It is irrefutable logic. Gus Malzahn was Auburn’s offensive coordinator for three years. If Auburn has committed any major NCAA recruiting violations, he knows about them and he knows where the bodies are buried.
No intelligent head coach would walk into a situation knowing that impending NCAA sanctions might cripple his program for the next three to four years. Further, under the new NCAA penalty system those sanctions would likely include hefty fines for the program, a multiple-year post season ban and heavier scholarship reductions than anything that might have been imposed previously.
Malzahn knows all of this. He also knows that in the modern era, no Auburn head football coach since Shug Jordan has left that program on his own terms. Only one—Tommy Tuberville—went on to coach a major college football program after leaving the plains.
If the NCAA finds major violations and imposes harsh sanctions, it will be many years before Auburn is competitive again in the Southeastern Conference. Going 0-8 in the SEC will become the new normal and as we all know, there is no fan base in this league patient enough to stomach that.
So if Auburn does announce Gus Malzahn as their next head coach, you can rest assured that there won’t likely be any major NCAA violations found.
You can extend this logic to candidates who have recruited against Auburn since 2009, the year Gene Chizik and his staff took over the Auburn program. That would include Bobby Petrino, Kirby Smart, Jimbo Fisher, Chadd Morris and James Franklin. You don’t go head-to-head for top recruits for three years running and not know if a program is exceeding the speed limit by enough to get nailed by the local constabulary.
It doesn’t matter how much money you throw at these guys, either. They’re all relatively young men with relatively bright, yet brief resumes. They’re all up-and-comers, which means that they won’t take a short term cash bonanza if it means wrecking their longer term potential as head coaches. They’re too smart for that.
The only one with an ego—and sense of desperation—large enough to risk his future thinking he might win anyway is Petrino, and even he might take pause.
So mark this down: If Gus Malzahn takes the Auburn job, there won’t be any major NCAA sanctions levied against the Tigers.
The logic is irrefutable.