Daily Archive for November 18th, 2007

Is he leaving?

If Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville leaves the Plains, it could have a big financial impact on five assistants.

Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville has a special bond with five of his assistant coaches. The quintet – Eddie Gran, Hugh Nall, Greg Knox, Don Dunn and Terry Price – have worked with Tuberville for 13 years, including the last nine seasons at Auburn. Tuberville hired them before his first season as a head coach at Ole Miss in 1995.

They have stayed together ever since, moving from Oxford, Miss., to Auburn without missing a beat, though other assistant coaches have come and gone.

And they’re close to reaping a big reward.

November 2008 will mark the 10th anniversary of Tuberville and his assistants’ arrival at Auburn. That will mean a considerable payoff: all six will be fully vested in the state of Alabama’s retirement system, guaranteeing annual payments from their 60th birthdays until their deaths.

Of course, to collect the cash – around $3,000 per month for each assistant – they’ll have to stay employed by the state of Alabama. Practically speaking, that means staying at Auburn.

And judging by recent reports, that’s no guarantee.

Tuberville is one of the nation’s hottest coaching prospects – at least according to the always-churning rumor mill.

Several reports have linked Tuberville to the potential vacancy at Texas A&M, which is reportedly negotiating a buyout with current head coach Dennis Franchione. Tuberville has also been rumored as a possible candidate for as-yet nonexistent openings at Arkansas, Nebraska and LSU.

So far, it’s all talk. No potential employer has contacted Auburn for permission to negotiate with Tuberville. Tuberville hasn’t expressed interest in any openings, though he also hasn’t publicly removed himself from consideration either.

AU President Jay Gogue and athletic director Jay Jacobs will meet with Tuberville after the end of the regular season – likely the week after next Saturday’s Iron Bowl – to discuss the coach’s contract.

There’s a chance Tuberville could be offered a raise from his current deal, which pays him around $2.6 million this season and will increase to $2.8 million next year.

Tuberville and AU’s administration could also discuss raises for AU’s assistant coaches, who are collectively the third-highest-paid group of assistants in the Southeastern Conference.

According to publicly available salary documents, AU’s nine assistant coaches make a combined $1.87 million annually. That’s slightly less than the $1.88 million LSU assistant coaches earn each year and considerably short of the $2.245 million paid to Nick Saban’s assistants at Alabama.

Nall, who served as AU’s offensive coordinator for a year and is considered one of the nation’s best offensive line coaches, will make $183,750 this year. So will Gran, who coaches Auburn’s running backs and also serves as special-teams coordinator.

Knox, Dunn and Price each currently make $173,750.

Assuming those salaries remain the same – and that the assistants remain at Auburn – Nall and Gran will receive $37,605.72 in pension payments every year after their 60th birthdays. Nall is 49, Gran 42.

Knox, Price and Dunn will receive $35,526.12 annually after their 60th birthdays. Knox is 44, Dunn is 54 and Price is 39.

If negotiations between Tuberville and Auburn break down – or if one of his possible suitors makes him an offer he can’t refuse – the head coach might leave.

If Tuberville leaves, it’s likely all five “core” assistants will leave with him. If they do, they’ll forfeit those lifetime pension benefits.

“If you have nine years in and you quit or die or something like that, we just send your money back with nominal interest,” said Dr. David G. Bronner, the CEO of Alabama Retirement Systems. “Unless you come back to the state at a later date, all you’ll get is your money back.”

Attempts to contact Tuberville for a comment on this story were unsuccessful. Through a university spokesman, the assistant coaches declined comment

And By The By ….. What The Fuck? Really…

DJ is suspended but plays…… ALABAMA (HILARIOUS) GET’s DAT ASS WHOOPED! 5 Suspended players cleared for The Iron Bowl! Is it just me that thinks this is A. Horse Shit and B. A sad attempt by an over hyped middle rate coach to not get Embarrassed.. 

The SEC’s leading receiver, DJ Hall, was suspended for a violation of team rules but played in the second half with Alabama desperately needing a spark. Dangerous punt returner Javier Arenas left with a high ankle sprain.

Saban wouldn’t say if Hall’s suspension had initially been for a half or the game.

“It was what it was,” he said.

The Tide did learn Saturday morning that five suspended players will be available to play in the Iron Bowl.

If They Fuck Up Our Start Time I Will Kill Someone……..

Louisiana-Monroe 21, Alabama 14

Preview Recap Box Score Photos Conversation

1 2 3 4 T
ULM (5-6) 0 14 7 0 21
ALA (6-5) 7 7 0 0 14

Final

2:30 PM ET, November 17, 2007

Bryant-Denny Stadium,

Tuscaloosa, AL

Louisiana-Monroe stops Alabama for upset victory

Also See

Team Stat Comparison
Individual Leaders
Louisiana-Monroe Passing
Alabama Passing
Alabama Rushing Alabama Receiving
Scoring Summary
Photo Wire

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s fans were subdued to start Saturday’s game. They seemed restless to shove little Louisiana-Monroe aside and get on to Auburn.

You know, the matchup that really defines a season for the Crimson Tide.

Roll Over Tide
Alabama Crimson Tide

The Sun Belt’s Louisiana-Monroe, which beat Nick Saban and Alabama 21-14 in Tuscaloosa, is not a good team. Not even by Sun Belt standards. Back on Oct. 13, ULM lost to North Texas 31-21. It’s still the only win of the year for 1-9 North Texas. By the way, if you’re counting at home, here’s a list of some of the teams that have won AT Alabama over the last decade:

This might just have become that game for Nick Saban’s reeling team — a stunning 21-14 upset to the 24 1/2-point underdogs from the Sun Belt Conference.

Quintez Secka had two interceptions and Louisiana-Monroe (5-6) forced four turnovers, blocked a field goal and turned Alabama away three times on promising drives in the fourth quarter. The result was the Tide’s third consecutive defeat.

It was a sloppy performance that left Saban, paid $4 million a year to turn around a traditional power, “embarrassed for all our fans.”

“I’m certainly not pleased the way we represented that tradition today,” Saban said. “We did all the things in this football game that get you beat regardless of who you play.

“We just did a lot of things today that is not winning football. I think we’re all responsible for it. It starts with me. I don’t think we had a very good week of preparation.”

The WarHawks had nothing to apologize for in a rare win over a Southeastern Conference team for their school and their league, both of whom have been bullied by the big, bad SEC.

“This win means everything to our program right now,” tailback Frank Goodin said. “It’s the biggest win as far as I know for this program.”

It was the WarHawks’ first victory over an SEC team since beating Mississippi State in 1995 and their third in 33 tries, improving their record to 3-29-1. The Sun Belt had been 0-11 against the SEC this season.

Louisiana-Monroe held firm every time Alabama appeared poised to tie the game.

The Tide (6-5) had a third-and-2 at the Louisiana-Monroe 18-yard line, but Terry Grant was stuffed for no gain on back-to-back runs. The drive began at the Louisiana-Monroe 26 after a 19-yard punt return by Jonathan Lowe.

It wasn’t over quite yet even after that blown opportunity.

Louisiana-Monroe failed to get a first down and had to punt, giving Alabama one final shot from its own 37 with 56 seconds left and no timeouts.

John Parker Wilson missed an open Keith Brown down the right sideline, had to run out of bounds for a short gain, then threw an incompletion under pressure on third down.

James Truxillo batted away his final attempt, drawing a cascade of boos from Alabama fans who had been mostly quiet except for scattered expressions of displeasure. Chants of “U-L-M” rose from the tiny section of Louisiana-Monroe faithful.

Junior running back Jimmy Johns, making his first career start, lost a fumble deep in WarHawks territory with 4:41 left in yet another missed chance for Alabama, which also had Leigh Tiffin’s 36-yard field goal attempt blocked on the final play of the third quarter.

“I think it was pretty embarrassing,” said Wilson, who threw for 246 yards but had two first-half interceptions. “We let a lot of people down. We shouldn’t have lost. We’re Alabama. We’re supposed to win, and we’re not doing it right now. You can’t score 14 points and expect to win the game.”

Not even when you outgain the opponent 409-282. While the Tide bumbled the ball, the WarHawks didn’t commit any turnovers.

Attendance was listed as a capacity crowd of 92,138, but it was far fewer than that. Alabama didn’t give its fans much incentive to make enough noise to intimidate the visitors unaccustomed to playing in such big venues.

“This is the No. 1 win since I’ve been here in the last five years,” Louisiana-Monroe coach Charlie Weatherbie said. “We come in trying to win. We don’t play to keep it close. We felt we had a chance if we stayed close in the ballgame to win in the fourth quarter.”

Calvin Dawson rushed 33 times for 91 yards and a touchdown for Louisiana-Monroe, while Kinsmon Lancaster passed for 161 yards.

Secka returned his second interception 38 yards to the Tide 1, setting up Dawson’s TD run.

The Tide had been 15-0 against current Sun Belt teams and were expected to use the game as a tuneup for the Iron Bowl. Nobody told the WarHawks, who forced three first-half turnovers to forge a 14-14 tie then shut Alabama out in the second half.

The SEC’s leading receiver, DJ Hall, was suspended for a violation of team rules but played in the second half with Alabama desperately needing a spark. Dangerous punt returner Javier Arenas left with a high ankle sprain.

Saban wouldn’t say if Hall’s suspension had initially been for a half or the game.

“It was what it was,” he said.

The Tide did learn Saturday morning that five suspended players will be available to play in the Iron Bowl.

Before the game, Saban used recent basketball upsets as cautionary tales for his team.

“I talked to them about Grand Valley beating Michigan State, Gardner-Webb beating Kentucky,” he said. “I ran the gamut on everything that I could talk about relative to respecting your opponent and getting ready to go out and dominate the people that you play. I failed in that, obviously.”