Fiu's DAILY Cavalcade of
Chizik, Gill, and the Race Card ... Dec. 24
Frank Costanza's Festivus Airing of the Grievances OR ... The obvious attempt to keep readers coming to the site on a
regular basis during the off-season.
What's your beef? ... Fire
This Week's Whimsies: Tuesday -
Holiday Wish List For All
Instead of the Cavalcade going on an eight-month hiatus, from here on
throughout the off-season this will be a daily column of sorts with one
or two musings, blurbs, thoughts, or madcap moments of reflection every
Monday through Friday, or whenever the mood strikes.... MERRY CHRISTMAS!
"I'm used to seeing
people promoted ahead of me ... friends, co-workers, Tibor. I never
thought it'd be my own wife." ...
If you want to fire on
Auburn’s hiring of Gene Chizik, fine. The guy was 5-19 as the Iowa State
head coach and has done absolutely nothing to show that he deserves to
get the bump up to a higher-profile gig like Auburn. But if you’re going
to throw race into the mix and say that Chizik got hired, and current
Buffalo head man Turner Gill didn’t, because of skin color, then step up
and fire. Don’t insinuate and don’t imply; man up and actually use the
word racist, and take the consequences that come with it.
It’s one thing to wonder aloud whether or not race turned out to be a
factor in Chizik’s hiring, it’s the media’s job to openly question every
aspect of an outside-the-box move like this, but it’s another to call
Auburn racist without actually calling the program racist. Several
columnists, talking heads, and talk show hosts are doing everything to
imply that race had something to do with this, but no one outside of
Charles Barkley is actually being held accountable for making the
accusation despite not saying the words needed to actually make the
Whether or not you believe Barkley was out of line with his criticisms,
at least he came out and said what he felt. It’s not that he originally
said that Chizik was hired over Gill because “race was the No. 1
factor,” it’s that he didn’t have any proof, despite having an inner
knowledge of Auburn athletics like few do, and that he felt the need to
backtrack. For Barkley and several other media types to blame Auburn for
not hiring Gill because of skin color is the epitome of irresponsible
journalism without diving into the situation to see if AU President Jay
Gouge has a history of hiring based on race, or if there have been any
other instances remotely comparable to this one. It's sort of like the
steroid issue. If Barry Bonds, and others accused of juicing up, are
clean, then where are the defamation of character lawsuits? If Auburn
didn't hire Gill because of skin color, then someone will start filing
the motions yesterday.
Of course, figuring out whether or not Gouge hired Chizik because he’s
white is impossible to do without a lie detector and a shot of sodium
pentothal, but If you're going to make the claim that skin color was a
factor, then you have to have enough conviction to say or write the
words, “Auburn University hired Gene Chizik because he is white, and it
didn’t hire Turner Gill because he isn’t. Therefore, the people who
hired Chizik are racists, and the University should take the proper
action to rectify the situation.” But no one’s going to do that,
although Barkley came close.
Race is always going to be in the equation in a case like this
considering the shameful past of many SEC programs once
used football as a tool to promote an agenda of hate and ignorance.
That's why everyone and anyone who continues to write and talk about
this situation has to be extremely responsible to all the parties
involved. Auburn, and the rest of the SEC, have come a long, long
way from where things were at not all that long ago.
Is this fishy? Absolutely. This is one of the most bizarre hires in
recent college football history at almost every level. Do I think race
had anything to do with Gill not being hired? No, but considering the
woeful lack of minority college football head coaches it wouldn't be a
shocker. However, every insider I’ve talked to insists that this whole
controversy was a perfect storm of tough and ill-timed coincidences with
race having nothing to do with the final decision.
Had Auburn hired Texas Tech’s Mike Leach, or a big-name head coach or a
top coordinator over Gill, there would be no controversy. Isn’t it
possible that Gill, who has done wonders for Buffalo but whose team
wasn't that great, plain and simply got beaten out for the job,
even though by all accounts Gouge came away from the interview
impressed? Isn’t it possible that Auburn wanted someone with Auburn ties
and that Chizik, who’s known for being able to run great defenses, was
what Gouge was looking for? Isn’t it possible that race has nothing to
do with the reason that Syracuse, Nebraska, the team Gill played for,
and others haven’t hired Gill yet, and that Auburn just so happened to
be in the center of the controversy because it made a surprise hire? You
don’t think that hiring Gill would’ve been the far easier thing to do?
The race angle is important to discuss and explore as the current hot
button issue, and hard questions need to be asked. But find the story.
Keep pressing Gouge and Gill until a satisfactory answer is found. Don't
get lazy with such an important topic.