Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs will step down on June 1, citing controversies

Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs will step down from his position on June 1, 2018. He says he told Auburn President Steven Leath of his decision earlier this week. He announced to fans via this letter posted online.

Jacobs says in the letter he can remember everything from his first Auburn football game. He was 12. Jacobs says in his farewell, “Since I came here as a walk-on football player in 1981 and became a starter on an SEC Championship team, I have loved this school and I always will. I have given my heart and soul to our university, but the university has given me so much more in return.”

Jacobs an Auburn athletics on the whole have been a center of controversy over the last year.

In August, former softball players reportedly sent a complaint alleging abusive treatment and sexual harassment by the coaching staff.

Then at the end of September, Auburn Assistant Basketball Coach Chuck Person was arrested on federal charges in a massive investigation alleging fraud and corruption in college athletics. As a result, Auburn University announced on Thursday that basketball players Austin Wiley and Denjel Purifoy would have to sit indefinitely to avoid eligibility issues for the university.

Jacobs addressed some of the problems in his farewell letter to fans, writing:

“When something goes wrong, it is my responsibility. I have always known that. I have always accepted that.

“The last several months have been a particularly difficult time. 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.”

You can read his full letter here.