AUBURN — The Auburn football program has contracted with a private security firm to help enforce player curfews, an official with the company confirmed to The Montgomery Advertiser.
Stanley Dallas, the Auburn Regional Manager of the Event Operations Group, confirmed members of his staff are working in conjunction with members of Auburn’s football player development department to “enforce” player curfews throughout the week.
The Event Operations Group, Inc. is a “national full service event management, staffing, and security provider,” according to its website. The firm is used by facilities across the country, including at Auburn and other SEC schools such as Ole Miss and Mississippi State, to staff on-campus events in a variety of capacities including security, parking attendants and stadium ushers.
Curfews are a common practice on the evenings before games but Auburn instituted a nightly curfew, a far more rare practice, and the use of paid personnel from a private security firm to assist in enforcing a curfew may be unprecedented.
William Walley, the EOG District Manager at Ole Miss, said his staff does not perform such responsibilities with the Rebels teams.
Dallas said the operation — which includes members of his staff going to the homes of football players who live off-campus and confirming they are home by the team’s 11 p.m. curfew – began shortly after the arrest of center Reese Dismukes for public intoxication on Aug. 25. Dallas said when the use of his staff for curfew checks began a few players were not pleased and had to be spoken to by members of the Player Development staff.
How many members of the EOG are used in the operation, their work hours, compensation and level of training is unclear. When called by the Advertiser for additional information, Dallas said he would have to check with his corporate office to see what he could disclose.
The decision to use such aggressive tactics sheds light onto the level of trust between Auburn’s coaches and players, stemming back even before a game was played by Auburn (2-7, 0-6 SEC) which is in the midst of its worst football season in 60 years.
The curfew has been a source of frustration for Auburn football players, many of whom have complained via social media, including last week during Halloween. Several tweets by players from that evening have since been deleted.
University president Jay Gogue issued a statement two weeks ago saying he shared the concerns of many fans and “the football program will be evaluated in an objective, thorough and professional process.” Gogue made no mention of Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs, who has been unavailable for comment, or coach Gene Chizik in his statement.
Chizik is paid $3.5 million annually and is under contract through 2015. He has a buyout in his contract which will depreciate to $7.5 million on Dec. 1.
The Advertiser asked to speak to Ben Thomas, Auburn football’s Director of Player Development, and was told Chizik would answer any inquiries regarding the policy.
Dismukes has not been available for comment since his arrest and has been requested by the media every week, including twice this week by The Advertiser.
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