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Auburn played LSU game with ‘heavy heart’

Gene Chizik AP

For 60 minutes Saturday, Auburn left everything it had on the Jordan-Hare Stadium turf against the No. 2 team in the country.

As it turns out, the Tigers played the game with a heavy heart.

In the first remarks in his opening statement following the 12-10 loss to LSU, head coach Gene Chizik announced that student assistant coach Joe Bagwell passed away suddenly Saturday prior to kickoff.  He was just 23 years old.

“It is with a very heavy heart for myself and a lot of our players and a lot of our coaches right now. The young man, who was a student assistant (coach) with us, in football passed away shortly before the game unexpectedly, and it is very tragic,” Chizik said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family.”

Neither the cause of death nor the circumstance’s surrounding the young man’s passing have been released.

Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to Bagwell’s family, friends and the entire Auburn football program.

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29 Responses to “Auburn played LSU game with ‘heavy heart’”
  1. southernpatriots says: Sep 23, 2012 8:48 AM

    JT: My wife told me you had posted this story so I will leave my grill and come and thank you. I was wondering how to post my sorrow and condolences to Coach Chizik and the Auburn team. I will pray for the Bagwell family and Auburn at church this morning.

    It is absolutely incredible that Coach Chizik and his team played so well in the midst of such sorrow at the loss of their student assistant coach Joe Bagwell.

    My condolences to the Bagwell family and to the Coach Chizik, the Auburn War Eagles/Tigers, and all the friends of Joe Bagwell.

  2. Deb says: Sep 23, 2012 8:58 AM

    Deepest condolences to the Auburn football family and to the family and friends of this young man. Much respect to the football team for playing such a disciplined, passionate game in the wake of this loss.

  3. cometkazie says: Sep 23, 2012 9:00 AM

    I can’t say anything more appropriately than SP and Deb have.

  4. WingT says: Sep 23, 2012 9:01 AM

    I too wish to pass on my condolences to the Joe Bagwell family, Coach Chizik and the Auburn team.

    May they all find comfort during this tragic time.

  5. parkcityute says: Sep 23, 2012 9:10 AM

    Oh no! What happened? Auburn’s student assistant coach? He was a young man, right? Was it a traffic accident? Man, that is terrible. The game was a great defensive battle. LSU just about threw it away, but their defense came through. I would have never known the team or their coach was going through this. I am sure sorry to hear of this. I must have missed the announcement during the game.

    I send my condolences to the Auburn family and this coach’s family.

  6. rsmeans says: Sep 23, 2012 9:23 AM

    I am not an Auburn fan by any stretch of the imagination and they still have a lot of problems to sort out. However, they are considerably underrated and will get better as the year goes on. They really have not played that badly only losing to MSU on the road, Clemson on the road and LSU at home. I see no way they can beat Alabama or UGA but may very well win the rest of their games.

  7. lowtalker says: Sep 23, 2012 12:09 PM

    who are the idiots giving a thumbs down to these first six posts?

  8. cometkazie says: Sep 23, 2012 2:04 PM

    lowtalker says:
    Sep 23, 2012 12:09 PM
    who are the idiots giving a thumbs down to these first six posts?

    Friends of the whack-o that poisoned Auburn’s oaks.

    And not any brighter.

  9. Deb says: Sep 23, 2012 2:31 PM

    @cometkazie …

    I don’t know about that. Quite a few of the down-thumbing whackos on this site would not align with Updyke.

  10. Deb says: Sep 23, 2012 2:32 PM

    All kinds of crazy in the world, my friend. It’s not always about team allegiance.

  11. WingT says: Sep 23, 2012 6:08 PM

    Thumbs down are sometimes given simply because the poster is not liked and has nothing to do with their comment.

    LOL, this site is some kind of fornicated up, lol

  12. Deb says: Sep 23, 2012 10:05 PM

    @WingT …

    And that Death-by-Thumbs thing speaks volumes about the maturity–not to mention the mental health–of the thumb-wielders 😉

    Fornicated up is right LOL

  13. stairwayto7 says: Sep 23, 2012 10:52 PM


  14. suprmous says: Sep 24, 2012 2:11 AM

    That’ll take the wind outa your sails for sure. My prayers and thoughts are with the folks at Auburn and with this young man’s family and friends. Another youngster taken in the prime of his youth. Never gets easier in acceptin death whether it be a youngun or somebody as old or older than me. God bless this new angel you’ve brought up to you Home and may you give him and his family peace and understandin as to why you took him so soon.

  15. cometkazie says: Sep 24, 2012 8:03 AM

    I know the people I pay attention to and don’t always agree with, but I respect their opinions.

    The site isn’t fornicated up but some of the contributors are.

    I will remember the game the kid with the Ravens had last night after losing his kid brother the night before. It shows a lot.

    Has the cause of death of the asst. coach been released?

  16. southernpatriots says: Sep 24, 2012 8:51 AM


    Good breakfast for all the evacuees this morning. A egg producer donated and brought to us 100 dozen eggs, all fresh this morning. It has been many years, sad to say, that I have had fresh eggs, layed this morning. We’re through with breakfast and volunteers are cleaning up so I can sit down now. We had stone ground grits from Helen, GA which still have the germ in them, FAR superior to store bought varieties. Just takes cooking longer but much heartier.

    I made several phone calls and sent even more emails inquiring about the 23 year old young man from Huntsville. The most I could learn to this point was that he had been suffering from something he had for some time. No one either knows or is telling at this time what it was. Chizik said to several local reporters who inquired that it was not “unexpected” though he said to national media that it was a “shock.”

    So far, the folks in Auburn are much more discreet about Joe Bagwell’s illness and/or cause of death, than most coaches are about the health or injury of their players. I have emailed Dr. Emmert at the NCAA recommending that he issue a blanket policy and rule for all NCAA member school and athletic departments. Adhere to the HIPAA guidelines and federal regulations which pertain to all hospitals, doctors, and health care professionals.

    We have had to have patients to sign releases just to transfer information to a specialist or to make a copy for another file. Why can’t colleges follow the same privacy concerns when their players are concerned and tell Vegas to jump in a south Louisiana swamp? Reporters will adjust quickly to no reports on injury, especially if they know the coaches CANNOT release that information.

    The best line on this thread so far is by WingT:

    “Thumbs down are sometimes given simply because the poster is not liked and has nothing to do with their comment.”

    I have never given thumbs down on CFT, with two exceptions: One was a blatant racist expressing racist and bigoted statements and JT banned the poster recently. The other was a year ago when my sister posted a thumbs down concerning a posting that was from a poster we don’t have on CFT any longer (I think?) who posted all Louisianans were %$^&*….. and if I recall correctly I believe she posted to that bigot that she gave thumbs down to the comment.

    A food processor in New Iberia wants to make a donation, after the local news reported on what we were doing. I will have to go to New Iberia today to pick up at least some of the items so we can have them for lunch and dinner preparations. I am going to pass by and maybe stop in at Steen’s and Tabasco to see if they suffered any hurricane damage. I hope not.

    My friends in Alabama will let me know when info is released by the family or by Auburn about Joe Bagwell, and if they approve of its general release. If they allow, I will post it.

  17. cometkazie says: Sep 24, 2012 9:25 AM

    Thanks, SP. I agree. Maybe a suit or two for HIPAA violations would restore some semblance of sanity. Vegas rules the NFL and has too much effect on the NCAA as well. Isn’t sports betting illegal most places?

    How are things in the Lower Wetlands as far as lingering effects of Isaac? It seems to be off the media map now that things have settled down. Most of my friends are in the BR metro area.

    Things are perking up here. The vice-presidential debate will be held about 1.5mi from my home. A big deal for at least a day or two.

    I would love to try those grits.

  18. blueinok says: Sep 24, 2012 10:28 AM

    My condolences and prayers to the Bagwell and Auburn families. It is indeed heartbreaking to lose someone so young.

    As to the thumbs down – wouldn’t surprise me that some are aethiest who while demanding we respect their right to have no God, they do not respect our right to worhsip our God.

  19. Deb says: Sep 24, 2012 11:52 AM

    @cometkazie …

    Thanks for helping me regain my sense of perspective. You’re right, it’s not the site … it’s a handful of visitors. And in their case, it’s best to remember the wisdom of Dr. Seuss: “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

    Although as a Steelers fan, I root against the Ravens, I was moved by Torrey Smith’s performance last night and his humble remarks at the post-game press conference. His brother was only 19 and Joe Bagwell just 23. Life is too short and too precious to devote a moment of it to petty strangers.

  20. Deb says: Sep 24, 2012 3:06 PM

    But the petty strangers never fail to disappoint. And even if you never personally thumbs-down someone else … or so you say … when you organize or allow a group of bullies to do so on your behalf, without provocation, it’s an even bigger act of cowardice.

  21. WingT says: Sep 24, 2012 7:23 PM

    You just gotta love this site :)

    College footbal brings out the passion in so many fans and stupidity as well :)

  22. southernpatriots says: Sep 24, 2012 8:01 PM

    Auburn University was bound by federal law not to reveal the medical history of Joe, so they did not. His medical history was revealed by the Huntsville Times and his father.

    Posted by JT on a different, though related, thread, JT accurately quotes Joe’s father and The Huntsville Times. Joe was born with about 1/2 of a heart, requiring 3 heart operations by the time he was 3 yrs. old. He could not play football, but wanted so much to be part of the Auburn football team, somehow, somewhere. He made his desire known to Coach Tummerville and found a place under Coach Chizik. He was there to be an important part of the national championship year and this was a great joy to him, according to his father.

    “It was Jesus first, Auburn second and studying third,” Joe D. Bagwell, his father, told..”

    Our prayers and church’s prayers remain with Joe’s family, his friends, his team and all.

    What a great testimony and inspiration to us all.

    May Joe’s inspiration resound throughout the War Eagle Nation, throughout Alabama, the United States, and the world.

  23. parkcityute says: Sep 24, 2012 8:14 PM

    Why didn’t Chizik reveal the reason in his press interview when he mentioned Joe’s death? Was it the HIPAA? restrictions?

    I was so sorry to hear of his untimely death. My prayers are with all concerned. As southernpatriots posted, what an “inspiration.”

  24. cometkazie says: Sep 24, 2012 8:30 PM

    How do colleges and pros get around the HIPAA regulations on confidentiality of the medical conditions of their athletes?

    Do the players sign waivers? It seems to me a trainer telling a reporter that Speedy George sprained his ankle violates the regulations.

    This young man was not a player. My question is about the players.

    It is good that his dad saw fit to release the info preventing nasty rumors.

  25. southernpatriots says: Sep 24, 2012 8:57 PM


    Your concerns were well founded. The rumors had already started. Joe’s father may have heard of some of them since they were on Alabama radio, and maybe on some others. Family friends in Alabama heard them and called me today to see if I had confirmation. I told them I thought they were vicious rumors and then they told me the source and stations and I knew it was. Sad that rivalries carry fans (and fan talk radio) to such extremes.

    I knew myself and colleagues and everyone in the health care and medical community are covered under HIPAA. I found out that HIPAA does not cover universities, schools, and related educational facilities and students but a related federal law covers them: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. It acts just like HIPAA but also covers other information about students, financial aid information, etc. That is being technical, but it is accurate.

    I wonder how coaches and others release a student-athlete’s medical or health status. I think they must sign a release when they join the program for that. If so, they need to stop signing the releases and the NCAA needs to clamp down on that invasion of privacy and personal information released for the sake of gambling interests in Vegas.

  26. cometkazie says: Sep 24, 2012 9:17 PM

    Thanks for the summation, SP.

    Makes sense.

  27. parkcityute says: Sep 24, 2012 9:33 PM


    My family and I live a sheltered and isolated life in the Rockies!

    I learn so much reading your postings. I don’t know you and your family but I feel like I do. I loved your redbeans and rice recipe. I made it many times since and my family and friends all love it. Will you post another recipe soon so I can have that for the holidays coming up?

    So it is not HIPAA but the “Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act” that prohibits (or is supposed to prohibit) schools from releasing personal and medical information about their students. I should’ve known if HIPAA did not cover it, some other federal law did.

  28. suprmous says: Sep 24, 2012 11:56 PM

    Records aren’t supposed to be gotten into by anyone other than those who the record holder assigns privledge to. That’s what’s wrong with the system: too many pryin eyes and access from those that go in and look that call themselves employees who actually will accept payment for findin out what info they can and passin it on. Give ya a good example and tho it fits elsewhere I’ll drop it after postin it. Years ago when I was livin and workin in Atlanta (yep showin my age again) Steve Bartkowski, the Falcons QB, messed up his elbow in a game. They took him to one of the hospitals there in the City rather than out of the public eye. At the same time a very dear friend’s grandmother was in the same hospital. One particular day I was walkin aroun waitin for my friend’s grandmother to come back to her room. Ironically, Bart’s room was like 2 or 3 doors down from her’s. On the door of his was 6 legal sheets of paper taped and a pen for his fans to write messages on. As I stood there waitin I couldn’t help but to notice a couple of females who didn’t look like they knew anything at all about nursing. All they had to do was bat their eyelashes at the Security Guard and he let em go straight in without as much as askin for their hospital IDs than I’m sittin in Mars. For what they had on as uniforms was even more of a dead give away. But anyways, I was still standin and waitin when they came out. As they got past me I couldn’t help but to notice they went straight to the pay phone and told whoever they called that it was a piece of cake and they got it. Whatever the other party said had both of em gigglin and blushin. On a footnote, they couldn’t have been family because Bart came from California.

    Point bein I guess if somebody wants info bad enuff they’ll find a way to get it. Ok Good People, all of ya take care and have a good wk.

  29. kozbee says: Sep 27, 2012 10:51 PM

    Best to the Bagwell family,23 yr old such a loss of a young life.(IWARY) RIP.

    As for the game WAR EAGLE to the team for a great game and to the fans of Auburn and a good defense game from LSU…

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