If you have some vacation time remaining this summer, an interesting journey could be made to visit one of the many conference media days.
Some conferences go head over heels with credentials and security.
The Big Ten and SEC are examples of organizations stressing the extreme end of protecting coaches from people who pay their salaries.
On the other side of the coin, we have the Western Athletic Conference.
It has been the experience of writers who cover the WAC to discover that the officials and representatives are usually pleased to round up coaches or players for an interview.
Maybe it goes with the size of the seating in league stadiums.
It couldn't be anything like some conferences having all the national media attention during the year, could it?
Before going further, let's elaborate on what a conference media day is. After all, some folks reading this article may not be aware of what it is.
Media days are staged events over a specific period of time, featuring the coaching staff and players from each team.
These school representatives will give reporters and selected fans scripted answers to basic questions. Usually it involves a resort area setting.
A giant preseason party for everyone who may be involved in the sport on some level once the season begins.
A rite of passage.
For everyone but Pete Carroll and the Pac-10.
See, Pete the Trojan has the conference right in his pocket. The Pac-10 has no media "days." They have only one day—in this case, the 30th of July.
For those interested, the Pac-10 will have the coaches fly into LAX and meet the media in a room at the Airport Sheraton.
Then everyone will scramble back home.
Are the teams in the Pac-10 spread farther apart than the ACC and Big East?
It's just a maneuver put on "the have nots" by "the haves" in that conference.
And we all know who "the have" is in the Pac-10.
Another item affecting the conference media days this year is money. Please notice I said money and not economy.
An acquaintance of mine, Abe Warstein, told me once, "If you live long enough, you'll hear every excuse for people not spending money." That surely came into play this season regarding media days.
The ACC felt it best to cancel the meeting in Florida and move it to North Carolina. The Sun Belt will not have coaches in person at a location but a streaming online video in order to save money.
Conference USA goes one step beyond with a video teleconference scheduled for Jul. 30. This "event" will feature coaches and some selected players.
If these schools and leagues want to save money, put a cap on how much money can be spent on advertising. Better yet, enforce how much money can be spent by individual schools on sports support staff.
Like who, for instance?
How about the guy in the background who provides information, such as, "the first 3rd-and-2 converted with the sun out and the temperature under 55 degrees with 35 percent humidity since France built the Maginot Line."
All the important data we can't live without.
For better or worse, the following is a list of the location and dates for the conference media days.
If you can't go in person, be sure to keep tabs on what goes on.
You may find out something interesting—perhaps when the Maginot Line was built!
CONFERENCE DATES LOCATION
Mountain West Jul. 21-22 Green Valley Ranch, Las Vegas, Nevada
SEC Jul. 22-24 Wynfrey Hotel, Hoover, Alabama
ACC Jul. 26-27 Grandover Resort, Greensboro, N.C.
Big Ten Jul. 27-28 Hyatt Regency, Chicago, Illinois
Big 12 Jul. 27-28 Westin North, Irving, Texas
WAC Jul. 28-30 Hilton Airport, Salt Lake City, Utah
Mid-American Jul. 30-31 Marriott Renaissance, Detroit, Michigan
Pac-10 Jul. 30 LAX, Los Angeles, California
Big East Aug. 3-4 Hotel Viking, Newport, Rhode Island