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Nick Marshall Will Not Start Against Arkansas

By on August 1st, 2014 in Football, News 14 Comments »

                                                                                                                                         (photo:Julie Bennett/
Gus Malzahn said today that he would not be starting Quarterback Nick Marshall or Corner back Jonathan Mincy in the Tigers opener against Arkansas on Aug.30. He made the announcement in his press conference following the first day of fall practice. Gus said the action is “part of their punishment.”

He also gave some bad news on Offensive Lineman Alex Kozan. The All SEC Guard will miss the entire season due to a back injury. “That’s a big blow for our guys up front,” Malzahn said. “With the type of year he had and the type of player he is.”

Watch the video here for the rest of Coach Malzahn’s comments during his press conference.



  1. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    Lord help us, we are turning into bama. It’s been happening for a while now. It became visible to me when some pushed this idea of unearned national championships… claiming titles that we didn’t earn on the field. But where I first noticed the difference is when AU moved away from a family oriented atmosphere to a campus that was a money generating machine. You could no longer tailgate anywhere… only in designated spots.

    Bear with me… my rant continues:

    If I have heard one time today I have heard it a thousand:

    “Now that’s a coach”

    “This is how a real program does it”

    All I can do is look perplexed. Really. The control Malzahn is exterting is right up there with Chizik. Lombardi… Malzahn ain’t. Neither is Jay Jacobs.

    All Malzahn said is “they will not start”. That doesn’t mean that they won’t play. This is no better than a Nick Saban move. For me, it’s nothing but disappointing and reiforces the idea that this kind of behavior is okay.

    Fact of the matter is the program and the coach have so much invested in these kids that they will play regardless. The trial that has been ongoing with the NCAA only reinforces this notion. Only if they do something so egregious that brings total discredit upon the school would they incur the rath of a coach or program and get kicked off the team.

    What happens now? Marshall and Mincy will be placed on the pot watch… they will have to pee in a cup for a year I believe. If they fall off the wagon… which if we look at Mike Dyer as an example… it will happen… then they might actually be sat down for a while. Folks, that’s only a matter of time. Speaking only for me, I will not put my faith in someone who can’t keep his. 18, 19, 20, or 50… it doesn’t matter. With all that earning potential… you can’t keep your nose clean and stay out of trouble?? And folks really expect to win?

    It’s such dichotomy. The shame I feel for both players and the University is so great that when I talk to most younger fans… and to some older ones, the vast majority think this is only a minor indiscretion. And that its totally acceptable. Why? Because they have been conditioned to think that. Colorado, here we come!

    Productivity… lost. Forever. And wait till the pot heads explain that they do their best work when they are buzzed from a doobie…. my only retort…. if that’s ok with you please allow the surgeon you are able to get operate on your kid…. buzzed. Let’s see how pro drug you are then.

    A very slippery slope indeed.

    My only question is what would Shug do?


    • KBTAUB23 says:

      I have been a long time lurker of this site (probably about 6-7 year), but have never been driven to post. Until now. This debacle with Marshall is getting out of hand. You know what? It was just a little pot. Quit vilifying a young man for what he did in his down time.

      I don’t support it. I am not an advocate of legalization. I don’t smoke it. But I also don’t care if others occasionally do. Now, if he’s like former Dolphins running back Ricky Williams and gets high 24/7 and during games, there is an issue. But it’s their summer time. The one period of the year they aren’t being worked to death with school and training. School policy is school policy. First time offense necessitates no required punishment. Malzahn was under no obligations to do anything.

      Again, I’m not saying I agree with Marshall’s or Mincy’s choices, but cut them some slack. I know plenty of people who smoked when I was in Auburn and nearly all of them were upstanding, good people. Most of them have gone on to much more prosperous things than I have.

      I’m just so tired of reading comments from people acting like the world is doomed, our country is going down the crapper, malzahn is losing control, etc etc etc… Relax. Let him run his team. This is nothing new and nothing drastic…

      Btw, players smoked it back when Shug was coach, too.. There just wasn’t the 24/7 media coverage to fan the flames of discontent and rivalry.

      • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

        …..I hear you. To me, it’s also a non-issue, except that driving under the influence possibility. I went to school in the 1960s, and yes, it was everywhere then, too. I was a student at Auburn during the Barfield Era and actually saw players tokin’, in person. My point in mentioning it early in the week was that the situation is going to be media-meat, and we’ll get oh-so-tired of reading it week after week. Hopefully, it doesn’t distract the team.

        …..Oh, and thanks for reading, and the comment. Opinions on this issue have been interesting to read. Some are “it’s nothing,” some are “kick ’em off the team!” If “nothing” is 1, and “punt ’em” is 4, I’m sitting on about a 2. I’m kind of a personal freedoms liberal, at heart. On the other hand, I also understand the importance of not embarrassing your team publicly.

        • KBTAUB23 says:

          Thanks, Acid. I’ve loved reading your previews and game reviews over the years. Y’all do great work here.

          I wasn’t referring to the article itself in my rant against this issue. I know it’s current and important news. I was mostly just responding to the comment above. I agree completely about the issue of him having it in his car and possibly being under the influence. But as far as I know, he was cited for possession, not under the influence of it. So I was going by that impression and assuming it was just transported in there. I think it is just along the lines of alcohol in intoxication so while I may fall in the social libertarian camp where I don’t necessarily care too much what folks do on their own time, endangering others on the road is a completely different scenario and you’re spot on there.

          And yes AubTigerman, I agree that everyone has opinions and just wanted to throw my rant in as a counterpoint to WDE’s :P. I’m all for some Auburn fervor, I just don’t agree with all the doom and gloom people associate with weed. As I said above, I equate it with alcohol in terms of potency and severity.

          No disrespect meant towards any commenters with different opinions than mine. I just don’t think what he did was so bad. I think his punishment fits his crime, but I also wouldn’t have been surprised to see nothing done, since that’s the university policy for first-time offenders.
          Honestly, I’m pretty glad he isn’t gonna start because I wanna see what Jeremy Johnson can do versus a 1st string SEC defense and I doubt we would get that any other way this year, barring an injury. I love me some Nick Marshall, but I also am excited for Johnson’s skill set in the future.

      • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

        Glad to know KBTAub that your a long time reader. One of the good things about TET is every one can express their opinion. Thanks for taking the time to express your’s. You made some good points Hope we’ll hear from you again.

      • wde1988 wde1988 says:

        I appreciate all points of view. You have every right to be a glass half empty person if you
        want to be… but for me this jeopardizes the seaon and its possible outcome before it ever got started. Character counts. Doesn’t it?

        But we need to cut the one that did it slack. Why is that again?

        Because kids will be kids? Its summer time?

        It was just a little pot.

        This is a multi-million $ program competing in the toughest conference in the nation. And Marshall, he isn’t the water boy… he is the leader of the football team. The QB.

        The guy has more earning potential than most of us… but us naysayers are supposed to cut him… what was the term again… slack?

        Wonder if Richt cut him slack? And yet… he did it again. And after the season he had. With the expectations being what they are.

        It was just a little pot.

        While this sort of abuse might have happened under Shug I don’t recall the impact that this has had.

        But its funny now that I think about it, I said something similar once. Having never seen a national championship team in my life time… i said this about the 2010 team, that is until the
        robbery in 2011. That was the turning point with me with Chiz. It was obvious he was no longer in charge of his team… if he was ever in charge.

        Its a slippery slope. Where do you draw the line?

        I am not advocating boarding up Jordan Hare. But I think there is a cost greater than the sacrifice demonstrated here. What this shows me is Gus isn’t going to risk the game or the season over Marshall and Mincy’s actions. So Vince Lombardi he ain’t. He is cut from the same mold as Nick.

        Obviously this IS okay. It affects us all but we never even got the opportunity to vote on it. Why? Its just a little pot.

        Hope this turns out okay for Auburn. There could be more at stake than just a game, or a season.


        • wde1988 wde1988 says:

          Btw, never said alcohol was good. It degrades too.

          But depending on your age… its legal as long as your not behind the wheel.

          Can honestly say that i have seen it ruin many a career.

          I can promise it only adds insult to injury when you have to look the soldier in the eye and hear “its only a little beer”.


  2. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    It’s what Coach Malzahn didn’t say that I was looking for. Maybe something like these two guys will get a game (or 2, or 3) suspension. I guess Nick will play in the first game, just not start because Gus answered a question in the video by saying he had not decided yet if or at what point Nick might go in to the game. I support Malzahn but I think it would be better to say, “Sorry Nick but your not playing in this one. Just IMHO.

    Really hate to hear about Kozan, hurt before he even had a chance to play a down of football this year. I hate to start the year out with injuries to key players. Was glad though to hear Roc Thomas will be alright.

  3. sauce080 says:

    Like it or not, the fact of the matter is that the entire country has changed and is becoming, and will become, increasingly more liberal. We have been shielded by this somewhat in the south because of it being such a conservative area, and I am not talking politics. I am talking about morality and values.

    We all know that Coach Mal is a man of character and of uncompromising moral standards, but he must deal with this issue within a society and culture that for the most part simply does not believe that the occasional use of marihuana is wrong. We both know that it is wrong, and that all of the southern states criminal codes state that it is wrong, and I’m almost positive that Coach Mal truly believes that it is wrong. However, the days of kicking a player off a team for a first time marihuana violation are gone. If that were the case, the entire football season would have to be canceled in every division due to lack of players.

    It doesn’t make it right, it’s simply the culture we live in today. We must all do our best to teach young people moral values and character and hope that they will choose to do what is right. I believe that is of supreme importance to Coach Mal, more so than winning a football game. I believe him to be a man of wisdom who is extremely concerned with the hearts of the men that are under his leadership and I believe that he will use that wisdom to test the hearts of his men and administer discipline as he sees fit.

  4. tigertracker says:

    I wish Gus would draw his line in the sand. He’s getting squishy and I don’t like it. Looks too much like he’s aiming for a full game suspension, but leaving the door open for a half game if things are tight with JJ.
    Hate to hear that about Kozan. Terrible to get hurt training in your off time. Get well soon Alex!
    Some players need to get hit to get rid of the jitters. Roc Thomas has to get in a car wreck 😉
    I hope he lives up to the hype and we have a spirited and challenged stable of backs really pushing each other.
    Shon Coleman was running left tackle with the first team today. He’s due for a breakout year in more ways than one. Congrats Shon. Keep it up.

  5. mvhcpa says:

    I just hope that “will not start” doesn’t mean the same thing as it did with Jeff Burger back in 1986–where Pat Washington came in for the first snap of the game (fumbled, in fact), then trotted off the field to be replaced by Burger. Marshall and Mincy should sit it out the whole game.

    As a fan, this is infuriating. Arkansas is not a game to be taken lightly, and every member of the team, from the starters to the scrubs, is responsible for the success of the team. They represent us, and in this case, we have been represented poorly by Mincy and Marshall.

    Throw them off the team? Maybe not now. Any future slip-up? Send ’em packing.

    Michael Val
    (who still thinks Marshall and Mincy can learn from their experiences and come back strong both on and off the field)

  6. DothanTiger DothanTiger says:

    I can’t understand why some are criticizing Coach Malzahnn for not taking a tougher stance on Marshall when that’s exactly what he has already done.

    The University Drug policy says that on a 1st offense, an athlete will be required to attend counseling and evaluation and be subjected to weekly drug-testing for the next 12 months. Also according to item 4 (a) of the policy …

    … “there will be no loss of playing time (for) penalty level I.”

    The policy doesn’t say the coach can’t take other measures and Gus has done that. He penalized Nick by (1) making him stand before the team and apologize for letting them down (2) taking away trip to SEC Media days,(3) didn’t allow him to attend the ESPY Awards, and now (4) taking away his position as the starter for the first game.

    By the school’s written policy, MALZAHN IS PREVENTED from suspending Marsahll & Mincy from playing time. Sorry but those that have a problem with what Gus has done need to complain about the school’s policy, NOT about Gus Malzahn.

  7. uglyjoe says:

    I really appreciate the comments for this post. Obviously there are some differing point of views at opposites ends of the opinion spectrum, but I think everyone has done a good job of expressing themselves without slamming someone else (much unlike some other sites most of use are familiar with….). That being said, my biggest gripe is not with the crime so much as the negative attention it brings to Auburn. Similar to the way I handle some other things in my life, because I can’t control it anyway, I will put my faith in the powers that be to do the right thing. For the record, on Acid’s scale, I am about a 2.25.