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  • Kevin Scarbinsky

Auburn's new president means business when it comes to football

Dr. Christopher B. Roberts is different. That's what they said from the start. The unsolicited testimonials began even before he took office. One after another, Auburn family members of long standing came forward to share their good feelings about the incoming president and how he would set a new course for the front porch of the university, better known as Auburn Athletics.


The dean of the school's Samuel Ginn College of Engineering may be no stranger to the Plains, they said, given his 28 years there overall, but his leadership style may be a shock to the system.


Their message, in short: Just watch.


They were not kidding.


Athletics Director Allen Greene found that out when Roberts refused to extend his soon-to-expire contract and allowed him to walk out the door in August on the eve of the football season.


Head football coach Bryan Harsin learned the hard way when Roberts let him go Monday and allowed the official press release announcing the change in leadership of the football program to go out without mentioning Harsin's name.


There was no thanking Harsin for his efforts, such as they were, during his brief time on the job. There was no wishing him the best of luck in his future endeavors. There was no looking back in anger or at all.


The message was short, sweet and, in its unsparing way, appropriately savage, a clear-eyed, cold-blooded sign larger than the Jumbotron in Jordan-Hare Stadium. In less time than it takes to complete a football season, Roberts didn't exactly settle all family business, but he put everyone on notice.


As the statement said, "President Roberts made the decision." Does anyone have any doubt?


Read more of Kevin's analysis of Auburn under new management and what it would mean to add Lane Kiffin to the team. Only in The Lede.


If Lane Kiffin can win the way he's winning at Ole Miss, imagine what he could do at Auburn. (AP photo)