Posted on: March 6, 2012 3:20 pm

Auburn to unveil Heisman statues at spring game

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Auburn fans treating themselves to the Tigers' "A-Day" spring game are going to be treated themselves to a one-of-a-kind ceremony involving the school's three Heisman Trophy winners.

The Tiger athletic department had announced previously that they would be commissioning and erecting statuses of Pat Sullivan, Bo Jackson and Cam Newton to be unveiled at a later date. A release from the school Tuesday established that date as April 14, when the statues will be dedicated in a special ceremony at 10 a.m. prior to the annual "A-Day" game.

According to the release, Sullivan (who won his Heisman in 1971), Jackson (1985) and Newton (2010, in case you've forgotten already) are all scheduled to be in attendance at the ceremony. The statues will be placed on the east end of Jordan-Hare Stadium.

In an interview with Auburn fansite The War Eagle Reader last April, statue sculptor Ken Bjorge said that the statues of Sullivan and Jackson had already been commissioned -- and completed -- when Newton's stunning Heisman season forced Auburn to ask for a third statue, and delay the unveiling of Sullivan's and Jackson's. In the interim, Florida became the first SEC team with a collection of Heisman statues, unveiling renditions of Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel and Tim Tebow at their 2011 spring game. 

The delay also meant, of course, that Auburn avoided the awkwardness of either dedicating or not dedicating a statue of Newton, whose infamous NCAA investigation only wrapped up last October. Though going through with an order for $100,000 worth of sculpted steel was already a sizable vote of confidence on Auburn's part, there's little doubt the school is highly appreciative the statue won't have to be unveiled with a Julie Roe Lach-shaped monkey on its back. 

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Posted on: April 14, 2011 11:06 am

Auburn readying statues of Heisman winners

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Given the press surrounding the soon-to-be-unveiled Nick Saban statue at Alabama and the new row of Heisman-winning quarterback statues at Florida, it was only a matter of time before some other school stepped forward to keep up with the Joneses in Tuscaloosa and Gainesville.

And this week, in a letter to fans and alumni, Tiger athletic director Jay Jacobs made it official that that school would be Auburn. The Tiger athletic department last year commissioned statues of past Heisman winners Pat Sullivan and Bo Jackson, before having to add another sculpture to their shopping list when Cam Newton picked up the program's third Heisman last December. "Little did we know we would need to add a third statue so soon," Jacobs wrote.

Newton's honor likely pushed the timetable for the unveiling back from this weekend's "A-Day" spring game to the 2011 season; the artist's website says the Sullivan and Jackson statues are already completed. If there's any positive to the delay from the Auburn perspective, it's that it will give the program another few months in which to avoid unveiling the Newton statue should anything come to light in the still-ongoing (as far as we know) NCAA investigation into his recruitment.

But obviously, Jacobs and Auburn aren't expecting any developments like that soon, or ever; it's hard to prove a belief in a player's innocence any more emphatically than setting a nine-foot tall, one-ton statue of him outside the stadium directly alongside the team's two greatest legends, isn't it?
Posted on: March 1, 2011 12:13 pm

Behold! Nick Saban in bronze!

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Yes, given his tan, Nick Saban generally looks bronze year round, but we're talking the real bronze here. The metal bronze. You see, it was about this time last year that word first surfaced Alabama would be unveiling some statues honoring Nick Saban much like it has other head coaches who won national titles in Tuscaloosa. The original plan was for the statue to be unveiled at Alabama's spring game last March, known as A-Day, but that simply wasn't enough time. Then the school set a target date for the season opener last fall, but that wasn't enough time either.

So the latest unveiling is set to be on this year's A-Day, and it looks as though things may be on schedule this time. TideSports.com has some photos of the statue, and it looks just about finished to me.

Of course, the statue isn't completely finished just yet, and they are currently in Oklahoma. So while the goal is to have them on campus for A-Day, there's no guarantee it will be ready in time. Though what I want to know is if there are any Auburn fans within driving distance of the statues right now who will drive over there and poison the statue.  And by poison the statue, I mean cut its head off Jebediah Springfield-style. 
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 3, 2010 3:20 pm

Those are some nice statues, Texas

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The University of Texas has some new statues on its campus this week, and they're, um, well, they're interesting?  You see, the statues are supposed to be of Texas' athletic legends.  The problem is that, well, there are only two statues.

A black one and a white one. They just happen to be wearing different uniforms or are in different positions.  For instance, this is supposed to be Vince Young.

It looks more like Vince Young after having a bucket of black paint poured over his head, which, judging by the look on his face, scared the ever living hell out of him.  A look that also bares a striking resemblance to both Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams.

Then there's this statue of Darrell Royal, which looks like a statue of somebody who may have been confused for Darrell Royal by some tourist on the streets of Austin after spending too much time at Maggie Mae's.

Seriously, Texas, you have the biggest bankroll of any athletic department in the country, and you decided to go on $20 a statue?  Aren't you better than this?  The only good thing I can say about any of these statues is that at least they didn't turn Bevo into a bear or something.

Photos courtesy of EDSBS and Burnt Orange Nation
Posted on: October 21, 2010 4:47 pm

Rebel fans plan statue of Colonel Reb

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

For most of us, Ole Miss 's quixotic search for a mascot to replace the outdated Colonel Reb -- and the delightful groundswell of support for a Star Wars character best described as "obscure" anywhere but the Internet to take over the job -- has been an amusing diversion at worst and downright endearing at its (Ackbarian) best. Even the eventual choice of the most generic, unMississippi mascot possible couldn't entirely take off the shine fron the neutral perspective.

But it's not surprising that from the perspective of Rebel fans themselves, this decision was something much more important. And this being a politically-loaded decision in the Deep South, it's unfortunately not surprising that the decision was something much, much, much more important to a particular subset of those fans. Important enough to sever and ties with the university and defiantly build a memorial statue of the deposed Colonel Reb? As the Ole Miss student paper the Daily Mississippian reports, yes, most definitely that important :

Speculation has arisen that a group of Ole Miss alumni seeks to erect a statue of Colonel Reb in Oxford in light of the recent decision by the Mascot Selection Committee.

In an e-mail to Chancellor Dan Jones and athletic director Pete Boone, Fairest Boyd, a graduate of Ole Miss and self-proclaimed long-time Rebel fanatic, politely requests an address to which she, along with her husband and several more family members and friends, may mail their diplomas back with wishes of officially terminating their association with the University ...

As for the Colonel Reb statue, Boyd said in the message that the monument will serve as a reminder that Ole Miss once stood as a great, public university, full of southern tradition, gallantry and honor, before becoming a “generic, so-called politically correct college.”
It's not just the, ahem, gallantry-focused alumni that believe a couple tons' worth of concrete antebellum gentleman is a great idea; the two Ole Miss students quoted in the article offer the project its unqualified support as well.

But no matter how much alumni, student, or black bear support the statue accumulates, it's not likely to ever come to fruition. As the story reports:

One member of the Board of Aldermen said that Boyd’s idea of erecting a statue is too controversial to discuss at this time. Furthermore, before the statue could be erected, it would have to be discussed, planned and approved by the city.
The odds of Oxford discussing, planning, and approving a Colonel Reb statue are probably longer than for an Admiral Ackbar statue, I'm guessing. Fairest Boyd may be entirely correct that such a statue would be "the next wonder of the world," but Ole Miss has worked too hard to rehabilitate its Old South image -- in spite of the efforts of the Fairest Boyds of the world -- for that wonder to ever become reality.

HT: TeamSpeedKills .

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com