Jovon Robinson was dismissed from Auburn on Wednesday, and he’s gotten a chance to give his side of the story.
Speaking with AL.com’s James Crepea, Robinson said he felt “stereotyped and disrespected” by the Tigers coaching staff.
“Everything about (the) Auburn coaching staff is not what it seems,” Robinson wrote in a message to AL.com. “Just because I don’t walk around with (a) fake smile, they feel like they (can) say or try to force anything.
“I was stereotyped and disrespected. The football players are not happy with this.”
Robinson, who rushed for 639 yards and three touchdowns in eight games last season, said “there was never a real relationship between” himself and Auburn coach Gus Malzahn, and believed his dismissal was an overreaction from the Tigers’ head man.
“I dismissed Jovon Robinson from our football team today,” Malzahn said on Wednesday. “He did not meet my standards or expectations of what it takes to be an Auburn Tiger football player. We’re going to have zero distractions on this team this year. I’ve given him his release and we wish him the best.”
He pointed to the handling of former Auburn wide receiver Duke Williams as an example, citing Malzahn’s leniency with the star receiver before eventually dismissing him from the team in October 2015.
Robinson did not give a reason for his dismissal, but did deny ESPN Brett McMurphy‘s report that he had been missing classes and meetings, and maintained a “continued inattention to detail in everything”.
The former junior college running back was in line for the Tigers’ No. 1 job entering the 2016 season, but Auburn will now turn to rising sophomore Kerryon Johnson, former Baylor commit Kameron Martin and fullback Kamryn Pettway. Sophomore Chandler Cox and freshman Malik Miller could also be in the mix.
“You know I feel good about where we’re at,” Malzahn said. “It’s a great opportunity for the other guys. So I feel very good and I feel like people will step up and I think people will step up around the running back position, too.”