Upon completion of an internal review into allegations made against the Auburn football program by Roopsitgo.com author Selena Roberts, athletic director Jay Jacobs promised a top-to-bottom external review of the athletics program via a committee.
That review has been completed and Jacobs has been given the support of university president Jay Gogue. In other words, nothing to see here, folks. As you were.
“Our review shows that overall, the Athletics Department is in good shape,” Mac Crawford, one of the six members of the review committee, said in a statement, “but there are some areas where improvements can be made and our committee believes Jay Jacobs knows how to make those improvements. Now it’s time to move forward, get to work, and become even more successful. Dr. Gogue has listened to our recommendations and I think that’s good news for Auburn and for Auburn Athletics.”
Specifically the review focused on: academic and support services for student-athletes; financial management; customer service; competition, including winning, sportsmanship and compliance; and management structure.
Auburn came under the microscope again this year when Roberts published a story in early April with a focus on former Tigers defensive back Mike McNeil detailing a wide variety of alleged violations, from academic misconduct to impermissible benefits. Auburn later put together an internal review debunking the allegations. ESPN also added to the allegations with piece chronicling a supposed synthetic marijuana problem in the program, though Auburn also fired back at that report.
Here’s what Gogue said in his open letter on Monday:
Dear Auburn Family,
The committee I appointed to review operations of Auburn Athletics as part of the Department’s annual evaluation has provided its findings. I’m grateful to members of the committee for their hard work, good thinking and dedication to helping Auburn Athletics move forward.
We asked the committee to review the Department’s total body of work with a focus on five areas: academic and support services for student-athletes; financial management; customer service; competition, including winning, sportsmanship and compliance; and management structure.
Athletics Director Jay Jacobs and I have talked in length about their recommendations. In general, they center on steps to improve overall operations of the Department, upgrade how we interact and communicate with fans and alumni, and enhance the game-day experience, on and off the field. Jay will talk in more detail about what’s in store, and I’m confident he will move forward to put in place a plan to give the Auburn family what we all expect.
There’s much to celebrate about Auburn Athletics, but there’s also room for substantial improvement. I look forward to Jay providing the leadership needed to make the necessary improvements.