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The wait on Tuberville's fate continues

12/2/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

I'm not sure what to make of the statement Auburn put out late Monday regarding Tommy Tuberville, and I'd say Tuberville doesn't, either.

Tuberville met with Auburn officials earlier in the day Monday, but there was no definitive word that he would be back next season.

The statement, which was released by assistant athletic director for media relations Kirk Sampson, read: "President (Jay) Gogue, (athletic director) Jay Jacobs and Coach Tuberville did meet Monday to have their annual end of the season meeting. Further conversations between Jay Jacobs and Coach Tuberville will take place in the following days to discuss Coach Tuberville's plan to make improvements for the program moving forward under his leadership. Once those discussions are completed, I will provide you with an update."

In other words, the situation is extremely fluid right now and could go either way.

Tuberville is coming off only his second losing season at Auburn, which culminated with a 36-0 loss to Alabama last Saturday in the Iron Bowl. Tuberville had won six straight over Alabama prior to that loss and said afterward that he was committed to getting things turned around and was confident he could in short order.

It remains to be seen whether or not he will be given that chance. The longer this thing goes, the more you wonder.

His contract runs through 2013, and his salary averages $3.3 million per year. He's owed a $6 million buyout if his contract is terminated, but Tuberville also owes the school $6 million if he were to leave for another job.

If he does return, he will almost certainly have to make several changes on his offensive staff. The Tigers were tied for 110th nationally in scoring offense and were 102nd in total offense.