I was glad to see Athletic Director Jay Jacobs and his staff announce that there will be additional parking and tailgating spaces for home football games this season. That is something that has been needed for years.
I can’t think of too many things the university could do that will please football fans more than making it easier to find spots for tailgate parties and parking spaces on campus. Another good thing about this situation is that Jay Jacobs mentioned that the plan is to keep looking for additional areas that can be used by fans on football Saturdays.
Hopefully, there will be a lot of new places opened up like the Weagle Woods area south of the stadium on Donahue Drive where fans can gather game after game, season after season.
For generations friends and families have gotten to together and enjoyed the beautiful campus before and after attending games. That is a big part of what makes Auburn football weekends special and finding ways to make the game day experience more pleasant is a very good thing for the university.
I think the latest two head coaching hires for the baseball and softball teams are good news, too, as is the biggest Auburn news story of the summer, the exceptionally generous gift from Raymond Harbert to the university and the school of business. That is monumental to the future of Auburn because it is a tremendous boost to the university from an academic standpoint.
Now that the July 4th holiday is done SEC Media Days is just around the corner, and that is the signal that the football season can’t be far away. The Tigers will be hitting the practice field next month and I am excited to see Coach Malzahn’s team line up and play a game.
In a transition season like the one the Tigers are going to be going through with a new coaching staff, how well things go starts with the leadership skills of the head coach. From what I have seen from Gus Malzahn since he took over the job in December, I have a good feeling that better days are on the horizon for Auburn football.
It makes me sick that things didn’t work out for Gene Chizik. He is a good man and I consider him a friend, but there was no way to avoid making a change based on what happened last season. At Auburn, whether it is football, baseball, softball or whatever, you are expected to be able to compete with your rivals in the SEC and when that doesn’t happen changes are going to be made. That is the way it is.
With Auburn’s facilities and emphasis on being competitive in the SEC, that gives every coaching staff on that campus a chance for their teams to compete at the highest level. I realize that the football squad, as well as some of the other teams on campus, didn’t have the type of success everyone hoped for during their 2012-13 seasons, but I believe the university is in a good place athletically and academically and that Auburn’s future is a bright one.
(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to PatDye@autigers.com.)
Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for AUTigers.com about the game he played and coached. An All-American player at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn, he also served as a head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming. Dye writes three columns for AUTigers.com--The Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat’s Picks.
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