Auburn prez promises ‘objective, thorough, professional’ evaluation

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With the clock ticking — maybe — on Gene Chizik‘s time at Auburn, the university has finally addressed its embattled head coach and the football program.

Somewhat.

In a statement released by the university Thursday afternoon, president Jay Gogue said that he understands the concerns expressed to his office regarding the Tigers’ on-field performance this season “are sincere and heartfelt, and I share many of them.”  Chizik was not mentioned by name, and Gogue said that, as the school does annually, “the football program will be evaluated in an objective, thorough and professional process.”

The Tigers have stumbled out of the gate at 1-6, and have lost all five SEC games this season.  In fact, AU hasn’t won a conference game since Oct. 29 of last year, and have lost eight of their last nine in SEC play.  The worst part?  The Tigers are staring a winless SEC season straight in the face as they still have No. 22 Texas A&M (this weekend), No. 12 Georgia (Nov. 10) and No. 1 Alabama in the season-ending Iron Bowl (Nov. 24).

Only non-conference games against New Mexico State and FCS-level Alabama A&M will afford the Tigers any realistic shot at winning again before the curtain closes on the 2012 season, if not Chizik’s time on The Plains.

Gogue, though, implored in his letter to the masses that the fan base continues to support the players.

“For everything there is a time, and now is the time to support,” read the closing paragraph of Gogue’s missive. “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.”