AUBURN, Ala. | Tommy Tuberville's mother told a newspaper her son was fired as Auburn's football coach, a claim that runs counter to public statements by the university that Tuberville left on his own.
The Opelika-Auburn News quoted Olive Tuberville as saying her son told her he was dismissed after 10 seasons at Auburn.
"He didn't resign," the paper quoted her as saying. "He was fired."
Reached for comment Monday by The Associated Press, Olive Tuberville wouldn't say whether the newspaper quoted her correctly. She did confirm talking with a reporter at Tuberville's house shortly after the coach's final meeting with Auburn officials last Wednesday.
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"I'm sick of this mess. I'm not going discuss it anymore," she said.
Athletic director Jay Jacobs last week said Tuberville's departure was completely Tuberville's decision, and that he and the university president, Jay Gogue, each asked Tuberville to remain.
Jacobs said he and Gogue agreed to give Tuberville the same amount of money that would have been required to terminate his contract through a firing, $5.1 million, because they felt it was "the right thing to do."
Auburn spokeswoman Deedie Dowdle said Monday the university stands by Jacobs' statement that Tuberville resigned.
The Opelika-Auburn News reported that Tuberville's mother said she felt her son was betrayed by Auburn "to a certain extent" after 85 wins and a Southeastern Conference championship.
"This went on too long," she said. "They had their minds made up days ago, I imagine. It was tough. He didn't know what to expect. All of his friends have stayed with him."
Tuberville, 54, has referred to his departure from Auburn as "totally a business decision, what's best for Auburn." He said he plans to stay in Auburn and help the school if he can. He has not returned calls for further comment.
His mother said she has been worried about him.
"He's at an age where something could happen to him," she told the newspaper. "Heart problems are all through my family. I didn't want him getting stressed out. This has got to hurt — as much as he's put into the program and done for the program."