Since polishing off South Carolina to win the SEC Championship Game and claim their berth in the national title game, the coaching staff at Auburn has stayed in the headlines. Unfortunately, it's been for reasons other than their coaching prowess: Gene Chizik's hitting the incentives jackpot , Gus Malzahn's hot-and-heavy flirtation with the Vanderbilt head coaching job, and now assistant head coach Trooper Taylor is in the news for suing his son's school over his hairstyle :
With the Auburn City Schools board standing by Tolbert (who is black), the suit is expected to be heard in court on Dec. 21.
Taylor’s son Blaise Taylor , a 9th-grader who refused to remove his braids, has been prevented from playing for the junior varsity basketball team because of his hairstyle. Blaise refused to change it, saying braids were important to him as a connection to his role models.
On Friday in Montgomery, the Taylors filed a federal lawsuit alleging head basketball coach Frank Tolbert’s grooming policy is racially discriminatory since it singles out a hairstyle almost exclusively worn by black players while allowing white players to wear unkempt hair.
Whether any of this -- Taylor's suit, Malzahn's Vandy discussions, even Cam Newton's Heisman win and subsequent media victory lap -- has any impact on the actual football to be played in Glenale is highly, highly debatable; with 25 days still to go until Jan. 10 and virtually all of the Tigers' planning and preparation still ahead of them, there's still plenty of time for Auburn to put any and all distractions behind them and focus on the task at hand.
Nonetheless, if we're wondering which team's head coach is happier with his team's break from the practice grind, we're betting Oregon coach Chip Kelly will take the relative calm around Eugene over the relative hubbub that seems to be surrounding Chizik's program at the moment.