Former Auburn coach Gene Chizik said he was a scapegoat at Auburn.
“I feel like at times I got tarred and feathered erroneously, because I think a lot of people didn’t do their homework,” Chizik told the AP last week. “There were a lot of assumptions made that were absolutely false and incorrect. I stand by everything that I did. I have absolutely nothing to hide and I never will because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I always did it right.”
Chizik was fired by Auburn after going 3-9 (0-8 in the SEC) in 2012, just two years after winning the national championship with Cam Newton at QB. Newton also won the Heisman Trophy in Auburn’s 14-0 season in 2010.
His tenure also had off-field turmoil, including an NCAA investigation of Newton’s recruitment and a report alleging academic fraud and payments to athletes. Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs disputed that report in April 2013 after an internal investigation and defended the coach he had recently fired as “a man of the utmost character and integrity.
Chizik worked in broadcasting and didn’t coach the past seasons after being fired by Auburn. He returned to coaching this season as defensive coordinator at North Carolina, which allowed 497.8 yards and 39 points a game last year.
“I’m not looking to be a head coach,” Chizik said. “I’ve been there and done that. If the opportunity arises again, then that’s great. I’ll look at it. If it doesn’t, I won’t bat an eyelash. I’m having a blast. I love right now getting back into having the defense fully mine.”