Every one is still scratching their heads over Auburn's hiring of Iowa State head coach Gene Chizik, except for those Tiger fans who have already upgraded to clawing their eyes out.
Pretty much everyone agrees that Buffalo coach Turner Gill—who was interviewed for the job—is infinitely more qualified to run a football than "5 and 19 Gene." (And Tommy Tuberville is probably still more qualified than both of them, but that's another story.) Yet, Gill did not get the job and in case you hadn't noticed ... Gill is black.
Now we're not saying that the powers that be at Auburn chose Chizik over Gill simply because Gill is African-American and the school is located in the heart of the Old South. Everyone else will say it for us. In fact, some are even claiming that Gill's biggest strike against him was not his own skin color, but that of his wife, who is white.
ESPN.com football writer Mark Schlabach told "Outside The Lines" today that two other SEC coaches told him, straight up, that Gill would never get the Auburn job, because he's married to a white woman. Charming.
Auburn alum Charles Barkley added his own fuel to fire when he called out his alma mater for their choice of Chizik. He spoke to Gill about the job and claimed that Gill was concerned his marriage would be a factor before he even took the interview.
"We talked about the whole race thing in Alabama," Barkley said. "I told him it's there and it's going to be anywhere you go. I told him you can't not take the job because of racism. He was worried about being nothing more than a token interview. He was concerned about having a white wife. It's just very disappointing to me."
Barkley also pointed out that when Auburn hired a new basketball coach back in 2004, he suggested three African-American coaches who had taken their teams to the NCAA tournament, but they chose the only interviewee who had not—noted-white man Jeff Lebo.
"I think race was the No. 1 factor," said Barkley ... "You can say it's not about race, but you can't compare the two resumes and say [Chizik] deserved the job. Out of all the coaches they interviewed, Chizik probably had the worst resume."
Racism charges aside, is there any doubt that Auburn AD Jay Jacobs does not have a single clue remaining? He played dumb and professed to be shocked when Tommy Tuberville "resigned," but the misguided hiring of Chizik away from a horrible Iowa State makes his judgment even more suspect.
Not that things are any better up in Ames. Even though most Cyclone fans are probably happy to see Chizik go, at least one Iowa State player is a little miffed at his former coach. Freshman wideout Darius Darks (shown here taking a strong stand against "bitchassness") took his complaints to the most obvious forum—Facebook—where he posted some homemade videos (already removed) of himself chewing out his mentor.
"A lot of people asking me what I'm going to do with coach Chizik leaving. I understand business is business, but this man lied," Darks said in the video. "At a team meeting he was sitting there saying 'I told your mother, Jerrod Black, and I sat on your auntie's couch, Darius Dark, and I told her I would take care of you while you was up here at Iowa State.' Where's that n—— at now? Auburn University."
In the second video, Darks introduces Jeremiah Schwartz, who was a freshman running back from Florida who played for the Cyclones in 2008.
"Let me explain something really quick," Schwartz said in the video. "Rule one: Don't f—- with a Florida n——. Rule two: Don't lie to your team. Rule three: Respect rule two."
Darks then ended the video by putting on a Michigan State jersey. Seriously. Hey, don't bring them into this mess!
Outside The Lines: Behind The Times [OTL]
Lobbying for Gill, alum Barkley says Auburn should have hired black coach [ESPN]
ISU football players post video in reaction to Chizik leaving [Iowa State Daily]
ISU Players Not Taking This Chizik Thing Very Well [SbB]
Chizik Speaks!!! [Online Sports Guys]
Gene Chizik, meet Auburn's finest torches and pitchforks [Dr. Saturday]
Charles Barkley Comments on Auburn Hiring Gene Chizek: It's About Race [Midwest Sports Fans]