AU leadership makes bad move
Bob Ingram, Alabama Scene
MONTGOMERY—The folks who run this newspaper don' t pay me to write about sports…unless you consider politics indoor sports.
But with or without their permission I have a few things to say about what is going on at Auburn.
I think I have the right to an opinion. My Auburn credentials are strong: I am a graduate of Auburn…all three of my kids have Auburn degrees…all three of their spouses are Auburn grads…I have one grandson who is an AU graduate and two grandsons are students there now.
Now to the point: I am embarrassed, ashamed, disgusted…you add your own adjectives…at the way Coach Tommy Tuberville has been treated by the Auburn administration. Whether he deserved to be fired is not the issue…what I find totally inexcusable is the shabby way he has been treated. The Auburn administration has given a new definition to bush league.
How does that chant go? It's great to be an Auburn Tiger. It should say "It's embarrassing to be an Auburn Tiger." Understand up front that I am writing this on the day before Thanksgiving…I have no idea what has happened by the time you read this. Tuberville may or may not have been fired, Bobby Petrino may or may not have been hired. Who knows, what with all the lying that has been going on. Comes to mind that old line from politics: How can you tell if members of the Auburn administration are lying? If their lips are moving.
What I hope has happened is that President William Walker has resigned, ditto for my long-time buddy David Housel. And while it is a forlorn hope, it would be nice if the entire AU Board of Trustees stepped down as well.
Us War Eagles were so smug only months ago after one coach left Alabama simply because he didn't want to coach there and another was fired because of alleged unbecoming conduct. Where is that smugness now?
As to President Walker, I scarcely know the guy. I made it a point to introduce myself to him at a basketball game last spring. He seemed about as impressed with me as I was with him. Maybe he thought I was the enemy, but as Rhett said to Scarlett, "Frankly, I don't give a damn."
All I know about him is that he is a proven liar and is totally unfit to be president of Auburn.
Housel is another matter. He is a friend, a close friend. He was in my son's wedding. When my wife died he had to be out of town on the day of the funeral, but he got up at dawn and drove to Montgomery to express his condolences. You don't forget things like that. I want to believe David was simply following orders. But whatever, it is time for David to go as well. And what can I say about the Auburn Board of Trustees? Not just the two who made the clandestine trip to Louisville aboard the Bobby Lowder Airline jet, but the entire board? Would it not be refreshing if they resigned en masse? By their action or inaction they have brought shame to an institution they claim to love. A pox on all their houses.
I cannot close what some of you will call this diatribe without one final comment. Some months ago it was revealed that AU had paid a lot of bucks to a public relations firm to advise the administration in their dealings with the press and the Auburn family.
Where were these guys when they were needed the most? If what has transpired was based on their advice maybe a refund is in order.
Buster and I were colleagues on the Montgomery Advertiser back in the old days when newsrooms had that distinct smell of printers ink and hot type and when the clatter of typewriters filled the room. I don't know if they were good old days or not, but they seem like it to me. Buster later returned to his beloved Greenville where he continued his newspapering with the Greenville Advocate until only a few weeks ago. The highest tribute I can pay to him? I never met anyone who knew Buster who didn't like him.