National championship winning coaches are supposed to face difficult questions about whether they're going to try to repeat as winners the following year. Or perhaps whether the roster turnover could produce something of a down year. Gene Chizik did not have to answer those questions at SEC Media Days.
At least not very often. Instead, he was left answering questions about the newest drips in the leaky faucet of the Cam Newton recruitment scandal/controversy/witch hunt (depending on your team loyalties). The first was his reported run-in with an NCAA representative. Despite saying that he considers private meetings private, Chizik said he would respond. He said the idea that there was some agitation or anger in the back-and-forth was overblown.
"There were some clarifications thatt were made that had to do with process," Chizik said. The Auburn coach added that he was "very appreciative" for the clarification. (Which reportedly was, "You'll know when we're finished. And we're not finished."
As for Danny Sheridan's report that the NCAA has identified a bagman for Newton's recruitment, Chizik fell back on a well-worn line.
I'll make this real clear the NCAA on more than one occassion said that Auburn's done nothing wrong in recruiting Cam Newton. Nothing's changed.
Of course, if the NCAA was confident that there were no violations in the recruitment of Cam Newton, they would have closed up shop on the investigation long ago. As Chizik's conversation with the NCAA representative shows, that's not the case.
Regardless, Chizik says he's not worried. "I sleep really good every night when my head hits the pillow," he said. But one can't help but wonder if Chizik is in for a rude awakening.