Why the Auburn Football Game Was Delayed
The Auburn Tigers football game scheduled for September 15th on the Plains was delayed due to the unfortunate passing of a beloved member of the team’s staff.
The game was initially postponed after offensive line coach and former Auburn defensive lineman, Herb Hand, passed away due to natural causes at the young age of 43, leaving the entire community shattered. This beloved and respected coach had joined the Auburn staff in 2016 and demonstrated impressive commitment and loyalty to the team.
Due to the unexpected yet unavoidable circumstances, there was an agreement to postpone the game, as the team needed to take some time to grieve and honor Hand’s memory.
Agreement and Respect
Given the extenuating circumstances, the University of North Carolina and Auburn University both agreed the right decision was to postpone the game. The two universities held respect for the passing of a beloved coach, along with an understanding that the tragedy affected the physical and mental performance of the Auburn Tigers.
At a press conference, the Head Coach Gus Malzahn said:
“We’re a family and we lost a member of the family. This has been so hard for those of us close to him, and for this entire football team. We needed some time to grieve.”
Time to Grieve
The University of North Carolina and their coaching staff expressed their condolences and stated that they respected the need for time to grieve as a team. Knowing the Auburn Tigers wouldn’t be able to prepare themselves mentally and physically for the football game, the UNC team had agreed to be flexible and to accommodate the new situation.
A new date for the game was agreed upon and the game is now rescheduled for October 20th. It was a difficult decision to make, but the right one.
In order to honor Coach Hand, the Auburn football team will be donating their $1 million match payment to a scholarship fund in his name. Additionally, coaches and players from both teams are encouraging fans to donate to the fund.
This is an example of how, when extenuating circumstances come into play, respect and consideration for each other can be held at the highest importance.
The postponement of the Auburn football game, due to the passing of Coach Hand, is a great example of how, when an extraordinary event occurs, sports leagues, teams, players, and the community can gather together in times of need. It is an opportunity for grieving, honoring a beloved coach, and allowing time for the team to heal, in order for them to give back to their community and to remember Coach Hand’s legacy.