Jump to content

CTT in the AJC

DKW 86

Recommended Posts


'The best I've felt about our total program ... since I've been here'

Tony Barnhart - Staff

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Under coach Tommy Tuberville, Auburn has gone 22-3 the past two seasons and has knocked off rival Alabama four consecutive times. But earlier this month, an Auburn sociology professor made charges that a colleague was awarding grades to students --- including Tigers athletes --- for little or no work, sparking a university investigation. Before he met the press at Friday's SEC media days, Tuberville sat down with AJC staff writer Tony Barnhart for a one-on-one chat.

Q: You said at the beginning of this process you weren't concerned about the potential negative impact the investigation could have on the football program. How do you feel now?

A: I said I'm not concerned about NCAA sanctions. This is an academic matter, and there are some academic issues that may have to be addressed at the end of this investigation. Until then, I'm really restricted on what I can say by our president. But what I will say is that if we're doing something wrong, please tell us. We'll change it because we're going to do things the right way at Auburn.

Q: Are you concerned the investigation, regardless of its findings, could hurt recruiting?

A: I really don't think so, but that's one reason we need to do a thorough investigation and get everything out there. It has already come up in recruiting, and we're going to have to deal with that.

Q: Do you believe these events will have any impact on this team and this season?

A: I really don't think it will bother this team. Our guys understand that this is an academic matter and that if adjustments need to be made, the university will make them. This is a pretty focused bunch.

Q: You won the SEC championship in 2004. If not for one bad game at LSU, you would have played for the title again last season. Is the program at the point where it can compete at the top of the SEC every season?

A: The key for us whenever we've had a problem or something that we felt needed addressing in the program, we dealt with it and improved things. We brought in Al Borges as offensive coordinator two years ago, and that has made a tremendous difference. We've had to hire three defensive coordinators in three years, but we've got a guy we really like in Will Muschamp. This is the best I've felt about our total program --- top to bottom --- since I've been here.

Q: What are your primary concerns about the team heading into preseason practice?

A: If our offensive tackles come through and [wide receiver] Courtney Taylor comes back and has a big year, we feel really good about our offense. We've got a few holes to fill on the defensive side, but we have some guys who have been waiting for an opportunity. I think they have a chance to be a quick, feisty bunch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...