(UPDATED AT 10 a.m.)
HOOVER, Ala. — Good morning. Welcome back to SEC media days, which at some point in time I’m sure was a nice little gathering of writers from newspapers — yeah, yeah: which, were delivered by wagon train — to collect background information for the upcoming season.
But there’s nothing low key about it now. Day 1 seemed more like somebody fired a cannon.
A brief rundown, in case you missed it:
♦ The NCAA is conducting an “inquiry” -- I’m not sure if it qualifies as an investigation yet — into Georgia’s program. Officials have not said what they’re looking for but it’s believed to be related to all of the recent stories regarding illegal contact between college players and agents. For what it’s worth, wide receiver A.J. Green, whose name came up in a couple of internet stories, has denied involvement.
A small group of us are meeting with coach Mark Richt early this morning, prior to his scheduled major news conference with the rest of the media. Tim Tucker and I will post his comments as soon as we’re able. As always, I’ll be sending out Tweets throughout the day on Twitter. You can follow me @JeffSchultzAJC.
If you need to get caught up on the Georgia story, here’s a link to a blog I wrote yesterday when Tucker broke the story, and here’s Tim’s updated news story. My favorite part of Tim’s story might be the remark from former teammate Michael Moore, via Twitter: “Hahaha. This talk about A.J. is hilarious. That country boy ain’t never been to Miami!!! You can put those rumors to rest.”
♦ Alabama coach Nick Saban was a walking soundbite Wednesday on AgentGate. He likened agents to “pimps,” and I’m not sure if he was including his own agent, given his past movement from LSU to Miami (NFL) to Alabama. At one point, Saban also said, “Maybe we need to not be so self-absorbed,” when it comes to this issue. As several readers responded: Pot, meet kettle. Here’s the link to my column on Saban.
♦ Bill Hancock, executive director of the BCS, did a power point presentation, attempting to sell the world on why the BCS is such a great thing. Half the people in the room didn’t believe him. The other half were asleep. Here’s the link to the story.
♦ Lost in everything else yesterday was a great remark from Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen, who took offense to previous remarks from Saban that a drawback to the spread offense (which Mullen coaches at MSU and previously at Florida and Utah) is it doesn’t prepare quarterbacks for the NFL. Mullen’s response: “I’m not going to knock him. I don’t know his personal record. I’ve coached the spread offense and I have a lot of more first-round quarterbacks drafted than he has in his career as a head coach. Develop them for the NFL, I don’t know. In the last six years, I’ve had two of mine [Tim Tebow and Alex Smith] get drafted in the first round.”
That’s it for now. Check back later and I’ll have something new on Georgia.
UPDATE: Threw this into comments below. Richt just met with a small group of reporters (he has yet to hold his formal news conference).
– In short, he said he has been asked by the NCAA not to speak publicly about the “inquiry” into the program, but all I can tell you is he didn’t act overly concerned about it.
– As for A.J. Green, he responded to some questions about his name being brought up in internet reports, saying he is not concerned and he has never even been to Miami (the reference being to stories of an agent’s party in South Beach). We’ll have more on this later.
– Richt, when asked if NCAA is looking at just one or more UGA players: “I don’t know at all and I’ve been asked not to to talk about it.”
– Unlike Saban, Richt said he doesn’t think “agent problem” is any worse now than it was before.
– Richt on “agent problem” “If there was an easy answer, I think we would’ve already found out what it is.”
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