ATHENS - Aaron Murray is normally one of the most accessible and media-friendly members of the Georgia football team. He also plays the team's most important position.
That's what makes it interesting to hear that Murray won't be talking to the media this week, in preparation for the SEC championship. UGA spokesman Claude Felton told media members in an e-mail Monday morning that the junior quarterback "has requested that he be relieved of interview duties this week and Coach (Mark) Richt has approved."
Murray was also conspicuously absent from the locker room after Saturday's game. No reason was given, although UGA made clear Murray wasn't hurt.
Let's be clear: Dodging the media isn't really that huge a deal. People in my business will survive. But again, Murray has always been cheery and unflappable in his dealings with the media. I can never recall him blowing off an interview. Murray also has no history of providing bulletin-board material, and Richt is less stringent about other coaches (such as Nick Saban) about letting players speak to the media.
It's very possible that Murray, sensing the impending storyline, just didn't want to deal with another week of "can Murray play well in a big game?" Or he has some important final exams. Who knows.
"I don't think it had anything to do with the media," said senior linebacker Christian Robinson, who is one of Murray's housemates. "Just him personally, I don't think he's trying to send a message. I just think he's just so dedicated to this team. He wasn't at the house yesterday, he was studying film."
We will hear from at least one quarterback today: Alabama's A.J. McCarron is one of three players from his team on an SEC teleconference, alonog with defensive back Dee Milliner and linebacker C.J. Mosley. Georgia will be represented on the call by linebackers Jarvis Jones and Christian Robinson, and receiver Tavarres King.
Per SEC rules, Murray and all players will have to be available to the media in the locker room after Saturday's game. Murray is hoping he'll have something good to talk about at that point.