Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chizik talks about end of NCAA probe, practice for Florida

AUBURN - Auburn coach Gene Chizik met with the media following Wednesday night's practice, and while much of the discussion involved the recently concluded NCAA probe, he also discussed practice and gave an injury update for Saturday's game with Florida.

Here's what he had to say. Verbatim.


“I think we’ve had a really good week of practice so far. Obviously, we have tomorrow and some time left and we need every minute we can get but really pleased with how we practice. We’ll continue to prepare for this game and as I’ve said before we’re probably going to have to play our best game of the year to be able to win this game. We’re excited about it, our players up, there’s a lot of energy. It has been a good week so far.”

Your thoughts on the NCAA announcement today?

“I’m glad that the NCAA made a statement that concluded the investigation. As I’ve said many times, I feel very confident about the way we run this program and I’ve said many times that we haven’t done anything wrong, so quite frankly, I’ve moved on a long time ago. My focus has been to win football games and that’s where it will continue to be.”

Were you pleased that statement was made publicly?

“Yeah, I’m glad that it’s out public. Anybody that had any questions, now you can put that to bed.”

Would you like to see a faster process with investigations?

“Obviously, for anybody who is under those same set of circumstances, the quicker the better. I appreciate the NCAA coming out and making the statement that they have concluded the investigation. The time frame obviously for anybody the quicker the better, but they did their due diligence and this is where we ended up. Like I said, I moved on a long time ago.”

Did a recruit ever tell you he was turning down an offer because of the investigation?

“No. that hasn’t happened.”

Do you feel exonerated?

“I don’t really live my life that way. As I’ve said many times I feel really, really good at night when I go to sleep about the way we run this program and we’ll continue to run it the right way. I can’t say it enough, and again, I feel good about the way we run the program and literally I’ve moved on from this just a long tiem ago. My one focus is winning football games right now.”

Have you talked to Cam Newton?

“I talked to him a little bit tonight just haphazardly after practice, but we did not talk about that at all. I just told him I was proud of him and he’s going to watch the game Saturday and he’s excited about it.”

He’s going to be at Auburn? Carolina plays at Atlanta Sunday.

“I don’t know about that.”

How did you tell your players?

“We have not talked about it.”

Would you like to see changes in the way media handle NCAA investigations?

“You know what, the media has a job to do and everyone chooses to do it their own way everyone chooses how they want to do it. I’ve got my job to do and my job is to continue to do the right things for Auburn and to stand for all the right things. I can’t tell people how to do their jobs. I don’t have the energy to tell people how to do their jobs. I have my hands full doing my own. People are going to report and speculate. I think that’s 200 years old. I can’t really entertain the idea how to interpret things and how to report it.”

Injuries? Emory Blake?

“It’s still going to be game time. I think he has made some progress, there’s no question about it. We’re going to continue on the same path we’ve been on. But right now, it’s kind of a wait and see mode. Obviously, we know he knows everything within the offense so that’s not an issue. But how much further he can progress in the next two and a half days, I don’t know. So it will be a game-time deal.”

Has he practiced?


Ladarius Owens?

“Right now, again, he’s not a guy we feel like can play on Saturday. We’re going to continue to evaluate him as well but right now it doesn’t look good for him either.”

Who gets that spot?

“Well, we’ve got Joel Bonomolo who is playing more for us right now. He was banged up early, but he has come back and he is healthy now. So he’s one of the guys to fill that spot.”

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