Thursday, July 24, 2008

SEC Media Days: Thursday Recap

From Fulmer's subpoena to Richt's apology, 10 things we learned from Day 2 of the SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala.

1) Nick Saban has no problem with LSU's Les Miles' recent jab at the Crimson Tide program.

"Well, he told the truth. He told it like it was," Saban said. "So, you know, I don't you know, we need to earn it...Private Ryan told Tom Hanks on the bridge after 12 guys got killed getting him out of there, Tom Hanks says, 'Earn this.'"

"We need to earn the respect."

2) Saban believes more should be done to help all student-athletes, not just football players.

He has suggested that the money brought in from the National Championship game should be given back to student-athletes in the form of a monthly $200 scholarship, for example.

"I'm not just talking about football players," he said. "I'm talking about women's basketball players, volleyball players, softball players, and everybody that's on scholarship. 'Cause I think we should support the student athlete in every way that we can so that they improve their quality of life."

As someone who believes that student-athletes should be paid, I couldn't agree more.

3) Unsurprisingly, Saban is not a fan of the new rule named in his honor, "The Saban Rule," which prevents coaches from making traditional visits to high school campuses during the spring evaluation period.

"That rule, I don't care what anybody thinks, was made out of paranoia," he said.

Saban said he took advantage of the spring period to scour practice fields across the South, comparing and evaluating talent.

"I was the common denominator that saw all the best players and could say this guy in Mississippi was better than that guy in Georgia, was not as good as this guy in Alabama," Saban said. "So more mistakes are going to be made in recruiting and you're not going to be able to spend the time with people to make relationships to get as good as information."

I actually agree with Saban on this one, too. While Saban received a lot of criticism for leaving Miami, he's still a coach I'd want to play for.

"I know he doesn't get the most love in the media, but he's such a genuine guy," said Bama offensive lineman Antoine Caldwell. "He's one of the most focused and razor sharp guys that I've ever been around. He takes pride in what he does, and we can see him on and off the field, and he's always the same person. He's definitely a big influence on us."

4. The pre-season hype could be a blessing or a curse for Mark Richt's Georgia Bulldogs.

"It's a curse if you think it gives you a sense of entitlement to where you think you don't have to prepare," he said. "It could be a blessing if you look at it as one of the greatest opportunities of your life and you put the work in to even be in position to have a chance."

5. Don't expect Georgia to be called for any excessive celebration penalties this season.

"I want it to be a team celebration," Richt said he told his players before their game with the Gators. "Again, I'm still thinking 11 guys celebrating. Well, somebody in the crowd thought I meant everybody."

While Richt was pleased with the fact that the celebration got his team to play with some energy, he called Florida's Urban Meyer the next day to apologize and said Thursday that he "won't do anything like that again."

6. Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt feels rejuvenated in Oxford.

"You go into the meeting with the players, you see that hunger again, to see how they embraced our coaching staff, it excites you, motivates you," said the former Razorback coach. "It makes you want to please. It makes you want to work a little bit harder. So it's just been an excellent transition."

7. Nutt is excited about his starting quarterback, former Longhorn Jevan Snead.

"Jevan Snead brings a lot to our team," Nutt said. "I think he's highly intelligent. He works extremely hard. I love his leadership. That's where you start...Has a strong arm. Very, very accurate."

"Overall, you just love him under the center," he added. "You love him with the ball in his hands because of his decision making, first and foremost."

8. After reading Michael Lewis' The Blind Side, you can be sure that I'll be pulling for Ole Miss offensive tackle Michael Oher.

Oher decided to return for his senior season and is projected to be a top-5 pick in next year's NFL Draft.

9. Subpoena? We're talking about a subpoena?'s Chris Low has the full rundown regarding Fulmer and the now infamous subpoena:
Alabama attorneys representing disassociated Alabama booster Wendell Smith in a defamation suit against the NCAA want to question Fulmer under oath about his role in the investigation of Alabama, which ultimately landed the Crimson Tide on probation earlier this decade.

Fulmer, who initially denied several different times to several different media members that he'd been served a subpoena, issued a scathing statement tonight about the whole thing. He insisted that he wasn't trying to mislead anybody.

Later, Low called out Fulmer for not telling the truth, thus turning a non-story into THE story of the day.

10. Remember the name: Eric Berry.

"I don't know if we have enough time or tape to talk about all the things that Eric Berry brings," Fulmer said of his sophomore defensive back. "But, you know, one, he's got great character, great work ethic. He's a very smart young man. He takes his academics very seriously. Wants to be a dentist. He brings his 'A' game to the practice field every day, to the weight room, wherever, to be as good as he can be. Just love all those tangible and intangible things that he brings."

Don't think Berry will be filling cavities any time soon.

"If he stays healthy and continues on the path that he's on," Fulmer said, "he'll certainly be one of the best players that Tennessee has had in a long time and one of the best players that has played in the country in a long time."

You may also want to check out Wednesday's recap and the Vanderbilt notebook.


David Rutz said...

11. Urban Meyer can't put the past where it belongs.

I'm not going to say the TD celebration by Georgia last year against Florida was proper, but you can't deny it worked in pumping Georgia up. Mark Richt was desperate to get his team energized, I would be too if my team lost to Florida year in and year out.

Urban Meyer's got this new book coming out and writes, "It will forever be in the mind of Urban Meyer and our football team." Sheesh.

Richt kept apologizing for it at the SEC Media today, and I can see why he's doing it because he's always been refined like that, but I'm surprised Urban won't stop harping about it. Richt called him the day after the game to apologize for his team's antics, and that really should have been the end of the story.

Meyer just looks like a baby when he keeps complaining about it.

Unknown said...

one reason i am probably gonna take uf over uga in the cocktail party and in the division is florida's gotta be hungry to get some revenge for that day.