- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 16, 2010

AUBURN, ALA. (AP) - Gene Chizik says he was hired at Auburn because of his integrity, not his head coaching record.

The Tigers coach told The Associated Press Tuesday “integrity is a huge part of what I believe in and who I am.” He says that reputation was built over 20-plus years and his method of operation hasn’t changed.

Chizik has not wavered in his approach amid the recruiting allegations swirling around star quarterback Cam Newton. The coach says “you can’t control outside opinions.”

The unpopular hire two years ago has led Auburn heading to the SEC championship game and vying for a national title.

If Chizik is concerned that the NCAA ruling Auburn has been playing an ineligible player, he’s not showing it.