Tuberville praises Croom

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville might be one of the most ardent supporters of Mississippi State's Sylvester Croom, even though they're division rivals.

In Tuberville's view, Croom's job security shouldn't be in question whatever his won-loss record at the Southeastern Conference school.

Croom inherited a program that was in the midst of an NCAA investigation for recruiting violations under coach Jackie Sherrill, Tuberville's rival when he was coaching at Mississippi.

The Bulldogs, who visit Auburn on Saturday, were placed on four years of probation, banned from the postseason and stripped of eight scholarships. Tuberville also inherited a program burdened by NCAA sanctions when he went to Ole Miss.

Croom is 10-26 in his fourth season, but Tuberville said he took over a major rebuilding job and deserves far more patience than fans and administrations typically are willing to give.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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