Most Auburn fans were angry when they got the word Friday that the NCAA was stepping in to put a stop to Tiger Prowl. Don't be mad. Take it as a compliment. Auburn coaches got creative and did some outside the box thinking. That irritates the suits in Indianapolis more than rolling Toomer's Corner on a warm summer afternoon with a handful of recruits.
The NCAA doesn't like free thinkers. They like order takers. When you have success at something they take it away. Let's hope this rule change attributed to Auburn is the first of many to come. It means things are being done right on the recruiting trail - so right that rules must be written to stop it.
Kevin Scarbinsky said it best in his Birmingham News column yesterday, "Good recruiters follow the rules. Great recruiters change them."
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that's the case, Auburn coaches should all be blushing today. Following the second round of Tiger Prowl - sorry Coach Chizik, I know you don't like to refer to it as that - several other schools have followed suit and begin using some of Auburn's tactics.
Last week, following a visit by six Auburn assistants in limousines to Carver High School in Columbus (Ga.), University of Georgia coaches followed behind later in the week with a visit to the school by six of its assistant coaches. Not to be outdone, Florida State arrived later in the week with four of its coaches. All are chasing highly touted recruits Gabe Wright and Isaiah Crowell.
The new rule change accomplishes exactly what Auburn coaches wanted anyway. It draws more attention to the program. It was just a matter of time before everyone else got in on the action. Who cares if they stop it now? Auburn's primary objective is complete.
Something tells me Chizik, Trooper Taylor and Curtis Looper are already scheming for next year. There's nothing wrong with pushing the envelope. Give Nick Saban and Urban Meyer credit. They all have been on the receiving end of NCAA rule changes because of their actions. Chizik is in good company.
Tiger Prowl has been a sight to see these past few weeks. Despite a national championship, Alabama fans see red at the mere mention of the term. Judging from talk radio, it's sometimes hard to believe that the school to the north is the reigning champions. Auburn continues to get all the press.
Year two of the Chizik era is progressing along nicely. By the way, whatever happened to that Tuberville guy?