These were the word-for-word comments from Auburn president Jay Gogue, following Friday morning’s board of trustees committee meetings. It was Gogue’s first public statements to reporters since the start of Auburn’s 2-8 football season.
Your statement reflected you would address the football program after the season. Has that changed?
No, it has not.
What about the athletic director?
We review all the programs, including the administrative people, all the folks at the end of their competition, at the end of their season.
What have you heard from the fan base over the last month?
Just like all of us, they’ve been disappointed in the performance this year of the football team. That’s certainly legitimate. We all have (been disappointed). Like I said, at the end of the season, we’ll have a chance to sit down and review where we are.
Does the decision begin and end with you? How much input are you getting from the board of trustees?
It’s a decision I have to make. The board is in a policy role, and not into hiring individuals.
Will you take a recommendation from athletic director Jay Jacobs?
I will certainly listen to Jay’s recommendation.
How heavily will these final two games weigh on your decision?
You never know until the season’s over what you’ve got. So we will wait until the end of the season to review the program.
When you see Jordan-Hare Stadium empty out before the fourth quarter of three SEC games, does that make a statement?
Yeah, sure it does. Sure it does. It’s disappointing.
What are those concerns you made mention to a month ago?
Well, I would say I share the concerns that we haven’t performed on the field as well as I would have expected and as well as our fans would have expected.
Are you concerned about off-field things?
What’s your reaction to last week’s news that a private security firm was hired to help enforce player curfews?
I saw that in the newspaper. Whether or not it’s accurate, I have no idea.
What’s most important in assessing the athletic director?
We look at five things.
We look at how well our kids are doing academically, graduation rates, APR numbers, graduation success rates. If you look at those data, Auburn athletes only have five out of 580 that have below a 2.0. You have to feel very good about the academic performance of the kids. The average GPA of all athletes is a little over 3.0 So we look at the academic part. That’s critical.
No. 2, we look at how well we’re complying with the rules of the SEC and the NCAA. Do we have major violations? Have we had any? Those are the areas you look at.
The third area we look at, and it relates to some of the questions you asked earlier, how is the gameday experience? That means parking, that means concessions, that means a whole host of things. How well does the band do on that day, does the eagle fly good, a variety of things go into that gameday situation.
We look at whether you’re living within your budget. We look in the financial aspects of that.
Finally, we look at how well you play competitively.
Those are the five values we look at.
When’s the last time you’ve talked to coach Gene Chizik?
I saw him before the season started, and I ran into him, spoke to him after his mother died.
How was he doing then?
Well, his mother had died, so it was a tough time.
Can you foresee anything happening that would change your mind in waiting until the end of the season?
No. That’s what I’ve said all along.
Are you happy with the way this season has unfolded?
Well, I’d be foolish if I were happy with it. We’re not as competitive as I thought we’d be.