Dye-Gest: Talking Football, Golf & More

Coach Football Hall of Fame coach Pat Dye writes about several topics in this edition of his Dye-Gest column.

I stopped by the Auburn football offices to see the coaches this morning and found they were on vacation now that their camps are finished, but some of the analysts were around. I asked one of them, Coach Bobby Bentley, how things were going and he said “really good,” so that was encouraging to hear.

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I also got a chance to meet the big offensive tackle, Darius James, who transferred to Auburn from the University of Texas, and he is a fine looking specimen. He has good look on his face and he was smiling.

I think the Tigers can thank former Auburn player Stacy Searels, who recruited James to Texas, for influencing him to come to this way because he has great respect for J.B. Grimes. I think Stacy would have liked to have brought him in at Virginia Tech where he is coaching now, but that didn’t work out. I know Stacy has a high opinion of the coaching he will get at Auburn from J.B. Grimes.

All of the freshmen in the signing class are now on campus and the coaches are excited about the group coming in and the way they are working. I think they have got players coming in the fans are going to be excited about and they are not all five-star guys.

When I did the news conference last week at the legislature in Montgomery about raising money for education in the state of Alabama through a lottery and gambling I got a lot of positive feedback, which was encouraging.

The first person I got a call from was Auburn’s athletic director, Jay Jacobs. He wanted to know what he could do to help because we are at such a disadvantage in the Southeastern Conference competing against the other teams in the league who supplement their rosters with athletes attending school on lottery-based scholarships.

The problem is the same at Alabama and every other college in the state. I know Alabama’s athletic director, Bill Battle, understands the issue, too, and I think there is interest there in getting together with Auburn to support the lottery scholarships like the ones in Georgia, Florida and other states. The two working together would have major influence, I believe.

Hopefully, something will be done this summer to make that happen. I don’t know why there would be any opposition to it among the legislators considering the financial problems the state has right now supporting education. We have something that would solve the problem and the legislators need to put it to a vote of the people in the state.

I like working outside at my place on the weekends, but I took some time to get out of the heat and watch the U.S. Open golf tournament, something I really enjoy. This year’s Open was really unusual seeing it played on a British Open type of course out in Washington State. It made the tournament very tough for the golfers and very interesting. The young American who is making a strong push to be the best in the world, Jordan Spieth, won it and that didn’t surprise me. In my opinion he is the top guy out there right now.

Another very talented American, Dustin Johnson, had a chance to win it. He has the skills to be the No. 1 player in the world, but has to learn how to close. What happened Sunday wasn’t the first time he has let an opportunity win a big tournament get away on the final hole.

In addition to the drama on the final hole there was some phenomenal golf played behind the winner by guys like Rory McIlroy, the world’s top-ranked player, and Louis Oosthuizen, who shot a 29 on the final nine holes on Sunday, which is an amazing score at the Chambers Bay course.

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