HOOVER – Southeastern Conference Media Days, which begin today at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, will be about a lot more than the outlook for the 2011 football season. The next three days are likely to be more about past, present and future NCAA enforcement matters than about whether the SEC will win its sixth consecutive national championship.
Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino
First in the line fire will be SEC commissioner Mike Slive, who isn’t likely to repeat the goal he established in 2002, his first year on the job, that the league would have no teams on probation within five years.
For Slive and for the SEC coaches, LSU’s Tuesday conviction of major NCAA violations, Tennessee’s coming decision and the ongoing fascination with Auburn and a case which, to this point, has resulted in no charges of any kind.
Arkansas’ Bobby Petrino, South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier, Florida’s Will Muschamp and Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen will have their say after Slive. They’ll be accompanied by three players apiece. None of those coaches have current NCAA issues, at least that have been made public.
But they’ll surely all be asked their opinions about what has been portrayed as a flood of unethical conduct within college football programs.
Chizik will, no doubt, talk about the national championship and what that means moving forward, but he’ll also be called on to answer questions about Cam Newton and about an exchange at the SEC spring meetings in Destin with NCAA enforcement chief Julie Roe Lach.
Tennessee’s NCAA mess was left by Lane Kiffin, who bolted for Southern California, but that won’t keep Dooley from to answer questions about it. He, too, had his say to Roe Lach in Destin.
Miles could have double-barreled fun. LSU was hit with NCAA sanctions on Tuesday and also is having to deal with NCAA questions about street agent Willie Lyles.
Perhaps, amid all the questions about all things NCAA-related, there’ll be some time to talk about the distinct shortage of proven quarterbacks in the league, about the embarrassment of riches at running back, about the challenges facing Muschamp and Franklin in their first seasons, about whether Houston Nutt will follow his career pattern and have surprisingly good season at Ole Miss.
Vanderbilt coach James Franklin, CB Casey Hayward, LB Chris Marve, QB Larry Smith.
LSU coach Les Miles, LB Ryan Baker, QB Jordan Jefferson, WR Russell Shepard.