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Lots of changes at SEC Media Day in Birmingham

By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
July 30, 2003
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. Arkansas had the first interview session all to itself on the first day of the Southeastern Conference Football Media Day on Tuesday.
In the first of two changes of plan, Tennessee was not able to attend the opening day of the three-day conference.
Head coach Phillip Fulmer's wife, Tracy, underwent surgery Tuesday, after being taken to the hospital last Sunday. Fulmer along with players Casey Clausen and Kevin Burnett will now address the media on the final day following Georgia and Mississippi State University.
The Razorbacks tossed out a new game plan of its own, as Houston Nutt swapped out linebacker Tony Bua for linebacker Caleb Miller. Arkansas' late switch of defenders came as a result of a comment from Bua.
The next change in the annual gathering of coaches, players and media was planned.
Following Arkansas' time on the podium, Rich Brooks the new Kentucky coach stepped behind the microphone for his first SEC Media Day. The former Oregon coach, St. Louis Rams coach and Atlanta Falcons assistant said he felt like he was stepping into a very familiar situation with his latest job.
At least one thing was familiar from last year, Bobby Johnson took the podium at the end of the day to talk about his second year at the helm of the Vanderbilt football program.
The Commodores' sideline general said he is staying the course with his team, as he tries to make the program respectable inside the SEC ranks.
Johnson would also like to see the current Bowl Championship Series stay in place.
the top teams in the country. If you go to a playoff, you are going to really limit the number of teams playing. It is also tough to play four extra games."
SEC commissioner Mike Slive brought up the subject of the BCS versus a NFL-type playoff system at the end of his opening comments.
Crowning the champion through a playoff series has been a hot topic in college football since the conception of the BCS.
The SEC commissioner said the discussion for changing postseason play is not just being debated at the water cooler.
consistent with the position of the Southeastern Conference."
Another factor impacting a possible change in how the college football postseason plays out is the recent acquisition of Miami and Virginia Tech into the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The ACC's raiding of the Big East schools in hopes of boosting its conference's football league has left many people wondering about the state of college athletics.
Miami's and Virginia Tech's jump to the ACC has left many conference wondering if they will be raided next, or if they need to go after other teams before it's too late.
But the SEC commissioner said his conference is on firm ground, a thought shared by rookie SEC coach Brooks.
football is long seated, has a huge tradition, has great fan base and support and one of the most lucrative TV contracts in the country. I don't think
that is going to change."
The SEC media day continues at 8:40 a.m. today, with Ole Miss and Florida starting the second-day of interviews.

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