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Tommy Tuberville: Can you really hate him?

The simple answer is "well, of course... he's a dick."

Ah, yes, the Pine Box. Certainly, Tubs hasn't garnered much of a reputation of "honesty" or "humility" and he left Oxford in an epically heartbreaking fashion. But, all things considered, could you really blame him for leaving?

Let's look at the situation. In 1997, Tommy Tuberville had taken the Rebels to an 8-4 season capped with a Motor City Bowl victory over a Marshall team featuring Chad Pennington and Randy Moss. He recruited two Parade All-Americans (Romaro Miller and Terrence Metcalfe) away from the clutches of the Alabama Crimson Tide in the same recruiting class. He did an excellent job of steering Ole Miss away from the negative "Old South" imagery which was hurting our recruiting and national perception. Most notably, Ole Miss was on probation for the first two full seasons of his Rebel coaching career. Most coaches in America could not have done something like that.

So, what did we do? We squandered away a golden opportunity to keep one of America's great (then) young coaches in Oxford.

There are always myths, legends, and otherwise generally tall tales surrounding any SEC coaching change, but one of these that has generally been confirmed as fact is that Tommy Tuberville wanted serious facility upgrades from the athletic department. This included, among many other things, an indoor practice facility. During the mid-90’s, our facilities could best be described as "abysmal" by SEC standards and Tubs knew that his already superior recruiting would receive a major boost if this changed. He pleaded with the administration but they wouldn’t pony up. He made mockeries out of the facility issues at Ole Miss but, alas, no dice. After receiving the runaround from an athletic department with a bizarre phobia to shelling out cash to folks who have earned it, Tommy jumped ship for Auburn. The Tigers of the Plains basically promised Tommy to give him everything that Ole Miss wouldn’t. After ten seasons at Auburn, Tommy has brought that program out of "just-above-mediocre-with-occasional-wins-against-Alabama" and into "nationally-recognized-as-an-SEC-power."

I’m not trying to suggest that we would be in a similarly great situation had Tommy stayed, but we would certainly not have had experienced the misery of the Orgeron years.

Sure, be bitter. He lied to the media and fans in a startlingly disrespectful manner and, for that, a bit of a grudge is warranted. However, when you really ask yourself "why did Tommy leave us," you'll begin to redirect your bitterness elsewhere.

Buuuuuuuuut, just to keep true to Auburn Hate Week, the official stance of the Red Solo Cup on Tommy Tuberville is "fuck 'm." Tommy, I can't help but respect you as a coach. But, deep down inside, you're still a son-of-a-bitch. We're going to ruin you tomorrow.