Players Say They Believe In Tommy Tuberville

Two Auburn football players comment on Coach Tommy Tuberville's announcement that he will be back as Auburn's head football coach.

Auburn, Ala.--There were many people who were wondering how the Auburn coaching situation would shake out after Monday's meeting between Coach Tommy Tuberville, President William Walker and Athletic Director David Housel, but Junior Rosegreen was not one of those people.

Close to Tuberville on and off the field, the junior from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., says there was never any doubt in his mind that his coach would be back next season.

"Being that me and him have a relationship, I knew he was going to be here because I knew what it was going to take to get him out of here," Rosegreen says. "They weren't with that."

While Rosegreen never waivered in his support and thoughts that Tuberville would return, there was little doubt that Auburn officials looked around for a possible change in head coaches and the place they looked was Louisville and former Auburn offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino. A friend of both Tuberville and the program, Rosegreen says he doesn't blame Petrino for talking with Auburn because he believes he was led to believe something that wasn't true.

"I know Petrino," Rosegreen says. "He's a good man. I know they had to boost him up and tell him something to make him want to come. They thought they had to tell him that Coach Tuberville had to resign because he was sick or something. That's the only thing that would bring him over here because Bobby Petrino likes this program and he gets along with all of us. When he found out that wasn't the deal he turned it down and I know him and Coach Tuberville had a pretty good relationship, too."

Junior Rosegreen leaves no doubt that he stands squarely behind Coach Tuberville.

Rosegreen had nothing but positives to say about the Auburn program under the direction of Tuberville. While he notes that nobody is happy with this season's 7-5 record and that will have to improve, he says that the players are excited about having Tuberville calling the shots.

"He's a players coach," Rosegreen says. "You can go in his office anytime and talk to him. He's like a father to everybody. He plays jokes and is not stuck up like some of these other head coaches where you can't even go in their office. You can go in his office and talk about whatever. That's what I like about him."

While Rosegreen has learned about the Auburn program since he got to the AU campus, junior defensive end Bret Eddins has been following Tiger football since he was old enough to walk. The son of former Auburn player Liston Eddins and a starter this season, the younger Eddins says that it was a relief to find out for sure that Tuberville would be back next season after he found out that Walker, Housel and company were looking into replacing Tuberville before next season.

"I think everybody felt like this year was a disappointment to the Auburn family as a whole, but by no means did that mean anybody needed to be replaced," Eddins says. "I think the way the Ole Miss and the Georgia game went, as much as you don't want to be distracted, you're going to be to a degree. Once you start playing and practicing it kind of goes out of your head. I think for it to get to that point was a surprise to a lot of the guys. It was a disappointment, but there was no need to take it that far."

Despite the talk of Tuberville getting emotional during the Tiger Walk before the Alabama game and his added fire the week of the game Eddins says that the coaches did a great job of keeping the rumors from spreading among the team heading into the Iron Bowl. Eddins adds that's one thing he admires and respects about Tuberville and his staff and the way they do things on the field.

Bret Eddins

"He does a good job of keeping an even keel around the players," Eddins says. "I like that about him. He's the kind of coach that whether things are going good or bad you can look to him to be the leader. I think a lot of emotional coaches that are real fiery, when things start going bad the players look to them and it's like, ‘I don't know what you want me to do.' He doesn't let emotion affect the way he coaches."

The Tigers now turn to the future with Tuberville at the helm. While the wins on the field haven't come as often as anyone would like this season, Rosegreen says that this team is a winner off the field because of Tuberville and his coaching staff and what they have instilled in Auburn players since they arrived five seasons ago.

"He's a good man," Rosegreen says. "If you really look at the graduation rate, we've been graduating a lot of people. We haven't been having any trouble. You don't see names in the newspaper that often about shootings or anything. If you look at the past, Auburn had problems with that. He made examples out of players like that. He either suspended them or got rid of them. You need a good leader like that around this program."

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