Auburn trustee Jimmy Rane denies boosters involvement with football coach Bryan Harsin

Auburn’s February investigation of football coach Bryan Harsin revived a generations-old issue: the school’s reputation for being heavily involved in athletics personnel decisions.

The most famous Auburn booster of this generation, Trustee Jimmy Rane, claims he played no role in the internal investigation that nearly fired Harsin after his first season, or in future decisions.

“Trustees don’t hire and fire football coaches. We hire presidents and fire them. So I’m not aware of any role that the trustees played in this,” Rane told the Montgomery Advertiser, before his foundation’s annual charity golf event kicked off at a Thursday night banquet in downtown Montgomery. “I think there were questions that the administration had, and (former Auburn President Jay Gogue) is the kind of president who wants facts. He will conduct thorough investigations. And that was providential management. Certainly not the trustees.”

Jimmy Rane introduces Governor Kay Ivey as she announces that she is running for a separate term for governor on Tuesday evening, February 13, 2018 in Montgomery, Alabama.

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Beset by Auburn’s longstanding reputation, Rane dismissed the notion of boosters meddling in the affairs of the athletics department backstage.

“I don’t know how to help people with their perception,” he said. “All I know are facts. And there are enough rumors that people can make up anything they want to make up, but facts speak for themselves and that’s the way things are done.”

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