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Reward and privilege: Gus Malzahn's high expectations

July 14, 2014

C.J. Uzomah signing autographs at SEC Media Days

By Charles Goldberg

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HOOVER, Ala. -- Reward and privilege. That's how Gus Malzahn described how players should represent Auburn University, and that's why the Auburn football coach had to make a tough decision leading up to SEC Media Days on Monday. 

Malzahn left quarterback Nick Marshall at home after he was cited for a small amount of marijuana last Friday, prompting Marshall to apologize to his teammates Sunday night. Defensive back Jonathon Mincy did the same following an arrest following a traffic stop. 

"They've both addressed it," Malzahn said. "We put our seniors in a leadership position. I'm disappointed. But we have a very strong senor class. I don't see any issues moving forward." 

Malzahn said Marshall is "very regretful. And embarrassed." He called his quarterback a "model teammate and citizen" before the incident last Friday and expects him to do the right thing. Malzahn didn't say what penalties await Marshall and Mincy, but they will be held to a tough standard. 

"Both our guys are very remorseful," he said. 

Overall, Malzahn said, "I feel very good where our program is at. Look at the last year and half, we've been one of the cleaner programs in college football." 

Those incidents, coupled with the death of popular former player Philip Lutzenkirchen, has made an uneven last few weeks. Malzahn said the loss of Lutzenkirchen, who died in a car accident, hit hard. 

"We lost a great person with an outstanding family," he said. "He was one of the better players to ever put on an Auburn jersey. That's a very tough pill to swallow." 

Malzahn said Auburn and the family are "still talking some through things" to find a fitting tribute. 

"Definitely, we want to do something," Malzahn said.

 Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:  
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