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  Barner Athletic Dept
Employee, On The Job!

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                          THE NIGHTMARE CONTINUES....
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               Shameless Auburn U. again tucks tail, pays!
                                   Published in The Orlando Sentinel, Feb 7 1999

                                                        By Larry Guest
                                                    Sports Commentary

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     Would somebody please tell me how I can get on Auburn University's gold brick list? I
     mean, I could retire 10 years early and get out of you readers' hair if only you'd tell me
     where the line forms  for Auburn grants. In researching the sordid goings-on behind
     Terry Bowden's lynching last fall, I developed the theory that "Auburn" must be an old
     Indian word for "hush money." Or "payoff."

     Auburn has been paying off an alleged former bag man at the annual rate of $96,000 the
     past  three years. They agreed to pay off Terry $620,000 only after he signed in blood
     that he won't tell what he knows. They're essentially paying off NCAA-infamous Pat
     Dye by keeping him on in a feather-bedding staff position. Now they're paying off
     football opponents they're afraid they can't beat.

     If I promise never to refer to AU as Atrocities U., or Aberration U., how much can I add
     to my nest egg? If I try to justify why they just ratted out on this fall's season-opening
     game at Florida State, or explain how they really had good reason to renege on a
     thousand 4-H students they had promised to treat to the Auburn-LSU basketball game
     Saturday, how much of an endowment could I expect from Annuity -- uh, I mean
     Auburn University?

    Certainly wouldn't be anything new. They're already in the business of buying sports
     writers. The bank controlled by Auburn tyrant/booster Bobby Lowder sponsors the radio
     show of one Birmingham columnist who -- surprise, surprise -- strongly defended
     Auburns shameless tuck-tail-and-run-from-FSU move in print.

    However, another Birmingham columnist, exercising his obvious freedom of thought and
     proven integrity, termed the bailout as dishonorable cowardice. "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,"
     Clyde Bolton wrote.  "This is one of those times. "Are universities no longer in the
     business of holding themselves up as examples of honor and commitment?

     The dictionary defines "auburn" as a reddish brown color, although it's more red today for
     those at Auburn with a conscience. My Webster's also suggests a word for rule by a single
     individual, so maybe the school should be Autocracy Univ. Can't say for certain that
     Lowder, the bullmoose banker, is behind this FSU bailout, but it would be the first Auburn
     athletic decision more important than the color of letterheads.

     Athletic Director/Puppet David Housel made it clear enough it wasn't his idea when he left
     a phone-mail message for FSU Athletic Director Dave Hart that he had been "instructed"
     to fax the cancellation notice. Housel also called it "an institutional" issue, but if you think
     the school president actually ventured anywhere close to a football matter, then you haven't
     been paying attention to news out of Amok Univ.

     I refuse to believe that Housel -- long thought to be an honorable soul fiercely loyal to
     Auburns dysfunctional family -- pushed for this bailout just months after he had given his
     word to Hart that the game was on. What is his word worth now?

     That brings us back to the banker who is backing new Coach Tommy Tuberville,
     apparently even when Tuberville recently mentioned he didn't want to open his tenure at
     FSU. So out came the checkbook again and Auburn will be coughing up at least $1
     million to ditch FSU in favor of mighty Appalachian State, or some other humpty. (I say
     "at least" because AU could face a lawsuit  from the Atlantic Coast Conference over lost
     revenue from ESPN, which was set to air the FSU-Auburn game.) FSU is suddenly
     facing the difficult task of finding -- in a matter of weeks -- a suitable foe in a sport in
     which schedules of suitable foes are locked in eight and 10 years out.

     What message is Tuberville sending to his new players? He surrendered to FSU before the
     first shot was fired. Aren't you supposed to wait until the fort is on fire and the parade
     grounds are littered with dying troops before you run up the white flag? This would be like
     the Allies telling Germany, "Look, we don't have any beef with Hitler. We'd rather fight

     Silly me. I've long thought of high school and college coaches as admirable pillars who
     dispense character and spine. They spew mottoes like, "When the going gets tough, the
     tough get going." Or they tell the lads when their backs are to the end zone, they have to
     hunker down, dig in, reach back and grab a fistful of dirt and fight harder.

     But when a little rain falls at Auburn, certain Tigers run like cur dogs. Obviously, the AU
     mantra is:  "When the going gets tough, who can we pay off?"

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        HAY, HAY BARNERS!                                             DIDDY WANTS.........YOU