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The circus known as SEC Media Days hit the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala., Wednesday afternoon. The league office wasted no time bringing out the heavy hitters, as the head coaches of the two most recent national champions took the mic on Day 1. Here's a Cliffs Notes version of the day's events:
Late Wednesday afternoon, Andy Staples from SI.com confirmed that Georgia is the latest school to catch the agent-gate virus. Georgia has confirmed that they have received a call from the NCAA regarding the inquiry and will cooperate.
There have been rumors swirling about other SEC schools being implicated in the now-infamous South Beach agent party. Well, now we know that the Bulldogs may be one of them. I don't doubt that more will come out.
I didn't do it
Former Florida center Maurkice Pouncey denied allegations that he took $100,000 from an agent in a statement released by his attorney. Meanwhile, his twin brother Mike Pouncey was busy in Hoover defended his family name, saying, "My mom and my dad took it real personal. We come from a great family. We pride ourselves on being great people."
He is out, he is in, he is out, he is in
Speaking of agents, rumors swirled early Wednesday afternoon regarding the status of Alabama defensive end Marcell Dareus, who was implicated in the agent scandal Tuesday. According to the Tuscaloosa News, Dareus has been ruled ineligible, but the University and head coach Nick Saban did not confirm that report. If he is ruled ineligible, it would be a huge blow to the rebuilt Crimson Tide defense. In all likelihood, Dareus will be forced serve some sort of suspension to repay any benefits he received during the alleged trip to South Beach.
It's hard out here for a pimp
Alabama head coach Nick Saban had the quote of the day, comparing sleazy agents to pimps.
"I don't think it's anything but greed that's creating it right now on behalf of the agents," said Saban. "The agents that do this — and I hate to say this, but how are they any better than a pimp?
Of course, that statement is dripping with irony considering part of the recruitment process for college head coaches is selling kids on their NFL futures.
While Saban was taking shots at agents, Mississippi State head coach was taking shots at Saban.
When asked about how he handles the misconception of the role of the quarterback in the spread offense, which Saban referred to during his time at the mic, Mullen replied, "I've had a lot more first-round quarterbacks drafted than he has in his career as head coach."
Mullen was referring to the time he spent as an assistant coach under Urban Meyer, when he coached former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and former Utah quarterback Alex Smith - both of whom were drafted in the first round of the NFL draft.
In early January, Lane Kiffin bolted Knoxville Baltimore Colts-style, in favor of the "greener pastures" of probation-ridden USC. SEC commissioner Mike Slive and Florida head coach Urban Meyer didn't seem to mind.
Media Days were barely underway when Slive took a thinly-veiled shot at Kiffin, referring to him only as "Derek Dooley's predecessor," and then welcoming Dooley to the league, adding, "And when I say welcome, I mean WEL-COME."
Meyer then followed up by referring to Dooley as "a high character guy" and adding, "it's kind of neat to see that."
Ya think Kiffin made some friends in the SEC? Nahh, me neither.
Locke it up
Kentucky running back Derrick Locke voiced his opinion on the three-headed Wildcat quarterback battle between Mike Hartline, Morgan Newton and Ryan Mossakowski. Speaking at Media Days, Locke said that he feels that "Hartline is the guy."
That battle is going to last into summer, but I wouldn't be surprised if Locke is correct. After all, Hartline is a very underrated quarterback. The Wildcats will be fine no matter who wins that battle. Hartline and Newton are both very capable SEC quarterbacks, and if Mossakowski beats them both out, that says an awful lot about what first-year head coach Joker Phillips thinks of the redshirt freshman.
Barrett Sallee covers the SEC for www.CollegeFootballNews.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @BarrettSallee
Off-Season Column Archive:
SEC Media Days: Day 1 Recap – July 21, 2010
SEC Roundtable Discussion Part III – July 13, 2010
SEC Roundtable Discussion Part II – June 21, 2010
Auburn Gets The Last Laugh – June 10, 2010
Realignment – What Should The SEC Do? – June 9, 2010
SEC Roundtable Discussion Part I – June 7, 2010
Richt On The Hot Seat? – June 3, 2010
Auburn Dismisses Redshirt Freshman RB – May 21, 2010
SEC Hires of the Decade – The Bottom Five – May 14, 2010
Top 5 SEC Hires of the Decade – May 5, 2010
Georgia In A Gray Area – April 26, 2009
Taunting Rule Goes Too Far – April 16, 2009
Memorable SEC Press Conferences – February 20, 2009
2010 Early SEC Picks, Part 2 – February 18, 2009
2010 Early SEC Picks, Part 1 – February 16, 2009
Florida Reaches For DC – February 12, 2009
Vols Go West For New DC – February 3, 2009
Early 2010 SEC Predictions – January 31, 2010
Chizik Doing It Right – January 21, 2010
Georgia's DC Debacle – January 12, 2010
SEC Bloggers: Do Over – January 8, 2010
Trouble In Baton Rouge – January 2, 2010
Meyer Calls A Reverse – December 27, 2009
Urban Meyer's SEC Legacy – December 26, 2009
End Of The Season Accountability – December 26, 2009
Ranking The SEC Bowl Games – December 18, 2009
2009 SEC Superlatives – December 13, 2009
Click here for the 2010 Three & Out archive