Auburn coach Gene Chizik found his program in the crosshairs of an NCAA investigation in the fall of 2010. Reports of illicit payments made during the recruitment of quarterback Cam Newton flooded in, but ultimately the NCAA found no wrongdoing by Auburn.
That's why Chizik is giving the NCAA and its president Mark Emmert the benefit of the doubt about the sanctions handed down to Penn State on Monday.
“Obviously, we don't have all the facts. The NCAA and Mark Emmert do have all the facts,” Chizik told ESPN on Monday. “That's one things I learned going through what we went through, is that there's a lot of outside opinion that look one way, but until you have all the information, you don't know.”
As for his advice for new Penn State coach Bill O'Brien, Chizik said crisis management will be a big part of what the staff must do in the coming days and weeks.
“He's going to have to have a plan,” Chizik said. “It's crisis mode. He's going to have to sit down with his staff and figure out where to go from here. The first thing they have to do is re-recruit their own football team.”
Chizik also touched on his own team. Auburn is coming off an 8-5 campaign and faces a major overhaul on offense with the departure of offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn and leading rusher Michael Dyer.
New offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler was brought in to reshape Tigers. Chizik said Loeffler not only brings extensive experience as a quarterbacks coach, but also a run-first mentality.
“Conceptually, as the head coach, I want to run the football at Auburn,” Chizik said. “And we found different ways to do that over the years. That's kind of where Scot Loeffler came from. He came from Michigan, he was with Lloyd Carr and that was kind of their mindset back then.
“He was Tim Tebow's coach at Florida for a couple of years, so he's got a little bit of what we've done in the previous three years in his background as well. We're going to do a little bit of everything, but we do have a very concise concept and a tight-knit idea of exactly what we want to do.”
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