Auburn players are avoiding media and attempting to stay focused on improvement following their loss to Ole Miss on Saturday, October 13. As reported by Joel A. Erickson at AL.com, Auburn's players and coaches have been the target of much frustration through media reports and social media since early in the season and are now attempting to tune it out as much as possible.
That frustration has mounted following each additional loss, making media of any form a potential pitfall for players attempting to stay focused on upcoming games. When asked if players are negatively affected by media reports and fans venting through social media, head coach Gene Chizik agreed that it has served as a distraction and a burden on morale.
"It's hard for them not to," Chizik said. "I'm not going to put my head in the sand and act like it's not. The bottom line is we're doing our best job as coaches to keep this unified."
Craig Sanders, an Auburn defensive end who saw his share of action against Ole Miss, agreed with the assessment. "You've got to stay out of that. You've got to stay out of newspapers, the media -and I'm not saying anything against any of y'all," Sanders told reporters on Sunday. "As a coach and player, you can't look at any of that, because it just gets you down."
Chizik has stated on more than one occasion that his players are focused and always give it their all during practice. Following the game against Ole Miss, he stated, "Our guys fought hard to the end. They never quit."
According to Rivals.com, Auburn ranked 10th in the nation for recruiting in 2012 and I don't believe anyone could argue that the team's problems stem from a lack of talent. And according to Chizik, that talent is being backed up with considerable effort on the part of the players. If that is the case, and I don't doubt that it is, what then is to blame for the 1-5 record?
I'm sure at least some blame can be legitimately placed on the heads of the players, but not all. The coaches are paid handsomely to turn those talented recruits into a winning football team. At this point, despite my love of Auburn, I can't help but believe that most of the onus is on the coaching staff. To me, that makes more sense than blaming a group of talented young men who reportedly are trying very hard to make this program work.Christopher Brown is an avid, almost rabid college football fan. More importantly, he is a fan of the Auburn Tigers, a team that always seems to provide its fans with an unpredictable and even frustrating roller-coaster ride.
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