HOOVER, Ala. — Not exactly known for his bubbly, ebullient personality, Auburn coach Gene Chizik nonetheless covered plenty of interesting topics Thursday at the SEC Media Days.
In a not-very-shocking admission, Chizik conceded that Cam Newton and Nick Fairley will be “hard to replace; we know that.” He also added that by his count, from the 2007 and ’08 recruiting classes, Auburn has nine players left.
“We’re a little bit light on experience,” he said.
On the other hand, barely anyone foresaw the kind of season AU had in 2010, and on the bright side, 1,000-yard tailback Michael Dyer returns.
- The Newton saga lives. Danny Sheridan said recently Auburn may have had a third-party “bag man” in the recruitment of Newton. Chizik’s response: “The NCAA, on more than one occasion, has said we’ve done nothing wrong in the recruitment of Cam Newton. Nothing has changed.”
- Chizik (somewhat reluctantly) addressed his run-in with NCAA enforcement official Julie Loe Rach in Destin, Fla., last month, regarding the NCAA’s ongoing investigation: “Without going into the details of the exchange, I was just trying to get clarification at the time. And she was very willing to clarify with me.”
- Chizik said Auburn’s $16 million indoor practice facility will open this fall.
- On the poisoned oak trees at Toomer’s Corner: “As with anything in life, you have individuals who are going to go over the limit. … If the fan base, as a whole, had the same amount of respect for each other as the coaches and the players, I think you’d see less of that.”
— Perryn Keys