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Should Nick Marshall Still Represent Auburn at SEC Media Days?

By on July 12th, 2014 in Football, News 18 Comments »

                                                                                                                                                           (photo:Auburn media file)
By now most Auburn fans have heard the news that Auburn Quarterback Nick Marshall was cited in Georgia for misdemeanor marijuana possession. Marshall was on his way home when he was stopped for tinted windows.

It’s important to note that Nick was not arrested. He was allowed to leave but will have to pay a $1,100 fine by Sept.10th to avoid appearing in court. In today’s environment if this happened to the average young person it would not even be newsworthy. But Nick Marshall is not the average young person. When you’re a potential Heisman candidate and the offensive leader on an SEC Championship team, your actions reflect not only on yourself but on your team and especially your coach.

Malzahn released a statement to the media last night saying he was, “Very disappointed and I will address it with (Nick) accordingly.”

Nick’s story has been an uplifting one – till now. Given a second chance by Malzahn after being dismissed (as a D-back) from Georgia’s football program in 2011 he was able to fulfill a lifelong dream to play quarterback in the SEC. He had made such a turnaround in restoring not only his career but in assuming a leadership role on the Auburn Football Team.

And that one word “leadership” is why his misdemeanor drug offense is such a big deal. A big part of leadership is example. What Nick has done is set the wrong example for his teammates and for all those kids that  play backyard football wearing No.14.

He has also put the man who gave him a second chance in a more than uncomfortable position. He was scheduled to join Coach Malzahn and two other teammates at SEC Football Media Days which begins Monday. Now instead of Gus taking questions from the podium about how he feels his team will defend their SEC Championship, he will be peppered with questions about Nick’s punishment and future with the Tigers. Gus and the Auburn contingent will now have to deal with negative publicity in what otherwise should be a positive moment in the spotlight.

In light of all this, will Nick still be making the trip to Hoover? Will he be replaced by another Tiger, leaving his coach and teammates to answer questions about his actions?

It will be interesting to see what Gus chooses to do on Monday. But if it were me, I would still have Nick at Media Days. Let him take the embarrassing heat from the press. Maybe that will help him realize how a leader’s actions have consequences.


  1. sullivan013 sullivan013 says:

    I agree. Let him attend and face the cameras, criticism and controversy.

    There are many things learned at college, some trivial, some important, some repetitive. In this case, living with regret may be his most important lesson to date. Hopefully, it will sink in. If not, it may well sink him. In any case, let him walk the path he has chosen to take.

  2. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    Nick has said he was thankful for the second chance opportunity Gus gave him and he would make the best of it. I agree now that he’s let his coach and team down, he needs to face the music (the press) and realize how much a person’s actions affect others. Not saying that should be the end of it. In the long run he has to face some kind of disciplinnary action. Sit out a few games, the opener, or something.

  3. wareagle3020 wareagle3020 says:

    I’m going to disagree.

    Media days are about the university’s football TEAM and their head coach. Whether Nick Marshall goes or not, the one taking the heat wIll be the one everyone is looking to “find fault”, Guz Malzahn.

    Quarterbacks come and go, the media knows that, but coaches represent the team and it’s integrity and it’s direction for years to come. You take a strong stand, you get blasted about being too hard nose (just ask Mark Richt); you decide in leniency then the media, right or wrong, says you are just interested in winning games and have no moral compass (Bob stoops). The coach never will win.

    The media doesn’t care about what Nick Marshall did, they want to know what Gus is going to do! Everyone will see Nick Marshall as a “kid” who made a dumb mistake and will be forgotten halfway through the season. Oh……if he goes, he will apologize, talk about how stupid he was, Yada, Yada, Yada. Meanwhile judgment will come either way on the decision Gus makes in handling this whole ordeal (and Mincy) and that will hang over him for quite awhile. These kids don’t think about that!

    I AM MOST UPSET ABOUT THE POSITION NICK MARSHALL PUT ON HIS HEAD COACH WHO IS TRYING TO CONTINUE TO LEAD A TEAM TO NATIONAL HEIGHTS. You see, it’s not Nick Marshall’s leadership and character that is now the hot topic……it’s coach Malzahn’s. And he wasn’t the one pulled over by the cops!

    I say take the high road and the least amount of resistance and keep Marshall home. No one is going to blame coach for not letting Marshall come, but letting him come just gives the media more ammunition and keeps it in the spotlight longer.

    I say keep Nick Marshall at home because I don’t want him representing our football program no matter how sorry he is. Bad kid? Probably not, but He lost the privilege to further his media attention for Heisman and whatever else in my opinion.

    I say instead of facing the cameras, he stands in front of the team and explain how sorry he is in knocking the integrity of the program and it’s coach down a notch. I say he calls out the others on the team who are doing the same thing (they all know whose doing it if you ask me).

    I say apologize not for having illegal drugs (no matter how small), but for the position he has put his coach and the team in. And be a man and say, “I’m not going to let others on the team do the same thing”. That’s where it’s really going to matter. That’s leadership. Okay, I’m done ranting! Lol!

    • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

      Dissent is not only a right but a virtue here at Track ‘Em Tigers, especially when you make a good argument – and you did.
      War Eagle!

    • Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

      Convinced me. I’ve changed my mind. Your right, he doesn’t need to be representing Auburn at Media Days. He also doesn’t need to be there to be reminded of what negative things his actions have caused. Being left at home (in Malzahn’s dog house so to speak) instead of being one of those chosen to represent Auburn may do even more to make him think about his behavior.

    • tcummins83 tcummins83 says:

      I respectfully disagree with allowing Marshall to attend Media Days as well. He should issue a statement, but it would best serve the interest of Auburn University if if that were done in Auburn.
      Malzahn and Co will take the same amount of abuse from the press regardless of whether or not Marshall goes to Hoover.

      I don’t personally know Nick Marshall and don’t pretend to know what type “person” he is. If the manner in which he handled himself last year, both on and off the field is any indication, then he’ll step up to plate and handle this in a humble and respectful way.

      The largest issue here is the damage he may have done to his ability to effectively lead and motivate this team. His actions from this day forward will “tell the tale.”

  4. mikeautiger says:

    I think Nick should not go to media days as punishment, but I think he does need to stand accountable and feel the heat of embarrassment from coaches, teammates, and the Auburn family and college football as a whole. No pain no gain.

    He will not truly come to grips with it till he understands the ramifications of his actions, and they are large. He has been down a similar road before, he was given a second chance, said he wanted to do good. Apparently he did not learn from his mistakes now there is an opportunity to help him learn through tough discipline and restore his character and to help Gus continue to lead this team with honor.

  5. uglyjoe says:

    I believe he should not represent Auburn at media days, and I think he and Mr. Mincy need to spend some time on the bench. I couldn’t give a rat’s padity about his Heisman potential, and while he is a very talented quarterback, he is not above the law.

    Gus is building a program, not a season. We have a very talented back-up quarterback and plenty of time to gameplan the first several games. This is an opportunity to show the rest of the college football world that Auburn is different, in a good way.

    Some will say a little pot is not a life and death crime. However, these are not ordinary guys. They are leaders. Kids look up to them….geez, we look up to them. Sometimes life lessons suck, but sometimes they are necessary.

    I dread reading Scarbinsky’s column tomorrow.

  6. wpleagle wpleagle says:

    My gut says leave him at home. Make him face as many of his teammates as possible before Media Days begin.
    The ultimate sadness is how this reflects on our beloved Auburn. Secondly, is how he let down his teammates. Thirdly, is the potential for damaging the 2014 season.
    I feel confident, however, that Coach Malzahn will hold his head high, stare ’em in the eye, and do the right thing.
    War Eagle!

  7. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..It will be interesting to watch how coach Malzhan handles this. The coach over on the west side of the state has been known to say, “this will be handled internally,” and a suspension against Western Carolina for the first half followed.

    …..Hopefully, there’s internal policy in place for infractions, and what consequences those entail. The biggest minefield Malzhan faces is if the players feel that the process Nick Marshall goes through is unfair or arbitrary (regardless of whether the penalty is too light, or too harsh). Just ask Auburn’s previous coach what happens when the players lose faith…

    …..There’s little I can say, other than that I have to trust the head man to do what he thinks is right. Hopefully there’s a policy in place, and the administration sticks to their guns.

  8. DBAU81 says:

    Leave him at home, and administer whatever punishment is called for by the university’s drug policy for student athletes. There will be plenty of time for him to address the media later.

  9. domaucan1 domaucan1 says:

    “I believe in obedience to law because it protects the rights of all.” Dr. George Petrie, from the Auburn Creed.

    If Marshall doesn’t believe this, he is not an Auburn man. He needs to learn this and I have a feeling that Coach Malzahn will help him learn it. I would not want to be in his shoes. I really doubt that he will be going to Hoover Monday.


    WAR EAGLE !!!

    GO BIG BLUE !!!

  10. Tigerstripe Tigerstripe says:

    Jeremy Johnson, you’re up! The machine must keep moving. Life is full of choices and they either lead to success or failure. Such a selfish, stupid decision for probably $20 worth of pot. He might have just given up his starting position, Heisman accolades, first round draft… It will be interesting to see what Gus does in his first opportunity at public discipline.

    • TigerWoman TigerWoman says:

      I hate this happened but if Nick is benched any, I have confidence that J.J. can lead the team (both on and off the field).

  11. MechTiger says:

    That was inexcusable. He knew it was and didn’t care. He was given a second chance by CGM already for a serious character issue. He may have done well thus far, but this proves that his second chance didn’t sink in. I say send him packing. I don’t care how good you are as a player…if you have no character or honor, you don’t play for Auburn.

  12. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    I have to admit when I heard this news my first inclination was “it figures”. Just when things go Auburn’s way … and really it seemed like 2012 was a bit of self-correcting going on for the overall health of the program… and this happens. But after taking a breath – I think I have put things into perspective.

    First and foremost – I want to hear from Nick Marshall. I want him to have to trot out and tell the Auburn family why he is in trouble and why he did this before the start of the 2014 football season.

    Maybe he will tell us that the pot belonged to someone else. Not that it makes it ok… but it sure puts into a greater perspective of what happened other than “I messed up”.

    Trust doesn’t come easy. Not for coaches… and not for players. Nick owes his team… not the other way around.

    Next, regardless of the response – I think considering the investment Auburn has made in the young man – there MUST be consequences. I don’t mean he’s off the team. I mean there are significant consequences… maybe… he doesn’t get nominated or supported by Auburn to win the Heisman. Or maybe he is sat down for five games? Or maybe a combination of things… like he gets to play football only after he earns his spot back on the team after doing stadium drills into the wee hours of the morning in two a days.

    At any time Marshall thinks the cost is too high… he either walks away from the team… or is thrown from it.

    And last, I want to hear from Malzahn. I want to know where he stands. I think this is a pivotal issue for any coach. And it will bear dividends one way or another down the line. Personally speaking… I can’t stand any more “Mean Gene” comparisons… when the only thing angry is me. Give me coach who is a leader… and I will show you a team ripe for championships.

    Fear not family. Everyone makes mistakes.

    I just find it interesting that this individual did so after having to walk the straight and narrow in order to get another opportunity at his dream. And frankly that sort of ticks me off because it would never happen for the regular guy.

    And think about the story line that is following Marshall… his family, particularly his mother. Talk about embarrassing a family. Yikes. I would be remorseful too with my mother’s size 6 boot up my butt or a permanent hand print on my face. And yes… corporal punishment was/ and is used in the WDE1988 household.

    Talk about the ultimate penalty Marshall might pay… with so much potential earning power on the line he might have directly affected his future income or ability to get drafted. It’s very possible that this will affect NFL prospective teams in the future when it comes to the draft… you’d think he would have paid attention during this year’s draft and AJ’s fall from grace.

    The good news: he can correct but only if he wants too.

    The bad news… we got a natural passer Jeremy Johnson sitting in the wings ready to go. Only problem is… we don’t have someone like Tre Mason there who we know can produce.

    Make up your mind Nick and come clean. Auburn is here to stay. We will survive you and anyone else who wears the orange and blue that didn’t deserve too. You are going to be one of the major topics at SEC media days – and rightfully so. But you are still lucky… bama had players arrested over the weekend. That’s got to count for something.

    I think I have really grown as an alum considering how well I am handling this. I was a bit more flammable a few years ago. But this is the primary reason why I won’t invest in season tickets for college sports. I could understand a freshman making a mistake…. but Marshall or Mincy or both?? Perhaps the wolf has changed its clothes… but is still there…

    The Auburn family is watching Gus Malzahn and Jay Jacobs..


  13. […] with the death of former player Phillip Lutzenkirchen and ending with Friday’s disappointing actions of his starting quarterback. Despite those problems, anyone watching him at SEC Media Days could […]

  14. ATL_AU_FAN ATL_AU_FAN says:

    Personally, I say bench him for at least one if not two games. I am also okay if Malzahn boots him from the team. For one, I’m not one of the “win at all costs” crowd – not saying anyone here is. Would sitting NM cause AU a loss or two? Don’t know but we won’t have him next year anyway and, if booted, provides an extra year for JJ. Regardless of the outcome, however, that act by NM was selfish and disrespectful.