Earlier today we told you that Auburn’s six-person panel looking into the the school’s athletic department had generally given AD Jay Jacobs good marks, though they did find “room for substantial improvement.” With the backing of the committee and president Jay Gogue, Jacobs now says he’s ready to start fixing an athletic department that’s recently suffered through a shocking drop in football, ongoing struggles in basketball, and a barrage of bad press off the field.
Speaking yesterday, Jacobs said Gogue’s “expectations are high” but that he intends to meet them:
“What comes next sits squarely on my shoulders…
I think that in the business we’re in, your job is always on the line. I think I’m going to be here for a while, and I look forward to the challenge of taking this program where Dr. Gogue and I and all the Auburn fans expect it to be. I’m up for the challenge. I’m ready to move forward.”
He won’t be moving forward alone.
Not only did his boss put together a panel to review Jacobs’ running of the AU athletic department, it turns out he also hired JMI Sports as consultants to aid Jacobs. That hire was made back in December.
JMI Sports says its company mission is to “increase revenue, reduce costs, recruit and retain top coaches and administrators, mitigate risk by identifying and implementing innovative solutions to the issues facing collegiate athletics today.” In other words, JMI Sports do what an athletic director and his staff are supposed to do.
As we noted earlier today, it’s better to get a vote of confidence (even if it comes with a team of consultants to help you do your job) than it is to receive your termination papers. But Auburn’s athletic director — as well as anyone in the state of Alabama who can read between all these lines — must know that Jacobs is treading on shaky ground heading into the 2013-14 academic year.