Tuberville Comments on "Bad Reporting"

Auburn, Ala.--Tommy Tuberville made it quite clear what he thinks about media outlets that reported he was going to be the next head football coach at the University of Arkansas or reports that he was talking to Arkansas officials about their job opening.

Using the phrase "bad reporting," the Auburn head football coach noted that he and members of his coaching staff who were on a hunting trip in West Helena, Ark., were surprised when they heard about those reports last Thursday night. One TV station even broke into its regularly scheduled program to report a news bulletin that Tuberville would be the next head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks.

"I happened to be in Arkansas that night," Tuberville notes. "We were at a deer camp--myself, three or four coaches and a bunch of friends. We go every year. It is not that I just happened to go this year. I usually go the week of Thanksgiving, but they moved the (Alabama) game back to Thanksgiving weekend so we go the next week.

"One of my best friends is a farmer," the coach says. "He always picks me up (via airplane) and some of the coaches. We go stay, usually just one night, hunt one afternoon, hunt the next morning and come back.

"We were sitting around the fire," Tuberville notes. "We just got through eating and we were getting ready to watch Green Bay, and somebody they were playing--maybe Dallas--and it came on the news that I accepted the job. We all just kind of turned around and looked at each other very slowly and kind of started laughing about it because that is how things started."

Tuberville notes he heard the same thing happened last year when Texas A&M coach Billy Gillespie, who is now at Kentucky, was reported by media in Arkansas as the new head basketball coach at the University of Arkansas.

Tuberville says the blame is on the media who did the reports and shouldn't be put on University of Arkansas officials. "It really had nothing to do with Arkansas officials," he said. "This was just rumors--rumors that get started on the internet and talk.

Tommy Tuberville hugs defensive line coach Don Dunn after Auburn's bowl victory over Nebraska to close last season.

The Auburn coach, who declined to comment publically last week, says he saw no need to even comment on the erroneous reports or his talks with AU officials. "There wasn't anything to talk about," he says. "I was never contacted by anybody else.

"There is no reason to go out and address something that is really not happening. The only thing that was really happening was our negotiations in terms of a two-year extension. I could have very easily said I just don't want two more years. Let's do four more years and nothing would have really changed. There wasn't anything out there I could have intelligently addressed because there was nothing there to it other than when are you going to make a decision on two years."

On Tuesday in New York City, Tuberville and Jay Jacobs wrapped up their talks and verbally agreed to a two-year contract extension that will run through the 2013 season. The men were there for the National Football Foundation's annual awards ceremony.

Tuberville, who will wrap up his ninth season as head coach of the Tigers , will take his team to Atlanta for the New Year's Eve Chick-fil-A Bowl to face Clemson. His Auburn record is 79-33.


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