A highly-ranked J-school and a Dooley Brother are not all that UGA and UNC share apparently. They both boast of “A WAY”. Say it ain’t so Mark Richt.
I was NOT going to post this USAToday article about “Georgia: Winning versus Winning Right”. First it is a looooong article and wasn’t really passing my own criteria for “a Quirky”. BUT I got to the quote….
“….. that Coach Richt likes to call ‘The Georgia Way,’ ” NO MARK, Anything But THAT!
Obviously I had no choice after that. Then there was….
Georgia is the only SEC school that does NOT have a full-field indoor facility to practice in when inclement weather strikes.
HOLY HERSCHEL, Batman! An IPF reference! I’m almost going to post this UP TOP in the Primo Position. Where O’ Where do giant airships park when they come to Athens. ….. Where will Snoopy 2 sleep before this week’s BIG GAME versus Alabama?
Pretty much the whole long article is how incredibly awesomely ethical Georgia Athletics / Georgia Football is.
NOTE: There was no mention of:
* Mark Gottfried’s mentor Jim Harrick and the “attention” be once bought to Georgia…. nor about
* The Red Cadillac (NOT State red !) Hugh Durham used to lure Dominique Wilkins to UGa rather than NCSU to play for Jimmy V.
* Or the UGA AD pulled over in Buckhead with “a pair of panties in his lap” and they weren’t his wife’s. ????
How could I resist THIS line of “how high our standards are at Georgia” ….
Georgia did not have any players arrested THIS past summer. !!!
Not even Kennel would use THAT line.
I actually “bumped” Dr Debbie over to Old Quirky News to make room for THIS ONE.
Is Georgia football caught between winning and winning right?
ATHENS, Ga. — Draw a 350-mile circle around this idyllic college town, and within it you’ll find seven college football programs that have won a combined 14 national titles since the last time the Georgia Bulldogs reached the pinnacle in 1980.
Florida and Florida State have done it with two different head coaches. Clemson and Auburn have had turns at the top, the latter winning with a quarterback who grew up in Georgia’s back yard. Tennessee’s championship in 1998 was the culmination of a decade-long domination over Georgia, and Alabama has become college football’s preeminent program over the last decade, directly denying the Bulldogs a chance at the 2012 BCS championship game. Even Georgia Tech, with far fewer resources and a significantly smaller fan base, has a shared title as recently as 1990.
Given the success of its regional rivals, Georgia’s inability to win a national championship or even play for one over the past 35 years has become a source of great frustration within the state, which ranked behind only Florida in producing players that were drafted into the NFL this year. Games like Saturday, when No. 6 Georgia hosts No. 13 Alabama, are annually viewed as crucial for Mark Richt, who operates under a continual referendum on whether he can deliver a title even in his 15th year as head coach.
And though the drought may be mostly a product of happenstance, it is also true that Georgia’s nearly endless supply of natural resources has been counterbalanced by an institutional ethos that makes it more difficult for the school to be a year-in, year-out superpower in the hyper-competitive SEC.
“Georgia football has tried to do things the right way,” said Richard Tucker, a member of the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents and a prominent supporter of the school’s athletic program. “UGA is more to me than just football.”
Whether it’s academics, commitment to building high-end athletic facilities, marijuana testing policies or intolerance for off-field behavioral issues, the perception — and in many cases the reality — is that Georgia holds itself to a slightly higher standard than the programs it is compared with annually on the field. Uh Oh!
Three recent high-profile examples speak to the differences between Georgia and its Southeastern Conference counterparts. In 2013, Auburn came within one play of the national title led by a quarterback, Nick Marshall, who was dismissed from Georgia along with two other players over an on-campus theft. That same year LSU started quarterback Zach Mettenberger, a former Georgia player who was kicked out after groping a woman and pleading guilty to sexual battery. Earlier this summer, Alabama was willing to take on another dismissed Georgia player in defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor, whose offenses included a pending domestic violence charge. He was accused of another domestic incident at Alabama and dismissed shortly thereafter.
The Taylor situation prompted the SEC to pass a Georgia-sponsored rule in May banning schools from accepting transfers who were dismissed from their previous schools due to domestic or sexual violence. The Big 12 Conference is in the process of drafting a similar rule.
Still, it speaks to the constant conundrum here, where it takes crafting new league-wide rules to prevent competitors from doing things that are not accepted as part of Georgia’s moral code.
“There are some schools that are like we are in so many areas, but more attention is brought to us as a result of maybe what we do in situations that deal with discipline in general,” Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity said. “It’s publicized more. Everything we do is under a microscope, but I think we just try to do things the right way. Are we perfect? No. We’ve had our own problems, our own situations that have been troublesome in the past.
(NOTE: Is there like a website these sanctimonious ADs and Admins go to download this crap ???)
“But I don’t think that’s a reason or a problem that has held us back from anything. I just don’t think that’s an excuse.”
It is difficult and maybe a bit unfair to pinpoint why Georgia hasn’t become a championship-winning machine like Alabama despite sitting on more fertile recruiting territory, but it is undeniable that in the pure competitive sense, the Bulldogs handicap themselves in a variety of ways.
Georgia, for instance, suspends athletes 10% of a season for a first positive marijuana test — a harsh penalty compared to its competitors. (McGarity said the strength of the penalty generally prevents second offenses.)
Richt has been adamant over the years about giving players blanket transfer releases — even if they leave over discipline issues — which has led to a series of ex-Georgia players becoming productive elsewhere the SEC (some of those players wouldn’t have been dismissed from other schools in the first place).
Meanwhile, Georgia has operated with financial prudence in the arms race of facilities and salaries relative to its SEC peers. Though plans are in the works for a state-of-the-art, $30 million football building, Georgia is the only SEC school that does not have a full-field indoor facility to practice in when inclement weather strikes.
Add it all up and Georgia presents an image of a school that does not pursue championships with the same vigor as an Alabama or Auburn. At the same time, preserving a claim to the moral high ground over those programs is ingrained in the culture at Georgia, for better or worse.
“Do I like losing? Hell no, I want to win every one,” said Dink NeSmith, president of Athens-based Community Newspapers, Inc., and a former Board of Regents chairman.
“But I’m not willing to sell my soul to the devil just to say we won. There’s a certain pride, without being condescending, where we try to hold ourselves to a higher standard.”
Though fans of other schools may call that a loser’s lament, Georgia is far from a loser in the big picture. Richt has captured two conference championships, eight top-10 poll finishes and fell one play short of beating Alabama in the 2012 SEC Championship and heading into the national title game as a heavy favorite against Notre Dame. Whether Richt has maximized Georgia’s potential is a matter of debate, but he has undoubtedly sustained the longest, most consistent era of football success in school history.
“His body of work will show that Georgia has been relevant for the majority of his time here except for one year I can remember (6-7 in 2010), and hasn’t had huge dips,” McGarity said. “If you knock on the door enough, the door is going to open at some point in time, but if you’re not relevant it’s never going to be open.”
And many would laud Georgia football for maintaining relevance in a mostly principled way, with no major NCAA trouble under Richt (the school’s compliance office aggressively pursued allegations that star running back Todd Gurley accepted money for autographs last season, suspending him immediately) and a track record of holding players accountable for off-field behavior.
Though some interpreted a rash of suspensions and dismissals prior to the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons as Richt losing control of his players, it was viewed within the program as sending a message that he wouldn’t put up with any shenanigans. Either way, it appears to have sunk in.
This week’s incident notwithstanding — police declined to pursue charges against sophomore receiver Isaiah McKenzie, who was accused of verbally threatening a woman at Chili’s — Georgia did not have any players arrested this past summer.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a higher standard, but there’s a certain standard that’s pounded into your head before you even make the decision (to come to Georgia) that Coach Richt likes to call ‘The Georgia Way,’ ”
…. receiver Malcolm Mitchell said. “Be respectable, honest, caring and hard-working. If you do those simple things, you can thrive at UGA. Whatever message the coaches are sending is obviously getting out to the players.”
McGarity said the athletic department will front the $30 million for its new football building out of the athletic reserves and raise back half of that money through private contributions.
“Facilities are very important, but it’s not the end-all,” McGarity said. “Some schools do extremely well that don’t have facilities that even we have. I’m looking out at our grass fields; I’ve got two 100-yard turf fields and two grass fields. It’s an amazing facility we have.
“It’s just like, ‘Who’s driving the bigger car? Do those things really matter? At some institutions it does. Our video board, for our stadium and our size, it’s really big. Would I want to spend money to get a bigger one or spend money in another bucket that might service our student-athletes? Those are the decisions you have to make and we’re fortunate we have a big bucket.
Still, the issue of an indoor facility was important enough that last November, defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt — who started at Alabama under Nick Saban and won a national title at Florida State in 2013 — publicly chastised the administration for not having firm plans in place and said he frequently used facilities against Georgia in recruiting when he was at other schools.
Though Richt does not like talking about bringing Alabama influence into his program — he specifically avoided acknowledging it at his news conference Tuesday despite being multiple opportunities to address it — it’s undeniable that Pruitt has helped reenergize Georgia’s recruiting and brought much-needed urgency to the facilities debate.
Still, Georgia’s desire to walk the tightrope between football superpower and the SEC’s conscience carries on. And maybe one day, even this year perhaps, that national championship drought will become a thing of the past.
“I think as a rule our fans are somewhat disappointed we haven’t achieved championships, but also as a rule I think they’re by and large immensely proud of what we have done,” Tucker said. “I’ll take any day, any time, the way coach Mark Richt coaches, what he believes in and how he runs his program. Where we are based on that, I’m very satisfied. What would it take to get to that next level? We may get there under those guidelines. We may set the standard for how programs should be run.”