AUBURN — A national search has begun for Auburn’s next athletics director, but in the meantime, Rich McGlynn is the man in charge.
New AU President Chris Roberts named McGlynn the interim AD on Tuesday, at least temporarily replacing Allen Greene, who resigned eight days before the start of football season.
“I’m excited and humbled to help lead Auburn athletics through this transition period. I’m thankful to Dr. Chris Roberts for this opportunity,” McGlynn said in a statement. “I have such enthusiasm and love for Auburn. We’ve raised our family here, all four of our children have attended Auburn and we bleed orange and blue.”
Who is McGlynn? Here are three things to know about the interim’s background.
Rich McGlynn pulled strings for Auburn in Cam Newton eligibility saga
McGlynn’s permanent job title is executive associate AD for compliance. He has handled some of Auburn’s most famous NCAA dust-ups over the years, including former quarterback Cam Newton’s eligibility snafu during the 2010 national championship season.
As Newton was in the midst of a Heisman Trophy-winning season, the NCAA recommended to Auburn that he be declared ineligible because he had deemed that a Mississippi State booster acted as an agent while Newton was being recruited. According to a 2011 report by longtime Auburn beat writer Phillip Marshall of 247Sports, McGlynn penned a letter to the NCAA that helped restore Newton’s eligibility just in time for the SEC title game.
“I knew we had a pretty good argument that Cam had very little culpability,” McGlynn told Marshall. “In fact, none. I think we put a really strong argument together that, although technically this bylaw might have been violated, it does not warrant withholding an individual from competition, especially when he had no knowledge it was going on. That, I think, is ultimately what the NCAA agreed with. Thank goodness it did.”
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McGlynn led Auburn basketball through NCAA investigation
McGlynn also guided Bruce Pearl’s basketball program through a four-year NCAA investigation that ended in December 2021 with minimal penalties. The investigation stemmed from former assistant coach Chuck Person’s September 2017 arrest and eventual conviction for accepting bribes to steer pro prospects to an agent and financial adviser. It was part of a wide-reaching FBI investigation into corruption throughout college basketball.
During the investigation, Auburn wisely self-imposed a postseason ban in the 2020-21 season, a year in which the Tigers struggled anyway. As the NCAA finally reached its conclusion early in the 2021-22 season, Auburn was surging with arguably its most talented roster in program history.
The resulting penalties? A report from the Committee on Infractions stated that the Tigers’ self-imposed postseason ban was enough to avoid facing the same punishment again. Pearl was suspended two games and Auburn received four years probation.
McGlynn worked for NCAA with law background before Auburn
Before he arrived at Auburn in 2006, McGlynn spent five years working for the NCAA, including a job in the enforcement arm of college sports’ governing body, which explains his expertise in compliance.
His titles there included student-athlete reinstatement representative and associate director of membership services.
McGlynn received his doctorate in law from Seton Hall in 1999 after attending Florida Southern for undergrad. Before entering the world of college athletics, he was a legal specialist for the New Jersey general assembly majority office (2000-01).