2019 SEC Media Days Recap: Day 1
SEC Media Days has returned to Hoover! But not for long. The 2019 version of SEC Media Days has begun and as always, there are things to talk about. Each day, we’ll be recapping the biggest news and notes from SEC Media Days.
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey opened SEC Media Days 2019 with the announcement of where the future of media days lies. The rumblings were that Dallas would be selected as the next host of media days, but the rumblings were wrong. Instead, Commissioner Sankey announced Atlanta as the location of SEC Media Days 2020, with a trip to Nashville also announced for 2021. This is certainly a smart move for the league.
Why would the state of Texas, who is already home to Big 12 and C-USA Media Days, be excited about another conference coming for four-day media circus? Maybe more importantly, Texas is on the periphery of the conference. Most of the league’s schools would have a very long trip to make it to Dallas. With locations like Atlanta and Nashville, media days will remain in the heart of the conference, with many schools in bordering states being within in shouting distance. The SEC wanted to expand its reach with the acceptance of a Texas school into the league, and that’s fine, but it does not need to cater to the state with a delivery of SEC Media Days, and for now, it won’t.
The other significant news that the commissioner relayed is the addition of replay reviews being accessible to the referees on the field. The replay official in the booth will still be primarily in charge of making the calls, but the on the field officials will be given the opportunity to look at the replays so that they can better explain why the review went the way it did to the coaches. We should be hearing more about this from the Director of Officials Steve Shaw in the next couple of days.
In his press conference in the main media room, Florida head coach Dan Mullen was asked about the location of the Florida-Georgia rivalry and if he’d like to see it moved to Athens and Gainesville. Mullen noted that there were arguments for both sides, but liked the unique aspect of having a neutral site rivalry, mentioning how uncommon it is across college football.
The transfer portal is still very much a big topic of discussion. Barry Odom, Dan Mullen, and Ed Orgeron all took to the podium on Monday, and all three had comments about the transfer portal.
First up was Odom, who took a very player first approach “We’ve been very open to how it’s going to work. I look at the student athletes and for them, they have a very short opportunity to be a student athlete… we’ve just got to be open to everything that’s out there.”
Then there was Florida head coach Dan Mullen, who took a middling approach as he talked about the difficulty of managing the roster as a coach, but also sympathizing with the players that are looking for a fresh start and struggling to find one.
Finally, there was LSU coach Ed Orgeron who took a more stay in school approach “I think the kid should try to stick it out and stay in school.” To add context, Orgeron did say he thought graduate players transferring was perfectly fine, and emphasized getting a degree was the important factor in staying in school rather than transferring.
Three coaches with three different approaches, that’s just life in the SEC.