There are times when you expect to hear that a coach in a certain sport will be fired, and times when you just kind of assume he's safe. September is not when you expect to hear that a baseball coach has been fired, so Auburn's announcement on Sunday that the school had dismissed Sunny Golloway is deeply, deeply weird.
In the school's official statement on its website, Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs cleared up approximately nothing:
"I regret to announce that earlier today I dismissed Auburn head baseball coach Sunny Golloway with cause," Jacobs said. "My commitment will always be to provide the best student-athlete experience in the nation, and we will not accept anything less."
You can read a little bit between the lines there in what Jacobs does say. It's pretty clear that Jacobs thinks Golloway was not "provid[ing] the best student-athlete experience in the nation," but that's about as vague a term as you can imagine. And the fact that Golloway was fired with cause suggests that this is indeed something serious, but it still doesn't narrow things down that much.
We also know that Golloway's relationships with players have sometimes been troubled, to the point where Auburn officials had to step in and deal with the situation.
Former basketball assistant Randall Dickey was assigned as a baseball player's advocate in June of 2014 to ensure Golloway adhered to a set of behavioral standards placed upon him.
Adding to the intrigue is that Golloway was not the only Auburn baseball coach disciplined on Sunday, at least according to reports.
We’ve also learned that @Auburn_Baseball assistant Tom Holliday has been placed on administrative leave, indefinitely. #Auburn #WDE— D1Baseball.com (@d1baseball) September 27, 2015
Something very strange is going on with Auburn baseball right now. It might take awhile, though, to figure out what it is -- and what it means for the program.