BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – The 2013 Southeastern Conference Media Days has come and gone, and now the wait begins for the beginning of fall camp and the 2013 season.
As is usually the case with Media Days, some players and coaches provided great quotes and intriguing insight throughout the three days.
Commissioner Mike Slive:
On the potential changes to the SEC’s technology and social media policies for student-athletes: “The current regulatory approach would be more at home in the era of Johann Gutenberg’s printing press than in our current fast-paced technology-driven society and will no longer serve to functionally govern recruiting behaviors moving forward. As Albert Einstein once said, ‘We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.’”
Florida head coach Will Muschamp:
On South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney and where he would rank him: “Number one (smiling). I’d like to see him come out early before our game. He’s an outstanding player. He’s a guy you better account for every snap. He’s an explosive guy. Got great football instincts, initial quickness. He’s got power. He’s a guy that can play finesse on the edge and power. He’s a really, really good football player.”
Florida defensive lineman Dominique Easley:
On his dancing routines: “You ever wake up and you just want to dance? Y’all never do that? You just wake up in a happy mood. You come to a realization of life that it won’t last that long, so you take advantage of every second of life.”
South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier:
On whether or not he would turn in Florida, his former school, for recruiting violations: “Like that? Probably not that (smiling).”
On his relationship with Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze: “No, Hugh and I have a lot in common. We both play golf. We both wear visors. We call the plays. How could you not like a guy like Hugh Freeze?
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel:
On the most memorable part of the offseason since he won the Heisman Trophy: “I continue to meet people and do things that were bucket list. I got to go to Toronto, got to meet LeBron (James) for the second time and have more of a conversation. I got to go finals games and I’m thankful my parents could go to those places.”
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn:
On the notion that there are safety concerns involved with the no-huddle, fast-paced style of offenses: “When I first heard that, to be honest with you, I thought it was a joke. As far as health or safety issues, that’s like saying the defense shouldn’t blitz after a first down because they’re a little fatigue and there’s liable to be a big collision in the backfield. If you’re going to look at rule changes, officials, we need to look at the guys on defense that are faking injuries to slow down these pace teams. That’s where college football’s going. You see more and more teams using pace. I think you’ll see it more and more at the next level also.”
Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema:
On the safety concerns he has with the no-huddle, fast-paced offenses and the fact that Gus Malzahn thought the comments were a joke: “I’m not a comedian. Everything I say is things I truly believe in. When I go into a young man’s home, when you go to recruit a kid that’s 17 years old, move him halfway across the country, you can look a mom and dad in the eye, and you say, I’m going to look out for the personal well-being of your son in everything that I do. It’s going to be a game day, a practice, a conditioning session, I am trusting you to give me your son to come play for me.
If I have a son that I have brought to this campus and I don’t look after his personal well-being, I have lied to that parent. All I know is this: there are times when an offensive player and a defensive player are on the field for an extended amount of time without a break. You cannot tell me that a player after play five is the same player that he is after play 15. If that exposes him to a risk of injury, then that’s my fault. I can’t do anything about it because the rules do not allow me to substitute a player in whether
I’m on offense or defense. The problem that people have is you look at it just from an offensive or defensive point of view. I’m looking at it from a head coach’s point of view, that the personal well-being and safety of my players is paramount. I’ve had a situation that I’ve had to call a parent because their son may not make it through because of either an injury, not make it through life, but the next day, whether he can play football or not. To me that’s real. That’s the job I have to protect.
I sat in a Rules Committee meeting. We changed the rules significantly in the world of kicking. Everybody remember when we did that? We moved the ball from the 35 to 30, all that back and forth. We changed the rules you can’t jump anymore. Why did we do that? We did it for player safety. We’ve dramatically decreased the number of concussions and traumatic injuries on kickoffs because of that rule change. If we can have the same effect and change the amount of injuries to an offensive and defensive player and play the game still, would that not be a good resolution? It’s not a joke to me. It’s something that I really feel strongly about. It’s not rhetoric.
LSU head coach Les Miles:
On his experiences during the offseason: “Summer for me, did some hyperbaric oxygen therapy research … I repelled down a building. I don’t know that that was all it was cracked up to be. It was tall. It was up there. I spent hours at kids’ games.”
Alabama head coach Nick Saban
On being compared to Bear Bryant: “I don’t think I have any reason that anybody should do that. I think Bear Bryant is probably the greatest coach in college football in terms of what he accomplished, what his legacy is.
I think the biggest thing that impacts me is how many peoples’ lives he affected in a positive way, players that played for him, because they all come back and say how he affected their life. They don’t come back and say, we won a championship in ’78, ’79, ’61, whenever it was. They come back and say how he affected their lives.
There’s a lot of Bear Bryant stories that I’ve learned a lot from, that have made me a better person. I certainly appreciate that, have a tremendous amount of respect for what he accomplished.
There’s no way that we have done anything close to what he’s done in terms of his consistency over time, how he changed what he did to impact the times. They threw the ball and won. They ran the wishbone and won. I mean, he changed tremendously to do what he needed to do to be successful. I don’t think that it would be fair that anyone really be compared to what he was able to accomplish, the way he did it, and how he impacted other people.”
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