Why Hiring Bobby Petrino Wouldn’t Violate the Auburn Creed

He’s the most polarizing figure in Auburn football. His influence could have a titanic effect on the future of the program. The thing is, he’s not even in the program right now and hasn’t been since 2002.

Bobby Petrino, the controversial ex-Arkansas coach, has emerged as one of the leaders to become the head coach at Auburn. His on-field accomplishments are pretty amazing. He served as offensive coordinator at Auburn in 2002, and his offense was very dynamic, leading Auburn to a share of the SEC West title. The next year, he took the head coaching job at Louisville. In four years with Louisville, he had 41-9 record and led the Cardinals to their first ever BCS bowl in 2006. He became the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons in 2007, but went just 3-10. Turns out, the NFL wasn’t for him, just as the NFL wasn’t for Nick Saban or Lou Holtz. He was then hired by Arkansas, where he went 34-17 (21-5 his last two seasons) before getting the boot in the 2012 offseason.

You can’t argue that he’s a very good football coach. His 75-26 record didn’t just magically fall into his lap. He’s the only coach in college football history to lead two different programs to their first BCS bowl, and with the pedigree Auburn has (already having been to two BCS bowls, including winning the national title in 2010), there’s no doubt Auburn would become a legitimate national title contender year in and year out with Petrino.

That’s not the issue for a lot of Auburn fans.

Many Auburn fans, alumni and students have great concern over his off-field issues, and they are right to. He was involved in the infamous Jetgate scandal in 2003. He left the Falcons before the season was over by leaving a four-sentence note in each player’s locker. Then, most notably, he had an affair with a 25-year old blonde ex-volleyball player at Arkansas, then the two got in a motorcycle crash. Petrino then lied to the school about having someone else with him, and when it was revealed who was with him, his days as a Hog were done.

Auburn fans have a right to be scared off by his past gestures. That’s understandable. You don’t have to like the guy or specifically want him as head coach.

However, some of the statements I have heard from Auburn fans have been just short of insane. I have heard multiple Auburn fans claim that if Petrino is hired, they will burn their copy of the Auburn Creed. Little do they know, that in actuality, Auburn hiring Petrino would not be a violation of the Auburn Creed at all.

Auburn University takes pride in being influenced by Christianity, obviously. Most people know that. For those who don’t understand the connection, the Auburn Creed mentions “walking humbly with God.” Plus, the school is in Southern Alabama. Not everyone who attends Auburn or works at Auburn is a Christian, but the school’s values go hand-in-hand with Christianity. This is an undeniable fact.

Thusly, one of the most important values taught in Christianity is to love others and give second chances. Never give up on someone. Do not ridicule someone solely based on their past, rugged or clean.

That is why, if Auburn hires Bobby Petrino, that wouldn’t necessarily be a violation of the Auburn Creed, but rather, Auburn simply saying that they’re willing to forgive Petrino’s past issues and give him his last shot at being a head coach.

So, what would make one think that Bobby Petrino has even changed his ways enough to impress the higher-ups at Auburn? Since his accident and scandal at Arkansas, Petrino has been hard at work fixing his life. He’s been working hard to save his marriage and change his view of things.

The following is a quote from Bobby Petrino back in August:

“I take responsibility for it and I am really sorry. I have played it over and over in my head a million times. How could I do this? How could this happen? And not just the hiring. Or that day. But my actions, my behavior — for months it was just wrong. I’m working hard to save my marriage. I’m working one day at a time. I want to stay married. That’s my main priority right now. Making things right with my family. … I’ve made mistakes and I’m going to be a better person for it. … I think I’ve got to take this one day at a time, continue to improve as a person and as a husband. I’m also going to continue to work on football. And I just hope and pray that I get that opportunity again.”

One could say that he’s lying through his teeth, but according to anyone who’s talked to him recently, everything he spoke of is the truth. This possibly includes SEC commissioner Mike Slive. Multiple sources have reported that Slive, who was once against any SEC school hiring Petrino, met with Petrino recently, and was very impressed, and thusly has no problem with an SEC school hiring him.

Also, Auburn is Petrino’s dream job. If he comes to Auburn, has success and stays clean, he could be at Auburn for a long, long time.  He knows a job at Auburn would be his last chance as a football coach anywhere, so he wouldn’t dare screw this up by doing something bone-headed. Also, since Petrino is currently unemployed and he wants to be the Tigers’ head coach so bad, Auburn wouldn’t have to fork up too much cash.

You don’t have to like Petrino. I’m not telling you that he needs to be your favorite candidate.

However, for those of you who have claimed that you will burn the Auburn Creed if he’s hired, you obviously are the one who’s out of touch with what Auburn University’s all about. The Auburn Creed is influenced by Christianity, and Christianity says to never give up on someone and give them chances to redeem themselves. If you’re going to abandon all loyalty to Auburn University just because of who the school hires as the football coach, I don’t know what to tell you except that that’s one of the most pathetic things I have ever heard.

If Bobby Petrino is the guy Auburn goes with, don’t abandon the program and the school just because the school decided not to abandon him.

Tags: Auburn Football

  • http://www.facebook.com/marion.colvin Marion Colvin

    Hire Petrino today!

  • Scott

    Fuck Petrino. If he’s hired i won’t go to another game.

    • Todd

      I don’t believe that. Especially if they start winning. Plus, so what if he had an affair. Are you that arrogant to think you haven’t done anything wrong? Nice language by the way. You are probably one of those obnoxious fans that security keeps an eye on after the second quarter….

      I say bring on Petrino!!! And his girlfriend.

      • Scott

        I’ve done plenty of things wrong. One thing I haven’t done though, is put my employer in a position where they could be sued by 100 people and then lie to my employer about it to cover my ass. I also haven’t taken a job and then quit before I had even been there a year when I decided it was too hard. I’ll come to games again just after he leaves. Within four years he’ll have done something sneaky and underhanded to us and he’ll leave like the snake he is. Also during that time he will have recruited like crap and lost to Saban every year. So we’ll be in even worse shape than we are now.

  • http://Allcougdup.com/ All Coug’d Up

    A couple things. First, being a Christian in correlation with the article, Auburn fans that are claiming they will burn their creed are the religious type of people that are so overly worried about others that they are failing to spot the issues in their own lives. You can go to church and what-not after going to the game on Saturday and feel really good about yourself, but if you were really worried about something like this, you probably shouldn’t go to a football game where the student section chants “F*** You” to the officials and probably worse to the other teams, especially that team in Crimson. Every student section does it, so I’m pretty confident that happens where you are. Also, if you want to be mad at something, be mad at your University, who fired a coach that took you to a National title just 2 seasons ago. Where’s the justice in that?

    Secondly, Scott you gotta be kidding me. Does anybody in the media know you? Have you ever been in a position where you had a million people calling for your head for your performance and thus were about to be fired so decided to walk out on your own terms instead? Mmmmm, didn’t think so. Have you NEVER lied about stuff to save your ass period? Mmmm, didn’t think so.

    Remember something, the man was scared. With that much national attention his wife and family were about to find out he was having an affair, that’s kind of a big deal if you still love your wife and family, which he apparently does. It was a “moment of weakness”, which we all have. His was about to be broadcast across America and I promise you cannot imagine the thoughts that were running around in his head unless you are on his level, which you clearly aren’t.

    Go to games when you want man, that’s your choice and someone will happily nab your ticket (Yes Auburn games will continue to sell out without your judgemental “ass” in the seat). But you’re a fool to think that another man has been “blessed” with a much bigger scale of attention than you have and you can compare his life to yours.

    • Nathan Deal

      You’re pretty much dead-on. People don’t have to like him, but if there’s any Auburn fans that hate Petrino more than they love Auburn, I’m not sure how much good they were doing by being at Jordan-Hare in the first place.

  • Jeff

    Forgiveness does not mandate that you put that person back in the same position of leadership. Forgiveness is also only given by those who were wronged. While I see the attempt of crying “hypocrisy”, I can’t agree with your argument,

    In addition, there are repeated actions that show a true character flaw in Mr. Petrino. He may be doing better, and I hope he is, but it is foolish to put him back in a position of immense pressure and assume his character will now shine when it has not in the past.

    I will always love and support Auburn but I will regretfully cancel my season tickets if Petrino is hired. “Win at all cost” is short-sighted and makes Auburn just another sad university that is simply an excuse for football and this state does not need another one of those.

    Sometimes the only tool available to demonstrate stance is withholding scholarship donations and ending season ticket purchases. I truly hope it does not come to that.

    • Nathan Deal

      This Alabama-Georgia game has only further given a sense of urgency for Auburn. Petrino seems to be honestly changed. I get where you’re coming from. Nobody can be sure how he would handle a head coaching job. What I will say, however, is that given his past events and his desire to be at Auburn, he knows this would be his last chance to be a head coach at any level. If he fails, he’ll never coach again, and the program couldn’t possibly be any worse than it is now. If it works, and he stays out of trouble and Auburn wins? Hiring Petrino would be one of the smartest decisions in AU history.

      I’m not pulling the “win at all costs card.” All I’m saying is, shame on anyone who calls themself an Auburn fan that HATES Petrino more than he LOVES Auburn.