Hebert responds to concerns about Athletic Department and Football Team

Jozsef Papp

The performance of the football team during the 2017 season has resulted in a lot of fans asking for the dismissal of Athletic Director Tom Kleinlein and Head Football Coach Tyson Summers. As reported by Underdog Dynasty, alumni and donors have sent emails to President Jaimie Hebert threatening to pull donations to the football and athletic programs if changes are not made.

In an interview with The George-Anne on Wednesday, Hebert said he was concerned about the possibility of donors and alumni pulling donations because of the impact it could have on the university as a whole.

“Anything that impacts the university is concerning to me. We work on a regular basis, on a daily basis to try to diminish any factors that may have negative impact on the institution,” Hebert said.

Tom Kleinlein

One of the reasons why Hebert has been supportive of Tom Kleinlein and no change can be expected in the near future, considering Kleinlein just signed a new four year extension this summer, is because Kleinlein has met all the goals Hebert set for him when Hebert became president.

“The things that I described earlier. Increased GPAs, increase APR, much better standing fiscally. Those were the major objectives I gave Tom Kleinlein when I first became president here. The Athletic department, not just Tom, but everyone that works with him, really did well to hit those objectives,” Hebert said. 

Hebert listed the GPA for the athletic department being over 3.0, the Academic Progress Rate (APR) increasing as an institution and the fiscal position of the athletic department as good things the department has accomplished under the leadership of Kleinlein.

“Those things, solid academics, solid finances are the critical foundations to build a program that can be successful long term. This administration has done a fine job building that foundation,” Hebert said.

Performance of the team

Hebert wasn’t concerned about the performance of the football team and felt confident that the team will turn it around.

“It’s early in the season. It’s very early in the season. [Wednesday] we begin conference play and I’m confident in our student-athletes,” Hebert said.

Kleinlein and Summers’ job security

When asked if he has taken the possibility of dismissing Summers or Kleinlein into consideration, Hebert quickly dismissed the question.

“I won’t discuss personnel matters,” Hebert said.

The Eagles have started the 2017 season 0-3 for the first time since 1994. During Hebert’s and Summers’ time at Georgia Southern, the team has had a record of 5-10.