Auburn's Nick Marshall needs to be at SEC Media Days
News of Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall getting issued a citation on Friday for possession of marijuana of less than one ounce will hopefully be the last distraction that the Tigers have to face before their season opener Aug. 30 against Arkansas.
The timing of the unfortunately incident for the Tigers signal-caller isn’t the best. Marshall is one of three players scheduled to represent Auburn Monday at SEC Media Days in Birmingham, Alabama.
Now that another storyline has been added at the four-day media extravaganza, the best thing Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn can do is bring Marshall to Birmingham with him.
If Malzahn were to leave Marshall behind it would create yet another storyline, bring even more negative attention to the program and prolong the problem. Imagine if Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin decided to leave Johnny Manziel in College Station last year for last year’s SEC Media Days.
The best thing for both Malzahn and Marshall to do is address the situation like adults which I’m sure they will do. Marshall needs to show maturity. He needs to stand up and own up to the mistake he made, accept the consequences, have a pro-active role in being part of the solution and move on.
Yes, standing up Monday, when the entire college football world is watching, listening and hanging onto every word, will be difficult for Marshall. If done properly though, Marshall could even turn the negative situation into a positive by being candid, forthright and gracious. The quicker Marshall faces the music, the quicker everybody will move on and the entire team can focus on the job at hand – winning football games.
In his first year as head coach, Malzahn stepped into a dire situation and resurrected a program from one of its worst seasons in school history. He did it with an unstoppable zone-read offense and masterful play calling that led to 12 wins.
Now in his second year on The Plains, Malzahn has hit some rough patches particularly in the last month. In the early part of June, sophomore defensive end Carl Lawson, coming off an impressive first year, had knee surgery. No indication has been give when he might return. On June 27, senior defensive back Jonathan Mincy was arrested for second degree marijuana possession. Then just two days after the Mincy arrest, former tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen, one of the more beloved players in recent Auburn history, was killed in a car crash. That was followed by the Marshall citation on Friday.
Auburn wide receiver Ricardo Louis took to twitter to keep things positive.
Despite all the animosity , we still gon win games ! #Mission
— Ricardo Louis™ (@GuttaManRick) July 12, 2014
Malzahn and Marshall can easily bounce back from this rough stretch. Malzahn can show he is just as good as handling off the field situations as he is a play calling genius by bringing Marshall to Birmingham on Monday.