AuburnFamilyNews.com: AL.com All-Access: Will latest Auburn scandal be end of AD Jay Jacobs?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

AL.com All-Access: Will latest Auburn scandal be end of AD Jay Jacobs?


Another gamble hire appears to have blown up in Jay Jacobs' face.
First off, let's be clear -- Jacobs is not tied to the federal bribery and corruption charges facing assistant basketball assistant coach Chuck Person, which were announced by the FBI on Tuesday.
But Jacobs hired Bruce Pearl. And Pearl hired Person.
It's never a good day when one of your employees' names shows up in a wide-ranging federal investigation. It remains to be seen what ultimately will come of all this, but Jacobs could wind up as collateral damage.
The case against Jacobs remaining as Auburn's athletic director continues to grow. And it's about more than just Tuesday's FBI bombshell.
Pearl was under a soon-to-expire NCAA show-cause order when Jacobs hired him, stemming from Pearl's time at Tennessee. Hiring a coach still under "show cause" was virtually unprecedented, but Jacobs did it anyway.
Until now, Pearl had avoided off-court scandal. And while he's revived interest in the Auburn basketball program, his teams have been mediocre.
Pearl's not named in the initial justice department charges either, though it's difficult to see how he can avoid being tarnished by this. Ditto for the man who hired him.
Adding this on top of the recent softball scandal -- in which Jacobs has admitted he "could have been more forthcoming" regarding the real reasons for assistant coach Corey Myers' midseason resignation and head coach Clint Myers' sudden "retirement" -- and Jacobs certainly should be worried.
Jacobs also hired former baseball coach Sunny Golloway, who accomplished the difficult task of making nearly every person he met during his tenure pretty much hate his guts (which he had also apparently done in his previous stop at Oklahoma). That's another example of a gamble hire that turned out disastrously.
Football has not endured a major (or at least provable) off-field scandal in the last several years, but has not shown much growth under Gus Malzahn, another Jacobs hire. Malzahn was hired (1) to close the gap on Alabama and (2) because he was an offensive guru who would light up the scoreboard. He's done neither, at least not consistently. In fact, he's 0-6 the last three years against Alabama and Georgia, Auburn's other big rival.
Jacobs' supporters will note that Auburn athletics is making money like never before. But that can be largely explained away by the huge checks the SEC Network continues to issue to member schools.
So is this the end for Jay Jacobs? Should it be?
I'll take your questions and comments on that or anything else on your mind beginning at 10 a.m.


from Auburn Sports Impact http://bit.ly/2k01iOL




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