OT-Auburn and Jeff Lebo


#1

Just as he did when he hired Gene Chizik, Auburn AD Jay Jacobs has written a letter to the Auburn Family explaining his decision to fire Jeff Lebo. Read it below:

[i]Dear Auburn Family,

As most of you know by now, Coach Jeff Lebo will not return as head basketball coach at Auburn University.

I met with Coach Lebo earlier today and informed him that the time had come to move Auburn's basketball program in a new direction. As I shared with Coach Lebo, we deeply appreciate all that he and his staff have done for Auburn, and we wish each of them and their families nothing but the best. Coach Lebo has shown the utmost character, integrity and professionalism throughout his tenure at Auburn. He is and always will be a member of the Auburn Family.

While this was a difficult decision, our goals have not been met. Our basketball program has not made the progress we had all hoped it would make. Auburn ranks 11th out of 12 teams in both total wins and conference wins in the Southeastern Conference over the past six years. We have failed to reach the NCAA tournament each of the past six years, and we have reached the NIT only once. We know that Auburn can compete at a higher level in basketball, because we have done so in the past.

Our top goals as a department are winning and graduating our student-athletes. My responsibility is doing what is necessary to give our student-athletes the best chance to compete at the highest level. That is why a change was made.[/i]

#2

From the PSU Athletics Vision Statement:

“; to field teams that compete at the highest levels of national and conference play;”


#3

I believe the first one, the second one not so much (It is the SEC after all.)


#4

Report: Lebo will be hired at East Carolina

http://blog.pennlive.com/patriotnewssports/2010/03/report_lebo_will_be_hired_at_e.html


#5

[quote=“Tom, post:2, topic:983”]From the PSU Athletics Vision Statement:

“; to field teams that compete at the highest levels of national and conference play;”[/quote]

But if you look at the Athletic Department’s Overriding Goals that follow the Vision Statement, you won’t see anything about the “winning” of any particular team. The basketball team is only failing in the 2nd half of one of the goals.

*To ensure that all student-athletes receive equitable treatment with equal access to top quality coaching, excellent medical care, superior academic support and facilities and equipment equal to any similar size program.

*To attain national prominence for academic and athletic achievement.

*To maintain Penn State’s traditional standards of institutional control.

*To offer numerous and varied club, intramural sports and recreational programs that cover student interest and afford maximum participation by Penn State students.

*To encourage student-athletes, coaches and administrators to engage in meaningful community service activities in an effort to create an environment where the synergy between the University and the public that is both healthy and productive.

*To operate the athletic program in a fiscally-sound fashion, managing resources in a manner that will produce the most beneficial yield for the student-athletes, coaches and staff being served by Intercollegiate Athletics.

*To continue the process of creating a culturally diverse staff that reflects the student-athlete population and responds to the ethnic make-up of the University and the surrounding community.

*To address in a conscientious fashion the concerns expressed by employees of Intercollegiate Athletics in the University-sponsored 1996 Faculty/Staff Survey and to create a more harmonious internal relationship in the workplace.

*To field an athletic program that is representative of the University, its student body and its Alumni worldwide and one that competes on an annual basis for the Sears Directors Cup, representative of all-sports supremacy in intercollegiate athletics.


#6

Sounds like an AD who is attentive to the alumni base and explains himself well. I like the part about no NCAA in six years not being good enough. Curley sent a text message full of bs to explain keeping a coach who is roughly the equivalent of lebo. Of course, Auburn, AL is a hot metropolis where recruiting is easy. Auburn doesn’t have the geograhic excuse that Curley apologists hide behind. Oh wait yes they do. They just don’t wave a white flag at the faintest hint of needing to try a different approach


#7

At Auburn you get fired whether you win or lose. Ask Tommy Tuberville or Cliff Ellis


#8

#9
[quote="laoDan, post:7, topic:983"]At Auburn you get fired whether you win or lose. Ask Tommy Tuberville or Cliff [b]Ellis[/b][/quote]

Thanks. fixed


#10

Do you actually pay attention to what the real geography issue is or do you just dismiss it because it doesn’t fit your argument?

Auburn AL is smack in the middle of the SEC and does not have the geography issue that Penn State has.


#11
[quote="psu_DC, post:6, topic:983"]Sounds like an AD who is attentive to the alumni base and explains himself well. I like the part about no NCAA in six years not being good enough. Curley sent a text message full of bs to explain keeping a coach who is roughly the equivalent of lebo. Of course, Auburn, AL is a hot metropolis where recruiting is easy. Auburn doesn't have the geograhic excuse that Curley apologists hide behind. Oh wait yes they do. They just don't wave a white flag at the faintest hint of needing to try a different approach[/quote]

Do you actually pay attention to what the real geography issue is or do you just dismiss it because it doesn’t fit your argument?

Auburn AL is smack in the middle of the SEC and does not have the geography issue that Penn State has.

Lar, please be clear. There are actually a few geography challenges. The one you frequently mention is how we are at the fringe range of the conference and go against more established conferences in our immediate area. There’s also the “non-urban/Cow County” geograpghy argument.

While Aurburn is not on the fringes of the SEC, Aurburn is an “ag” school and is often derided by Tide fans as being the “hick” school.


#12

Sounds like Barbee is already recruiting better than Lebo. Landed a kid who was not interested in Auburn until he was hired (one of the top unranked players in AL), and now is likely to land a Top 50 player who didn’t have Auburn on his radar until he was hired.

Pay Article:
http://auburn.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1079648


#13
[quote="psu_DC, post:6, topic:983"]Sounds like an AD who is attentive to the alumni base and explains himself well. I like the part about no NCAA in six years not being good enough. Curley sent a text message full of bs to explain keeping a coach who is roughly the equivalent of lebo. Of course, Auburn, AL is a hot metropolis where recruiting is easy. Auburn doesn't have the geograhic excuse that Curley apologists hide behind. Oh wait yes they do. They just don't wave a white flag at the faintest hint of needing to try a different approach[/quote]

Do you actually pay attention to what the real geography issue is or do you just dismiss it because it doesn’t fit your argument?

Auburn AL is smack in the middle of the SEC and does not have the geography issue that Penn State has.

your argument about Auburn simply has a false consequent. Auburn has every issue that Penn State has geographically.

I see that the fringe of a conference border has now become the geographic excuse du jour, as the ag school argument has been proven devoid of any actual substance. If the conference border argument held true, Arkansas, Iowa, Texas Tech, and Washington State would never climb out of the basement of their conferences. But all have had more success than Penn State in the past. You present this as an absolute truth, that no school in America has Penn State’s geographic situation.

you are right. No other university in America can claim that they are the largest BCS-conference school in the entire northeast. Winning in revenue sports should be a cinch here. Most of us counter your argument by noting that Penn State has simply never made the effort in men’s basketball by hiring a coach that could sell the program. We have multiple examples to counter your geographic theory. There is no example to counter our argument that Penn State is losing because they aren’t trying to find the program a good coach.

We haven’t seen them make any effort at all to find a good coach since the day Parkhill left. If some day I see a very energetic, charismatic young, bright basketball mind come to coach at Penn State and leave as a failure 7 years later, then I will buy into your geographic argument.


#14
[quote="psu_DC, post:6, topic:983"]Sounds like an AD who is attentive to the alumni base and explains himself well. I like the part about no NCAA in six years not being good enough. Curley sent a text message full of bs to explain keeping a coach who is roughly the equivalent of lebo. Of course, Auburn, AL is a hot metropolis where recruiting is easy. Auburn doesn't have the geograhic excuse that Curley apologists hide behind. Oh wait yes they do. They just don't wave a white flag at the faintest hint of needing to try a different approach[/quote]

Do you actually pay attention to what the real geography issue is or do you just dismiss it because it doesn’t fit your argument?

Auburn AL is smack in the middle of the SEC and does not have the geography issue that Penn State has.

your argument about Auburn simply has a false consequent. Auburn has every issue that Penn State has geographically.

I see that the fringe of a conference border has now become the geographic excuse du jour, as the ag school argument has been proven devoid of any actual substance. If the conference border argument held true, Arkansas, Iowa, Texas Tech, and Washington State would never climb out of the basement of their conferences. But all have had more success than Penn State in the past. You present this as an absolute truth, that no school in America has Penn State’s geographic situation.

you are right. No other university in America can claim that they are the largest BCS-conference school in the entire northeast. Winning in revenue sports should be a cinch here. Most of us counter your argument by noting that Penn State has simply never made the effort in men’s basketball by hiring a coach that could sell the program. We have multiple examples to counter your geographic theory. There is no example to counter our argument that Penn State is losing because they aren’t trying to find the program a good coach.

We haven’t seen them make any effort at all to find a good coach since the day Parkhill left. If some day I see a very energetic, charismatic young, bright basketball mind come to coach at Penn State and leave as a failure 7 years later, then I will buy into your geographic argument.

Again, the issue isn’t that we are on the border or fringe of our conference. The issue is that we are in the middle of another conference; in our case, the Big East. Auburn is in the state of Alabama. Alabama has two major conference schools in it - both of which are in the SEC. If you are a kid growing up in Alabama and want to play major college basketball you will naturally lean toward an SEC school.

Frankly, I don’t even understand how you claim that Auburn has “every issue that Penn State has geographically”. Alabama is bordered by four states (Miss, Tenn, GA, Fla), ALL of which have an SEC school in them. PA is bordered by seven states (Ohio, NY, NJ, Del, Va, Md, WV), only one of which has a B10 school in it (but most of which have a Big East school). Also no other Big Six conference has a school in Alabama, but the Big East has two schools in PA. There’s no way that Auburn has the same geography challenges that PSU does.

A similar story can be told for every other one of your examples.

Arkansas - has the state to itself and has five fellow SEC schools bordering it (Vandy, Tenn, Miss, Miss St, LSU)
Iowa - shares the state with one Big 12 school but has four B10 schools bordering it (Minn, Wis, Ill, NW)
Texas Tech - has no other major conference in state, has three fellow B12 members in state (Baylor, Texas, Tex A&M), and two B12 schools bordering it (Okla, Ok State)
Washington St - has no other major conference in state, has on fellow Pac10 member in state (Wash), and two Pac10 schools bordering it (Oregon, Oregon St).

You can paint a nice contiguous conference map for every one of those schools. When you try to paint a contiguous Big Ten conference map that includes PSU, you get a pretty ugly chunk taken out of it with two Big East schools, Pitt and West Virginia, between us and Ohio State.

PSU is in a pretty unique situation - and it’s not good unique. There are some schools that have similar situations (some of the most recent Big East members and Boston College in the ACC) but those are recent happenings and only time will tell what the long term impact will be on those schools (as you might guess, I think not good).


#15
[quote="psu_DC, post:6, topic:983"]Sounds like an AD who is attentive to the alumni base and explains himself well. I like the part about no NCAA in six years not being good enough. Curley sent a text message full of bs to explain keeping a coach who is roughly the equivalent of lebo. Of course, Auburn, AL is a hot metropolis where recruiting is easy. Auburn doesn't have the geograhic excuse that Curley apologists hide behind. Oh wait yes they do. They just don't wave a white flag at the faintest hint of needing to try a different approach[/quote]

Do you actually pay attention to what the real geography issue is or do you just dismiss it because it doesn’t fit your argument?

Auburn AL is smack in the middle of the SEC and does not have the geography issue that Penn State has.

your argument about Auburn simply has a false consequent. Auburn has every issue that Penn State has geographically.

I see that the fringe of a conference border has now become the geographic excuse du jour, as the ag school argument has been proven devoid of any actual substance. If the conference border argument held true, Arkansas, Iowa, Texas Tech, and Washington State would never climb out of the basement of their conferences. But all have had more success than Penn State in the past. You present this as an absolute truth, that no school in America has Penn State’s geographic situation.

you are right. No other university in America can claim that they are the largest BCS-conference school in the entire northeast. Winning in revenue sports should be a cinch here. Most of us counter your argument by noting that Penn State has simply never made the effort in men’s basketball by hiring a coach that could sell the program. We have multiple examples to counter your geographic theory. There is no example to counter our argument that Penn State is losing because they aren’t trying to find the program a good coach.

We haven’t seen them make any effort at all to find a good coach since the day Parkhill left. If some day I see a very energetic, charismatic young, bright basketball mind come to coach at Penn State and leave as a failure 7 years later, then I will buy into your geographic argument.

Again, the issue isn’t that we are on the border or fringe of our conference. The issue is that we are in the middle of another conference; in our case, the Big East. Auburn is in the state of Alabama. Alabama has two major conference schools in it - both of which are in the SEC. If you are a kid growing up in Alabama and want to play major college basketball you will naturally lean toward an SEC school.

Frankly, I don’t even understand how you claim that Auburn has “every issue that Penn State has geographically”. Alabama is bordered by four states (Miss, Tenn, GA, Fla), ALL of which have an SEC school in them. PA is bordered by seven states (Ohio, NY, NJ, Del, Va, Md, WV), only one of which has a B10 school in it (but most of which have a Big East school). Also no other Big Six conference has a school in Alabama, but the Big East has two schools in PA. There’s no way that Auburn has the same geography challenges that PSU does.

A similar story can be told for every other one of your examples.

Arkansas - has the state to itself and has five fellow SEC schools bordering it (Vandy, Tenn, Miss, Miss St, LSU)
Iowa - shares the state with one Big 12 school but has four B10 schools bordering it (Minn, Wis, Ill, NW)
Texas Tech - has no other major conference in state, has three fellow B12 members in state (Baylor, Texas, Tex A&M), and two B12 schools bordering it (Okla, Ok State)
Washington St - has no other major conference in state, has on fellow Pac10 member in state (Wash), and two Pac10 schools bordering it (Oregon, Oregon St).

You can paint a nice contiguous conference map for every one of those schools. When you try to paint a contiguous Big Ten conference map that includes PSU, you get a pretty ugly chunk taken out of it with two Big East schools, Pitt and West Virginia, between us and Ohio State.

PSU is in a pretty unique situation - and it’s not good unique. There are some schools that have similar situations (some of the most recent Big East members and Boston College in the ACC) but those are recent happenings and only time will tell what the long term impact will be on those schools (as you might guess, I think not good).

You must admit that Iowa is in a fairly similar situation to us, but that they also try a lot harder with finding coaches. It is big 12 country there. As for Texas Tech - they are way up in W. Texas and it is a totally different world for them to recruit. They also try a lot harder with finding coaches. Same with Washington State, it is practically in Idaho while UW is in Seattle. Not going to agree with you that WSU are firmly in “Pac-10” country.

Auburn is an ag school similar to PSU, what difference does it make that their bordering states are in the SEC? You seem to think it makes a lot of difference, I disagree. Ohio is a “big ten” state anyway. All of your arguments may be true, but will you admit that PSU has made no effort to find a coach that could sell the program? That seems like a very obvious and glaring problem that can be addressed, but has not been. And Penn State’s situation is ‘good unique’. Being the largest D1 school in the northeast is a fairly big deal.

One other school fits your argument about geography and not winning - Colorado. But they also have historically had budget issues that we don’t have, and are in a less populated region of the US. I’d say they should have a harder time than PSU to win in basketball, but I think even they have had more success recently.

In general, all of this analysis of our geography and conference alignment is meandering and pointless. It has not adversely affected any other sport. The count of good recruits that you need to make noise in basketball is lower than in probably any other team sport, that is how you have seen George Mason and Butler both reach the final four in the last 4 years. Combine a good coach with 3 good players and you are going to have a decent season.

The real problems are not geography. I think DeChellis has marginally upgraded the incoming talent. He’s not a good coach. His staff is not good. Too many guys never develop into players. The post is largely ignored in recruiting, player development, and game plan. He has never trusted his bench in 7 years. There have been way too many transfers in total. The athletic director either doesn’t see it, doesn’t understand, doesn’t care, or all or the above. These are real, tangible problems that can be addressed. Every geographic situatio is unique. Until you’ve corrected everything else (and we’ve corrected nothing else), you cannot credibly identify it as the root problem for the program. I look forward to the excuse for a lousy 2010-2011


#16

However that doesn’t stop anyone from pointing at somewhere like Washington St or Texas Tech and saying “look at them, they are winning so PSU should too”.

I’d never use schools like that as a baseline for where we want to be. Back in 2001, there were probably many schools fanbases pointing at PSU saying “look, they can get to the sweet 16 so why shouldn’t we”. I’m much rather a situation like a Wisconsin or a Pitt or some other school who worked their way up and it appears to be sustainable. Washington St had a few great years, but more than likely will be right back where they started from in the next few years. What exactly are we supposed to learn from them?