BOYCOTT AUBURN: Taylor’s thoughts on Turner Gill timely and doable

jean-jacques-taylor.gifIn Friday’s Dallas Morning News, Sports Columnist Jean-Jacques Taylor suggests that Class of 2009 football recruits boycott Auburn University for their decision to hire Gene Chizik over Buffalo Head Coach Turner Gill. I agree with Taylor, and I believe that his suggestion is doable.

gene-chizik.jpgRead the write up on Turner Gill that I wrote before he interviewed with Auburn and before Tiger Athletic Director Jay Jacobs hired Chizik. Chizik compiled a 5-19 record at Iowa State before he was deemed “fit” to take over Auburn. Here’s what Jacobs said about the hire in a letter to Auburn fans.

Throughout the search process, we interviewed a strong group of candidates, but Coach Chizik clearly rose to the top. Everyone we talked with about Coach Chizik spoke about his impeccable character, relentless work ethic, his relationships with his players and his ability to motivate them.

I guess winning doesn’t fit into the equation huh Jay? Iowa State lost their last 10 games after wins over South Dakota State and Kent State. Yeah he was a good defensive coordinator, but to date (unlike Gill) he hasn’t show that he can translate that into head coaching success.

The most important event of the Civil Rights Era (IMHO) took place just 50 miles east of Auburn. A group of Civil Rights giants, then just ordinary citizens, dealt the first blow towards ending Jim Crow racism in the South.


The Montgomery (Alabama) Improvement Association, lead by 26 year old Martin Luther King, Jr. initiated a boycott of the city bus system after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to relinquish her seat to a white passenger. The protest lasted for 381 days and for me is the most effective single initiative of the civil rights struggle.

The reason I believe in the bus boycott so strongly is because black folks in Montgomery withheld something from the business structure that it couldn’t do without. What was the city going to do, force people to stop walking and car pooling?

Nowadays African-Americans often make demands but are not willing to make changes to their lifestyles if those needs are not met. The way to get change in American (even in a case like the BCS) is to hit folks in their pocketbook. See the 2008 Presidential Election.

If black and white recruits withhold the one thing that a good football team can’t do without -good players- they could send shockwaves throughout college football. This is bigger than Turner Gill and Gene Chizik. If Auburn had chosen not to interview Gill, I probably would be playing Wii right now.

This is about institutional racism in the hiring practices of football coaches nationwide. Those practices are seen in boardrooms and offices across the United States.

Here in 2008, there is an opportunity to revisit the state of Alabama and Auburn’s puzzling decision to hire Gene Chizik as their next football coach. I hope to have specific actions around this in the days to come, but realize that there’s potential for Jean-Jacques Taylor’s column to serve more positive purposes than just as recyclable paper. I believe that Auburn’s 2009 recruiting efforts can be disrupted.

Letters of intent declaring where students plan to attend college are signed in February. We’ve got work to do.

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