Auburn's Malzahn: Consequences Coming For Marshall
By Dan Harralson
The “official” unofficial kickoff to the 2014 college football season took place on Monday with the annual SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala.
Auburn Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn took his turn at the media-day mike, following Commissioner Mike Slive. This event has become a spectacle that tends to get off-track from talking actual football.
With news breaking less than 24 hours earlier that Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall had been cited for possession of marijuana and would not be taking part at SEC Media Days, that trend of not talking football continued.
“I believe it is an award and privilege to represent Auburn at SEC Media Days,” Malzahn said. “I believe he (Marshall) lost that right Friday. We have high expectations for our players, but specifically our quarterback being the face of the program. Up until last Friday, Nick had been a model student, model teammate, model citizen. But he made a mistake and he’s going to have to suffer the consequences for that mistake. I’m not saying what that will be right now, but it will be addressed."
Marshall was cited Friday night for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and having tinted windows on his car while traveing in Reynolds, Ga.
With the Tigers’ returning starting quarterback coming off an SEC championship season, the questions were going to be lobbed at Malzahn regarding the signal-caller's run-in with the law.
And they were asked, as Malzahn addressed how Marshall is handling the situation.
“He is very regretful," Malzahn said. "He’s embarrassed that he hurt his teammates, his family and his coaches.”
One instance should not overshadow Marshall's entire character or the Auburn program that the second-year coach has built.
"He’s been a model teammate and model citizen," Malzahn said of Marshall, a rising senior who threw for 1,946 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2013.
"He’s done everything right up to this point. The last year-and-a-half, we’ve been one of the cleaner teams in college football. We had two guys (Jonathon Mincy being the other) make mistakes. We are going to deal with these mistakes, but I feel very good about the big picture.”
Marshall was pulled from attending the conference's media days, which should have been his chance to face the music and provide a clean slate before fall camp. That did not happen, but there is one thing that is certain, and that is that Malzahn has control of his program after this matter.
2014 Projected Auburn Schedule Breakdown
Wins: Arkansas, San Jose State, Kansas State, Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Georgia, Samford
Toss-ups: LSU, Alabama