As Louisville Cleans House Is Auburn Next To Follow?

September 27th, 2017 | by College AD
As Louisville Cleans House Is Auburn Next To Follow?
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The University of Louisville placed athletic director Tom Jurich and basketball coach Rick Pitino on leave Wednesday, the first dominos to fall following Tuesday’s bombshell arrests of 10 individuals involved in the latest college basketball scandal. It’s likely that other dominos will fall, could Auburn be next?

While Jurich and Pitino were not among the 10 arrests made Tuesday, the Louisville program was included in the report. Making the decision to change leadership atop the athletic department and basketball program unsurprising. Louisville was recently placed on probation following a NCAA investigation into the basketball program’s involvement with an escort service.

Another power five athletic director may soon be feeling the same heat that faced Jurich and Pitino.

Auburn’s Jay Jacobs finds himself swirling in controversy, not just because Tiger assistant basketball coach Chuck Person was one of the four coaches arrested Tuesday by the FBI, but because this incident is the latest black eye for the university and athletic department.

Softball coach Clint Myers abruptly retired in late August, causing speculation that the decision for Myers to step away from a program that he had built into a power, had more to do with miss-happenings than a desire the spend more time with his family.  As was later learned, and finally admitted to by the Auburn administration, Myers retirement had more to do with his son, assistant coach Corey Myers. The program was the subject of an investigation that among the complaints included “coach Clint Myers knowingly let his son Corey Myers have relations and pursue relations with multiple members of the team.”

Despite the complaint being filed on March 30 of this year, Jacobs told AL.com on April 27, 2017 “he had no knowledge of any investigation into Corey Myers.”

In 2015, Jacobs and Auburn parted ways with baseball coach Sunny Galloway. At the time of the firing, AL.com sources cited compliance concerns as the reason behind the move. Galloway denied any wrongdoing. In February of 2017, Galloway was cleared of culpability for any NCAA infractions.

The latest allegations create a dilemma for new university president Steven Leath, forcing him to face the very real and very difficult question, is it time for new athletic leadership at Auburn?

Following the news of Person’s arrest, Auburn announced Wednesday it would give full refunds to fan’s that had purchased men’s basketball season tickets should those fans no longer want to attend Tiger basketball games.

Ironically, this summer at the 2017 NACDA conference in Orlando, AD Jay Jacobs spoke on a panel with former Big 12 commissioner, Dan Beebe and crisis expert Carrie Cecil on Mitigating Risk and Protecting Brand Wealth in College Athletics. When asked what he believed his biggest risk to be was Jacobs stated, hiring. He went on to say, that ADs do their very best to hire men and women with excellent character, however, they never truly know. None of us do.

It would be a cruel twist if Jacobs, who has spent his entire career at Auburn loses his tenure based on the behaviors of two assistant coaches, Corey Meyers and Chuck Person who were so removed from him.

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