College coaches lament losses at SEC Media Days

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It's July, which means one of college football's most frenzied events is here. The legion of football fans, players, coaches and media descended on Hoover, Ala. last week, for four days of non-stop Southeastern Conference football news.

SEC Media Days always come and go before we even know what to do with them. There was a bit of breaking news, but most of all, there were plenty of laughs as coaches rose for the one occasion where they are expected to entertain as well as inform.

In that department, they surely didn't disappoint.

One of the first things college coaches have to do is address their losses: which players face temporary suspensions and which players are gone, either through graduation or through release.

Here are some of the most interesting farewells given at SEC Media Days.

Saying goodbye to UGA record-setter

Georgia head coach Mark Richt spoke about the loss of the conference's all-time leading passer, quarterback Aaron Murray. The signal-caller, drafted in the NFL Draft's fifth-round by the Kansas City Chiefs, graduated after spending four years as the team's starter.

"It was time for him to go. That's just college athletics," Richt said. "After four seasons you're out of here. We wish him well."

Of course, comedy being par for the course, Richt added mischeviously:

"We wish his brother well on The Bachelorette, by the way."

Josh Murray, a former Bulldog walk-on safety and baseball player, is currently one of two final contestants looking for love on ABC's The Bachelorette. 

Longtime backup quarterback Hutson Mason, who has remained at Georgia despite a lack of playing time, will get a chance to prove his ability as the starter in his final year of eligibility.

Auburn quarterback left at home

Tigers coach Gus Malzahn said passer Nick Marshall, who received a citation for marijuana possession a week before, lost the right to attend SEC Media Days. 

Any further punishment has yet to be determined. Marshall has had his fair share of trouble in the past, with the greatest offense being a theft charge which ended his career as a Georgia cornerback. He spent the next year playing at a Kansas community college before finally returning to Division I football for Auburn's unlikely run at the national championship.

"Up until last Friday, Nick has been a model student, a model teammate and a model citizen," Malzahn said.

"But he made a mistake and he's going to have to suffer the consequences of that mistake."

Marshall threw for 1,976 yards as a junior, while also rushing for 1,068 and scoring 26 combined touchdowns. 

Expect this to not be a big issue going into the season. While certainly not good news, it shouldn't lead to a suspension that would make Marshall lose any meaningful time.

LSU's NFL Problem

Lastly, LSU coach Les Miles lamented the fact that his squad has seen the greatest attrition out of any college football team in recent years.

The Tigers of Baton Rouge have lost 18 players to the NFL draft the past two years. The team is not only losing a ton of players, but it's often losing its best performers.

"I keep approaching the NFL about the opportunity to draft back some of the players they take," Miles said. "We do lead college in three-and-outs."

There isn't anything Miles can do about losing players to the NFL at such a high rate, except for start recruiting less-talented athletes. However, if he can convince more upperclassmen to stay in the future, the Tigers have the chance to improve on their already-respectable 10-3 records in 2012 and 2013.

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