Gus Malzahn addresses film exchange: 'We'll always operate with the utmost integrity'

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comOctober 29, 2013 

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said during his weekly press conference on Tuesday that Anthony Swain was not instructed to fake an injury during last week's game against Arkansas. Todd Van Emst

TODD J. VAN EMST — Todd J. Van Emst

AUBURN, Ala. — It didn't take long for Gus Malzahn to explain his team's policy on film exchange Tuesday.

In fact, Auburn's head coach didn't even wait for a question about it, addressing it during his opening statement. It became a popular topic of conversation on Monday, when Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema said the game tape Auburn provided didn't match the TV copy. Bielema took umbrage with one formation in particular, citing the Tigers' swinging-gate formation used on extra-point and two-point conversion attempts, which is called "Batman."

Bielema then submitted the tape to the SEC for review; however, the first-year head coach violated league policy by discussing the issue publicly.

Malzahn said he was notified of the matter on Monday.

"We'll always operate with the utmost integrity in everything we do and if there's ever anything I don't know about that's brought to my attention, we'll deal with it in a prompt matter," the coach said. "The SEC office is aware of all the details on both sides. And that's all I'm going to say regarding that."

Malzahn kept to his word when it came to issuing no further statements on the subject. When asked whether any other SEC teams had contacted the league regarding discrepancies with the Tigers' film, Malzahn responded, "No. That's all I'm going to say," he said. "I already addressed it."

Not surprisingly, the disagreement Malzahn and Bielema had at SEC Media Days also resurfaced Tuesday. At that time, the debate over the safety risk — or lack thereof — hurry-up, no-huddle offenses pose to defensive players was in full-force. In his time at the podium, Malzahn shot down that assertion, saying when he first heard that argument, he thought it was "a joke." When Bielema took to the stage later, he reiterated his concerns about up-tempo offensive schemes such as Auburn's, and declared he "wasn't a comedian."

Malzahn clarified his comments Tuesday, noting what he said at Media Days wasn't a direct attack on Bielema.

"As a matter of fact, there was a lot of people that were coming out and saying stuff regarding that," he said. "I was just standing up for our philosophy and what we believe in."

Hard as it may be to believe given the pair's divergent — if not a tad contentious — views on myriad football matters, Malzahn expressed the admiration he has for Bielema's coaching acumen.

"He's an excellent coach," Malzahn said. "I mean, look at his track record. I've got a lot of respect for him. He's won everywhere he's been. I know they're going to be prepared."

Related stories:

Auburn football: Tiger coordinators 'pleased with the overall performance' versus Florida Atlantic

Auburn football video: Rhett Lashlee says offense 'didn't miss a beat' with Jeremy Johnson at QB

4 at 4: Sports links from around the Interwebs

Ledger-Enquirer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service