… Danielson, as Auburn’s win over Alabama neared an end, told viewers that Smart had told him he had turned in six plays to the SEC in which Smart felt Auburn defenders had been holding in its 40-17 win over Georgia on Nov. 11. The comments came during a production meeting six days after the game, as Georgia was preparing to play Kentucky. When Smart was asked about that this past Monday at his press conference, he offered a three-word response: “Yeah, no comment.”
Danielson, speaking during a CBS teleconference on Wednesday, did not back down from the accuracy of the comments or going public with them.
“I can only say that I’m comfortable with the information that I presented during the game. And I think Kirby will be too. And if he isn’t it’s really not my problem,” Danielson said. “I work very heard at developing a trust with the coaches that what they tell me is fair game, and the fine line of off-the-record and on-the-record sometimes gets uncomfortable, but I don’t think I crossed any lines, and I don’t think Kirby thinks I crossed any lines.”
Somehow I doubt Kirby’s too upset about the publicity. In fact, Nessler thinks Danielson did him a favor.
Brad Nessler jumped in to offer his take: That it was fairly routine and Smart wasn’t very animated when he mentioned it during that pre-Kentucky production meeting.
“He didn’t make that big deal about it, and neither did we, because I thought it’s something routine. I hear it all the time,” Nessler said. “If I was Kirby I’d send Gary a thank-you note. Because I’ve watched John Calipari do this for his whole lifetime in coaching. He works refs in the first half so he can get a call in the second half. So if a broadcaster brings something up I would look at it as a positive and not a negative.”
As organized and buttoned-down as he’s been all season, I lean here more towards Smart, the eleven-dimensional chess player than I do Mr. Loose Lips. So, thanks, Gary. Hope Steve Shaw was tuned in and listening.