During Sunday's press conference to announce the firing of now former head coach Gene Chizik, Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs informed us that Chizik's former assistants were given the option to stay around during the search for a new head coach.
The decision to retain or release the current staff will be made by the new head coach.
On Monday, it was reported that Auburn's assistant head coach and WR coach Trooper Taylor will be staying put and attempting to hold Auburn's highly touted 2013 recruiting class together during Auburn's search for a new head coach.
Trooper Taylor to keep working auburn.247sports.com/Board/42/Troop…— Football Rumor Mill (@fbrumormill) November 26, 2012
Immediately after the news of Taylor sticking around, Twitter and other social media were abuzz with assumptions that Auburn was simply mocking the NCAA and that it was typical for a bunch of cheaters like Auburn (despite not being on NCAA probation since 1993, while some schools have been on probation multiple times in the same time span. Different story for a different day, though).
As many of you know, Taylor and RB coach Curtis Luper were at the center of last week's story that Auburn was under NCAA investigation for recruiting violations in Memphis and possibly beyond. There was nothing new in the story about Auburn that we did not already know from the report concerning RB signee Jovon Robinson in August, as we talked about.
Pat Forde's article on Yahoo! did confirm suspicions that Taylor and Luper had been taken off the recruiting trail due to recruiting violations. According to Phillip Marshall of AuburnUndercover.com, Taylor and Luper were taken off the road for a secondary violation.
So what message is Auburn sending by keeping a coach around the program who is allegedly the subject of an NCAA investigation?
The message is loud and clear: Auburn is not worried about any significant penalties, if any penalties at all.
To the disbelief of most, Auburn isn't trying to do its best Blake Sims impersonation to the NCAA.
Allow me to introduce you to Rich McGlynn. He is Auburn's NCAA compliance director. It was McGlynn who navigated Auburn through the muddy waters of 2010's NCAA investigation (more like rectal probe) surrounding QB Cam Newton. As we all know, Auburn was cleared of any NCAA infractions after a 13-month investigation.
Why do I bring up McGlynn? Because McGlynn is Auburn's direct contact between the NCAA and the university.
McGlynn came to Auburn after a stint as a former NCAA enforcement official who worked under current NCAA enforcement chief Julie Roe Lach.
Around the Auburn athletic department, it has been said that McGlynn isn't always the most well-liked guy because of his well-known stringency to the NCAA rulebook.
In short, if Auburn and McGlynn were concerned about any NCAA penalties, Taylor would not be on the phone trying to hold the 2013 recruiting class together during the coaching search.
In most cases, the coach in question surrounding the infractions would be shown the door in order to lessen any penalties that may be handed down from the NCAA.
I'm not here trying to defend Auburn or Taylor. If there was a major recruiting violation that occurred—especially under the NCAA's microscope that Auburn has been under for the better part of two years—Auburn should go down for it and go down hard.
But to think that Auburn is simply trying to turn its nose up at the NCAA is foolish.
Believe what you will, but Auburn and McGlynn's track record with the NCAA in recent history has shown that Auburn is right more than wrong.
It's uncertain whether or not Taylor will be retained by Auburn's next head coach, but the fact that Taylor is staying on in the interim tells you all you need to know about how Auburn feels concerning this "new" investigation.
Update (10:01 p.m. ET): Luper will also remain with Taylor during Auburn's search for a new head coach.
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