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SEC’s Open Door Policy Turns Media Days Into Slow-Pitch Softball

Softball 0132Here’s a well-known fact about SEC Media Days: If you apply for a media credential, you’ll get one.  The conference seems to greatly enjoy the fact that ESPN descends on its festivities each year and televises image after image of standing room only crowds into the living rooms of American sports fans.  SEC spokespeople have been quick to point out that more 1,200 media credentials were handed out for this year’s event alone.

But there’s a problem with opening the doors to everyone — not everyone is really a media member.  Now, we’ve said many times that “everyone is the media” these days thanks to cell phone cameras, social media and the internet.  But when it comes to this type of information grab, the conference should probably be just a bit more discerning with regards who gets into the building.

With so many fans now attending the event, the questions being asked of the league’s millionaire coaches have gone from polite with the occasional fastball… to one softball after another.  Now, not every media session should result in the grilling of a football coach.  There’s certainly room for a few lay-up questions for those media members working on niche columns and sidebar stories.  But there are some obvious real questions that just haven’t been asked today.

Examples:

 

*  Will Muschamp, your offensive line coach Tim Davis made a reference to the fact that you and he worked under “the Devil himself” in Nick Saban.  There have been some apologies going back and forth, but has Davis apologized personally to Saban and what is the nature of your relationship with your old boss?

*  Gary Pinkel, you’ve built Missouri into a winning program, but now, after a 5-7 season, the critics have grown louder.  Do you feel as if you’re on a so-called “hot seat” this season and is it fair for you to face such scrutiny after what you’ve achieved in Columbia?

*  Gary Pinkel, last year your quarterback James Franklin took quite a bit of heat from fans and a few in the media for refusing to take a pain-killing shot before the Arizona State game.  In hindsight, do you wish you’d kept that information private and what is the current status of your relationship with your quarterback?

 

Those aren’t ugly questions.  They’re legitimate questions.  The coaches might have dipped, dodged, and ducked them, but better to attempt to get an answer to a good question than to lob up another eephus pitch.

We expected a few more legit queries today.  But it seems that as the number of media credentials goes up, the number of tough questions goes down.

 


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