By Parrish Alford
HOOVER, Ala. – LSU coach Les Miles addressed the topic of his suspended star running back quickly but shed no new light on the status of Jeremy Hill.
“When we know we’ll let you know,” Miles said.
Hill (6-2, 235) rushed for 755 yards, 12 touchdowns and average 5.3 yards per carry as a freshman.
He pleaded guilty to simple battery last week for his role in a bar fight in April. That violated his probation from an earlier guilty plea to carnal knowledge stemming from an incident while he was still in high school in Baton Rouge.
A probation hearing is scheduled for Aug. 16.
“Frankly, we are gathering information as we go. He’s been separated from the team and team meetings for the summers. We’ve not allowed him in our facility.”
Saban jabs at media
Alabama coach Nick Saban, never a fan of looking ahead, chided the media on its recent record in choosing the SEC champion.
The media pick has gone on to win the SEC championship just four times in the last 21 years.
“If I was 4-17 I would be back in West Virginia pumping gas at my daddy’s gas station. I think it’s crazy to speculate, because each year you have a different type of team,” he said. “It seems crazy to try and predict what’s going to happen in a season.”
Alabama has won back-to-back national championships and three of the last four.
This year the Crimson Tide will have to rebuild its offensive line, defensive line and secondary.
“It’s a challenge each year to reinvent your team. It creates new opportunities for other players who may not have the same experience. How each of these players accepts those roles and challenges has a lot to do with how that team’s going to develop,” Saban said.
Georgia is the SEC media’s preseason pick to win the Eastern Division, and the Bulldogs will have a good idea of where they stand with that early in the season.
Georgia faces South Carolina and LSU in Athens before September is out.
The LSU visit will be the return of Mettenberger, who grew up near Athens, signed with Georgia and whose mother who works in the football office.
Mettenberger was eventually dismissed after pleading guilty to two counts of misdemeanor sexual battery in 2010.
Murray, of Tampa, Fla., and Mettenberger were friends while they were teammates. They competed at everything, video games as well as for the starting job.
“We pushed each other on and off the field. I don’t think both of us would have stayed. One of us would have eventually left,” Murray said.
It’s still the SEC
While LSU was picked an uncharacteristic third by league media, quarterback Zach Mettenberger says it would be unwise to sleep on the Tigers.
“It’s still the SEC. There’s a reason coach Miles has a private jet so he can go to New Jersey to recruit a defensive end. We’ve got talent.”
A launch date of Aug. 21, 2014 – at 6 p.m. – has been announced for the SEC Network. Talks are on-going with the biggest cable and satellite providers.
The words “optimistic” and “patience” were stressed in discussing those talks.