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Harbach: SEC Needs Civility
Bret Michaels is not what is wrong with Toomer's
Bret Michaels is not what is wrong with Toomer's
Collegefootballnews.com
Posted Feb 16, 2011


After years of disappointing behavior in the SEC...a recent poisoning of the trees in Auburn has hit a new low.

By Brian Harbach

Earlier this year after President Obama called for civility in our country and it seems that the SEC is no exception to that need. A day after this story came out about an Alabama fan poisoning the Oak trees on Auburn’s Campus at Toomer’s Corner. The Southeastern Conference seems to be an excellent parallel to the rest of the country according to the President’s lack of civility. The negative behavior in the SEC is getting out of control.

Never mind your politics, the need for civility in the SEC is at an all time high as the league seems to get worse and worse every season. The situation has been trending negative for a few years now and it hit rock bottom with the tree poisoning. Just think about some of the recent actions and comments from some of the players/coaches and fans. It all starts with the head coaches and what the fans demand of their head coach. Nick Saban came to Alabama four years ago and at his first press conference explained how he was going to work at dominating the in-state rival 365 days a year.

In theory there is nothing wrong with that…did you expect him to come in and say “We’re going to try our best to beat that quality program every season.” That kind of rhetoric fires up the fan base and brings even more attention to the rivalries that exist in the league. If the coach is obsessed with dominating their rival…of course that is the fan’s top priority as well. But it doesn’t stop there, as Urban Meyer cries about the integrity of the game getting worse every year as a new analyst…he conveniently forgets the issues he had while at Florida.

I’m not talking about the arrests; I am talking about the Cocktail Party where one of his players tried to gauge out the eyes of one of the Dawgs. How civil is that behavior and of course there was the suspension-gate that came after Meyer suspended Brandon Spikes for a half. Keeping up the Cocktail Party theme, how about Mark Richt sending his entire team out on the field to show up the Gators a few seasons ago after their first touchdown? And who can forget the classy comments from Lane Kiffin in his first and only recruiting season at Tennessee.

The infamous statement about Alshon Jeffrey pumping gas for the rest of his life if he went to South Carolina screams civility. Of course there are other examples that will end up in my inbox later today but the poisoning of the tree at Toomer’s corner is the tipping point. Please don’t blame one fan-base or one school, every school has their problem children and no school is blameless…well I guess Vanderbilt can be considered blameless.

The only way to stop this kind of behavior at all levels is to hold those responsible, accountable for their actions. Coaches need to knock off the silly rhetoric and focus on coaching up the players. Players need to represent their university with class on and off the field. Fans need grow up and stop acting like children. College football is important and a big part of many people’s life but it isn’t the most important thing. When a fan acts like a moron…other fans need to call that person out. If we self-monitor ourselves and our team’s fans there is a better chance these kind of actions are part of the past and we can focus on what happened on the field, not off it.

Is there anything we can do to change the lack of civility in the SEC or is it always going to be this way? E-mail me Brian Harbach

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