Jump to content
Null

Rane denies booster meddling in Harsin probe


Recommended Posts

Report: Auburn trustee Jimmy Rane denies booster meddling in Bryan Harsin probe

By Tom Green | tgreen@al.com
5-7 minutes

Bryan Harsin spring practice

Auburn coach Bryan Harsin watches his team scrimmage during spring practice on Saturday, April 2, 2022 in Auburn, Ala. Todd Van Emst/AU AthleticsTodd Van Emst/AU Athletics

Auburn’s offseason investigation into Bryan Harsin, and the public nature of the probe, thrust the school’s long-held reputation of booster meddling in athletics back into the spotlight in February.

The university conducted an internal investigation into Harsin’s handling of his first year as Auburn’s football coach in early February, throwing his status as head coach and the future of the football program into flux for more than a week as the saga spilled out into the public view. The inquiry nearly cost Harsin his job less than 14 months into his tenure, but then-president Jay Gogue announced Feb. 11 the university’s decision to retain Harsin and offered some insight into the investigation.

Read more Auburn football: Get to know Iowa State safety transfer Craig McDonald

Auburn lands commitment from Memphis defensive line transfer

Can Auburn flip five-star Alabama defensive back commit Jahlil Hurley?

While the saga has since been put to rest, with Harsin opening spring practice by noting his desire to move past it and shift focus back to rebuilding the program, the ordeal still produced lingering questions about the involvement of the university’s boosters in athletics-related personnel decisions — particularly when it comes to football. One of the school’s most prominent boosters, Board of Trustee member Jimmy Rane, on Thursday addressed that topic on Thursday night in Montgomery while speaking at a banquet to kick off his annual charity golf event, according to a report by the Montgomery Advertiser.

“Trustees don’t hire and fire football coaches,” Rane said, according to the Advertiser. “We hire and fire presidents. So, I’m not aware of any role the trustees played in that at all. I think there were questions that the administration had, and (Gogue) is the kind of a president that wants facts. He’s going to do thorough investigations, and so that was a providence of the administration. Certainly not the trustees.”

The investigation into Harsin began, in fact, with a statement from Gogue during the university’s February Board of Trustees meeting in Montgomery, when he — unprompted — addressed rumors that began circulating online the night prior.

“There have been a lot of rumors and speculation about our football program,” Gogue said toward the end of the board meeting on AUM’s campus. “I just want you to know we’re involved in trying to separate fact from fiction. We’ll keep you posted and make the appropriate decision at the right time.”

That statement — made by an outgoing president on the same day the Board of Trustees officially announced his replacement, Dr. Chris Roberts, who officially took over this week — was the catalyst of an eight-day saga that played out in the public view. Former players spoke out about their perceived treatment by Harsin and took umbrage with his handling of interpersonal relationships, while a large contingent of current players publicly supported the embattled coach, who also vehemently defended himself in an interview with ESPN while out of the country on vacation. For the better part of a week, Auburn endured a standoff within the football program, even resulting in a highly anticipated appearance by Harsin at the SEC’s annual coaches meeting in Birmingham in early February.

Allen Green AMBUSH Huntsville

When the dust settled and probe was completed, Gogue announced Harsin would be retained as Auburn’s coach. He enters Year 2 looking to rebound not only from the damage done by the offseason drama but from the program’s worst season since 2012 — a 6-7 inaugural season that ended on a five-game losing streak that prompted a staff overhaul.

“I wish him all the success in the world,” said Rane, a trustee since 1999 and the richest man in Alabama. “I hope he wins every game he plays. It’s a tough league. It’s a tough job for anybody, but I certainly wish him nothing but the best.”

The Harsin investigation was only the latest instance to produce questions of booster meddling in athletics matters at Auburn. During the search that ultimately led to Harsin’s hiring in December 2020, athletics director Allen Greene emerged from a behind-the-scenes battle, bucking the influence and wishes of some of the university’s most powerful boosters by hiring Harsin over their preferred candidate. Greene, as AL.com reported at the time, wanted to conduct a thorough search instead of hastily moving on a coach shortly after the firing of Gus Malzahn — another decision influenced by the program’s boosters.

There have been other instances over the years, including during Malzahn’s ebb-and-flow tenure as coach, that have fostered the university’s perceived reputation for booster meddling, which Rane addressed Thursday.

“I don’t know how to help people with their perception,” Rane told the Advertiser. “All I know is facts. And there’s enough rumor out there that people can make up anything they want to make up, but facts speak for themselves, and that’s just how things are done.”

Tom Green is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Tomas_Verde.

Link to comment
Share on other sites





Yeah, I don't believe for a second that the boosters hire and fire presidents while not meddling in sports, but I can believe that they weren't involved in this deal. I have no knowledge that isn't public domain already, but this doesn't feel so much booster related.

Maybe that's just because I hope so much that it wasn't until I convince myself there wasn't, but whatever.

  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would expect Rane to say this whether there was or wasn't any booster involvement. Since so much of what happened on the Social Media side and we don't know who started all the rumor's there is no way to say if boosters were involved in any way. I doubt if any booster at any institution would directly try and undermine any coach at any of the meetings. 

Rednilla mentioned he doesn't think they were involved this time but admits he hopes that is correct. I tend to think it was more than one bad apple inside Athletic department and that it was also because of how dangerous Social Media has become with no accountability to false information and down right lies.  So I will agree with Rednilla with no direct proof I hope it wasn't Boosters but it is water over the bridge. Lets just make sure it never happens again be it Harsin or some other coach in the future.

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Rednilla said:

Yeah, I don't believe for a second that the boosters hire and fire presidents while not meddling in sports, but I can believe that they weren't involved in this deal. I have no knowledge that isn't public domain already, but this doesn't feel so much booster related.

Maybe that's just because I hope so much that it wasn't until I convince myself there wasn't, but whatever.

Your either a great salesman (to yourself) or maybe quite naive. Not sure all were involved but was definitely seemed like someone with some stroke.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I think it's hilarious how Al.com published this article after Saban goes off on a tantrum. 

 

I also heard on 3 man front the guys defending Saban the whole time trying to mitigate what Saban said and how Jimbo overreacted. They then said that it would be great if the Texas A&M press would hold Jimbo accountable by asking clarifying questions. Basically saying they werent going too because they are gonna tow the team's/coaches line.The Birmingham media has been spinning stories to that Alabama Football program for decades. AL.COM IS THE WORST, and all of those guys on 3 man front that spoke after Jimbo's press conference need to get a grip on reality. 

 

Saban is the greatest cheater of all time, If you take away all those bought players he would be mediocre. In reality cheaters win, but when it's okay for everyone to legally cheat and pay players legally using NIL he is a big fat bloated crying b****. Back in the day he would have turned you in to the NCAA. I find it hard to believe he didn't have a finger in getting Hugh Freeze put on ice.

Edited by The Defiant
  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

53 minutes ago, The Defiant said:

I think it's hilarious how Al.com published this article after Saban goes off on a tantrum. 

 

I also heard on 3 man front the guys defending Saban the whole time trying to mitigate what Saban said and how Jimbo overreacted. They then said that it would be great if the Texas A&M press would hold Jimbo accountable by asking clarifying questions. Basically saying they werent going too because they are gonna tow the team's/coaches line.The Birmingham media has been spinning stories to that Alabama Football program for decades. AL.COM IS THE WORST, and all of those guys on 3 man front that spoke after Jimbo's press conference need to get a grip on reality. 

 

Saban is the greatest cheater of all time, If you take away all those bought players he would be mediocre. In reality cheaters win, but when it's okay for everyone to legally cheat and pay players legally using NIL he is a big fat bloated crying b****. Back in the day he would have turned you in to the NCAA. I find it hard to believe he didn't have a finger in getting Hugh Freeze put on ice.

I'd like to respectfully disagree with you here. Nick purposefully chose a school that guaranteed he would never be involved with cheating. He could simply imply, insinuate, suggest, choose your adjective, and it would happen. I am 65. The running joke in my home town when I was 15 was that the NCAA got so pissed at UAT cheating they put Southern Mississippi on probation for 2 years. Lawyers, Judges, and politicians. Trust me. They have been great at this forever. 

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, JuscAUse! said:

I'd like to respectfully disagree with you here. Nick purposefully chose a school that guaranteed he would never be involved with cheating. He could simply imply, insinuate, suggest, choose your adjective, and it would happen. I am 65. The running joke in my home town when I was 15 was that the NCAA got so pissed at UAT cheating they put Southern Mississippi on probation for 2 years. Lawyers, Judges, and politicians. Trust me. They have been great at this forever. 

 

So your saying Saban has no knowledge of cheating at Bama?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

If a bunch of millionaire power brokers wanted to get rid of Harsin he'd be gone. Someone started some rumors that had to be investigated but had it been the Big Boys that were after Harsin they wouldn't have swung and missed.

Edited by Mikey
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, Mikey said:

If a bunch of millionaire power brokers wanted to get rid of Harsin he'd be gone. Someone started some rumors that had to be investigated but had it been the Big Boys that were after Harsin they wouldn't have swung and missed.

They sure swung and missed with Jet gate. Stoops gate was another disaster. These guys have a poor track record. Conspiracy theories are one thing, but it's beyond message board conspiracies. I'm pretty sure people had to resign in disgrace after JetGate and huge fallout. Point being these guys have absolutely bungled things like this before, lol

  • Like 4
  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, au302 said:

They sure swung and missed with Jet gate. Stoops gate was another disaster. These guys have a poor track record. Conspiracy theories are one thing, but it's beyond message board conspiracies. I'm pretty sure people had to resign in disgrace after JetGate and huge fallout. Point being these guys have absolutely bungled things like this before, lol

Jetgate was 19 years ago. Lowder is long gone.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, Mikey said:

Jetgate was 19 years ago. Lowder is long gone.

That's true, but he was the ultimate alpha dog millionaire power broker. So if even he could swing and miss in such a public fashion, it wouldn't shock me at all if others with less power and control could as well

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, JuscAUse! said:

I'd like to respectfully disagree with you here. Nick purposefully chose a school that guaranteed he would never be involved with cheating. He could simply imply, insinuate, suggest, choose your adjective, and it would happen. I am 65. The running joke in my home town when I was 15 was that the NCAA got so pissed at UAT cheating they put Southern Mississippi on probation for 2 years. Lawyers, Judges, and politicians. Trust me. They have been great at this forever. 

 

So you came up under the *first* bammer god's reign, huh? Yeah, they've been "skirting the rules" pretty hardcore since at least Bear's tenure, probably since Wallace Wade was on the sidelines.

Side note for the board: In researching to see if Wallace Wade was the coach when Bear was playing (he wasn't, he left Tuscaloosa a few years before...Frank Thomas was Bear's head coach), I discovered that Auburn has the best winning percentage against Bama of any team in the current SEC. They have at least a .600 winning percentage against every other team, whereas with us it's like .560. Kinda depressing that no one else has been able to get a consistent upper hand on them, either, but I think we earn the badge of being their biggest rival for more than just being in the same state.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Mikey said:

If a bunch of millionaire power brokers wanted to get rid of Harsin he'd be gone. Someone started some rumors that had to be investigated but had it been the Big Boys that were after Harsin they wouldn't have swung and missed.

Maybe….they are still subject to the ramifications of public opinion….see Jetgate. Also, please reference Jetgate to confirm the big boys throwing their weight around.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, aubiefifty said:

Report: Auburn trustee Jimmy Rane denies booster meddling in Bryan Harsin probe

By Tom Green | tgreen@al.com
5-7 minutes

Bryan Harsin spring practice

Auburn coach Bryan Harsin watches his team scrimmage during spring practice on Saturday, April 2, 2022 in Auburn, Ala. Todd Van Emst/AU AthleticsTodd Van Emst/AU Athletics

Auburn’s offseason investigation into Bryan Harsin, and the public nature of the probe, thrust the school’s long-held reputation of booster meddling in athletics back into the spotlight in February.

The university conducted an internal investigation into Harsin’s handling of his first year as Auburn’s football coach in early February, throwing his status as head coach and the future of the football program into flux for more than a week as the saga spilled out into the public view. The inquiry nearly cost Harsin his job less than 14 months into his tenure, but then-president Jay Gogue announced Feb. 11 the university’s decision to retain Harsin and offered some insight into the investigation.

Read more Auburn football: Get to know Iowa State safety transfer Craig McDonald

Auburn lands commitment from Memphis defensive line transfer

Can Auburn flip five-star Alabama defensive back commit Jahlil Hurley?

While the saga has since been put to rest, with Harsin opening spring practice by noting his desire to move past it and shift focus back to rebuilding the program, the ordeal still produced lingering questions about the involvement of the university’s boosters in athletics-related personnel decisions — particularly when it comes to football. One of the school’s most prominent boosters, Board of Trustee member Jimmy Rane, on Thursday addressed that topic on Thursday night in Montgomery while speaking at a banquet to kick off his annual charity golf event, according to a report by the Montgomery Advertiser.

“Trustees don’t hire and fire football coaches,” Rane said, according to the Advertiser. “We hire and fire presidents. So, I’m not aware of any role the trustees played in that at all. I think there were questions that the administration had, and (Gogue) is the kind of a president that wants facts. He’s going to do thorough investigations, and so that was a providence of the administration. Certainly not the trustees.”

The investigation into Harsin began, in fact, with a statement from Gogue during the university’s February Board of Trustees meeting in Montgomery, when he — unprompted — addressed rumors that began circulating online the night prior.

“There have been a lot of rumors and speculation about our football program,” Gogue said toward the end of the board meeting on AUM’s campus. “I just want you to know we’re involved in trying to separate fact from fiction. We’ll keep you posted and make the appropriate decision at the right time.”

That statement — made by an outgoing president on the same day the Board of Trustees officially announced his replacement, Dr. Chris Roberts, who officially took over this week — was the catalyst of an eight-day saga that played out in the public view. Former players spoke out about their perceived treatment by Harsin and took umbrage with his handling of interpersonal relationships, while a large contingent of current players publicly supported the embattled coach, who also vehemently defended himself in an interview with ESPN while out of the country on vacation. For the better part of a week, Auburn endured a standoff within the football program, even resulting in a highly anticipated appearance by Harsin at the SEC’s annual coaches meeting in Birmingham in early February.

Allen Green AMBUSH Huntsville

When the dust settled and probe was completed, Gogue announced Harsin would be retained as Auburn’s coach. He enters Year 2 looking to rebound not only from the damage done by the offseason drama but from the program’s worst season since 2012 — a 6-7 inaugural season that ended on a five-game losing streak that prompted a staff overhaul.

“I wish him all the success in the world,” said Rane, a trustee since 1999 and the richest man in Alabama. “I hope he wins every game he plays. It’s a tough league. It’s a tough job for anybody, but I certainly wish him nothing but the best.”

The Harsin investigation was only the latest instance to produce questions of booster meddling in athletics matters at Auburn. During the search that ultimately led to Harsin’s hiring in December 2020, athletics director Allen Greene emerged from a behind-the-scenes battle, bucking the influence and wishes of some of the university’s most powerful boosters by hiring Harsin over their preferred candidate. Greene, as AL.com reported at the time, wanted to conduct a thorough search instead of hastily moving on a coach shortly after the firing of Gus Malzahn — another decision influenced by the program’s boosters.

There have been other instances over the years, including during Malzahn’s ebb-and-flow tenure as coach, that have fostered the university’s perceived reputation for booster meddling, which Rane addressed Thursday.

“I don’t know how to help people with their perception,” Rane told the Advertiser. “All I know is facts. And there’s enough rumor out there that people can make up anything they want to make up, but facts speak for themselves, and that’s just how things are done.”

Tom Green is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Tomas_Verde.

Just a rehash to entertain our brains

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, Auburn93 said:

Just a rehash to entertain our brains

it is really slow right now. it is getting harder and harder to find free articles. a lot of sites give you two or three freebies and then want you to sign up. if you see anything noteworthy post it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, au302 said:

That's true, but he was the ultimate alpha dog millionaire power broker. So if even he could swing and miss in such a public fashion, it wouldn't shock me at all if others with less power and control could as well

 

1 hour ago, tomcat said:

Maybe….they are still subject to the ramifications of public opinion….see Jetgate. Also, please reference Jetgate to confirm the big boys throwing their weight around.

What blew jetgate up? It was the public learning about it, thanks to Jay G. Tate at the Montgomery Advertiser. There has been no such confirmed knowledge of any Power Broker interference in the Harsin investigation. Kind of reminds me of the Cam Newton fiasco. Lots of people yelling "fire" when there's no proof of any fire.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Mikey said:

 

What blew jetgate up? It was the public learning about it, thanks to Jay G. Tate at the Montgomery Advertiser. There has been no such confirmed knowledge of any Power Broker interference in the Harsin investigation. Kind of reminds me of the Cam Newton fiasco. Lots of people yelling "fire" when there's no proof of any fire.

Do any of us doubt that Jimmy Rane loves Auburn?  He graduated from Auburn.  He sent his only son to auburn who also graduated from AU.  He sits on our board.  He gives so much money.   Go to a gymnastics meet, softball game, baseball game, football game -- what do you see on the scoreboard -- Yellowwood.   He donates so much $$$$.  As a recent example, see the new Tony and Libba Rane culinary arts building beside the FIJI house.  So then, why do some of us immediately label Jimmy a liar despite the lack of any evidence?  There are few things that are worse than attacking someone's character.   Why isn't someone who has done so much for Auburn not entitled to the benefit of doubt?   

  • Like 3
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

46 minutes ago, LPTiger said:

Do any of us doubt that Jimmy Rane loves Auburn?

Rather difficult not to come to that conclusion, you're right.

50 minutes ago, LPTiger said:

So then, why do some of us immediately label Jimmy a liar despite the lack of any evidence?  There are few things that are worse than attacking someone's character.   Why isn't someone who has done so much for Auburn not entitled to the benefit of doubt?   

Because that's the kind of thing we've gotten used to from our board of trustees. They have a history of being meddlesome. Rather difficult to believe they really sit on their hands with regard to programs which are as big a business as football and basketball are, especially after the expedience with which Bruce's wishes were taken care of when Louisville came knocking.

That's not to say it's always bad, and the Ranes, the Harberts, the Lowders, etc deserve access to the administrators of the college...and this is just PR. I don't think there's anything wrong with what Yella Fella, et al, has been doing, but don't pretend you've stayed on the sidelines completely in these matters.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I could be wrong but from what I read the investigation could have been started from Twitter.  By that I mean the administration said an investigation into the treatment of Auburn players by Harsin was commencing.  The administration could have simply been using tweets by disgruntled former players as evidence to start the investigation without any help from the power brokers.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Carnell said:

I could be wrong but from what I read the investigation could have been started from Twitter.  By that I mean the administration said an investigation into the treatment of Auburn players by Harsin was commencing.  The administration could have simply been using tweets by disgruntled former players as evidence to start the investigation without any help from the power brokers.

The way I understood it was that a couple of coaches/staff members said some things and the university was investigating, then someone leaked that it was going on and made everything look worse than it should have looked...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...