NCAA
Alex Scarborough, ESPN Staff Writer 19d

Embroiled Auburn AD Jay Jacobs to step down by June 1

Men's College Basketball, College Football, NCAA - Other, NCAA Softball, Auburn Tigers, Auburn Tigers, Auburn Tigers

Jay Jacobs will step down as Auburn's athletic director by June 1, he announced Friday.

"The last several months have been a particularly difficult time," Jacobs wrote in a statement. "Across several sports, a series of controversies have arisen. They have begun to take their toll and have raised questions about why Auburn must endure such problems. As I have always done, I have worked my hardest and best to do what is right for Auburn.

"I believe in Auburn and will fight for Auburn. But as I consider the future and what is best for Auburn, I have prayerfully decided the time has come for me to step aside. Sometimes a new direction and new leadership are helpful in moving beyond current problems."

The school announced that Jacobs could step down earlier if his successor is in place.

Jacobs' announcement comes less than two weeks after Auburn sent a "notice of outcome" to softball player Alexa Nemeth, whose Title IX complaint launched a five-month investigation into the softball program.

The investigation concluded that former assistant softball coach Corey Myers engaged in unwanted sexual conduct but that his actions did not constitute harassment of Nemeth. Myers resigned on March 30, and his father and head coach Clint Myers retired on Aug. 23.

The Oct. 25 letter, obtained by ESPN, states that there was sufficient evidence to "support a finding that unwanted sexual conduct occurred" but not enough evidence to show that Myers' conduct "created a hostile environment for you."

On Aug. 17, Outside the Lines requested records from Auburn regarding any investigations or disciplinary action against Corey Myers. ESPN has requested records more than a dozen times but has yet to receive a response.

Jacobs has been in his role since 2004. He worked for the athletic department in various capacities for more than 20 years before becoming the athletic director.

Under Jacobs' watch, Auburn's athletics revenues skyrocketed from $66.6 million in 2006 to a record $140 million a decade later.

He oversaw an undefeated season in college football in 2004 and a national championship season in 2010. He was also instrumental in the resignation of Tommy Tuberville, who was given a prorated buyout of $5.1 million, and the hiring and firing of his successor, Gene Chizik, who had a buyout of $7.5 million.

After firing men's basketball coach Tony Barbee in 2014, Jacobs made the controversial move to hire Bruce Pearl as his replacement. Pearl was caught lying to the NCAA and was fired by Tennessee. Because of the show-cause he was given by the NCAA, he was unable to recruit or evaluate players for his first five months on the job at Auburn.

On Thursday, Auburn announced that forward Danjel Purifoy and center Austin Wiley would be held out of games indefinitely as the school sorted through "potential eligibility issues." The two players are believed to be those cited within the FBI complaint against assistant coach Chuck Person, who was suspended without pay following his arrest tied to the investigation into college basketball corruption.

^ Back to Top ^