News broke this morning that Auburn University is expected to name Allen Greene as its new Athletic Director, pending the approval of the Board of Trustees. Greene currently serves the same role at the University of Buffalo and has been there since 2015. President Steven Leath brought together a six-person committee to search for Jay Jacobs replacement, who announced in November that he would be stepping down as Athletic Director this June if a replacement was not found beforehand.
There were many candidates tossed around for the position, but the one that stuck out to me more than others was Tommy Tuberville. Tuberville is a household name and well known in the Auburn Community. He coached at Auburn from 1999 until 2008 and led Auburn to an undefeated season in 2004, going 13-0. I believe Tuberville would have been the correct hire for the AD position because of the Auburn community’s respect and fondness of the former coach. Many argued that the University needed an Athletic Director that develops all sports and aspects of the University, and who is not just a football guy. I personally know Tuberville and know that he not only wanted to develop all areas of the University, but has ties and support that would allow him to be successful. Greene does have ties with the SEC, as he worked at Ole Miss from 2009-2012, but many Auburn supporters have never heard of him. Support is very important in the role of an Athletic Director, and Greene lacks the support Tuberville could bring to the table.
Greene has an accomplished background of fundraising, which is a very important aspect of an Athletic Director, but is not a credential that should place him above other candidates. To me, this appears to be a hire that will allow the Board of Trustees and donors to walk over Greene and push him to make the decisions they want. On the other hand, Tuberville would be a strong Athletic Director who would advocate for the wants and needs of the Auburn players and community. Tuberville would not only strive in fundraising, but could potentially bring in more because of his track record of success. Everyone in Auburn wants to give their money to someone they trust. To me, Tuberville’s credentials exceed Greene’s, but, as an Auburn graduate, I hope that Allen Greene proves me wrong.
This article was written by Cade Hoffman, an intern in the sports management program at Reid Law Firm. Cade graduated from Auburn University in May of 2017 with a degree in Business Management and is currently in his third semester at Arizona State University’s Master of Legal Studies Online program with an emphasis in Sports Law and Business. For questions and comments, please email Cade at firstname.lastname@example.org.