You’ll be shocked, shocked to learn that there’s another academic scandal at, of all places, Auburn. But, Auburn being Auburn, there’s so much more.
Thomas was the director of academic support services for Auburn football until March 1. That’s the day Auburn fired him. He is now suing Auburn for discrimination. A lawsuit against Auburn was delivered in Thomas’ name last Friday, and I was emailed a copy of the complaint on Monday.
It claims that Auburn discriminated against Thomas based on race and gender. Essentially, this is the case: a grade for a football player was apparently changed in December of 2019, and Thomas allegedly was fired for knowing about it, but his three superiors were not because they’re white women. The lawsuit also alleges that Thomas experienced a hostile work environment and unfair pressure because football players were making bad grades.
“I feel like a lot of this was done to sabotage my career and make sure I don’t get another job in athletics,” Thomas said.
The quote in the post header comes from my favorite part of the allegations in the lawsuit.
This lawsuit alleges that Thomas was the “token” Black guy of his department “to provide the illusion of racial and gender equality by Auburn University, and help Auburn defend itself against its criticized image as the whitest school in the SEC.”
… As for Auburn’s whiteness, well, it is indeed the whitest school in the SEC, according to U.S. News’ 2019 campus ethnic diversity rating system. Auburn scored a 0.27 with 1.0 being the highest possible score for diversity. That puts Auburn right there with BYU and the University of Charleston. I would argue that Ole Miss and Alabama historically have a whiter “criticized image” than Auburn, but that’s not really a debate anyone wins.
Oh, I disagree. We’re all winners here, at least those of us on the outside looking in.
I just hope somebody asks Spurrier to update his observation about Auburn academics:
On a fire at the Auburn library that destroyed 20 books: “The real tragedy was that 15 hadn’t been colored yet.”