Jacobs Discusses Heisman, Gus Malzahn

Bo Jackson and Jay Jacobs earlier this year

Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs talks about the Heisman Trophy and discusses offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn and job rumors.

New York, NY--Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs remembers what it's like to be around when someone wins the Heisman Trophy. Blocking for Bo Jackson when he played, Jacobs is now the athletic director as junior quarterback Cameron Newton heads into Saturday night's ceremony as the overwhelming favorite to win the 2010 award. With so much attention paid not only to Newton and his accomplishments this season but also a 13-0 Auburn team heading into the BCS Championship Game, Jacobs said it's a great time to be in New York and wearing Auburn colors.

"It just galvanizes the Auburn Family," Jacobs said of having Newton in the running for the Heisman. "When you walk on the streets of New York and you have something Auburn on and people yell War Eagle and ask if you're from Auburn or (ask about) Cam Newton, all those things. It's just good for the Auburn Family. It's just marketing the university can't afford to get for not only athletes but for students who may want to be a microbiologist or in engineering. It's real positive and a great thing."

One of the things Jacobs, Newton and the athletic department have been forced to deal with this season has been the off the field problems surrounding Newton's recruitment to Mississippi State. On Thursday Cecil Newton decided to release a statement saying he would not be attending the Heisman Ceremony on Saturday night, something Jacobs said was a tough thing to see but the right thing to do and it was all done on his own.

"It's the highest individual honor in college football and I certainly respect the decision he made," Jacobs said. "And as he said it's in the best interest of Cameron…we didn't have any consultation with him about that (his decision and statement)."

One of the biggest question marks surrounding Auburn's program right now is with offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. There is a lot of talk with his name and the vacant Vanderbilt job at the moment and it's something that's inevitable when you're dealing with one of the best assistant coaches in the country.

It's something that Auburn has not only expected but encouraged dating back to last summer said Jacobs. Working with the assistant coaches in all situations to make them better candidates is something Jacobs and coach Gene Chizik believe it. While that's the case Jacobs said it doesn't mean they won't try to keep Malzahn around if possible.

"No doubt about it," Jacobs said about doing everything to keep Malzahn. "That's certainly Gene's decision but you get to a point where if you have an opportunity to be a head coach at a BCS college it's a tough thing not to do sometimes. We'll certainly do what we feel like is right for what Gus has done and means to this program.

"We went through a process this summer where we had mock interviews with our assistant coaches to put them in a position because historically we haven't had a lot of guys become head football coaches. We've done some things to promote them so we're very happy the opportunity he's getting and others. If it's not the right fit for him at this time then we'll do what we can to keep him at Auburn. We want to do what's right."

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