee or at halftime
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.
was a big, big game, even without the Bowden factor, the kind real
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
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
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
advance this would be a massive
public relations blunder? Who really could
believed that canceling the FSU game
would quiet things down for Auburn?
What must Cliff Ellis
be thinking? He gives the school its greatest
team, and the powers that be draw
the headlines by running from a football game.
And there's that most intriguing question
Where the heck is Appalachian