SoCon Media Day Primer
By Russell V.
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After hosting a media teleconference last season, the SoCon will once again host a Media Day in Spartanburg this year.
Ahh, late July. A time for beach trips, insane heat waves and college football media days. Coaches, players and media members are all congregating to Spartanburg, South Carolina for the annual event which helps give football fanatics like you and I a few more talking points as we wind down the final dog days of summer until training camp starts.
This year’s event will also be streamed live via soconsports.com (a list of who is talking when can be seen here: http://www.soconsports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=4000&ATCLID=205508766#.UA6cPF8lClY.twitter) and fans can send coaches questions through the conference’s twitter account, @SoConSports. And, in case you were curious, here is the 2012 Southern Conference media guide - http://epublish.multiad.com/SoCon_FB_2012/?DB_OEM_ID=4000#/1/. Now you have something else to look at when you get bored at work.
So what can we expect Thursday? Well, I have a few ideas…
1. Can they stay on top?
2011 was the year of Georgia Southern’s revival, as the Eagles returned to the top of the conference. But exactly how much pressure is on GSU to repeat? Spartanburg will be the first time many media members will have had a chance to talk to the Eagles since last season, so questions will surely be flying early and often at Coach Monken and co.
2. Returning stars
Unlike some other conferences, the SoCon is returning a majority of its stars this year. Again, the media will be chomping at the bit to ask them questions and dig into their heads. Among those that will be present on Thursday: Appalachian State QB Jamal Jackson, Elon WR Aaron Mellette and Wofford RB Eric Breitenstein. Surprisingly though, there will be no Brent Russell of Georgia Southern. Let’s just hope the questions aren’t all dumb ones.
3. Nice to see you again
If you recall, last year’s media day was a very different one – in fact, it was just a teleconference. Thanks to the struggling economy, the conference made the tough call to turn their media day into a media conference call. Thankfully, those days are (hopefully) behind us. Media days just seem so much better when they are held this way: at a place where everyone can assemble, talk and enjoy one another’s company as they share stories and talk about what to expect in the upcoming season.
4. The elephant in the room
And, of course, there are the looming rumors. The cloud over the conference’s head. The knowledge that the CAA has been targeting SoCon schools to join their conference. Even as I type this, the College of Charleston is pondering what to do. Internet rumors have swirled for weeks now over the possible attempts of the CAA to drag Furman, Elon and (depending on the rumors you’ve read) even Appalachian State away from the SoCon. You’d be lying to yourself if you think the media isn’t looking to Commissioner John Iamarino for answers or updates on the situation.