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SEC Teleconference News and Notes: Hazing, Bielema Responds to Pat Dye and Trust

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 19:  Head coach Bret Bielema of the Arkansas Razorbacks looks on during the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterDecember 31, 2016

The SEC's 14 head coaches line up one-by-one every Wednesday to take questions from the assembled members of the media during the weekly SEC coaches' teleconference. Assistant coach Tony Hughes filled in for Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen this week, as Mullen was attending the funeral of quarterback Dak Prescott's mother.

What were some of the hot topics this week?

Let's review in a quick spin around the SEC.

 

Bret Bielema Has Turned Over a New Leaf...Apparently

Former Auburn head coach Pat Dye has stayed in the news this season.

Nov 2, 2013; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks head coach Bret Bielema during the game against the Auburn Tigers at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Auburn defeated Arkansas 35-17. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

He made waves last month commenting on Condoleezza Rice's inclusion on the Playoff Selection Committee and most recently, just this week, Dye said Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema should keep his mouth shut and that Auburn's quarterbacks last season were "cowards," according to Evan Woodbery of the Knoxville (Tenn.) News Sentinel.

Bielema had a chance to respond on Wednesday.

"I think the one thing I've learned as a head coach is that, as you've had success and you go through failures, you just worry about your job and what you're doing," Bielema said.

That must be new, because Bielema has worried about other people quite a bit since taking control of the Arkansas program.

AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 19:  A ceremony honors former Auburn Tigers head coach Pat Dye for his induction to the College Football Hall of Fame during the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 19, 2005 in Auburn, Alabama. Th
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

He called out Alabama head coach Nick Saban prior to the season, comparing his own record in the Big Ten to Saban's. During SEC Media Days in July, Bielema and current Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn got into a bizarre, passive aggressive back-and-forth as the two made the rounds at the same time.

Bielema continued his comments on Dye:

"Everybody's entitled to an opinion," Bielema said. "I'll keep those to myself. Obviously Coach [Dye] had a lot of success, but everybody is entitled to an opinion...I know he's had a couple of 'em as of here late that have been great."

And so the bizarre off-the-field battle between Arkansas and Auburn continues.

Oct 12, 2013; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks head coach Bret Bielema watches a play during a game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. South Carolina defeated Arkansas 52-7. Mandatory Credit: Beth Hall-
Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

 

Will Muschamp Comments on Hazing

Hazing has been in the news lately, after Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Ritchie Incognito was suspended indefinitely after reports surfaced that he bullied fellow offensive lineman Jonathan Martin, according to ESPN.com.

GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 21: Coach Will Muschamp of the Florida Gators directs play against the Tennessee Volunteers  September 21, 2013 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Rookie hazing is nothing new, but the extent in which Incognito allegedly "toughened up" Martin crosses the line.

Florida head coach Will Muschamp commented on hazing, and if he's seen it in his locker room.

"I go down into the locker room, and make sure there's a presence in the locker room," Muschamp said. "I meet with the leadership group every week and go through any issues there my be within the football team. We also have a life skills director Terry Jackson who played here, and several support groups that are constantly around our football team."

Does hazing happen at Florida?

"It's not like it used to be,' Muschamp said. "The hazing stuff, we don't do. Everybody needs to understand their place and role within the organization. That's not something we tolerate here, and they understand my stance on that."

GAINESVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 05:  Head coach Will Muschamp of the Florida Gators holds up one finger following a touchdown during the game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on October 5, 2013 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

 

Step One...Earn Back Trust

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn has led his team out to a hot start this season. The Tigers sit at 8-1, chime in at the No. 9 spot in the most recent BCS standings and are the only team with a new head coach over .500 this year in the conference.

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 19: Nick Marshall #14 of the Auburn Tigers hugs head coach Gus Malzahn of the Auburn Tigers after they defeated the Texas A&M Aggies on October 19, 2013 at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas. Auburn Tigers won 45 to 41.(Photo by Th
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

Not bad for Malzahn in his first season, but it wasn't without work. One of the first things he had to do when he got the job was earn back the trust of his players.

"It was different when we got back," Malzahn said. "It took some time for players to trust our coaches and coaches time to trust our players. There were some growing pains in the spring, but it was all healthy. I know that our players know that our coaches care about them more than just what they can do on the field."

Was that a subtle shot at the former regime lead by former head coach Gene Chizik? It certainly seems that way.

 

*Barrett Sallee is the SEC lead college football writer for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand.

 


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