Jay Jacobs is stepping down as Auburn's athletic director.

In a letter sent to donors Friday afternoon, Jacobs said earlier this week he informed Auburn University president Steven Leath he would step down on June 1, 2018, "or sooner if my successor is in place."

"The last several months have been a particularly difficult time," Jacobs wrote in the letter. "Across several sports, a series of controversies have arisen. They have begun to take their toll and have raised questions about why Auburn must endure such problems. As I have always done, I have worked my hardest and best to do what is right for Auburn.

"I believe in Auburn and will fight for Auburn. But as I consider the future and what is best for Auburn, I have prayerfully decided the time has come for me to step aside. Sometimes a new direction and new leadership are helpful in moving beyond current problems.

Jacobs' nearly 13-year tenure as Auburn's athletic director ends with the department mired in numerous scandals.