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After leaving Auburn amid scandals, former AD gets second chance at this SEC school

Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs speaks to the media in January 2016.
Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs speaks to the media in January 2016. Courtesy of Auburn Athletics

Five months after leaving Auburn, former athletic director Jay Jacobs has found a new job.

Jacobs was named Florida’s executive associate athletic director Tuesday. Jacobs joins the Gators’ athletic department after spending over 30 years in the Auburn athletic department.

"Some people are fortunate to say they are coming home once in their careers, now I am lucky enough to say it twice," Jacobs said in a release from the university. "Having attended high school in Jacksonville, I'm honored and privileged to join the UAA and continue to work in the nation's best conference in the SEC. I am looking forward to working with Scott Stricklin and the rest of the staff to help serve the Gator student-athletes, coaches and fans of the Gator Nation."

Jacobs spent 13 years as the athletic director at Auburn, his alma mater. During that time, five different teams won 25 conference championships and 12 national championships, including the 2010 Auburn football team that won the team’s first national title since 1957.

The end of Jacobs’ tenure at Auburn was one that did not lack controversy.

In August 2017, the Auburn softball team was turned upside down when head coach Clint Myers retired following allegations of inappropriate conduct by Myers’ son Corey, who was an assistant coach. Jacobs would later say he “could have been more forthcoming” regarding the athletic department’s investigation into the matter.

One month later, Auburn men’s basketball assistant coach Chuck Person was arrested on federal bribery and corruption charges related to the FBI’s investigation into corruption in college basketball. It was later revealed Auburn players Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy were connected to Person’s case and subsequently held out for the entire 2017-2018 season.

The Auburn athletic department faced more issues in October. On Oct. 12, ESPN reported Auburn hired a law firm to investigate whether a part-time academic staffer took a final exam for at least one member of the 2015 Auburn football team. The next day, the university was given a federal subpoena regarding the FBI’s investigation into college basketball.

Two weeks later, former assistant track and field coach Adrian Ghioraie sued the school’s board of trustees and assistant head track and field coach Henry Rolle. Ghioraie claimed he was wrongfully terminated and that Rolle assaulted him.

Jacobs announced his impending resignation from Auburn in November, writing in part, "Earlier this week, I informed President Leath that I will step down as Director of Athletics on June 1, 2018, or sooner if my successor is in place. I have come to this decision after a lot of prayer, deliberative discussions with my wife, Angie, and with the realization that it is time for a new leader of an incredible Department."

Jacobs’ replacement at Auburn, former Buffalo athletic director Allen Greene, was hired in January.