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No insider here but the mentality down there screams that this will be the path they choose. When UA hired Saban there were alarm bells set off in every room of the AU Athletic Department. In order to keep pace, they hired a lame duck that could be manipulated by the AU machine and then directed Chizik to retain the best and most ruthless recruiters in the country in an attempt to keep pace. Big Cat, Limos, Trooper, and of course Cam. This wreaked of desperation and, unfortunately for us and ultimately for them, it worked as they caught lightning in a bottle and won it all. They went "all in" in support of a guy who was probably the greatest college football player in our lifetime. However, there is no chance there was not some nefarious dealings in order to get Cam to AU. No chance.
The situation down there is more desperate than even after the 36-0 Iron Bowl. Reports, even if shaky, about the NCAA sniffing around and AU taking coaches off the road comes at a very convenient time for AU brass. It has been well documented that Chizik has a $7m+ buyout. (It is ironic AU elected to do this even though there were signs of decay in the program even after winning the NC. But, it has been done before, we did the same thing with DuBose.) If these NCAA rumblings turn into violations, viola, now AU has "cause" to terminate Chizik and not pay the buyout. If this happened it would result in litigation and my guess is that AU would settle it in exchange for Chizik's silence.
Rambling a bit, but bottom line, AU has proven that in desperate times they will take desperate measures. Cam. JetGate to name a few. Given this history, I have nodoubt they will try to hire Petrino and figure out a way to justify it.
Mike Slive might have some say so in whether or not Petrino comes back in the conference.
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