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Back when it was so smart to say terrible things about Bobby Lowder, I fiound it easy to defend a man who in my mind did what he did because he thought it was necessary and wasn't being done by those that had the responsibility. As a trustee, that wasn't so far from his duty. Outside of the contestants, lost in Florida or Kentucky, not a student of Auburn football, could have been all wet. But, never heard a reason why I may have been all wet about this great friend of Auburn Athletics. Like to see him steering the plan for the resurection of the Auburn Football Program. Frankly, the ones who are in charge of the plan to bring Auburn back to a power just don't impress with what they are doing. Waiting two more weeks for the sameolesameole to make any kind of a plan just wastes time. Think Gogue may be doing it just to prove he can?
Gogue is heavily involved but he won't be making the decision without a lot input from others.
Bobby Lowder's only sins in my mind were overstepping his bounds. Instead of doing the jobs of AD's and Presidents he should have insisted on having qualified individuals in those positions and let them do their jobs. I see history somewhat repeating itself now, only there is not a Bobby Lowder involved. It looks like the President is going to try to do the AD's job for him.
Just remember BL started this mess when he hated on buster brown and then decided that CTT was to comfortable in his skin at AU and prompted jet gate..
Good reminder, chief. Folks pining after the Lowder days need to remember that we're still watching the dominoes fall. Really, this goes as far back as President Philpott denying Coach Jordan's request to be athletics director AND football coach. Philpott said one or the other. Jordan was embittered until his death, and he used that bitterness to needle Philpott as a trustee. That's right: Gov. Wallace appointed a retired Coach Jordan to the board. Where Philpott had always resisted pressure from single trustees or a minority of trustees, the Jordan tenure on the board marked a turn in an "active" board minority. Philpott retired earlier than he would have. The 1980 search was a divisive debacle that gave us Hanly Funderburk, who did as he was told and made Pat Dye an AD/coach. Soon after, Bobby Lowder was a trustee. He never approached that position as anything other than as a super-CEO who could pressure Auburn presidents, vice presidents and athletics directors to do his bidding or that of a small group of boosters. That's simply not the way a university should run, but Auburn ran that way for a lot of years. See Dye's exit. Bowden's squirrely hiring (and Bowden being forced to keep Wayne Hall: Muse had ordered him not to; Michael McCartney threatened Muse to back off). Bowden's exit (Phillip remembers that Wednesday-Thursday story well, I'm sure). Tommy's hiring. Tommy's repeated firings/renegotiations and finally he's actual firing. (Though he "resigned" only to be paid the buyout. Insult us, please, Jay Jacobs.) The SACS probation. The Muse-Walker-Richardson revolving door. Housel's hiring, only to be neutered from the outset when he wanted to hire MIke Brey. Lowder gave us Cliff Ellis. (See what Brey is STILL doing at Notre Dame.) Housel becoming the sacrificial lamb on Jetgate. Richardson's constant bluster, from his stupid interview about "what TOmmy has to do to keep his job" in 2004 to his self-serving interview with Scarbinsky last week. Small-minded little Napoleon, he is. How 'bout the Jacobs hiring over the other finalists. Can't say Jay wasn't qualified. But Auburn has a knack for doing national searches and finding the "Best" candidate right down the hall. It all runs together. It's hard to nail down cause and effect. But let's know this: If you want the Lowder way back, remember the turmoil. And recognize that we're still dealing with the outfall.
I have to assume those singing Lowder's praises never actually had to work under his leadership. I know quite a few who have, and none of them speak highly of 'all the great things he did for AU'.
Auburn University is a publicly-funded institution. It should never be under the control of any one man, especially in a position where he is beholden to no one. Lowder took a job specifically limited to 12 years and held it uninterrupted for nearly three decades, and used his financial and political clout in the state to pack the BOT with lackeys who would follow his orders.
Sure, he had the money and the power to 'get things done', but he frequently used his influence towards fulfilling personal whims. He is the author of the dysfunction we have now, not just in the Athletic Department and on the football field, but in the University at large.
Fortunately, his current influence has waned as his financial empire has crumbled (perhaps if he had spent less time conducting vendettas against faculty he didn't like, or jamming fax machines to prevent opposing BOT candidates from getting votes, his bank may not have been one of the largest in US history to fail?) Unfortunately, the people who he put in place to do his bidding are still around, and the results speak for themselves.
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