Jason Whitlock, an outspoken black columnist who I enjoy reading, wrote an article for Fox Sports about Auburn's hiring of Gene Chizik. The article wanders around in an attempt to make several points with mixed results. However, there are a few extremely lucid comments including:
- 1. Tuberville is the real victim of this process. Not Turner Gill.
2. Whitlock feels that Gill wasn't ready for the Auburn job. Rushing him into a meat grinder job like that right now wouldn't be in his best interest. He essentially agrees with the Auburn AD who said that Gill wasn't the right "fit."
3. Whitlock is a former player at Ball State so he's pretty familiar with the MAC. He says that Gill could be a future super star in coaching, but it's still too early to tell. That the media hype around him exceeds his current resume. He suggests that the perfect next job for Gill might be TCU (when it opens) because that's where Gill is originally from.
4. Auburn would've been better off not interviewing him given the backlash they have received.
Auburn's problems aren't the Turner Gill vs. Gene Chizik comparison. It's the Tommy Tuberville vs. Gene Chizik comparison. So in that sense, Whitlock's point #1 is most accurate.
Charles Barkley was only half right in his tirades following the Chizik hire. As Barkley pointed out, Chizik was most certainly the least qualified man who interviewed for the job based on resume. However, that doesn't mean that Turner Gill was the most qualified guy. Statement A about Chizik's weak resume and 10 game losing streak is pretty much a fact while Statement B regarding Gill's resume is simply Barkley's opinion / preference.
Regardless, Auburn's process was a mess. Those screaming for a Rooney Rule in the wake of the Auburn debacle don't get what the Rooney Rule actually is. It's simply a mandate that NFL owners interview black candidates for jobs. It's not a mandate that they hire them. Auburn interviewed Gill and Rodney Garner. They were probably in more complete compliance for a hypothetical Rooney Rule than any SEC team in history.
It's just that the Chizik hire on its face is so staggeringly bad that you can't help but question the motives and thought process of everyone involved.
Note: If you're wondering, UGA formally interviewed Ray Sherman after Donnan left. We've had two black head basketball coaches, and we have a black athletic director. We're luckily on the moral high ground for this issue.