Wednesday, December 19, 2007

FYI, FWIW ... and stuff

For anyone still deciding what to think about Tommy Tuberville's recent contract negotiation with Auburn --- and reports that linked him with head-coaching vacancies at other schools --- here's something else to consider. It's a letter written by Tuberville attorney Jere Beasley. It was published in the Birmingham News, in response to a column by Ray Melick.

Ray Melick,

I read your column last Saturday and was a little surprised at some of your observations. As you know, I have represented Coach Tuberville since 2004 and still do. The contract that was agreed to is a good one for Auburn and for Tommy. I gather you haven't read the entire contract.
I also want to clear up what appears to be the impression that Tommy was considering a move to another school. That is totally incorrect. At no time to my knowledge was there any contact with another school directly or indirectly. Tommy and his family are Auburn residents and I expect that to be the case until Tommy retires from coaching. I fully expect Auburn to be his last stop in coaching.
Tommy is the type of person that any school would want as its head football coach. He is an outstanding coach, runs a clean program, will never do anything to bring discredit to either Auburn or himself, and is a good family man who has his priorities in order. I wouldn't swap him for anybody in the business. This may not have anything to do with football in the opinion of some people, but the fact that Tommy has a relationship with his lord and savior is another reason I am very happy that he is the Auburn head football coach and will be for years to come.
Finally, I want to say something in defense of Jay Jacobs, who negotiated the amendment to the prior contract and did it in the right way. Jay kept the negotiations quiet and dealt with Tommy in a confidential and professional manner. There was never any reason to believe that an extension wouldn't be worked out.
I can say the same thing about Jay that I said about Tommy. It's my opinion that Auburn's athletics programs are in good hands. I have read some of the comments concerning Jay and even heard some of the stuff on the talk shows - and all I can say is that Auburn folks should consider themselves extremely fortunate to have Jay.
It's time for all Auburn folks to get on the same page and start pulling together. Once that happens - and I believe it will now - Auburn's future will overshadow anything done in the past.

Jere Beasley,

My take?
Auburn people --- and those of us who cover these matters for a living --- are to be forgiven for cynicism. Me thinks there's plenty of culpability among powers that be at Auburn, Tuberville agent Jimmy Sexton et al.
Cynicism could very well be justified in this case, too. Could be that no one but those directly involved will ever know for sure, unless more facts surface.
There's a funny thing about ubercynicism, however. It can fly to the right of reality, sometimes way to the right. Tuberville, Jacobs and all could be telling the truth in this case, and highly cynical minds would never hear it.
High cynicism can be a bias all its own, wearing the clothes of objectivity, and the truth-seeking mind can defeat itself. I think it's best to keep minds open until verifiable facts close them.

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