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Archivists detail how Gov. Ivey audio was found By EDUARDO MEDINA Editor-in-chief

Before Gov. Kay Ivey acknowledged she wore blackface — while maintaining that she did not recall the racist skit of her doing so — Auburn University Libraries Special Collections and Archives Department was going through tape reels from the ‘60s, digitizing

their contents, when they stumbled upon one with the label: “Student Reflections on BSU Night Kay Ivey, Ben LaRavia.” In the audio from 1967 was the voice of Ivey’s then-fiance, Ben LaRavia, saying on “AU Profiles” — a University radio show — that in a skit at a Baptist Student Union party, Ivey was wearing blue “cover-alls” and “black paint all over her face,” as she crawled on the floor looking for cigar butts.

Greg Schmidt, a special collections librarian at Auburn, was listening to the audio on April 17, 2019 — likely the second person to have heard it in more than 50 years, behind only his archives student worker, Ella Sykes, who was the first to hear it as she processed the audio. “You hear something like that, and you realize it’s going to make a wave,” Schmidt said. The initiative to process these tapes stems from Tiger Giving Day when special collec-

tions and archives requested donors give money to obtain a reel-to-reel tape player and appropriate digitizing equipment. The project was fully funded. It was a whole process before they could even listen to the tapes, he said. The digitizing system begins with boxes and boxes of reel-toreel tapes stored in tidy red packages. The tapes » See ARCHIVES, 2




Andy Burcham By EDUARDO MEDINA Editor-in-chief

The broken AC causes the morning heat to settle inside Andy Burcham’s office on the second floor of the Coliseum. Everyone who enters soon leaves a sweatier version of themselves, and most who enter are other reporters. It’s 9 a.m., and this is his second interview of the day. Three more are scheduled before lunch. He stands to greet reporters there to ask him what it’s like, how he feels, people who want to know where he was on that warm May evening, on that night when people looked to the sky and asked why their voice, the one

that howled and bellowed “Touchdown!” all these years, was gone. Burcham looks at the cardboard boxes across the floor. “This is Rod’s office. I moved into Rod’s office yesterday,” Burcham says. “It’s been over three months since Rod passed away. We just left the office as it is.” There’s a lot to unpack, he says, a lot to process before the first home game when he’ll be in the press box, fulfilling a job he never intended to have right now. It’s a job he’s been preparing for since he was a boy in the small town of Nashville, Illinois. Burcham was 6 years old when he knew he wanted to be a broadcaster. “We’d be playing wiffle ball in the backyard … I irritat-

ed my friends because I was announcing the game as it was going on,” Burcham said. When his grandmother, Naomi Bartley — or Grandma Jane, as he used to call her — gave him a tape recorder, he’d spend hours recording make-believe talk shows, lost in the wonder of capturing a moment through his gift of gab. He kept Grandma Jane’s gift until he went to college and got the opportunity to be a color commentator and high school basketball broadcaster. The gymnasium in Nashville, Burcham recalls, was big enough to fit all 3,000 of its residents. Burcham said he never felt intimidated. It was good practice for the first job » See BURCHAM, 2


Governor apologizes for role in racist skit during time at Auburn By EDUARDO MEDINA Editor-in-chief editor@theplainsman

Gov. Kay Ivey is apologizing for being involved in a racist skit when she was an Auburn student after audio from the 1960s emerged last Thursday of Ivey’s then-fiance describing her being in blackface.

The Plainsman in February reported that Ivey’s sorority yearbook page had photos of a blackface skit from her senior year. A spokesperson said Ivey did not know about the page at the time and was not in the photos. It’s not known if this is the same skit referred to in the audio. Ivey was president of her Alpha Gamma Delta pledge class at Au-

burn. The recording contained the following: “As I look at my fiance across the room, I can see her that night; she had on a pair of blue cover-alls, and she had put some black paint all over her face and she was … acting out this skit called cigar butts,” said Ben LaRavia, Ivey’s then-fiance.

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LaVaria goes on to explain how Ivey’s role in the skit didn’t “require a lot of talent,” and that Ivey would “crawl around on the floor looking for cigar butts.” “Well that was just my role for the evening,” Ivey said. Ivey on Thursday issued the following statement: “I have now been made aware of a

taped interview that my then-fiance, Ben LaRavia, and I gave to the Auburn student radio station back when I was SGA Vice President. “Even after listening to the tape, I sincerely do not recall either the skit, which evidently occurred at a Baptist Student Union party, or » See IVEY, 2

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are loaded on a device called an Otari, which records and then transfers the contents of the tapes to Audacity, an audio editing and recording application software. Once it’s on file, this is when Schmidt can listen to and edit the audio. The next step involves uploading the file to the archives website — a process he says can take months because of the amount of files that are backlogged. The Ivey file was No. 237. There are probably 500 to 800 more, he said. Sykes, who was a history major at Auburn before graduating last May, walked in to work on April 17 to do what she had since August: chip away at that stack of 500 to 800 reel-to-reels for four hours. She reached for tape No. 237 and plopped it on the Otari. “It was all fairly normal, and then all of a sudden [LaRavia] said the thing about [Ivey] wearing black paint all over her face,” she said. “And I just sort of hit the pause button because that came out of nowhere.” She sat in her chair for a minute, headphones still on, and tried to process what she had just listened to. “It was just wild,” she said. “It’s not what you expect to find.” Sykes didn’t really know how to tell Schmidt about what she had just heard. She sent Schmidt an email that said the following: “Hey Greg, I found three more interviews with Kay Ivey. I’ve attached them to the email. Heads up, the third interview is

THEPLAINSMAN.COM about BSU skit night, and they talk about Kay wearing blackface.” Schmidt said hearing the audio “was depressing, but not shocking.” The file was added to a list that was becoming more and more backlogged, slowing the time in which the file could be posted online, he said. He told his higher up, Aaron Trehub, assistant dean for technology and head of special collections and archives, about the audio. The director of communications and marketing for Auburn University Libraries, Jason Hill, said that on Aug. 26, special collections and archives expected the audio file to be posted on Aug. 30. Hill said Trehaub notified the dean’s office on Aug. 26 in the late afternoon, and from there news about the tape traveled to the University’s Office of Communication and Marketing on Tuesday morning. OCM then referred special collections and archives to Governmental Affairs. The Montgomery Advertiser reported that Ivey’s office found out about the tapes on Aug. 27 — two days before the story broke — and Ivey heard it for the first time the following morning. Schmidt said he was wary about picking the file out from the backlogged line and posting it on the website. “We try to follow a process,” Schmidt said. “Had I immediately called The Plainsman … I felt it would be unfair or not necessarily unfair, but it would open the libraries up to criticism of being political.” The Ivey file stayed in a limbo of being on file but not posted online from April to the end of August. Schmidt said it wasn’t posted until last week because everyone left for the summer, and the digitizing process slowed


On top of the cardboard box is the the reel-to-reel tape of Ivey acknowledging she was in blackface.

BURCHAM » From 1

he would land coming out of college in a place he heard was nicknamed the Plains. He was the play-by-play caller for Auburn women’s basketball in 1988, the year the team played for a national championship. That year was followed by another championship run. “By the end of my second year, when it became apparent that we weren’t going to be moving back to Illinois, then I got the opportunity to go to work … doing the locker room for football,” Burcham said. A few years later, his job grew to calling baseball games with Bramblett and calling a game he’d never followed before in his life — soccer. “It was hard for me because I just didn’t know the game well enough,”

Burcham said. To learn and practice, Burcham would go to the team’s training and call their actions out loud. “I would start calling the game to myself,” Burcham said. “I would verbalize it — that’s why I was by myself, so people wouldn’t think I was losing it.” As Burcham speaks about his work, his eyes get bigger; his voice picks up speed. This is all he wanted as a boy. He remembers when the tall grass tickled his knees in the summertime, he said, and when the St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster announced to the world that yes, the team had just scored a home run, and yes, the team was going to win the ballgame, and absolutely, yes, it was time to go wild and cheer. “That always appealed to me,” Burcham said. “The crowd reaction, the passion. How could a kid not fall


Andy Burcham (left) and his friend Rod Bramblett (right) posing for a picture.

down. In August, after everyone got back in academic gear, the digitizing of files renewed. Auburn University’s Executive Director of Public Affairs Brian Keeter sent the following statement to The Plainsman: “We understand the interview with the governor was converted into digital format toward the end of the spring semester. Leadership in central administration was notified last week when the materials were being prepared for posting online.” Schmidt said the whole process was interesting to navigate because it’s a librarian’s job to “make stuff available” and “give these things access.” “That’s a question of should we rush this forward, or should we just continue with the process,” he said. “We don’t want to come across as aiding in a hit-piece by rushing it forward. We just kind of continued on our way.” The Ivey audio files have always been available upon request, he said. If someone were to have asked for it last year, they would’ve transferred the files right away. But who would’ve thought to have asked for an Ivey audio interview from 1967, he said. Schmidt mentioned how there are no policies in place that detail what to do if another newsworthy audio is found. Right now, he has to follow the process — which means posting the audio file on the website when it’s the next one up because doing otherwise would bring criticism. “I hate to sound cowardly, but there are ramifications,” he said. Schmidt said he can only wonder how it feels to be an African American student or alumnus right now. “It must sting to know that there was a time when a blackface skit at a student organization was so matter-of-fact that it was not even memorable to its participants,” he said. As a person whose job includes confronting history every day, Schmidt said he hopes the file helps place a spotlight on the University. “We cannot change our history, but we can and should try to find a path to reckon with it. I wish I had answers, but I don’t,” he said. “I do know that Auburn has a set of core values that demand we do better than throwing up our hands and saying ‘Well, that was then.’”



Audio emerged of Gov. Ivey acknowledging she wore blackface.

IVEY » From 1

the interview itself, both which occurred 52 years ago. Even though Ben is the one on tape remembering the skit — and I still don’t recall ever dressing up in overalls or in blackface — I will not deny what is the obvious. “As such, I fully acknowledge — with genuine remorse — my participation in a skit like that back when I was a senior in college. “While some may attempt to excuse this as acceptable behavior for a college student during the mid-1960s, that is not who I am today, and it is not what my Administration represents all these years later. “I offer my heartfelt apologies for the pain and embarrassment this causes, and I will do all I can — going forward — to help show the nation that the Alabama of today is a far cry from the Alabama of the 1960s. We have come a long way, for sure, but we still have a long way to go.” Below is a statement from Auburn University’s Office of Communication and Marketing: “There was a time at Auburn, and in this nation generally, when racial caricature was tolerated. It was wrong then and it is wrong today. Auburn strives to ensure an inclusive and equitable working, living and learning environment for all members of the Auburn family. We work every day to ensure full compliance with both the letter and intent of federal and state laws in the areas of equal opportunity, affirmative action, harassment and discrimination.” Auburn University Interim President Jay Gogue released the following statement to The Plainsman: “Governor Ivey expressed heartfelt regret. We agree that it isn’t representative of her, nor is it representative of Auburn.”

in love?” Burcham starts talking about the busy schedule this job can bring when he gets a reminder on his phone that another interview is coming up. “I’m sorry,” Burcham says as he puts his phone down. “You asked when I get a break?” He starts talking about July and about summer. “Well, this summer has been unique,” Burcham said. He mentions a trip he had planned with his brother and then brings up what he knows will be brought up countless times that day. “We’d been planning that trip for a year and a half, and then Rod and Paula were killed in May,” Burcham says, taking his gaze to the floor. He brings up a memory from fall of last year, a Friday night before a home football game. He and his wife Jan were getting dinner with Rod and Paula. They often grabbed dinner on Friday nights before a home game. After talking about family and football, Bramblett leaned over to the Burchams. MARIE LIPSKI / PHOTO EDITOR “If something ever happens to us,” Burcham recalls Bramblett Andy Burcham as the new Voice of the Auburn Tigers in the studio on Sept. 3, 2019, in asking. “Would you consider being Auburn, Ala. the guardians for our children?” Burcham was taken aback by the turned up the radio and the two lis- for me, but listen, it’d be natural for question. He turned to his wife. The tened quietly. When they arrived, them to have some mixed feelings,” two had never had children. Burcham looked at his best friend’s Burcham said. “Anytime you talk “Absolutely,” Burcham said. “We’d son. about that, we all think back to the be honored.” “Josh, have a good day,” Burcham 25th of May.” On May 25, Burcham was in a said. With several days before the first bowling alley in Huntsville, celebrat“Okay, you too,” Burcham recalled home game, Burcham thinks of the ing a family member’s graduation. Josh saying. thousands who will tune in, eager to He received a call, and when he After school, they ate dinner to- hear their new voice. heard the news, everything seemed gether. Josh did his laundry. “We’ll be back in the home booth to go quiet, he said. A couple days later, Burcham where Rod called games for years,” “We were consumed after their went to a meet-the-teacher day. The Burcham said. “And obviously, that’s deaths,” Burcham said. “I’m not sure next week, Burcham was sat down gonna be emotional.” some of us have dealt with it, quite by Chris Davis. He was told that he He looks at a photo of the broadfrankly, or properly grieved.” would be the next Voice of the Au- casting crew from last year. Four weeks ago, Burcham drove burn Tigers. Burcham said he reBramblett’s right there, smack in 15-year-old Joshua Bramblett to his members how nervous he was to tell the middle. He has his arm over Burfirst day of school. Before leaving, he Josh and Shelby Bramblett. cham, smiling. turned to Joshua. It was a “delicate thing,” he said. “This is the most important job I’ll “You know, Josh,” Burcham said. “I’m replacing their father, you ever have, professionally, in my ca“It’d be against the law if we didn’t know. So I had to be delicate in how reer,” Burcham said. “I don’t want to put a picture up on Facebook.” I handled that.” screw it up. That’s the bottom line.” They took a quick photo. In the The press conference passed, the His game plan for Saturday is simpost, Joshua is smiling. It was a sun- congratulations came and all he ple: Pray that he can capture the mony morning, it seems. “Rod and could think about was the bitter- ment and be himself. Paula would be proud,” the caption sweet nature of the moment — espe“Don’t try to be Jim Phyfe, don’t reads. cially for his guardian son. be Rod Bramblett,” he said. “Be Andy They hopped in the car. Burcham “They told me they were happy Burcham.”







Oh, Kay ... we haven’t come a long way By EDITORIAL BOARD Fall 2019

Last week, Gov. Kay Ivey vaguely admitted to dressing up in blackface while at Auburn University in 1967. Then, nothing really happened. The University issued an equally vague statement in which it didn’t mention the governor by name and claimed that even though racial caricature was and is wrong, there was a time when it was tolerated. A professor emeritus of history at Auburn University, Wayne Flynt, stepped up to excuse the racist actions of the sitting governor. No one seriously thought the governor would resign. And now everyone can just move on — right? It’s routine. Something comes to light about Auburn’s long-standing inability to condemn racial inequality, Auburn then continues its tradition of not condemning racial inequality, the waters settle and the University hopes no one else looks in their archives. This isn’t even the first time this year that a sitting governor has been found in some kind of past racially insensitive costume at Auburn. In February, photos of Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee dressed as a Confederate soldier were found in a 1980 Glomerata. Again, the University’s response to this incident didn’t include any direct reference to the governor; Auburn merely claimed it is dedicated to “preparing students for life and leadership in a multicultural world.” As a university with a history that extends through the Confederacy, it’s understandable for Auburn to have made mistakes in the past. For instance, Old Main, the precursor to Samford Hall, was used as a Confederate hospital, and the University’s campus was used as a training ground for Confederate soldiers. It is, however, inexcusable to overlook, excuse, deny or embrace those mistakes under the guise of “having come a long way.” The University can’t say it regrets its role in the Confederacy while refusing to remove the cannon lathe on Samford Lawn, which was donated to Auburn University in 1952 to commemorate its contribution to the Confederate cause. Similarly, the University can’t claim it regrets its past without clearly condemning its racist graduates and taking responsibility for the culture of oppression and humiliation that it fostered. The University’s statement about Ivey’s racist performance said that this incident took place at “a time at Auburn, and in this nation generally, when racial caricature was tolerated.” It goes on to say that this was and is wrong and that Auburn is working to ensure an environment that is inclusive and equitable. Admittedly, this statement is true, but it is also misleading. Saying that racial caricuture “was tolerated” makes the statement passive. It allows the


University to pretend they were merely following a trend in American behavior. In fact, Auburn University — or at least some of its white students and administrators — actively tolerated racist caricature. Many white students and administrators tolerated Confederate flags being hung by the Kappa Alpha Order until 2001. They tolerated students wearing Confederate uniforms until 2010. Today, they continue to tolerate a massive disparity in racial diversity on campus. They continue to tolerate Greek organizations with little to no racial inclusion. Passivity is not an excuse. Actions are not tolerated — people tolerate them. The other excuse that has been raised for Ivey is that she is merely a product of her time. Flynt articulated that argument and said that people should be forgiven for their racist actions because of the prevalent culture in Alabama during the 1960s. “If we go back and dredge up any stupid thing we did, there’s nobody going to pass the muster of political correctness,” Flynt told But simply claiming that racist caricature was an inevitable part of Southern culture is overlooking the thousands of people of color, legislators and activists who knew it was wrong.

Ivey donned blackface four years after four girls were killed in a church bombing in Birmingham, and she made this decision two years after marchers were beaten by police on a bridge in Selma. Performing in blackface wasn’t some kind of nationally recognized pastime in America in the 1960s. It wasn’t “a stupid thing we did.” It was an intentionally racist and demeaning act performed in willful defiance of black Americans’ centuries-long struggle for legal and social equality. The overall message from the University’s administration and the governor’s excusers is that these actions took place over 50 years ago, and the state has “come a long way.” But having come a long way doesn’t mean accepting the people who took an active part in the continuation of racist caricature and systemic oppression. Coming a long way shouldn’t be to excuse someone who committed or tolerated the villainous and intentional belittling of people of color. Coming a long way means elevating the people who fought against that oppression. Coming a long way means condemning the governor who publicly mocked black people and instead, electing someone who didn’t. Even if Ivey’s racist actions do just make her a

“product of her time,” that’s not an excuse for her to continue to be reelected for the highest office in Alabama. This isn’t “her time” anymore. Of course, the real shame is that last week’s revelations have mostly blown over by now. Anyone aware of Alabama’s political reality knows that Ivey will not resign over this. Why would she? This is the state that elected George Wallace as governor three times. This is the state that learned Roy Moore is an alleged sexual predator and then nearly elected him to the U.S. Senate. This is the state that has had half of its governors in the last two decades resign amidst corruption scandals. It’s shameful how low the bar has been set for Alabama, and it’s embarassing that people still manage to trip over it. The governor wore blackface and implied that African Americans are stupid and inferior. She did it at a time when people of color were being beaten and killed for daring to believe they deserved equality. The University didn’t condemn her then, and they haven’t condemned her now. Alabama hasn’t come a long way, and Auburn will always love its traditions.


The protection of state parks shouldn’t be a pipe dream By TIM CARLTON Contributing Columnist

Recently, I started an online petition that brought an important issue out into the public consciousness about a planned water main route through the woods of Chewacla State Park. While there are many viewpoints on this issue, and other viable options are available, this project highlights a misconception of the sanctity of the lands within our State Park System. Officials with the City, State Parks and the Water Works Board are quick

to defend the project and make promises of minimal impact; however, the ultimate impact can only be judged by the users of the State Park. To say that in just a few short years the project will be largely unnoticed does not fit with the likely reality for those that frequent these areas. Many of those making these claims will admit that they do not frequent Chewacla State Park or the area that will be impacted by this project. What if the impact is not as minimal as we’ve been assured? What recourse will we have? The path through Chewacla seems to portend that we may be taking an

“ends justify the means” approach to development and growth. While the route through the park may save $1 million on this project, what have we given up? Does the recreational value and tourism impact to our community from Chewacla not justify the means to go around the park? What will be the next must-have project that slowly chips away at our park? It’s time for us to realize how important natural places and outdoor recreation are to our community before we take those places for granted and compromise them forever. Tim Carlton is an Auburn resident.




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Stadium installs metal detectors at Jordan-Hare By MALLORY NICHOLS Campus Writer

Auburn’s Athletic Department says to expect longer lines at football games this year. After the big win against Oregon this past weekend, Auburn students eagerly await the first home football game of the 2019 season. However, there are some changes that students will need to be aware of before heading to Jordan-Hare on Saturday. The upcoming football season will be slightly different in comparison to past seasons. In the past, a person would simply have to have their bag checked when coming into the gates of Jordan-Hare Stadium. This year, everyone entering will have to go through a metal detector. In June 2018, the SEC announced that all SEC venues and events will be required to have implemented metal detectors by 2020. The Auburn Athletic Department decided that it

would be in the best interest of every athlete, student and fan to install the detectors a year early. This change will cause entering the stadium to take a little bit longer. As usual, the gates will open two hours before kickoff. Evin Beck, Associate Athletic Director of External Relations for Auburn’s Athletic Department, recommends students “arrive at gates approximately 30 minutes earlier than normal to ensure a smooth entry into Jordan-Hare Stadium.” The screening will begin half an hour before the gates open. Beck asks that everyone look over and understand the metal detector policy before the first home game. The policy can be found at Students will not be required to remove items such as shoes, jewelry or belts. However, items such as phones, keys and water bottles will need to be placed on the screening table to be inspected by security. A more detailed list of allowable items is stated in the policy.

Something that won’t change is the clear bag policy. It will remain in effect for the coming years. Beck recommends that students bring their clear bag to hold items that are to be placed on the screening table as opposed to placing them individually. Beck also wanted students to know to leave their pocket knives and umbrellas at home, as they will not be allowed in Jordan-Hare. If a student brings a prohibited item to the stadium, there will be a location available outside of Gate 0 where prohibited items may be checked in. There will be a $5 safekeeping fee for the items. Students are also allowed to bring “one unopened, factory-sealed bottle of water (up to one liter in size), one empty water bottle or one empty Yeti type cup” to the games. There will be stations to fill these bottles around the stadium. The first home game will be on Sept. 7 against Tulane at 6:30 p.m. The gates will open at 4:30 p.m.


Canceled flights force students to drive to Dallas By DREW DAWS Campus Writer

On Friday night, Auburn fans flocked to Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, ready to board flights headed for Dallas. As people passed through security and arrived at their gates, they received news that would potentially shatter their dreams of watching the Tigers in their opening game against Oregon. However, for many students, the news of a canceled flight would not stop them from making it to the game. In that moment, many made the decision to drive to Texas. Kristin Fucito, a master’s student in materials engineering, and Jacob McGhee, a master’s student in civil engineering, were set to leave Atlanta on Friday around 7:00 p.m. on a Southwest Airlines flight. “We drove all the way up to the Atlanta airport for our flight. We checked our flight sta-

tus, and it said on-time,” Fucito said. “As soon as we got to the gate, the monitor flipped from on-time to canceled.” Once they realized there would be no flights leaving Atlanta for Dallas that night, McGhee said they had to make a decision as to what to do next. “We just had to get on the road as soon as possible. Because at that point it was less than 24 hours till kickoff,” he said. About a 12-hour drive, Fucito said she had her doubts about making the trek out west. “I would have been perfectly fine just driving right back to Auburn and watching the game on TV. That wasn’t an option, so I didn’t even say anything. It worked out though,” she said. McGhee said he had similar feelings at the beginning of the trip, but his reservations would not stop him from getting to the game. “Part of the reason I absolutely wanted to go is we had kind of camped out and waited to get the best seats available for students at the

game,” he said. “We had such good seats and we had gotten them for so cheap … I really wanted to take advantage of that.” Mitchell Tate, a senior and double major in finance and marketing, experienced a similar situation upon his arrival to the airport. “We had a Spirit Airlines flight leaving about 6:30 p.m. in Atlanta. As soon as we got back to our gate, we got the text that it had been canceled,” he said. Everything appeared to be working out as Tate was able to get the last seat on a flight leaving an hour later. “I go back through security again, and the same exact thing [happened.] Within five minutes, I got the text that it had been canceled,” he said. Much like Fucito and McGhee, Tate and his friends had to act quickly if they were to make it to Dallas in time for the game. “I brought my car back from Atlanta, and we left Auburn, took shifts driving all night and got there around 7:00 a.m.,” he said. “It was the



biggest pain ever, but also probably the best trip ever. You learn a lot about your friends driving for 12 hours.” At the end of the first half, McGhee said he began to question his decision of making the long drive to Texas. “Did we really do what we did, and it’s not going to work out that well?” he recalled. “We continued to have faith and continued to keep cheering. Thank God we did.” McGhee said the memories he made this past weekend, both during the drive and at the game, are ones that he will never forget. “It’s definitely a memory we’re going to remember, us being there and having this amazing trip to see a 15-point comeback in Bo Nix’s first game,” he said. Tate shared this sentiment, saying he has no regrets about making the trip, especially after Auburn’s comeback in the final moments of the game. “It was definitely worth it,” he said. “Anything for Auburn.”


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Auburn Universities campus golf carts parked in between the Student Center and Haley Center on Sep. 3, 2019, in Auburn, Ala.

Golf cart transportation service moves departments By DREW DAWS Campus Writer

A program that provides golf cart rides to those at the University with disabilities and injuries has come under new leadership. The courtesy service, called jAUnt, was started in 2011 by the Office of Accessibility. Transportation Services took over operations in June. jAUnt was moved over to transit because it was a part of the transportation industry, said Chris Harris, transit operations manager. “We understand logistics and scheduling and how vehicles operate … those kinds of things that the Office of Accessibility was never trained for,” Harris said.

However, due to federal regulations, he said the Office of Accessibility continues to play a critical role in the program. “The confidentiality part of this program is really important. We don’t really want to know what the medical condition is,” he said. “They’re not trained in the transit part. We’re not trained in the medical part.” The service is available to faculty, staff, visitors and students, offering rides to various parts of campus throughout the day. “Accidents happen. Injuries happen,” Harris said. “There are times when a person would miss class if the jAUnt service wasn’t available. That’s what the [program] is for … to help out when needed.”

To be eligible for jAUnt, applicants must first contact the Office of Accessibility detailing the need for the service. “They start with an email,” Harris said. “They have to get approved through the Office of Accessibility before we can book them a scheduled ride. They have to supply documentation proving their injury or condition requires a golf cart ride. Once they are approved by the Office of Accessibility, they contact us.” Harris said jAUnt currently provides about 90 rides per day. With only three to four golf carts, he said the program is looking to expand. “We’re looking right now at possibly getting some new carts and getting some more drivers so that we can kind of spread the schedule out,”

he said. Because of the number of rides scheduled throughout the day, students have a limited amount of time between classes to make it back to the golf cart. “Once we arrive on site at your time that you’ve asked us, we will wait three minutes for you,” Harris said. “If you’re not out within those three minutes, we’re leaving because we have someplace else to go.” In an effort to streamline the process, Harris said they are working on developing a website for jAUnt. “We’re working with Campus Web Solutions on trying to put together a webpage [so] students, faculty or staff, whoever is trying to book, will have a step-by-step web service to go in and supply their

qualifying documentation, which will automatically go to the Office of Accessibility,” he said. Harris said he sees jAUnt as more than just a golf cart service. Instead, he said he sees the program as a means for students to avoid falling behind in their schoolwork. “I’d hate to hear that a student had to take medical disability to miss class or not be able to graduate school,” he said. “That’s what we’re here for, to help them graduate and get through it, even if it’s just a temporary thing.” Those interested in registering for the jAUnt service must first provide all pertinent documentation to the Office of Accessibility. This information can be sent to Barclay Bentley, assistant director for accessibility, at

community THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2019




Significant changes to begin By ELIZABETH HURLEY Community Editor

West Magnolia Avenue is a highly trafficked area. With its proximity to campus and several restaurants, including a famous chicken franchise, many Auburn students traverse the area on a regular basis. The area is often busy, as cars and bikes zoom past a line of drive-thru patrons. A sign bearing the University’s name welcomes students and visitors to the engineering side of campus while Tiger Transit buses pull into a loop to drop off students. Standing right across the street, nestled between Chickfil-A and Dominos was a house. From the outside, the old brick building didn’t look like much, but to the brothers of Auburn’s chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha, it meant so much more. “There were people I didn’t even know, and they called us pizza frat,” said Stephen Herrera, senior in industrial and systems engineering and a former resident of the house. For close to a decade, Lambda Chi brothers occupied the

building’s nine bedrooms. The nine brothers would share two kitchens, three bathrooms and two living areas while maintaining a private bedroom. The furniture would come and go over the years, as different brothers moved in and out of the house. One constant aspect throughout the house’s tenure was a wall of frames, each holding a photo of a previous tenant and lifelong brother. “We had a wall in there [where] anybody that lived there put their picture, a framed picture,” Herrera said. “Anyone that ever lived there was in a framed picture.” Herrera planned to leave his photo on the wall after he moved out of the house at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year, but he never got the opportunity. The property owner sold the house, along with several other properties, to a developing company. Now a joint student housing and retail complex is slated to sit in the spot where “pizza frat” once stood. “A couple of guys that lived in there, their older brothers lived in there as well,” Herrera said. “It was definitely a passeddown house.” The house was important to more than Herrera and its last tenants. It was the go-to spot for gameday activities, a gathering place for events or a spot for a night out. “We were torn up,” Herrera said. “We got it our junior year. We constantly had like gameday festivities there. We were always out.” The house was passed down through the fraternity brothers. Current tenants would se-

lect members to live in the house. They would then sign a lease with a landlord. Usually brothers only lived in the house for their final year at Auburn. Herrera and his roommates received the go-ahead at the end of their sophomore year to live in the house, giving them the chance to live there for two years. “Since we had guys that were little brothers of the current tenants, they just kind of gave it up,” Herrera said. Shortly after they moved in, their landlord informed them the property would soon be sold and they would likely not be able to live in the house the following school year. The brothers got to work finding a new place, but continued to check back, hoping their beloved house would still be standing for the first home football game. Much to Herrera’s dismay, the property was sold off and scheduled for demolition. He and his brothers moved out over the summer. “It was a let-down,” Herrera said. “It was super convenient if you ever wanted to hang out between classes.” The development planned for the area consists of a 719-bed student housing complex which sits above ground-level retail spaces that run along West Magnolia Avenue. Some of the occupants of these retail spaces have already been decided. One such occupant is Chickfil-A, one of the restaurants that was in the area the new development will soon cover. The Chick-fil-A inside of the development will be all around larger than the previous stand-alone



Cullars house is still in limbo By CORY BLACKMON Community Reporter


The War Eagle wall sits covered outside of J&M Bookstore on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, in Auburn, Ala.

Famous War Eagle wall now hidden By CHARLIE RAMO Community Writer

Construction is a common sight in downtown Auburn. Now it has taken over the historic War Eagle wall near J&M Bookstore as the Whatley Building, a five-story mixed-use development, is being built. The wall has been covered up, but is being supported and protected during the construction process. Ware Jewelers owns the wall, which has been standing since the early 1960s. J&M Bookstore painted the wall in 1968, and it has been an Auburn icon ever since. “George Johnston, who owned J&M Bookstore, had [the wall] painted even though he didn’t own it,” said Ben Duncan, operations manager at J&M Bookstore. “He did the old ‘I’ll ask for forgiveness, not permission.’ He wanted to clean up the look on this side of College Street.”

A corner of the new development will be touching the wall. The wall will be kept as close to the original as possible, but it may need to be touched up on the “Go Tigers” side. “Initially, it said ‘War’ on one side and ‘Eagle’ on the other,” Duncan said. “In the early 80s was when it was painted ‘War Eagle’ on one side and ‘Go Tigers’ on the other.” During the construction process, J&M Bookstore decided to supply the community with a temporary War Eagle wall. It will match the original covered-up wall and will be in the alleyway between J&M Bookstore and Ware Jewelers. J&M Bookstore, Ware Jewelers and Whatley Building stakeholders are working together to preserve the original wall throughout the building’s construction. “[The temporary wall will last] throughout football season, and especially graduation tends to be when people take the most

amount of pictures,” Duncan said. “We definitely want to get it done before then, but we’re hoping to get it in the next couple of weeks.” J&M Bookstore is planning on working with the company that originally painted the War Eagle wall to paint the temporary wall. The temporary wall will likely be painted over once the original wall is uncovered, Duncan said. With construction blocking the wall from view, students must adjust to the different logistics and general feel of downtown. “Walking down the street is an interference getting to work, parking is a nightmare and the aesthetic of the wall is being obstructed,” said Savannah Bonner, employee of J&M Bookstore and an Auburn student. “It’s kind of a downer when you walk in front of Samford and you can’t see such an iconic wall.”

Aiming to give the private sector more time, the Auburn City Council tabled their vote on moving the historic Cullars house until their regular meeting on Sept. 17. While discussing the historic home, Auburn City Manager Jim Buston said recently there have been several individuals who expressed interest in purchasing the home for private ownership. “We did have a conversation today with two private individuals who were interested,” Buston said. “One dropped out and said he was no longer interested, and we just had a conversation until a little after about 5:20 this evening with the other one.” The Council faces a Sept. 30 deadline to make a decision and notify the current owner if they choose to buy and move the home. Ward 4 Council member Brett Smith motioned to table the discussion until the next meeting in order to give the private sector more time to act and allow the City to consider more options to save the home. “I think it would be good due diligence of us that are responsible to explore all the potential private members that could relocate the Cullars home before we take a vote,” Smith said. Smith, who uses the Cullars home as an office for his law firm, has been heavily involved with the efforts to relocate and preserve the historic home. Smith even started a GoFundMe page to help raise funds to relocate the home. “The thing about this home, I have had the luxury of living in it for five years, or at least operating it as an office,” Smith said in an earlier meeting discussing the home. “It has such a strong connection to the University and to the town; it seems like a no-brainer to save it.” It is estimated the Cullars house was built in 1893 for the Cullars family, making the house over 125 years old. The Cullars brothers constructed many buildings both on campus and off in the late 1800s. When the original Samford Hall burned down in 1887, the Cullars brothers were contracted to rebuild » See COUNCIL, 7

The Auburn Plainsman



on West Magnolia Avenue restaurant. While the kitchen and dining area will have more space, the main feature is the drive-thru, which will have space for 36 cars to queue. The previous drive-thru has space for about 12 to 15 cars, said franchise owner Bob McFadden. The plans for the lengthened drive-thru went through the City Council in June and were approved. It was the only portion of the new development that needed the Council’s goahead, said City Planning Director Forrest Cotten. “Outside of that, it meets the requirements and the intent of the Urban Neighborhood West District in terms of the uses that are being employed,” Cotten said. That district consists of land to the west of the urban core, or the main downtown Auburn area. When the downtown master plan was drafted and adopted in May 2014, part of the plan was to limit purpose-built student housing or private dorms, such as this development, in the heart of downtown, while encouraging it in surrounding areas. “At that time, there was a concern that we were going to be overwhelmed by private dorms in the downtown proper or the urban core or that might alter the character of the downtown, such that the non-student demographic might not feel as welcome downtown,” Cotten said. Since there was already student housing built to the west of downtown, Cotten and others that worked on the downtown master plan thought it made sense to encourage redevelopment or development of new student housing in that area. Cotten said that’s why developments like the one along West Magnolia Avenue are popping up in that area. Cotten said he thinks this isn’t the last large development that will come about in that area. While this area is often filled with cars and pedestrians, Cotten thinks this development will actually ease some of the

traffic concerns in the area. “Largely during the week when they’re in school, because these projects are within such close proximity to campus, and because it’s so difficult to park on campus, they’re largely leaving their vehicles in the garage,” Cotten said. He hopes the walkability of the area and the tendency to forego driving will eventually bring a grocery store to the urban core or surrounding areas. The main concern of many City staffers and elected officials remains the overall need for purpose-built student housing. “We’re getting into an area now where I think we have to be extremely cautious about the balance between supply and demand,” Cotten said. “We’re currently looking at those issues now in terms of what our market studies have said we can reasonably absorb.” Oversaturating the market has been a concern of Mayor Ron Anders since he took office in November 2018. He created a task force for student housing to study the issue and make recommendations to the City Council. “My concern remains that we are becoming very saturated with student housing in Auburn,” Anders said. “It’s something we’ve got to take a holistic view of and understand the dynamics of what are our University’s plan in the future for enrollment and housing, how much do we have in town and how much do we need to continue to be building?” The task force is still working to process information and make suggestions, but Anders hopes to make progress on the issue within the next few months, he told The Plainsman. As for the development along West Magnolia Avenue, everything is set to move forward. During the City Council’s meeting Tuesday night, the Council approved a devel-

opment agreement and license agreement for airspace encroachment. The development agreement was the end result of a design review process that HP Auburn LLC, the developing company of the project on West Magnolia Avenue, went through with the city’s design review board. They were not required to meet with the board, since the development is allowed by right, but chose to do so, Cotten said. The board provided feedback on the design of the project, and the developers made many of the suggested changes, Cotten said during the City Council meeting. So as the buildings like Chick-fil-A and pizza frat come down, Herrera, his fraternity brothers and many other Auburn students find themselves reminiscing on what once stood tall. Some have even found ways to keep the memories from their beloved home and go-to hang out spot alive. When Herrera visited the site of his former home last month, he met two girls looking for a memento of the house for an old friend of his. “He wanted me to grab bricks, for the memories,” Herrera said.


Governor’s gas tax takes full effect this week By MY LY

Community Writer

In order to fund assistance for Alabama’s infrastructure, Governor Kay Ivey proposed and signed a gas tax increase in March, and this increase will take effect on Sunday, Sept. 1. Though raising the gas tax has not been a popular idea in the past, one of Ivey’s main priorities was to raise the tax in order to fix Alabama’s roads and bridges. With a slightly amended version of the bill and widespread legislative support, the Senate passed the bill

known as the Rebuild Alabama Act. “Increasing the investment in infrastructure is vital to promoting economic growth and making roads safer,” Ivey said in a statement back in February. Alabama’s 18-cent gas tax hasn’t been shifted since it was changed in 1992, and this new tax is just the beginning. This 6-cent tax increase is only the first phase of the bill. In 2020 the gas tax will be raised another 2 cents, and in 2021 it will be raised again for the last time when it has reached its full 10cent goal. But some students are wondering if the spike of gas prices will affect them neg-


Auburn gets sixth fire station after call surge By JACK LANDERS Community Writer

In 2018 the Auburn Fire Department responded to over 5,000 calls. With only five fire stations, the department has four fire engines, two combination ladder and pumper trucks and one command vehicle. Auburn firefighters must respond to a wide range of emergencies as well as conduct safety checks and inspections on every public and commercial building throughout the city, according to the fire department’s website. The City of Auburn has grown rapidly in the past several years. With this influx of people, the City’s fire department has found it difficult to respond efficiently to emergencies. The City has approved the construction of a new fire station to help improve re-

sponse time for future emergencies. The new fire station will be located at the intersection of West Farmville Road and Miracle Road, according to the City Council. The property was purchased for $90,000. Mayor Ron Anders attributes much of the City’s growth in the north and northwest quadrants as the leading factors for the need for a new fire station. Anders remains cautiously optimistic that the recent population influx will continue. “Who really knows? It depends on a lot of things out of our control, but I believe it will,” Anders said. An official opening date has not yet been announced, but Anders said he hopes the new station would be up and running within the next few years.

atively. Matt Pierce, a full-time college student at Auburn and driver for a pizza chain, said the gas tax will hinder him in many ways in the next few months. “My job relies on me driving,” Pierce said. “Being a delivery driver, I fill up on gas pretty regularly. I make a lot of trips every day and the extra money I am spending with this gas increase could go towards my college fund. That extra 6 cents could be the difference of me filling up or not one day.” While some people see this new gas tax as a negative, there are others who believe this

gas tax is necessary to Alabama in aiding the long-time fight for better roads and general infrastructure of the state. Gabrielle Schmidt, a senior studying finance at Auburn University, believes the gas tax is fair and is a good form of implementation. “I actually think that it is very fair because it is taxing those who use the roads in Alabama, which are very problematic,” Schmidt said. “Instead of implementing state taxes, I don’t like paying extra taxes, but it is a good system — and those who drive a lot can see the benefits.”

COUNCIL » From 6

Samford. The brothers also built Smith Hall, the first women’s dorm, for the University. According to Linda Dean, who lived in the Cullars home for a time, the Cullars family also provided the land for the Cullars rotation, an agricultural experiment project. The project is the oldest of its kind in the United States and the second oldest in the world. There has been a significant amount of public interest in saving the home. The home not only serves as a piece of Auburn history, but also holds cherished memories for citizens and alumni, Smith said. “There are a lot of good memories from alumni to people who worked in the building when it was a coffee shop,” Smith said. “Even when we cut the ribbon for my office, we found out I was having a kid, so me and my wife have that special memory as well.” Mayor Ron Anders urged any private citizens who have the ability to help preserve the home to come forward now, as the deadline is approaching. The home has brought out the passion of many Auburn citizens, but that


The City of Auburn is looking to preserve Auburn’s Historic Cullars Home.

alone isn’t enough to save the home, Anders said. “We certainly need everybody’s participation and help,” Anders said. “Brett’s motion has given us all another two weeks, so if you have thoughts or ideas, then it’s time to go.” Smith said all of the citizens who have contacted him about the home

want to save and relocate it. There are some who question whether the City should pay for the home. “We are going to vote at the next meeting; that is going to happen,” Smith said. “But at least with the two weeks we can look at all the options and hear what everyone has to say first, and I think that’s our duty.”

sports THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2019




Nix, Williams cap biggest comeback since 2010 By NATHAN KING


Sports Editor

Assistant Sports Editor

ARLINGTON, Texas — JaTarvious “Boobee” Whitlow couldn’t believe what he just heard. Whitlow was hungry for the ball. He communicated that to his true freshman quarterback, Bo Nix, as Auburn’s final drive of the night began. “I was like, ‘Bo. Give me the ball, Bo,’” Whitlow said. “I just need to get the first down. Give me the ball.” So, when Nix made a read Whitlow didn’t agree with, the sophomore tailback was unhappy. He complained to Nix: “Why didn’t you give me the ball, man?” Nix, who was facing a critical fourthand-3 just shy of midfield, down a point, time winding down in his first college football game against the No. 11 team in the nation, was making sure not to stress out. He told Whitlow to “just chill.” “I was like, ‘How in the world are you calm? It’s fourth-and-3 and you’re calm,’” Whitlow said. On the fourth-down play, Nix faked an end-around to Eli Stove and rolled to his right. Whitlow was flaring out for a pass just past the line to gain, but a pair of Ducks defenders were smothering him. Nix took off, diving for the first down. After an official review with the chain gang, it was confirmed: Nix picked up the first down, when failing to do so would have all but ended the game and spelled an Auburn loss. Whitlow stood corrected. “I’m like, OK. Alright. I’m sorry,” Whitlow said. “I’m sorry. ... I wasn’t mad. I went to him and told him, ‘You’re it. You’re it. You got it.’” That attitude told the story of Bo Nix on Saturday night during No. 16 Auburn’s 27-21 win over Oregon in the rematch of the 2010 national title game. Before the jubilation — before his teammates dog-piled him for his game-winning touchdown pass to Seth Williams — Nix struggled. He threw a pair of interceptions. He was, at times, helpless on third downs. His quarterback rating was, at one juncture, 100 points lower than that of Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert. But he never got frustrated. After the interceptions, Whitlow said Nix came over to the sidelines and immediately went to the intended receivers and communicated that the play was his fault — and that he would do better next time. “I started off a little slow,” Nix said. “But my teammates had my back, like they told me they would.” Nix finished 13-of-31 for 177 yards and two touchdowns to go with his two interceptions. He made some wow throws, like Auburn said he’d been doing all preseason, and he made some errant decisions — as a true freshman is expected to do. In fact, Auburn prepared knowing Nix would take his lumps in his first career game. That didn’t change the team’s confidence level in him — he was named the starting quarterback for a reason — but it did mean Auburn was going to account for some freshman mistakes here and there in the monster atmosphere that comes with playing the game of the week in a monster NFL stadium. “We never doubted him,” Williams said. “We knew he was going to start off kinda sluggish with his first game, but we knew he was going to come through.” Nix’s head coach noticed that maturity, too. “I told him before the game, ‘Hey, man, there’s going to be mistakes out there,’” Gus Malzahn said. “‘Hey, you just keep plugging, man, don’t flinch. Just keep battling.’ And that’s what he did.” Malzahn’s whole approach with Nix in Dallas differed from his past methods with quarterbacks. For starters, when Auburn was completing its stadium walk-through, Malzahn hung with the quarterbacks, along with offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Kenny Dillingham, throughout. In the past, the head coach let them do their own thing. Whether a series resulted in a score, a turnover or a three-and-out, Malzahn always met Nix halfway on the QB’s walk back to the sideline. Nix never hung his head. The exchanges between quarterback and coach were mostly reserved. All bets were off in that department after Nix’s game-winner. Nix was fired up. “He loves the game; he loves Auburn,” Whitlow said of Nix. “Most quarterbacks would freeze up. … It’s just amazing to see a true freshman come in and play like he’s been doing it.”

“Nix steps up...


“To Williams...


“He’s got it! Touchdown, Auburn!”

— Andy Burcham, Voice of the Auburn Tigers

ARLINGTON, Texas — Seth Williams strolled into the media room, just moments after Auburn’s 27-21 comeback victory over No. 11 Oregon, smiling ear to ear. “I’m on a stage,” he laughed. The sophomore standout was on a stage, and in more ways than one. With 16 seconds left in the fourth quarter, trailing 21-20, Auburn quarterback Bo Nix dropped back, stepped up and lobbed one to the goal line where Williams was one-on-one with Oregon corner Verone McKinley. Williams, with McKinley draped all over him, tipped the ball to himself, corralled the ball and fell into the end zone for what would end up being the game-winning touchdown, to give Auburn a 26-21 lead with nine seconds remaining in regulation. “I forgot how many seconds there were but we called a go route on the outside and I felt like, in my head, that I knew that he was going to look my way,” Williams said. “When he threw it up, I saw the ball and I knew the only thing I had to do was come down with it and you win the game.” The previous play, which was a thirdand-long conversion to keep the drive alive, also went to Williams on a 10-yard out route to get the Tigers into fieldgoal position. Williams, who wasn’t targeted once in the first quarter, had one reception for -3 yards entering the Tigers’ final drive of the game. “I knew we were going to score,” Williams said. “In my mind, I knew somebody on the offense was going to come through. I didn’t know who would, if it would be me, but I knew somebody was going to score. We worked on too many drives over and over again in practice, so I knew it was going to happen.” The second-year wideout finished with four receptions for 41 yards on nine targets. He finished the night averaging just over 10 yards per catch, even though his impact was halted for the majority of the game. It’s safe to say Williams has caught the attention of his teammates. “That boy there. He’s different, bro,” Auburn running back JaTarvious “Boobee” Whitlow said after the game. “I don’t even know what to say. They talk about a lot of receivers in college football. We’ve got one of the best receivers in college football. I’m not even lying. For him to do what he just did — I don’t know. That’s different. You can’t teach what he do. You can’t teach that on the field. That’s an animal.” The victory marks Auburn’s largest come-from-behind win since Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton led the Tigers back from a 24-3 deficit in the 2010 Iron Bowl, on their way to a BCS National Championship crown. Williams was targeted 10 times but was covered up well through the first three quarters of play. The sophomore receiver said that wasn’t anything overly special that Oregon was doing. He just felt Nix was spreading the ball around well, and Williams admittedly wasn’t getting open as often as he would have liked. After a breakout freshman season last year, Williams has quickly become the go-to receiver for this team, despite being just 20 years old, and demands the ball with his play. There weren’t any doubts about running that play, in that situation, with time running out because the team trusts No. 18. “I didn’t know he was asking for it,” Whitlow said. “I just know, we went out on the field, and Coach Malzahn was saying, ‘Hey, we’re going to run this right here. We’re going to give ourselves a chance.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, lord.’ You can never go wrong with Seth. Just being real. When (Malzahn) says we’re going to give Seth the ball, nine times out of 10 — matter of fact, 10 times out of 10, he’s gonna catch the ball. Just being straight up. That’s how much faith I’ve got in him.” With the weight of a team on his shoulders, on the biggest of stages, Williams begged Malzahn to go to him when it mattered most. And he didn’t care who was lined up in front of him. “I just felt like they weren’t ready,” Williams said. “The corner, he wasn’t ready for it. I knew I was in his head. He thought he was in my head the whole game. He wasn’t in my head; I was in his head. He was soft. That’s it.”

The Auburn Plainsman








Arkansas-Ole Miss

Nathan King Sports editor (5-1)

Sumner Martin Asst. sports editor (6-0)

Jake Weese Sports reporter (4-2)

Bryce Johnson Sports writer

Mattison Allen Sports writer

Logan Glover Sports writer

Carl No. 1 Tulane fan (2-4)



AU No. 10 in AP poll By HARRISON TARR Sports Writer

Auburn football walked into AT&T stadium on Saturday ranked No. 16 in the Associated Press poll. When the game clock hit zero, and the Tigers had defeated the 11th-ranked Oregon Ducks in dramatic fashion, there was immediate speculation as to how the victory would influence their national ranking. That question has been answered, as Auburn will enter its second game of the season as the No. 10 team in the country, according to Tuesday morning’s AP Top 25 Poll. True freshman Bo Nix made his first collegiate start for Auburn, completing only 13 of his 31 pass attempts, and throwing two touchdowns along with a pair of interceptions. Nix’s struggles were, however, overshadowed by his composure during the fi-


Joey Gatewood (1) dives for a touchdown during Auburn vs. Oregon on Aug. 31, 2019, in Arlington, Texas.

Gatewood stays patient, delivers By NATHAN KING Sports Editor

ARLINGTON, Texas — Joey Gatewood saw the play coming. It was months in the works. In the offseason Gus Malzahn told reporters that, with him taking over play-calling again for Auburn’s offense, he occasionally would study film from the 2010 or 2013 seasons in an attempt to reanalyze and recapture some of his best sellers from the playbook. The offense got around to Cam Newton film eventually — more specifically, his red-zone prowess. Malzahn made sure to nudge redshirt freshman quarterback Joey Gatewood, whose 6-foot-5, 240-pound frame closely resembles the Tigers’ Heisman winner. Gatewood watched Newton soar over the top of defenses — the SuperCam, some called it — and was told by Malzahn that his time would

come to replicate it: I’m bringing this play out of the archives. When Auburn needed Gatewood most, Malzahn made good on his promise. On firstand-goal inside the 1-yard line, Gatewood took the snap from a heavy set and leaped, extending both arms to push the nose of the ball into the end-zone. The score brought the No. 16 Tigers within a point during their 15-point second-half comeback in a 27-21 win over No. 11 Oregon on Saturday. After Malzahn and teammates said in the offseason that Gatewood would surely have an involved role in the offense, the touchdown was Gatewood’s only snap of the night. He said he wasn’t restless on the sidelines, though. Malzahn went over to him multiple times during the game and told him to stay ready. » See GATEWOOD, 10

nal drive of the game, in which the freshman led his team on an 11-play drive, ending with a game-winning touchdown reception hauled in by sophomore receiver Seth Williams. Auburn is the fourth-highest ranked SEC team in this week’s AP Top 25, behind No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Georgia and No. 6 LSU. The Tigers leaped Florida, at No. 11, and Texas A&M, which came in at No. 12. Auburn faces Tulane in its home opener Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CST. The Green Wave, which used to be a member of the SEC, have the edge in the all-time series, 17-14-6. The teams played 35 times between 1905 and 1955. “From our standpoint, we know we had a big emotional win on Saturday,” said Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn. “We’ve got to put that in our rearview mirror. Our challenge now is to make the biggest improvement this season from Game 1 to Game 2.”

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The Auburn Plainsman


Whitlow shoulders load against Ducks By JAKE WEESE Sports Reporter

ARLINGTON, Texas — One of Auburn’s significant critiques in 2018 was on its running game and offensive line. Auburn snapped a nine-year streak of having a 1,000-yard rusher in 2018 and is looking to get back to that in 2019. The Tigers are on the right track following their 27-21 win over No. 11 Oregon. Sophomore running back Boobee Whitlow finished as the team’s leading rusher in 2018 with 787 yards. Saturday night against Oregon, Whitlow and the offensive line’s goal to produce another 1,000-yard rusher began strong. Whitlow and the O-line struggled in the first

half, generating 32 rushing yards on nine attempts. But the offensive line, according to head coach Gus Malzahn, remained determined to get the run going in the second half. “We got a senior offensive line,” Malzahn said. “They told me at halftime, ‘Coach, let’s run the football. Let’s try to run over them. We’re ready.’ Literally, that was our mindset. We felt like we needed to.” Establishing the run in the second half is just what Auburn did. Whitlow carried the ball 15 times in the second half with 78 rushing yards. Whitlow finished the game on 24 attempts for 110 yards for his fourth career 100-yard rushing game. “We had a couple of turnovers, that turnover in the red zone,” Malzahn said. “We got down

to the 3-yard line, I called a bad play on first down, and we ended up having to kick a field goal. Really proud of our offensive line and really Boobee (JaTarvious) Whitlow — he ran hard inside. He had a really good night running the football against a good defense.” Whitlow made sure postgame to credit the offensive line for his success running the ball, and noted that this season, the offensive line is looking to put the past mistakes behind them. “They just let me know that they play with a chip on their shoulder,” Whitlow said. “... They came out there and did what they did, that should tell the world a lot. We’ve got monsters up here. Y’all ain’t even seen them for real yet. That was just for a game. We’ve got, what, 11 more? Yeah, 11 more. Yeah. Thought I was counting it wrong.”


JaTarvious Whitlow (28) carries against Oregon on Aug. 31, 2019, in Arlington, Texas.



“[Malzahn] emphasizes it. Knowing how it goes and how anything could happen, I’m prepared,” Gatewood said. “I come prepared every day. “... It meant a lot to me, because I know it meant a lot to my teammates and I know it meant a lot to this University. So it meant a lot to me.” True freshman Bo Nix, who threw a game-winning touchdown with nine seconds left, was named the starter by Malzahn on Aug. 20. It was, at first, admittedly difficult for Gatewood to get over losing the quarterback battle, but he quickly adopted and embraced his new role. “I know I’m going to have my opportunity to help this team, and whatever time that comes, I’m here,” Gatewood said. “I’m here for them 100 percent behind this team and Bo. I support Bo a lot.” Hypothetically,Gatewood’s playing time could increase significantly over the next two weeks as Auburn faces two Group of 5 foes in Tulane and Kent State at home. The Tigers’ next big test comes Week 4 at Texas A&M. “The good thing is that we have two nonconference games now, and we can kind of test some things out and get that ready by the time we get to our SEC (schedule),” Malzahn said Tuesday. For now, Gatewood is just happy his score helped Auburn complete the comeback in Week 1’s top matchup — which served as the Tigers’ largest come-from-behind victory since Cam Newton led No. 1 Auburn from down 24-3 in the 2010 Iron Bowl win in Tuscaloosa, known commonly by Tiger faithful as “The Camback.” “It’s big,” Gatewood said. “It’s big for the University, it’s big for our program and it’s big to me. It means a lot just helping this team in any way I can, just contribute, and when my opportunity comes, I’m here.”








Vegetables in Earth Fare grocery store on Opelika Road in Auburn, Ala.

Fall brings a new set of crops to enjoy By FIELDER HAGAN Community Writer

With fewer than 30 days until the first days of fall, the slight changing of temperatures have many fall junkies ready to bust out their UGG boots, oversized flannels and Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Fall gives farmers a period to cool off from the summer and a chance to combat the rising insect populations. According to Auburn University, squash, corn and cucumber are especially prone to insects and diseases in late summer and fall. Sheila Dicks is the owner of Joy Haven Farm, located in Shorter, Alabama. Dicks started her farm, more like a garden at the time, a little over five years ago. Joy Haven is a Certified Naturally Grown farm. According to cngfarming. org, the CNG certification means Dicks grows all her produce without using any synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers or geneticallymodified organisms.

“Fall cucumbers do really well, along with peppers, arugula and radishes,” Dicks said. “I’d start your collards and kale on seed trays to have them ready for planting in two weeks.” Wheeler Foshee, a professor in the department of horticulture, teaches insect management and vegetable production. “Cabbage, kale, collards, kohlrabi, cauliflower and broccoli are all members of the Brassica family, better known as the mustard family,” Foshee said. According to the National Gardening Association, these main crops grow successfully in cool seasons. Foshee said the key to growing a successful cole crop is well-drained soil and a clean seedbed. “In the next two weeks, most of your crops should be ready to be direct-seeded,” Dicks said. “Right now, the temperatures are too high and would cause most of your crop to bolt.” Bolting in leafy greens occurs when the

leaf becomes bitter and tough due to high temperatures and dry conditions. This can cause the plant to flower early. “The two main insects that prey on cole crops are the cabbage looper and the diamondback moth caterpillar,” Foshee said. “These two worms will spend their entire lives feeding on one plant, destroying any foliage that could have been sold otherwise.” Diseases for cole crops can affect the plant in many ways to deem the product unusable. Foshee advises farmers to look for certain signs that the crop is infected. “Black rot is the most serious disease for cole crops in Alabama,” he said. “To identify black rot, look for yellow-orange V-shaped lesions.” Foshee also described other diseases that can affect plants and their warning signs. “Alternaria leaf spot produces small, concentric rings on the leaf,” he said.

“White mold produces cotton-like growths around the base of the leaves.” Foshee recommends treating these diseases with cover-spray containing copper as an ingredient. “Many crops would benefit from a process called hardening-off,” Foshee said. “Hardening-off is a method to prepare transplants for the transition to growing in direct sunlight and ground soil.” He said the process includes lighter watering cycles that allow the roots to harden making them able to withstand environmental factors like heavy wind or rain. According to Alabama Cooperatve Extension, a partnership between Auburn University and Alabama A&M, some tips to protect your crops from the first early frost are to cover your growing beds with burlap supported by wire to avoid direct contact with the plant. The Extension’s website advised for mulched root crops to be pulled well before the first hard frost.


Southern Living chooses Auburn alumna for cover STAFF REPORT


Auburn alumna Octavia Spencer was recently chosen to be featured on the cover and in Southern Living Magazine fall style issue.

Auburn alumna and Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer was recently chosen to be featured in the fall style issue of Southern Living Magazine, which was released in August 2019. Spencer grew up in Montgomery, Alabama and graduated from high school at Jefferson Davis High School. She received a degree in 1994 from Auburn’s College of Liberal Arts in English and theatre arts. After Spencer graduated, she moved to Los Angeles and began her acting career. She went on to star in several major motion pictures such as “The Help,” which she won the Oscar for, “Hidden Figures” and most recently “Ma.” In her interview with Southern Living, Spencer talked more about her childhood and family life than her career. “We had nothing, but we had a very strong mother who had a strong work ethic,” Spencer

said. She said her mother always dreamed for them, teaching her to do the same. “She always dreamed for us and taught us to do the same for ourselves, beyond the boundaries the world placed on us,” Spencer said. Spencer credited her mother for helping her achieve those dreams. “If I had listened to society, I never would have progressed to where I am,” Spencer said. “We had very little, but because of my mother, I knew my station in life did not dictate my path.” In the interview, Spencer also mentioned how important her Southern roots were and what being from the south meant to her. “To me, being Southern means working hard and believing in yourself and God,” she said. “It’s having that strong sense of community, faith first and then family.” Spencer joked that most of her friends that she’s made while living and working in Los Angeles are from the South.


Experts share why drinking water is important during football season By ABIGAIL MURPHY Lifestyle Writer

While being amongst roaring fans, the crowded stadium and the sounds of the band, the last thing to think about is going to grab a water bottle. Abbigail Hickey, a registered dietitian and coordinator of nutrition for Health Promotion and Wellness Services, said not drinking much water at games is dangerous. Symptoms of needing more water start small, with the mouth being dry or thinking more about water, and worsen severe dehydration where the skin gets dry and sweating stops, Hickey said. “Usually I recommend that

people drink at least 80 ounces of water,” she said. “If they are exercising or it’s very hot, I recommend more.” Markie Pasternak, the coordinator of outreach and peer education for Health Promotion and Wellness Services, said when people don’t get enough water it can result in headaches, fatigue or fainting. “One of the major reasons for not getting enough water could be the accessibility of water throughout the day,” Pasternak said. If people are wondering where to get water, there are places to refill water bottles like the Student Center. “You can always go into the Student Center and get some

water whether it’s your own water bottle or a plastic one you would throw away,” Pasternak said According to Auburn University Athletics’ “Football Gameday Fan Guide,” one empty water bottle or one unopened factory bottle under one liter is allowed into the stadium. Shelby Flores, coordinator of alcohol and drugs for Health Promotion and Wellness Services, said when people are out and around on game days, they tend to drink whatever is available which may not be water. “Try to set a goal for how much water to drink and set a limit on other drinks,” Flores said. Hickey said to try to break up

the day with water breaks. If a tailgate starts at 1 p.m. try to drink some water at 2 p.m. and then again at 2:30 p.m. If one is about to go into the stadium at 3 p.m. then maybe drink two waters at 3 p.m. “This is especially important since some of the drinks that are often consumed at games, like alcohol or caffeinated beverages, are mild diuretics,” she said. Markie Pasternak also said it’s a good idea to switch back and forth between water and other drinks. Parker McWhorter, a sophomore in political science, said in the Auburn Marching Band they drink a good amount of water throughout the day to keep them hydrated.

He said since most people are preoccupied with having fun at tailgates and cheering, theydon’t want to miss the game, and water can often be forgotten. “Drink water before the game starts, just throughout the day, until you get to the stadium and if you can bring water in, then do it,” he said. Hickey said a good way to remember is set alarms on a phone the day before or work with a friend to help keep each other accountable. “We are at least 60 % water,” Hickey said. “A lot of our blood has water in it. We need water for all of our organs to help them operate. If we get below the amount of water that we need, it can be very dangerous.”


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The Auburn Plainsman 09.05.2019  

The Auburn Plainsman 09.05.2019