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Should Tubs stay at AU?

By Staff
Paul Finebaum
Franklin County Times
Whether Tommy Tuberville leaves Auburn in a few weeks or stays, he should at least thank his lucky stars for Coach Fran. The man has been very, very good to Tubs and his family – kind of like the gift that keeps on giving.
In 2003, Tuberville was able to get a new deal at nearly $1.5 million, but it came at a price. The new contract arrived shortly after another contract extension and some people, notably the late Auburn president William Walker, felt they had been run over by Tuberville in the process. After being the preseason No. 1 pick by some magazines that year, Auburn lost its first two games and Walker and several trustees began plotting his overthrow.
Of course, the rest is history with the perfect season in 2004 which Tuberville (once again) parlayed into yet another contract extension and raise (he currently makes $2.6 million).
So what happens now?
Does Auburn raise the ante again to keep Tuberville satisfied or do they let him go to Texas A&M?
Memo to Auburn: There is no way the media will cut the Auburn administration any slack if it appears Tuberville leaves because he wasn't being treated fairly. The local, regional and national media likes Tuberville very much. Unlike Saban, he will catch every break imaginable and Auburn officials could look very bad in the process.
Tuberville has obviously done a nice job with the Auburn program and whether he is underpaid at $2.6 million or overpaid at $4 million, the bottom line is whether this marriage should go on.
Does Auburn really want Tuberville?
Does Tuberville really want to be at Auburn?
Obviously, the last two games remaining for Auburn are the most important things to consider right now for Tuberville and the program. And whether Tuberville has a winning hand today in Athens or in two weeks in Auburn, my sense is he likely will hold the key cards in the debate about where he will end up.
And once again, he has Dennis Franchione to thank.
Paul Finebaum is a guest columnist for The Franklin County Times. He can be reached via e-mail at