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A spirit that is not afraid

EDITORIAL | Auburn, where do your loyalties lie?

On Oct. 31, Auburn University named its 16th Athletic Director, John Cohen, with a new mission to flip the script on the old saying “Just Auburn being Auburn.”

The question for Auburn Athletic Director John Cohen and President Chris Roberts now is this: What do you want “Auburn being Auburn” to mean?

Do you want it to mean that Auburn pays $350,000 to Richard Hansen, former dean of the Harrison College of Pharmacy, three days after his resignation from the University due to findings of a Title IX investigation showing he sexually harassed a student at an off-campus bar? 

Do you want it to mean keeping Title IX sexual misconduct data secret and then denying news organizations their requests for public records? 

Or do you want it to mean hiring Hugh Freeze—former Ole Miss and Liberty University head coach who abruptly resigned from Ole Miss after using the university phone to hire escorts, direct messaged a sexual assault survivor and allegedly forced an underage student to change in front of him during his time at Briarcrest Christian School—as our next head football coach? 

“After a thoughtful, thorough and well-vetted search, we ended where we started, with Hugh Freeze,” Cohen said. “Of all the candidates we considered, Hugh was the best fit. Fit has several meanings, but the most important factors were student-athlete development, football strategy, recruiting and SEC experience.”

Apparently in order to be “the best fit” for Auburn, it’s perfectly fine for you to have an extensive background of alleged sexual misconduct. 

Apparently, you actually don’t need to uphold any of the values stated in the Auburn Creed. Trade your hard work for corners cut. Trade your honesty and truthfulness for lies and deceit. Forget counting only on what you earn. You can just cheat in order to get what you want. 

As far as obedience to the law and protecting the rights of all—Auburn doesn’t seem to care about that either. Consider yourself valueless if you’re an Auburn woman.

Obviously, your voices aren’t being heard. 

It only took Auburn 48 hours to open its arms and welcome the man you begged it not to hire.

Auburn needs to reevaluate the kind of culture it is setting for its “Auburn Men” and the kind of environment it is setting for its “Auburn Women.” Let it not forget that the culture it sets for men inevitably dictates the environment that is set for women. 

Either Auburn needs to take a better look at The Creed it claims to treasure so much, or it needs to abandon it altogether.

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Nevertheless, it’s just Auburn being Auburn. 

Editorials represent the majority view of The Plainsman's editorial board and do not necessarily represent that of the entire newsroom. 

Editorial Board | Fall 2022

Editorials represent the majority view of The Plainsman's editorial board and do not necessarily represent that of the entire newsroom. 

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