Here’s the best bits from Bret Bielema’s press conference at SEC Media Days.

ON CLOSE LOSSES

“We played Alabama and Mississippi State, both heart breakers at the end. Mississippi State was obviously ranked number one at the time, and we let it get away from us. All the credit in the world to Dan, his staff, and his players to make that happen. I am a big believer in life in this fact. Scars are a very beautiful thing. I have scars on my knee from an ACL surgery. I have scar on my ankle from ankle surgery. I have a scar on my left hand from hand surgery. My mom has scars from 24 years of breast cancer survival. My dad has scars from throat cancer and prostate cancer. Scars remind you of difficult places in your life that you’ve championed. We’ve championed those moments. We didn’t win them, but they’re not going to be a part of our history that’s lost forever. They’ll be things we carry with us forever, and I’ll remind our players how close we are. After those games, our players said, if we can do all this and lose by one or a score, why can’t we do all this and win and reap the rewards of winning? That may have been — everybody wants to point to Ole Miss and LSU, I think Mississippi State and Alabama may have been a defining moment of who we are and what we are. I think that can probably help us more so in the future. With that, as a head coach, anything that I can ever do at Arkansas, I mean it.”

ON FAMILY AND BEING EASILY REPLACABLE BEING NICE TO THE KIDS

“I think all the time, my dad raised us on a farm. My brother works in an environment. I went home during my break — he’s a welder. One of the things that jumped out to me, when you’re walking through his facility and he shows me his place of work, there’s only one man that can do the job that he can do. If he couldn’t do it, they’d hire two or three guys to replace my brother. If I’m the head coach and walk across the street to get hit by a car, they’re going to replace me tomorrow with one man.”

ON BEING NICE TO THE KIDS

There’s some people in this life, in this world, that the things you can do have an effect on so many different people on a daily basis, you have no idea the effect that it has. So the effect you have by writing an article, creating with a pen, the ability to touch a life, reward it or maybe call it out, I hope you keep in mind these players are 18- to 22- year-old young men that make a choice to play college football, but it doesn’t have to change the direction of their life. If they screw up and make a bad decision, I understand that. You can get after them as hard as anybody, but I’d always ask everybody give them the grace of God and a little blessing from your heart.”

ON NEW OFFENSIVE CO-ORDINATOR, DAN ENOS

“I like the rapport he has with our players. I love the way he simplified our offense. I love the way he’s brought in identity to what we have done in the past as well as some new things that he brought in. So there’s a lot of really good things going on. He’s just so humble. To be a head coach, I’ve always had that reservation, sometimes they don’t want to — he’s one of our hardest workers. ”

ON SOCIAL MEDIA

“We have a social media background screening that you’ve got to go through, and if you have a social media nickname or something on your Twitter account that makes me sick, I’m not going to recruit you. I’ve turned down players based on their Twitter handles. I’ve turned down players based on Twitter pictures. It’s just that’s how I choose to run our program.”

ON STUDENT ATHLETES RECEIVING COST OF COLLEGE

“But I’m going to also share with this room, you give a young man 18, 19, 20, 21 with a little bit of pocket change, with a lot of money to make bad decisions, things can go sideways in a New York minute. So you got a kid that’s never had $1,000 in his pocket, and all of a sudden he’s got $2,000, that’s dangerous. That leads to dumb decisions. I think we have to monitor that as coaches and be aware of that.”

ON NOT GOING ALONG WITH STEVE SPURRIER ON GIVING  A PORTION OF MONEY TO STUDENT-ATHLETES

“I’m happy that our players are getting rewarded. I’m happy that we didn’t as coaches have to do it. Coach Spurrier offered up $150,000 from each one of our contracts my first year, and I’m like, I’m sure you can sign that contract. I’ve got to go ask my wife. I can’t sign that thing. We hopefully have come about that in the right way and hopefully be paid all four.”

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