Posted by Chip Patterson
Often times we enjoy kidding about schools recruiting young, as the competition for the top talent has led to younger and younger prospects on coaches' radars. But few people can say they received a scholarship offer Auburn at birth.
When Princess Diana gave birth to Prince William in 1982, then-head coach Pat Dye sent the future king an honorary football scholarship to join the Tigers. The Spring 2011 edition of the Auburn Athletics Department quarterly magazine, Tiger Roar, brought the royal scholarship offer to light.
"Shortly after William's birth, Coach Pat Dye sent the future king an honorary Auburn football scholarship, as official as any honorary scholarship could be, signed by Coach Dye himself, sealed and delivered," explained former Auburn athletics director David Housel. "Somewhere in Coach Dye's files or within the archives of the athletic department or university there is a letter, a nice note actually, from Buckingham Palace, thanking Coach Dye and Auburn for the scholarship, letting him know that Prince Charles and Diana appreciated Auburn's courtesy and thoughtfulness. They were confident Prince William would appreciate and consider the offer as he grew older."
Instead of joining the Tigers, William opted instead to attend St. Andrews in Scotland - where he met his now-wife Kate Middleton. The story makes for an interesting "what if" for Auburn fans, though I think the recently named Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would agree that things have worked out pretty well without a stop in Jordan-Hare Stadium.