When a school president pens a letter to students and fans telling them that, yes, he has heard their complaints and urges them to show public support for the team, that's a sign the season is going really, really bad.
Auburn is off to its worst start since 1952 at 1-6, and has lost all five SEC games it has played. It wouldn't take a genius to figure out that the school is probably hearing a lot of complaints, and it's not hard to imagine most have to do with coach Gene Chizik.
To quell some of those complaints, Auburn president Jay Gogue penned a letter to Auburn fans, and asked them to join a rally at practice for the team.
The letter was posted on Auburn's web site:
A Message to the Auburn Family about Auburn Football
The Auburn spirit is part of everything we do — in the classroom and beyond. It includes the spirit we show when we support those who represent us on the playing field.
Later today, Auburn students and the local community will gather to cheer on the football team as they practice. I encourage others to follow their example by coming together and getting behind the young men who wear the orange and blue each fall Saturday.
In the past few weeks, many of you have contacted me, and I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to share your thoughts about the football program. I know your concerns are sincere and heartfelt, and I share many of them. As we do every year, the football program will be evaluated in an objective, thorough and professional process.
For everything there is a time, and now is the time to support. The young men and women — our students — who make up Auburn University are grateful for the dedication of their extended Auburn Family. So am I.
The rally at Auburn's practice was organized by Student Government Association president Owen Parrish, according to the Opelika Auburn News.
It's a nice gesture. We saw a similar show of support at Arkansas this season (really, when you hear about rallies at a football practice, there's probably a 98 percent chance an SEC team is involved) and regardless of how the season is going, it has to be a positive thing for the players who probably have heard a lot of negative things during a horribly disappointing season.
We also figure the Auburn fans will show some support to Chizik, who is dealing with the death of his mother this week. Regardless of his future and if Auburn fans want him fired (the "evaluated in an objective, thorough and professional process" line by Gogue will probably be thoroughly read between the lines by Auburn fans, as will "your concerns are sincere and heartfelt, and I share many of them"), Chizik did help deliver a national title a couple seasons ago.
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