Photo by Jason Caldwell

Jason Caldwell's Friday Auburn Mailbag Column

Jason Caldwell of Inside the Auburn Tigers/ answers questions on Auburn sports in this edition of his Friday Mailbag column.

John Franklin (above) is trying to become AU's starting quarterback in his first season with the football Tigers.

Auchamps: Why has Auburn's swimming program declined? I realize it's still a good program, but it used to be elite.

No question that one of the biggest reasons is the loss of David Marsh. He’s one of, if not the best, coaches in the sport and his presence had a huge impact for the Tigers. Having other programs in the league put more money into the sport has had an impact as well, but I would say the loss of Marsh is the biggest thing.


Tunicatiger: A full athletic scholarship at Auburn equals how much money annually?

How many total athletic scholarships are available in:

baseball - .               softball - .                  volleyball - .                   (M/W) track and field - .                            

soccer - .                 gymnastics - .                  (M/W)tennis - .                              - (M/W) golf -                              

(M/W) Swimming .                                          

Does an out of state football or basketball player get a larger scholarship allotment than an in state player to cover the out of state tuition costs?

What would it take from a NCAA and title IV perspective for Auburn to add more scholarship sports (men or women) besides donations?

Let’s try to wade through these. A full scholarship equals around $24,000 for in-state, but with the cost of attendance stipend allowed it’s close to $30,000 I believe they are allowed to give for scholarships. Athletes from out of state on full scholarship have their additional tuition costs covered.

As for scholarships allowed, baseball is 11.7, softball is 12, volleyball is 12, men’s track and field is 12.6, women’s track and field is 18, soccer is 14, gymnastics is 12, men’s tennis is 4.5, women’s tennis is 8, men’s golf is 4.5, women’s golf is 6, men’s swimming is 9.9 and women’s swimming is 14.

Football and basketball scholarships are full ones so whether the athlete is from in-state or out-of-state they are the same for each athlete except for the book-keeping aspect from the university's perspective because out of state tuition is higher. As for what it would take to add more sports, Auburn would have to add another women's team if it is going to add a men's sport.


Tigertrainer: With our offensive line having some beef up front, Jovon being a workhorse, KJ being an all around back, two good fullbacks, and possibly the best D at Auburn since Malzhan got you think we are just a decent QB play away from having a special year?

I think it’s very similar to last season, but with what should be a better defense. Even with the struggles at quarterback last season and on defense, Auburn was in every game except for LSU a season ago. If the quarterback plays well I think this team has a chance to beat anyone on the schedule.


AUTD2: What's going on with Stephen Davis Jr? Does he not have his grades in order?

For a while it looked like he might end up at Auburn this summer, but that didn’t happen. I wouldn’t rule him out completely, but it looks like a situation similar to Marlon Character and Nick Coe where there are still some questions academically. If he is still working on his eligibility it wouldn't be a surprise if he enrolls in college in January.


Tigerpi: Do you see Martin contributing as a freshman and how big of a get was it getting him

I think Kameron Martin is someone who should make a strong contribution as a freshman because of his speed and the need at running back for the Tigers. While I don’t think he will be a guy that gets a large number of carries, I could see him getting five or six touches a game to make defenses have to respect him and his speed on the edge of the defense. Getting him was very important because of those two reasons I mentioned.


ATLtiger07: If you had to bet which program would have more success over the next four years, would you pick Auburn Football or Men's Basketball?

I would still pick football based on the history of the program, but there is no doubt in my mind that the basketball program is headed for better days. With the way the program is recruiting right now and the talent that should be on the team in the coming seasons, I think basketball is going to get back to the postseason and that would be a great start.


Howells: Percentage Character makes his ACT #?

I think it’s a pretty high percentage at the moment. He will have another chance to improve his score and doesn’t need much to get eligible. I would put his odds at better than 80 percent.


Aualum82: Moving to Auburn in the fall and would like your opinion on AU Club, Moores Mill, or Saugahatchee as far as golf course membership.  Is there one you like to consistently play over the others?

I don’t think you could go wrong with any of the courses right now. All are doing well. I play at AU Club for the most part and they are doing a great job of getting the course in excellent shape and have a lot of golf activities and other events. Having Jimmy Green running things means to me that the golf is going to only get better. With a really good restaurant, 24-hour workout facilities and pool, I like what it has to offer right now.


Justafanwde: Are you allowed to watch the vol. workouts and if so do you see any improvements to J F III accuracy?

I have watched parts of several workouts and the guys are really getting after it. Just seeing Franklin in those he definitely has a leader mentality and is always encouraging guys. I will be surprised if he doesn’t look better throwing the football just because of the reps alone.

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