Barkley speaks out
Charles Barkley was a guest on WJOX's "The Roundtable" show this afternoon.
Here is what he had to say:
- On Jeff Lebo: ``Jeff is a nice guy, but he didn't win. It's not personal. Every coach is going to get fired at some point. He was there for six years and he didn't win."
- On his recent talk with Jay Jacobs: ``I told him anything he needs me to do, I'll do. There's not a person is basketball I don't know or can't find out about. If he wants me to do a background check on any coach in the country, I can get it done. I can find out the truth. I'm there for him."
- On what Auburn needs: ``We need to bring some excitement into the new building. We can't hide behind the crutch that we don't have a good building anymore … or good practice facilities. You can win at Auburn. Auburn is a good program. We're never going to be North Carolina or Duke, but we've had success and if you put the right coach in there, we can be successful again."
- On if Auburn needs to hire a black coach: ``I've never demanded that they hire a black coach. I said I thought Turner Gill's resume was better than Gene Chizik's. And it was. Gene did a great job. I wish him success. Most people always think the white guy is the best guy for the job. That's why we have no minority coaches in football -- because a majority of the people who run these schools are white. They're always going to hire a while guy. The best candidate? That's b.s. I don't care who Auburn hires. I just want them to hire a good coach.
``Everybody went crazy. I said the exact same thing about Alabama when they hired Mike Shula over Sylvester Croom. Clearly race had a lot to do with that. Mike Shula -- that was the saddest day of my life when he got fired."
- More on the Shula/Croom controversy: ``That was a travesty. I know how the South works down here. We've got a bunch of rednecks down here. It is what it is."
- On his role in the search: ``I don't try to run the Auburn program. If I ran the program, Mike Anderson would have been the coach last time. We need some excitement."
- On his relationship with Jay Jacobs: ``Me and Jay have always been cool. Jay knows -- I'm always going to be myself. I ain't never gonna be no kiss-ass brother. I'm my own man. I'm not one of these Alabama guys who listens to Finebaum and Scarbinsky. I know how this thing works."
- On if candidates have called him: ``I've had 10 guys call. I told them -- I don't pull any strings down at Auburn. I'm not running the program. For some reason, they think I'm going to hire the next coach, which is not true."