Category Archives: Auburn’s Cast of Thousands

It’s only money.

Way to go, Auburn!

A year after reporting record revenue and a $17.9 million profit margin, Auburn’s athletics department saw its revenue decrease by $30 million year over year and operated at a $9.7 million loss, according to a copy of the university’s annual NCAA financial report obtained by AL.com through a public records request. It’s the first time in seven years that Auburn athletics has operated at a loss.

You probably won’t be surprised why.

… After reporting $33,820,864 in ticket revenue during the 2019-20 fiscal year, that number plummeted to just $3.7 million during the 2020-21 fiscal year, according to the document. Auburn reported just $3.2 million in football ticket sales, which was down from $31 million the prior year, and just $180,757 in men’s basketball ticket sales, which was down from $2.1 million the year before.

The loss of ticket revenue from the university’s two most profitable sports, paired with a significant jump in severance payments due to former coaches and administrators, played into the athletics department operating at a loss for the first time in seven years. Auburn reported just $734,877 in severance payments due to former coaches during the 2019-20 fiscal year, but that number ballooned to $16.6 million during the most recent fiscal year. Of course, the bulk of that was due to the turnover within the football program, with Auburn doling out $16.08 million to former football coaches during the 2020-21 fiscal year following the firing of former coach Gus Malzahn and the majority of his staff.

In retrospect, maybe paying out millions in buyout money during a pandemic wasn’t the sharpest business decision.  But at least they got a better record out of it… oh, wait.  And if Harsin turns in a losing record this season?  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Boosters, to your checkbooks!

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UPDATE:  While over in Athens

Georgia athletics reported a surplus approaching $21 million for the fiscal year that ended last June in the first full academic year impacted by the pandemic and limited attendance.

The Georgia Athletic Association reported total revenues of $153,177,131 and total expenses of $132,555,972 for a difference of $20,621,159, according to a draft IRS Form 990 that was accepted by the athletic board’s finance committee on behalf of the full board in a meeting on Tuesday morning.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, It's Just Bidness

Just like Auburn planned it

Gee, how are things on the Plains going lately?  Swimmingly, it seems.

Auburn football coach Bryan Harsin is set to promote assistant head coach/linebackers coach Jeff Schmedding to defensive coordinator with Derek Mason planning to leave for other coaching opportunities, sources confirmed to ESPN.

Jeez, Mason doesn’t even have a job offer in hand, he’s just planning on leaving?  A guy who was willing to coach at Vanderbilt for years, but finds that one year at Auburn turns out to be a bridge too far?  Quite the endorsement of Harsin’s leadership skills.

Speaking of which, this seems promising.

On defense, Harsin is bringing in former Auburn All-SEC defensive lineman Jimmy Brumbaugh to coach the Tigers’ defensive line. Brumbaugh was a defensive analyst at Oregon last season, and before that was at Tennessee under Jeremy Pruitt before being fired midway through the 2020 season.

Nothing says quality coaching like hiring a dude whom Jeremy Pruitt scapegoated for subpar defensive play.  2022 is shaping up as a memorable year for that multi-million dollar buyout.

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“#QBU”

Oy.

Auburn as Quarterback U?  Seems rather optimistic for signing one of the only two quarterbacks in the conference to finish with a lower passer rating than Bo Nix did.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Blowing Smoke

The “they didn’t want to be there” club

Shot.

Chaser.

Well, it’s bowl season again.

Here are the three fan bases most likely to use that excuse if their teams lose:

3. Auburn

Bowl Game: Birmingham Bowl vs. No. 21 Houston

Auburn fans should care about this bowl and if the Tigers win, they might. Major departures in the transfer portal, coaching staff changes, a heartbreaking loss to rival Alabama and a mediocre 6-6 season is the perfect recipe for fans to say the players didn’t want to be there.

It seems like most Auburn fans are moving on to 2022 instead of focusing on the Birmingham Bowl at the new and beautiful Protective Stadium in Uptown Birmingham. Remember last season when Northwestern piled on against Auburn in the Citrus Bowl?

Houston has the potential to do something similar. Hopefully, the players care to be there, but if Auburn loses, the fan will certainly say they didn’t.

It’s getting to be an Auburn tradition.

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Implosion on the Plains

Bo noes.

Tank goes.

I tells ‘ya, Bryan Harsin is on one helluva run lately.  Makes you wonder whom Auburn boosters might be reaching out to behind his back these days.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Transfers Are For Coaches.

Alex, I’ll take Target Rich Environments for $200.

Just another day on the Plains.

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UPDATE:  Not with a bang…

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, The NCAA

TFW you don’t care for Auburn

Now, this is funny.

Yes, there’s an eagle, too. (h/t)

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football

Soon to be appearing in an analyst’s booth near you…

Bryan Harsin made a sacrifice to the football gods yesterday.

Mike Bobo will not return as Auburn’s offensive coordinator, sources have confirmed to Auburn Live.

The decision was finalized by first-year coach Bryan Harsin on Monday.

That makes two assistant coaches canned in Harsin’s first year.  Dude’s already shown he can scapegoat at an elite level.

What’s really great about this is that Harsin made a big deal about stealing Bobo from Shane Beamer in the offseason.  Now Auburn gets to pay for that.

Bobo signed a three-year contract last offseason. The deal was worth $1.3 million annually, and Auburn will owe him the remaining $2.6 million on his contract in buyout payments, paid out over the term of the deal, which runs through Jan. 31, 2024.

At least Mike will be well compensated (better than he was when he was Georgia’s OC, as a matter of fact) while he’s giving Kirby Smart advice.

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Bo knows.

Mr. Nix goes full blown Alabama/SEC refs conspiracy theory:

“Just few of those obviously controversial calls that were in that game raises some questions for sure—I guess, unless you’re an Alabama fan,” Nix said. “But that’s just part of the game. We’ve discussed it over and over and over. That’s not gonna change, no matter what happens.”

… Nix said that the questionable officiating is something that’s “always” gone on in Alabama games. The Tide has won nine of the past 13 matchups in the rivalry.

“I think you can watch the game, and anybody unbiased would think that something is different,” Nix said. “But it is what it is. It’s kind of how it’s always been, but that’s part of the game. And they have good players, you can’t take that away from them.”

That should make for some good discussion fodder on Finebaum.

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Filed under Alabama, Auburn's Cast of Thousands, SEC Football

Shade, baby!

No, yesterday’s loss to South Carolina doesn’t make up for McGarity rolling over on scheduling with the Tigers, but we’ve had worse consolation prizes.

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