SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Let the talking begin.
The Southern Conference football media day is today in the Spartanburg Marriott, located a short jog from the Wofford College campus. Players and coaches will talk about what they did this summer, and they'll talk strengths and weaknesses and about how tough the league is.
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga coach Russ Huesman will be present along with All-America defensive end Davis Tull, last season's SoCon defensive player of the year, and All-America linebacker Wes Dothard.
Both players are expected to be named preseason first-team All-SoCon, and they could be joined on the first-team squad by defensive tackle Derrick Lott, cornerback Kadeem Wise and safety D.J. Key.
Commissioner John Iamarino said he expects his remarks today to have a more upbeat tone than last year's speech, when the departures of some league members were imminent.
Now that Appalachian State, Georgia Southern and Elon are headed elsewhere after the 2013 season, and Mercer, East Tennessee State and VMI are set to join the league, things have stabilized -- for a little while, at least.
"I think I probably will talk about how much we're just looking forward to football returning," Iamarino said. "At least we've got some clarity as far as who's in and who's on their way out. I think we're looking for one more good season before we change the look of the conference next year."
This month, officials from some of the major Football Bowl Subdivision have spoken out about the need for the schools in Bowl Championship Series leagues to perhaps form their own division and compete against schools with similar resources, rather than the broad range that exists in the FBS.
That likely will be a big topic of conversation, along with the new "head-hunting" rule that can result in an immediate ejection from a game. Before the media session, the league's athletic directors will meet, the football coaches will meet and go over new rules, and multimedia representatives from the league's schools will gather to talk about television and digital platforms, Iamarino said.
Along with the coaches of the nine SoCon teams in the league this season, Mercer's Bobby Lamb and East Tennessee State's Carl Torbush also will participate in the media day. Lamb, a former Furman coach, and the Bears will join the league in 2014, and ETSU will return to SoCon football play in 2016.
Contact John Frierson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/MocsBeat.
John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...