Barely two day after what will probably be the most memorable A-Day experience in Auburn's history, Jay Jacobs, Auburn University's athletic director, released a statement regarding the Roopstigo.com article published earlier this month. The function of this statement was to announce that after the very serious allegations leveled against the Auburn Football program by this article, Auburn conducted their own internal review and then presented their facts.
If you haven't already, you may read Jacobs' statement (here) and the investigation's response per individual allegation, which is found at the end of the athletic director's statement. However, one thing about all of this stood out to me the most and it was the Twitter hashtag found at the bottom of the page:
Get. The. Facts.
Well, what are the facts? According to Selena Roberts, the facts provided to her mostly by Mike McNeil and Mike Blanc are that Auburn has committed several acts of academic fraud, paying of players and potential recruits and was powerless against rampant drug use of a substance being imbibed by numerous athletes in the program.
What was Auburn's response to these facts? Well, its own facts in which it declared that after its own investigation, there was no academic fraud or paying of players and recruits and that it was aware of the drug and was acting swiftly to stem its use.
So what are the facts?
The facts are that barely two days after an amazing moment in which Auburn fans came together to celebrate at a special place one last time and for that to be on display for the entirety of college football, for the Auburn AD to put out a statement regarding those allegations is the most asinine and despicably, self-righteous maneuver I have ever seen.
Why? Why would you do something like that at a time like this? What possible purpose could it serve?
Instead of noticing the incredible support by college football fans all over and capitalizing on that moment by saying, "Hey, wasn't this great and wouldn't you like to experience this too? How about we talk to your program and get your team down here so you can enjoy this as well! I know Auburn would love to have you!"
Nope, what was the reaction we got? "Hey, this sure was something wasn't it? Oh hey, you remember that whole Selena Roberts article and what not? Yeah, totally not guilty, bro! High five!"
While Auburn may not have been immediately placed back in the good graces of everyone, there certainly wasn't anyone I saw that was saying, "This is cool and all but Auburn is still dirty as hell." I'm pretty damn certain that was all put to the side and Auburn got to be Auburn, and those not privy to our traditions gleaned a modicum of understanding. For me, as a fan, it was ground gained in aspects of what makes college football special and what makes Auburn football, and Auburn itself, particularly special.
There was a moment where everyone smiled, we said our heartfelt goodbyes and then Jay Jacobs came in, followed by Gene Chizik going on the radio and stating his case. That then lead to this:
And here we are again, Auburn. Instead of being this warm, inviting, small Southern town like so many believe we are, we've barred the gates, manned the walls and stand tall ready to defend at the smallest perceived slight.
Here's the facts:
Nothing has changed. Not a single damn thing.