Auburn University President Dr. Jay Gogue addressed the Auburn family Thursday asking them to come together in support of the University's struggling football team.
The Auburn Tigers, just two seasons removed from being undefeated and holding its first national championship in more than a half-century, is now experiencing one of its worst seasons in more than a half-century, winning only one game so far this season. That win was in overtime against Louisiana-Monroe.
Gogue's message reads:
A Message to the Auburn Family about Auburn Football
"The Auburn spirit is part of everything we do – in the classroom and beyond. It includes the spirit we show when we support those who represent us on the playing field.
Later today, Auburn students and the local community will gather to cheer on the football team as they practice. I encourage others to follow their example by coming together and getting behind the young men who wear the orange and blue each fall Saturday.
In the past few weeks, many of you have contacted me, and I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to share your thoughts about the football program. I know your concerns are sincere and heartfelt, and I share many of them. As we do every year, the football program will be evaluated in an objective, thorough and professional process.
For everything there is a time, and now is the time to support. The young men and women – our students – who make up Auburn University are grateful for the dedication of their extended Auburn Family. So am I."
Wednesday evening, Auburn Student Government Association President Owen Parrish released his own statement asking fans to come together. His letter reads:
"In 1943 George Petrie coined the phrase, "I believe in Auburn and love it." There is no doubt that Petrie's words still ring true, even in tough seasons, and I am still proud to be a part of Auburn and the Auburn family. Right now, our football team and its staff need the Auburn family for encouragement and support more than ever before.
For this reason, I am asking each of you to join me, the Auburn student body, the Auburn community, and the Auburn family October 25, at 5:15 p.m. at the south end of the Coliseum parking lot. From there, we will all move to the football practice fields to cheer on and encourage our Tigers with a surprise showing of support during practice. We are gathering as a family, unbeknownst to the football team, in order to Be Auburn for Auburn.
Our team needs us, and I know we can be there for them Thursday night. This is more important than a football game and more important than wins and losses; this is for the betterment of Auburn. Let's stay later and yell louder, because we believe in Auburn and love it."
Auburn head football coach Gene Chizik's future leading the team is increasingly being called into question. He says he continues to have confidence in his coaching staff and does not have a "woe is me" attitude.
This week has also been difficult for Chizik on a personal note. His mother, Rita Chizik, died Monday.
The Auburn Tigers host Texas A&M Saturday with an 6:00pm kickoff.
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