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Headlinin’: Gene Chizik couldn’t believe Auburn hired him, either

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Making the morning rounds.

All's well that ends well. Auburn coach Gene Chizik initially pulled his name out of the running for the AU job before being hired in December 2008, according to an advance copy of his forthcoming memoir, in which Chizik also compares his decision to pursue the job just two years into his first head-coaching gig at Iowa State to cheating on a spouse. In the book, Chizik writes that he was convinced after his initial interview with Auburn that he wouldn't get the job, and left a phone message with AU athletic director Jay Jacobs bowing out of the search when news of the interview appeared in the media. Chizik also told one of his assistant athletic directors at Iowa State, Steve Malchow, that he had withdrawn his name and hopped on a plane back to Des Moines. When the plane landed, there was a text message from Jacobs offering Chizik the job.

"Make no mistake, I was humbled by Auburn's decision," Chizik writes. "And I knew this had to be a God appointment because this whole thing just didn't make sense otherwise." It didn't make a whole lot of sense to Tiger fans at first, either, but they've come around in the meantime. [Associated Press]

You, uh, might want to get used to this. The first defection from Ohio State: Incoming freshman Ejuan Price, a three-star linebacker from Pittsburgh who requested a release to transfer as it became obvious the program was beginning to come apart at the seams last month. "He just didn't feel any stability there even before [Jim] Tressel resigned," Price's high school coach told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "He has some ideas, but if he gets his release I'm not sure where he would go." [Columbus Dispatch, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

I don't care, do what I want. Expanding on Thursday's report that a handful of North Carolina players racked up more than $13,000 in fines on 395 on-campus parking tickets between March 2007 and August 2010, the Raleigh News & Observer found that the majority of that number was attributable to three players: Former wide receiver Greg Little, former defensive tackle Marvin Austin and current tailback Ryan Houston, who combined for 235 citations between them. Little alone accrued 93 parking tickets under nine license plate numbers on at least five different vehicles before being declared permanently ineligible last year for accepting illegal benefits from an agent, and reportedly still owes $125.{YSP:MORE}

The university said in a prepared statement that the players "were treated like every other statement," and most of the fines do appear to have been paid off, one way or another. But for the sake of comparison, UNC parking officials issued a grand total of 47,092 tickets in the most recent fiscal year, or roughly 1.7 per student. [News & Observer, The Daily Tar Heel]

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Comings and goings. Colorado center Mike Iltis, a full-time starter last year before suffering the second major knee injury of his career in the season finale, has decided to give up football, making him the 18th Buffalo to leave the team with eligibility remaining this offseason. Other departures include voluntarily exits, medical retirees, one transfer and (in the words of beat writer Kyle Ringo) "others who were not invited back." Any oversigning critics want to ask new coach Jon Embree about that line? [Boulder Daily Camera]

The Rap Sheet. Iowa State running back Duran Hollis, a redshirt freshman from Fort Worth, Texas, has been suspended indefinitely after being charged with possession of a controlled substance on Monday. Reports do not identify the specific substance in question. [Des Moines Register]

Quickly… Investigators may be interested in South Florida recruiting by several out-of-state heavyweights already under NCAA scrutiny. … Florida reports a pair of secondary violations. … Clemson gets a commitment from Jim Kelly's nephew. … Bobby Bowden thinks the Seminoles are back. … How Steve Spurrier drove Robert Edwards into Georgia's arms in the mid-nineties. … And if you're still looking for the perfect last-minute Father's Day gift, there's always your very own Waterford crystal football commemorating Auburn's national championship.

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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.

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