AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn football’s plans to build a new scoreboard in the north end zone at Jordan-Hare Stadium during the 2018 season have now been paused.
According to Kara Coleman of the Opelika-Auburn News, Auburn president Steven Leath decided to remove a proposal for a $6.3 million scoreboard from the agenda for the university’s board of trustees meeting Friday.
“If the board had a real passion for this, I was fine with going forward,” Leath said, per Coleman. “But the scoreboard’s 20 years old. It doesn’t really matter if it’s 21 years old. It’s not an emergency. It’s not a crisis. If the consensus is you want to wait, we might as well.”
Coleman reported that Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs’ announcement last Friday to step down played a factor in Leath’s decision to strike the proposal from the agenda. Jacobs will step down June 1, 2018, or whenever the university hires his replacement.
“We’ve had a recent development in athletics, last week with Jay announcing his retirement,” president pro tempore Michael DeMaioribus said, per Coleman. “It may be a general feeling that we don’t want to move forward on anything that’s big at this time before the next person really gets a chance to come in and re-look at priorities and all that. This one, in particular, had quite a bit of discussion at the last meeting — the same type of discussion we’re having here.”
Auburn’s board of trustees voted to approve the initiation and engineer selection for the new scoreboard project in September, but it came with plenty of debate from board members. The project still needs to have its program, size, budget, funding plan, and schematic design approved, according to Coleman.
Construction is already underway on a $28 million game day facility in the south end of Jordan-Hare Stadium. The board of trustees will vote on several other athletics projects Friday in its meeting.