Asked about the status of Randall Mackey, who was recently arrested by the Oxford Police Department and charged with disorderly conduct – failure to comply, Nutt said the former JUCO All-American will be suspended for the season opener against BYU on Sept. 3 and that Barry Brunetti will start. (Nutt added that Zack Stoudt will receive playing time as well.)
Nutt then discussed an array of topics related to Mackey’s “bad decision,” including how “98 percent” of his players do the right thing but don’t get mentioned, the need for athletics dorms again and how the quarterback race will be impacted because of Mackey’s suspension.
Below is the majority of today’s post-practice interview, which lasted around eight minutes:
NUTT: Y’all go first.
REPORTER: How was your day?
NUTT: It wasn’t good. I’ve had better days.
REPORTER: What’s the deal with Randall? I didn’t see him out here…
He had school today but obviously he made a bad decision. The one thing that I want to make sure we all put this in print and make sure it’s clear is, it got back to me that when one of my players got arrested the statement was made that ‘Coach Nutt will take care of this.’ If you do research on me, for the last 20-something years, yeah I’ll take care of it the right way. I always have. Always will. Randall Mackey will not play the first game. I’m still looking into everything — bottom line, he got into a fight, which a lot of y’all may have gotten into a fight in college. But the bottom line like I tell them, even though there may be 50 other arrests, your arrest is headlines. Walk away. Turn the other cheek. It’s tough to do, but we try to preach that all the time. Walk away. And so, I have tremendous respect for authority, but when you have that big of a get together party coming back when school opens all in one place, (with) that many people, and especially when people come from out of town, it’s not a good scenario. But you have to use good judgement. You have to think, and the bottom line is there wasn’t a good decision made. Was he drunk and obnoxious? No. Got into a fight and I’m not going to go into all the details, but the bottom line is you have to have a good decision and you know what time you’re supposed to be in at night. I’m just disappointed in that. He had a great camp. He had an excellent camp, but that’s not how you end camp. That’s not how you celebrate camp. But please make sure, but please make sure, somebody sent me a copy of a blog ‘Oh Coach Nutt will take care of this. Mackey’s OK. He’ll make sure that he gets out of it…’ Hey look, that’s why I’ve been in this league going on 14 years. I never have operated that way. I want our policemen to know that. I want the authority to know that. We’re going to do things the right way. We have about 98 percent doing it the right way — you don’t write about them, but we have 98 percent doing it the right way. We’ve had a good camp and this has been a bad day to answer your question.
REPORTER: How does this impact your quarterback race?
NUTT: It doesn’t. They were all three — that’s why we couldn’t pick one, is because it’s been so even. It’s Barry Brunetti, Zack Stoudt, Randall Mackey were all right there. They all have strengths. We’re not afraid to put any one of them in a game, and that’s what was hard for Coach (David) Lee to make a decision. Right now, the first game, Barry is going to start, Zack Stoudt is going to play. We’re going to go from there.
REPORTER: Going from there could Mackey conceivably start Game 2?
NUTT: No-no-no-no-no-no-no. We’re going to go one day at a time. We have got to get back and, again, he’s such a good person. When you get hit it’s hard — I don’t want to get into all of that, but you have to get back. You have to get back in our group, go back to work, take care of your business, work your way back up. I’m not worried about Game 2.
REPORTER: Still that close after breaking down video from the scrimmage?
NUTT: Yes. If you go back and look at the percentages and put all the scrimmages together, it’s amazing. It’s like 69 percent, 68 percent, 70 percent. They were all right there. All of them have strengths and all of them I feel like can lead our team and so we need both of these quarterbacks right here (pointing to Brunetti and Stoudt). They got all the reps today. Randall was in class and Enrique Davis was another one that you probably missed (in the pre-practice stretch lines) that was in class. We have to get some schedules worked out. We have a lot of guys that are going to school at 4 o’clock and 5 o’clock. We have got to get this schedule thing worked out.
REPORTER: You said Randall was out after curfew. Were there other players with him? And will anyone else get into trouble?
NUTT: Here’s the thing. They were planning on being in before curfew, which on a Monday night — it’s a school night first and foremost. And I wish that I had known that there was a Monday night school party downtown. I really wish I would have known that, because had I of known that it wouldn’t have happened. But I never would have suspected on the first day of school when i give them one day off to have nothing but to be a student, the last thing on my mind is them going to a party downtown on Monday night. So I didn’t know.
REPORTER: So no other players…
NUTT: There might have been some down there, but what happened is some of them were trying to leave before curfew and it’s after curfew. We have handled that. We have already disciplined the ones that are supposed to be disciplined.
REPORTER: Jamal Mosley..?
NUTT: That’s right. Jamal Mosley the same thing. Discipline is done. Finished.
REPORTER: Last year the Jeremiah Masoli thing was kind of a distraction. Do you think this is the same sort of thing?
NUTT: No. I don’t look at it that way, I don’t want to think of it that way. Look across the country — now wait a minute — look across the country. What other teams? Are we the only ones getting in fights?
NUTT: OK. I mean, it’s across the country. Different world now. That’s why they have to have these guys as coaches and have us. You have to stay on them. But that’s why I miss my dorm. I really miss the athletics dorm. I miss it where we’re all under one roof. We eat together, sleep together, you cry together, you laugh together. It’s hard checking every night who is at who’s apartment and who are you next to and who moved in. That’s what makes it hard. That’s what gives coaches gray hair.
REPORTER: What has Brunetti done to be the starter?
NUTT: Both of them can start. That’s the thing. Either one of them can start. Brunetti has been the most consistent as far as accountable for the little things. Both of them have strengths. We believe in both of them and that’s why the race has been so close.
REPORTER: When Randall comes back to practice?
NUTT: Well, he won’t get as many reps. Naturally he won’t get as many reps, might even use him a little bit on scout team and let him get that going again. We’ll get him back going when the time is right. (August 23, 2011)