"Sir Charles" to be recognized at Auburn University
Auburn great Charles Barkley (Photo: The Daily Dose)
During Saturday night’s Auburn football game against Arkansas, an announcement was made concerning a new piece of decoration that Auburn University would be donning soon.
Head Men’s Basketball Coach Bruce Pearl, and a few others including Chuck Person, John Mengelt, and former coach Sonny Smith were on hand, as one of the greatest athletes to ever wear the orange and blue, Bo Jackson, issued a message via Jordan-Hare Stadium’s video board regarding another famous Tiger in attendance, Charles Barkley.
Jackson began the message with a few jokes that he shares with Charles, including the story of how he calls Barkley “#1”, and that Barkley in return calls Bo “#2”, in reference to who is the most famous athlete to ever play at Auburn. Before the video ended, Bo made the announcement that the “Round Mound of Rebound” would join him in having a statue on Auburn University’s campus, to recognize his amazing career in the NBA, as well as Auburn.
“It just means a great deal to me.” Barkley said of the surprising announcement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It's going to be pretty cool."
Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs said that the decision to honor Barkley was a no-brainer, as he feels that a statue will remind every Auburn fan how much he means to the basketball program, the university, and the state of Alabama. The statue will be an amazing honor, despite it’s location being in an unlikely place.
“A statue outside the arena he never played in but in many ways helped build is a fitting tribute to the man whose likeness is already known all over the world.” said Jacobs of the Barkley statue’s location. “This permanent tribute is our way of showing Charles how much Auburn loves and appreciates him.”
Current Head Coach Bruce Pearl says that no one is more deserving that Barkley, because of how he represents Auburn University. “Our Auburn Family is so blessed to have an Auburn man like Charles Barkley in the public eye representing us. A statue and a symbol like this serves to bring attention to that and will stand the test of time.”
While at Auburn, Barkley averages 14.8 points per game, and averaged 9.6 rebounds per game. He was named to the SEC’s All-Decade team for the 1980’s by the Birmingham Post-Herald.
An exact date of when the statue will be placed outside of Auburn Arena has not been announced.