Auburn's Nick Marshall has done too much good to have a stained legacy
The cloud that has been hanging over Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall and, to a lesser extent, the entire Auburn program, is now completely gone.
Up until Sunday, the closest ones in Marshall’s life – his family, coaches and teammates – were the only ones that heard Marshall admit his mistake, apologize for his actions and ask for their trust again.
Those tough conversations with coaches and teammates as well as the heart-felt discussions with his family were the easy part. Sunday was the hard part. The media had no idea Marshall was going to be one of the select players available after Sunday’s practice. The unplanned availability didn’t soften the questions from the inquiring scribes. Of the 20-plus questions asked, several were of the probing nature. Wanting to know the details of the traffic stop as well as his first conversations with his mother and head coach Gus Malzahn, Marshall refused to divulged the specifics. Instead he repeatedly gave a generic answer.
“I made a mistake and I’m just trying to gain my trust back from the coaches,” said Marshall. “I let my family down and I’m also trying to gain their trust back and also the Auburn fans.”
If he didn’t show it on the outside, Marshall probably internalized a huge sigh of relief the moment he stepped off the podium. With that one step, the Auburn program can proceed as normal – cloud gone. Now with three weeks leading up to the opener against Arkansas, questions about X’s and O’s will be more than welcome as opposed to questions about off-the-field transgressions.
Sunday might have been one of the hardest days Marshall ever had in his life. Yet despite how difficult it might have been, it is clear that the Tigers starting quarterback realized that his actions weren’t just self-inflicted wounds. Marshall didn’t just let down his immediate family, he let down a much bigger family.
“It was tough because when (I was pulled over), it was like the whole team was in that car with me and also the coaching staff, and I felt bad about it.”
Marshall gets it. Auburn is all about family. The actions of individuals, whether good or bad, can affect the whole family. Marshall has done too much good for the Auburn family for one wrong to stain his legacy.