The head football coach and Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs both noted that they are pleased with what Auburn president Ed Richardson announced on Thursday. Richardson stated that an on-campus investigation found no wrongdoing by any athletes or athletic department personnel concerning students taking directed studies/independent study courses. Richardson said the problem was an academic issue and athletics was thrown into the discussion in an effort to make the issue "newsworthy."
Richardson announced changes in how the directed studies courses will be taught and administered, but praised the athletic program even though the president said the committee is still trying to finish up loose ends by trying to contact people difficult to reach who aren't currently at AU.
"We are glad, as far as I am concerned," Tuberville said. "Athletically, it's to the point now where it looks like what I kind of felt all along that we are pretty much cleared from it. I am just proud of our academic people. I know them all and know how hard they work. They have taken some hits on this.
"Overall, your program is usually going to stand up to something like that and it did," Tuberville says. "I am proud of everybody who stayed with us. We'll put it behind us and go on."
When asked if he is puzzled why the story was even reported as a sports story and then sensationalized by the New York Times with a front page article, Tuberville said, "The fact, like anything else, college football in the South is pretty much the most recognizable thing that goes," he said. "To get it in the headlines, they obviously had to put us in there with it.
"You hate that you are going to get that type of publicity, and it lasted a month, but when it is all said and done we have been looked at pretty good and feel good about where we are at. Our guys work hard in the classroom and will continue to do it."
Jacobs, who like Tuberville was under a gag order on the subject from Richardson until Thursday, said, "As a former student-athlete and alum of Auburn with undergraduate and MBA degrees, I am as proud today as I have ever been of my education at Auburn University. All Auburn student-athletes, both current and former, should be as proud.
"Because of the president's leadership and adoption of the new policy concerning independent studies and directed readings, Auburn will be stronger and better than before this process began," Jacobs added.
"We in athletics support the academic mission of this university and will continue to move toward our goal of being the preeminent athletics department in the country. In reaching that goal, I can assure you we are going to do things the right way. Auburn people deserve nothing less."