Alabama wide receiver Perry Thompson broke down what the Auburn football coaching staff could do to sway the Foley product from Tuscaloosa to the Plains for the 2024 season: show him what the off-the-field culture at AU is like.
“Seeing the culture, how the coaches are outside of football and really just the Auburn experience,” Thompson said when asked what he was looking for out of his next visit to East Central Alabama (h/t Auburn Rivals).
Thompson already has an established relationship with Auburn football wide receivers coach Marcus Davis and told reporters that there’s more than just a relationship; but rather a “connection.”
“We have a good relationship,” Thompson prefaced before saying, “There’s a connection there, a good relationship status.”
Auburn football has fewer culture question marks than Alabama
At this point in time, it’s fair to say that the Auburn football program has far fewer question marks with its culture than Alabama does. Over the last year, the Crimson Tide has seen players lash out at fans and run into trouble with the law on the road. Public perception has suffered in Tuscaloosa of late, and with losses accompanying the controversy, there could be major changes in the years to come on the other side of the Iron Bowl rivalry.
On this side of it, AU has dealt with public perception problems themselves — with Hugh Freeze’s hiring merely following Bryan Harsin’s inquiry-causing behaviors behind the scenes. The common theme in both situations is that it doesn’t involve the players themselves misbehaving. Of course, there is an unresolved issue among one of the Tigers’ main offensive playmakers. Until more comes out about that, though, less will be said about it around these parts.
All in all, while both programs are not without black marks on their records, things are a good bit more dysfunctional on the Crimson Tide side.