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AU’s Jacobs Says He’s Ready To Fix Things (With The Help Of A Consulting Firm)

jay-jacobs-newer Earlier today we told you that Auburn’s six-person panel looking into the the school’s athletic department had generally given AD Jay Jacobs good marks, though they did find “room for substantial improvement.”  With the backing of the committee and president Jay Gogue, Jacobs now says he’s ready to start fixing an athletic department that’s recently suffered through a shocking drop in football, ongoing struggles in basketball, and a barrage of bad press off the field.

Speaking yesterday, Jacobs said Gogue’s “expectations are high” but that he intends to meet them:


“What comes next sits squarely on my shoulders…

I think that in the business we’re in, your job is always on the line.  I think I’m going to be here for a while, and I look forward to the challenge of taking this program where Dr. Gogue and I and all the Auburn fans expect it to be.  I’m up for the challenge.  I’m ready to move forward.”


He won’t be moving forward alone.

Not only did his boss put together a panel to review Jacobs’ running of the AU athletic department, it turns out he also hired JMI Sports as consultants to aid Jacobs.  That hire was made back in December.

JMI Sports says its company mission is to “increase revenue, reduce costs, recruit and retain top coaches and administrators, mitigate risk by identifying and implementing innovative solutions to the issues facing collegiate athletics today.”  In other words, JMI Sports do what an athletic director and his staff are supposed to do.

As we noted earlier today, it’s better to get a vote of confidence (even if it comes with a team of consultants to help you do your job) than it is to receive your termination papers.  But Auburn’s athletic director — as well as anyone in the state of Alabama who can read between all these lines — must know that Jacobs is treading on shaky ground heading into the 2013-14 academic year.

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WOW Headlines – 5/14/13

New Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson says last year’s AU team was “a lot better than a three-win team”
LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis says that his rebuilt defense has “got to build depth”
Georgia OL Chris Burnette says the Bulldogs’ offensive line can be one of the greatest in school history
Florida G DeVon Walker has changed his mind and decided not to transfer
Auburn president Jay Gogue has written a letter to Auburn fans supporting AD Jay Jacobs
Tennessee has fired its director of the Office of Student Judicial Affairs after reports surfaced of inappropriate relationships between the director and student-athletes
Tennessee is investigating the situation
Follow SEC football, basketball and recruiting all year long at

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SEC Headlines 5/14/2013

headlines-tueSEC Football

1. Auburn was “a lot better than a three-win team” last year, according to defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson.

2. Nick Saban is bringing out-of-states students to Alabama, which is helping generate millions of dollars.

3. LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis is confident in his defense. “The thing we’ve got to do is build that depth.”

4. Joe Schad reports Tennessee is in the running for transfer QB Wes Lunt. UT should make a run at Lunt, writes Barrett Sallee.

5. From yesterday: Kansas coach Charlie Weis backed Bob Stoops’ recent criticism of the SEC.

6. Florida coach Will Muschamp is a popular man with fans following a successful season in 2012.

7. Georgia’s offensive line can be one of the greatest lines in school history, says lineman Chris Burnette.

8. Jacquese Kirk, who recently transferred from Vanderbilt, admitted to stabbing an ex-teammate in April.

SEC Basketball

9. Swingman DeVon Walker had a change of heart and will return to Florida for his sophomore season.

10. Star prospect Andrew Wiggins will announce his decision today at 12:15 ET. Kentucky is an underdog in the race.

11. Analysts from around the nation weighed in on Wiggins’ pending decision and his potential impact in college.


12. Auburn president Jay Gogue wrote a letter to fans following an evaluation of Auburn Athletics.

13. Southern Cal coach Lane Kiffin discussed the idea of one day coaching high school football.

14. Matt Hayes writes that Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher shouldn’t release Matthew Thomas without consequence.

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SEC Headlines 5/3/2013

headlines-friSEC/NCAA News

1. Auburn president Jay Gogue on allegations surrounding the program: ”When you get in and begin to do all your careful reviews and analyze everything said, we didn’t find anything.”

2. Remember those proposed new NCAA rules that would have allowed unlimited communication between coaches and recruits?  They’ve been suspended and academic standards won’t be raised in 2016.

3. Don’t expect the college football playoff committee to have its members anytime soon.  Executive director Bill Hancock: “We want to be deliberate.”

SEC Football

4. Possible motive in the bar fight involving LSU running back Jeremy Hill?  Attorney says Hill was heckled about past legal trouble.  Search continues for second suspect –  not believed to be LSU football player. Update: Second person arrested.

5. LSU-Wisconsin in Houston in 2014?  Not so fast.  ”Nothing has been finalized.”

6. Nick Saban on why he wants the SEC to adopt a nine-game conference schedule: “I personally feel like strength of schedule is going to be a real important thing in the future.”

7. Auburn president Jay Gogue also likes the nine-game idea. “I’d be one of those that would be supportive.”

8. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn has already starting watching game tape on the Tigers first opponent, Washington State.

9. Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace has resumed throwing - coming of shoulder surgery in January.

10. Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel picks up his Manning Award trophy. Archie Manning:  ”Thanks a hell of a lot, Johnny.” NFL general manager on Manziel – He’s “more like a Brett Favre.  He’s got some cowboy in him.”

11. Athlon asks the question – will the Missouri Tigers make a bowl game this season?

12. Florida coach Will Muschamp on running back Matt Jones: “He attacked the offseason. He’s up over 230 pounds. He looks great.”

13. Gators linebacker Ronald Powell cleared for a full return in August after undergoing two ACL surgeries on his knee in the past year.

14. What does Tennessee coach Butch Jones look at on a transcript? Tardiness and absences. “That tells me everything I need to know.”

15. Former Tennessee coach Johnny Majors on Jones: “His practices have great tempo, they’re organized to the hilt and there’s nobody standing around.”

SEC Network

16. Analyst on the distribution challenges awaiting the new network:  ”I think it all comes down to how you price it. But I would say it’s going to take them a long time to get off the ground.”

17. Mike Slive on having the network headquartered in North Carolina.   “I’m delighted to have a presence in North Carolina.” Care to elaborate? “No. I don’t need to.”

18. Tony Barnhart: “Slive cemented his legacy as one of the impactful commissioners in the history of college athletics with Thursday’s announcement.”

19. David Climer: “It’s good to be the king.”

20. Kentucky coach John Calipari on the impact the network will have on basketball.  “From teams seven to 14, those teams now have a chance to recruit, because they will get fully exposed.”

SEC Basketball

21. The mother of Alabama basketball player Devonta Pollard charged with kidnapping a six-year old girl.

22. Florida’s non-conference schedule includes Kansas, Memphis and Wisconsin.

23. Missouri will reportedly play in Las Vegas in November. 

24. Ole Miss still looking to fill one scholarship spot.


25. Columnist: “Big Ten football in its current state is a fraud.”

26. With Notre Dame playing Arizona State at Cowboys Stadium, the Fighting Irish have their eyes on Texas recruits.  Coach Brian Kelly: ”There’s no question that when you talk about playing here at Cowboys Stadium, that gets every recruit’s attention.”

27. Texas coach Mack Brown is handing out rings.

28. World War II veterans of the Normandy Invasion get to meet Kentucky Derby horse Normandy Invasion.

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AU Prez Gogue Says Tigers Have Their Guy; Athletic Department Applies Brakes

According to multiple reports out of Alabama, Auburn president Jay Gogue has told multiple reporters that the Tigers have picked their next football coach and that that man will be announced at some point in the next 24 hours.

Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart was impressive in his interview by all accounts, including our own sources.

There are conflicting reports regarding Bobby Petrino’s candidacy for the job.

And we at have not been able to get many comments at all from our AU sources regarding Arkansas State’s Gus Malzahn or his interview with AU’s search committee (which makes us a bit suspicious).

But the real beauty of this afternoon flurry of “news” is this tweet from Mike Szvetitz, the sports editor of The Opelika-Auburn News:










“Take that, boss man,” AD Jay Jacobs retorts.  Thou shalt not steal Jay Jacobs’ thunder.

Update: Multiple sources now reporting that Auburn is hiring Gus Malzahn. More on Malzahn’s background here.

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Auburn A.D. Jacobs To Have Say In Chizik Decision

There’s a little good news for Gene Chizik this afternoon.  Good news for Jay Jacobs, too.  And what will be viewed as bad news for Auburn fans demanding that heads roll on the Plains.

For the past few weeks a number of media members, bloggers and fans have called for not only the ouster of Auburn coach Gene Chizik, but also for the dismissal of Jacobs, the athletic director who hired him.  Some have even called for AU president Jay Gogue to be rubbished as well.

But last week, a report claimed that Gogue was actually planning to stand by Jacobs and that Chizik’s situation would be settled after the season.  Today, takes things a step further claiming that “people familiar with the decision-making process” believe Jacobs will be “a key player” in helping decide the fate of Chizik.

Jacobs and Chizik are close.  So if Gogue’s standing by Jacobs, it’s possible he’ll stand by Chizik, too… if Jacobs recommends he do so.  And it’s quite likely Jacobs will make just such a recommendation.

Chizik has recruited well and he’s just two years removed from a BCS championship.  It can be argued — whether you buy it or not is up to you — that Auburn’s season has been adversely impacted by the arrival of two new coordinators with two new systems.  Jacobs could make the case that Chizik deserves another year to see if these moves and his big recruiting hauls finally pay off in 2013.

And don’t forget, keep Chizik for another year would see his buyout drop from about $7.5 million on December 1st of this year to about $5 million next December 1st.  If AU’s brass is looking for reasons to patient with Chizik, there are at least about 2.5 million of them.

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UT’s Hart Says Mega-Expansion Coming; AU’s Gogue Says Tigers Willing To Move East

Expansion continues to be top of mind across the SEC and the country today.  Jon Solomon of The Birmingham News caught up with a couple of SEC power-brokers to discuss what the future might hold nationally… and locally.

New Tennessee AD Dave Hart believes it’s time for fans to strap in, because realignment is on the way:

“If it’s A&M or if the Pac-12 moves, somebody is going to push the start button.  I can’t predict the timing of it.  But it’s potentially coming quicker than people would have imagined a couple yeas ago.

Everybody’s posturing right now, as you can well imagine.  They better be.  They’ve got to have ducks in a row.  They’ve got to play out the contingencies.”

One contingency is that the SEC will expand to the West for the two teams — with Missouri possibly joining Texas A&M — which might force Auburn into the SEC East (where it almost landed when the league initially expanded 19 years ago).

AU president Jay Gogue says his school would be willing to do what’s in he best interest of the conference:

“If that’s what it took, if you ever went to 14 and need to make it work, that wouldn’t be something I would be upset about.  I don’t see any real difference.  We already play Georgia, a longtime rival.”

Historically speaking, Auburn has played Florida, Georgia and Tennessee more often than it has played Ole Miss, LSU and Arkansas.

But Gogue also said that he does not expect the SEC to make “any real push to get to 14.”  That’s a different stance than several other league presidents and ADs.

“We could easily say, ‘Texas A&M, we want you to meet all the schools in the Southeast, so this year you’ll play in the West, next year you play in the East.’  If a 14th came around and everybody was all excited, that would be fine.”

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