Phillip Marshall: Just Wondering?

Columnist Phillip Marshall takes a look at some of the questions surrounding SEC and Auburn athletics at the moment.

Just wondering …

Why can Arkansas, three hours from the nearest metropolitan area, consistently draw 15,000 or more for basketball and 10,000 for baseball when Auburn does well to get 5,000 for basketball and 3,000 for baseball? Auburn, by the way, has been to the Sweet 16 in basketball twice since the last time Arkansas went.

Why is interest in women's basketball and attendance growing throughout the SEC, except seemingly in the state of Alabama? …

Why has Auburn never been a consistent contender in softball despite having perhaps the nicest facility in the SEC and being in a recruiting hotbed? …

Why don't SEC officials listen to the pleas of baseball coaches and find a way to include every team in the league tournament? It could be done in just one more day, which would put that much more money into conference coffers. …

Why do athletics administrators nationwide continue the mad facilities arms race when it clearly could endanger the welfare of the entire enterprise we call college athletics? …

Why doesn't someone, anyone, at the NCAA look at the absurdity of some parts of academic reform? When a team could end up losing a scholarship because of a player who has already earned a degree and used up his eligibility, something is clearly wrong. …

Does anyone really believe that receiving text messages from coaches is causing recruits to lose valuable study time? …

Why can't football have an early signing period like basketball? It would take a lot of pressure off recruits whose minds are made up. …

For all the massive hype, how many BCS championships has Southern California actually won? The answer, of course, is one. …

Is it fair that college athletes can find their names in headlines for minor scrapes with the law that go unreported for other students? If Octavius Balkcom was an ordinary student, would anyone outside of his family even know he'd been arrested for public intoxication? …

Florida got a lot of credit last season for playing Auburn, Tennessee and Florida State on the road. If Auburn is a contender next season, will it get similar credit for playing at LSU, at Arkansas, at Florida and at Georgia? …

Have any Auburn coaches done more and received less recognition than track coach Ralph Spry and women's golf coach Kim Evans? …

Is anyone besides me tired of seeing videotapes and hearing recordings from the dysfunctional families of movie stars? …

Why do so many in this country get so excited about a visit from Queen Elizabeth, who was not elected, did nothing to earn her position, has no real power, has accomplished nothing of note and is wealthy and famous only because of her name? …

Why do American tennis players bow or curtsy to so-called royalty at Wimbledon each year? I don't like seeing Americans bowing to anyone. …

If you could to pick one SEC football coach to win one game, who would it be? If you could pick one SEC football coach to build a program from scratch, who would it be? I'd say Steve Spurrier to win one game, Tommy Tuberville to build a program. …

How about basketball? I'd pick Billy Donovan to win one game and I'd pick him again to build a program. …

Until next time …


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