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SEC limits aren’t helping Tennessee Vols for SEC Media Days

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I’m not going to try to tell you that I agree with Tennessee’s decision to leave receiver Bru McCoy home for SEC Media Days next week. I understand the reasoning, but I just can’t endorse denying one of Tennessee’s best leaders a chance to promote himself on a national stage – even though I know what he’d be asked about.

The questions that McCoy would be facing early and often would be much more about his healing leg and ankle than any technique, pass pattern or his ascension as legendary leader for the Vols’ athletic department. Yes, I said athletic department. When is the last time you’ve heard of a current player hosting his own golf tournament for charity? McCoy just did that last week.

During the event McCoy was asked about his leg injury, which was a fair question. However, the tenor of most of the content I saw was about McCoy the leader, not McCoy the recovering patient. In fact, McCoy’s leg injury is almost a non factor when I look at the Vols’ season based on all the reports I have received on his recovery. However, SEC media peeps don’t know that. They’d like to.

One must understand how SEC Media Days is set up, partitioned into small conference rooms in which different sets of reporters ask the same questions, which would invariably be about McCoy’s leg injury. I, however, think that could have been steered clear of pretty easily.

Here’s the prep for McCoy. If anyone asks about his leg, McCoy should just answer with, “All healed up and ready to go!” 

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In other words, dismiss any notion of a lingering injury immediately, repeatedly if necessary and forcefully. Trust me. Reporters will get the point. Besides there are so many good stories about McCoy, how he’s transferred and become one of the Vols’ most beloved players in the community and respected on his team. Those need to be told to a regional audience.

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McCoy wasn’t asked if he wanted to attend SEC Media Days. Tennessee can showcase its marquee players when they get back from Dallas. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work like that. Attending SEC Media Days has its advantages.

The publicity from SEC Media Days can help current Vols receive more postseason awards by being better known, can help the Vols recruit and clear up some questions about who is leading this 2024 crew.

Tennessee will take center Cooper Mays, linebacker Keenan Pili and defensive tackle Omari Thomas as the Vols’ representatives for SEC Media Days. That’s a very respectable trio. However, McCoy would have been a welcome addition, which leads me to a question:

Why can’t teams take more than three players to SEC Media Days?

That would certainly clear things up for Tennessee who could then take McCoy, EDGE rusher James Pearce and redshirt freshman quarterback Nico Iamaleava to Dallas next week. It would also take some pressure off of players who have to field countless interviews from a newly expanded SEC media corp.

The SEC has the money. I’ll endorse increasing that budget, but I can’t endorse not taking McCoy to SEC Media Days at all. He deserves the credit for all he’s overcome on the field and even more kudos for his off-field work

Taking McCoy could be viewed as unfair because he’ll be constantly asked about his leg injury. However, not taking McCoy seems unfair to the rest of the SEC media that don’t know just how great his story is.

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