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Mark Richt’s ‘Win at All Costs’ Thoughts Are Laughable

Georgia football coach Mark Richt got all righteous during a meeting of “Bulldog faithful” in South Carolina last week. First, Richt drew attention for calling out the practice of over-signing, which is an unethical yet commonly-used practice employed by Nick Saban most notably. The he took an idealistic stand against the world of college football according to the Ledger-Enquirer, saying “There’s been a bit too much of the winning at all costs in college football and I hope the tide turns in the other direction.”

I love Richt’s righteous approach and wish more programs followed the rules and put winning behind ethics, but I know that’s unrealistic. However, I wouldn’t complain about someone preaching about morals if the remarks hadn’t come from someone who is ONE OF THE BIGGEST CONTRIBUTORS TO THE PROBLEM.

Georgia is notorious for its football team having run-ins with the law. From 2008-2010, the program had 25 arrests, all documented by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The charges ranged from DUI to battery to hit and run to theft, so they vary in severity, but there is little doubt Georgia fostered a team of criminals. Think about it, they didn’t take come EDSBS’ coveted Fulmer Cup for nothing; a lot of hard work went into winning that title. We even noted a few of the arrests back in 2008, pointing out that the arrests indicated Georgia was in mid-season form.

And honestly, if you want to talk about winning at all costs, who can forget the honorable gesture of a Georgia assistant giving an opposing kicker the choke sign before he attempted a field goal against them. But maybe we should forgive the coaches and players. After all, they may be taking their lead from this man.

Preach on, Brother Richt, and don’t let a little thing like facts get in the way of your ideals.

Head butt to College Football Talk for the story


Around The Web

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XW6LAANSEUCWKAOOYI5G3VBNHM Frank Garner

    Blah, blah. What a load. It’s not enough to just look at offenses, but also to look at what was the nature of the offense and what was Richt’s response. Most of Georgia’s offenses were pretty bland things that kids get a pass on in Tuscaloosa, Knoxville, and Gainesville. Richt truly does care about these kids. Went and looked at your bio. I see that you were a fill-in producer for the Jim Rome show for a couple of years. Rome, one of the most sniveling commentators in sports, hates Richt.

  • Bob Maldonado

     So, where is the logical connection?  Richt is causing the drivers license problems and traffic accidents?  Coach is encouraging kids to break the law?  Richt is handing out free houses, shoes, books or tattoos?  Life must me grand when not burdened by the crux of critical thought.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

     Wow, what a pathetic response. You must be a Georgia fan or Mark Richt relative not to think he’s responsible for having so many guys on his team who have problems with the law.

  • Anonymous

     Larry, You are a moron. Why do you not tell the entire truth. Oh, I know……………..so you can write these garbage articles. If a coach or player is a christian you find it necessary to bash them for everything possible. There is not a coach with greater moral fiber and character then Coach Richt. Preach on Mr. Brown. Spew your garbage.  Keep Drinking the cool-aid. Try something new………THE COMPLETE TRUTH! Oh thats right , you would not know the complete truth if it bit you on the backside.  AND why in the world do you Hate GEORGIA so much. Could it be because they have a coach that is a devout christian?

  • http://twitter.com/Heyberto Hey berto

    Larry, I am a Georgia guy, and I believe in what Richt is selling here.. which is why I’d be the first to call him out if I thought he didn’t respond as he should have, given the circumstances. If the problems that happened weren’t properly addressed, i’d be the first one calling for his head. But look at who has been kicked off or ‘mutually agreed to transfer’. Mettenberger, gone immediately when discovered the nature of his infraction was a sexual harassment charge while intoxicated. The kid who was caught in a domestic dispute, Suspended indefinitely and then kicked off. Washaun Ealey was suspended and missed playing time for a hit and run on a parked car, and ultimately suspended indefinitely and left the team. Compare that with Janoris Jenkins at Florida who was repeatedly allowed back for being caught with weed before being removed by Muschamp. The kid that fired off an AK-47 in a parking lot for Florida allowed back by Urb under what was a clear need at a key position that guy happened to play, after being kicked off the team. Maybe Muschamp will change that, but Urban was known for letting good players back on all the time. Richt risked not having a viable backup at QB last year by removing Mettenberger. The rest of the charges were revoked license infractions, emerging from an alley, and all violators were punished… were players out of control? I have to yes. Did Richt make tough decision when necessary? Absolutely. My only point is you can say things got out of hand with the amount of infractions, but you can’t say Richt wasn’t doling out appropriate and consistent punishment.  As for Todd Grantham, that was classless, and I’m quite sure that has been dealt with and won’t happen again. He did apologize. My question to you is, what should Mark Richt have done differently? Kick these kids off for minor infractions? Is that really fair to the student athlete?

    Look, on the surface, I might even agree with you.. certainly the program took a PR hit with amount of press coming out of Athens on this stuff, but delving deeper and compare Richt’s actions with some of his peers and you’ll see that it’s not at all what it appears. To win at all costs, you have to actually win. That wasn’t happening. 

  • Barclay Hinson

    Before I

  • Anonymous

    Here’s the thing: all arrests aren’t necessarily the same. Georgia had a string of really dumb college kids screwing up by not having their driver’s license current, doing stupid things in cars like hit-and-runs or DUI’s (which is IN-EX-CUSABLE, no apologies for it here) and then one or two more serious violations.  Those more serious violators, most notably Zach Mettenberger after his drunken sexual assault case, were kicked off of the team.  I’m not sure you can call it winning at all costs when you jettison an athlete that can help the team win in order to NOT foster a culture of lawlessness as you alledge.  You’ll notice that LSU gobbled that kid up, incidentally, and they’re a favorite to win the SEC West because of it.  This spring, Georgia punted Washaun Ealey, a very talented running back who wasn’t willing to toe Richt’s newly-more-rigid emphasis on team rules, and who was one of the perpetrators of the slew of traffic arrests last year.  Georgia does have a talented freshman back coming in, but there’s virtually no experience in the backfield beyond Caleb King, who has been inconsistent at best.  Is that winning at all costs?  I’ll grant you that Richt’s approach to some of the so-called “minor” arrests Georgia’s had in the past few years was a bit lax.  Because they were, you know, minor.  I do think that it helped to allow the problem to grow.  However, when things got ridiculous, he cracked down hard, and he’s been merciless on petty things since then.  Witness Ealey being gone, and possibly headed to an SEC school near you in 2012.  And serious crimes never were tolerated at Georgia, those guys were kicked off of the team when they happened.  I don’t remember you tut-tutting coaches at other programs with gun crimes and credit card fraud cases, etc (uh, Florida).  And, you may have noticed that I keep saying “last year” when discussing these problems. Because UGA is tied with Vanderbilt for DEAD LAST in the SEC this year in arrests with none.  Zilch.  Nada.  No off-field issues at UGA this year.  Could it be that the players are toeing the line in light of Richt’s crackdown?  And did you notice that Georgia’s win-loss total has been declining steadily since 2008, when all of this “lawlessness” has taken place?  How can you suggest Richt wins at all costs when he’s not… you know, duh, winning?   I’ll give you the point about Todd Grantham and the “choke gesture”.  Not a pretty picture.  I won’t excuse it by saying that I’ve been on sidelines around the SEC as a reporter, and I’ve heard coaches yell a lot worse without the accompanying hand signals.  It was inexcusable, it was a heat of the moment deal, and Richt directed him to apologize and punished him.   Now, if you think that is a fireable offense, we’re going to have to agree to disagree.  But make sure that you’re being honest with yourself about that, and not just trying to tar a program that you might not like.  The biggest problem with the arrest spree of the past few years is that a lot of “drive-by” bloggers and fans didn’t bother to click the links on ESPN.com and read what the arrests were about.  Even pro-Gator bloggers at EDSBS.com acknowledge that the UGA and Athens cops have been arresting people for things that wouldn’t even get you pulled over in Gainesville.  But, to borrow your phrase, don’t let the facts get in the way.  Mark Richt was right to speak out against oversigning.  It’s a pretty odious practice, and I’m hoping that the conference does something about it.  I have no idea why you would have a problem with anyone speaking against it.  Even if you were correct about Richt fostering a lawless program, you’re not correct about him letting it stay that way.  You ignore the steps that were taken to get the players back in line, which have worked.  Then again, you also threw in the bit about Damon Evans, so I am pretty sure I’ve just wasted 15 minutes typing a reasoned response to somoene who just doesn’t like Georgia and wanted to poke fun.  So, party on.

  • http://twitter.com/tommyperkins Tommy Perkins

    Larry, 

    In the case of oversigning, you have coaches, who are DIRECTLY responsible for their own actions, choosing to behave unethically. If he oversigned, then the term “hypocrite,” which you strongly imply in this post  would apply. Since he abstains from this practice, your post is exposed for what it is: baseless hit-trolling.

    Instead, your case against Richt involves his players’ legal offenses, for which he is INDIRECTLY responsible and to which he has responded in the strongest possible terms. Name another program that suspends kids for actual games for things like traffic offenses. Penn State? What else do you want him to do with Mettenberger — have him shot? And it’s worth noting with this year’s Fulmer Cup in full swing that Richt’s team hasn’t had a legal run-in since October.

    The larger point is, in your post , you don’t evidence much ability to distinguish between one being DIRECTLY responsible for one’s own actions and being INDIRECTLY responsible for the actions of one’s players. Allow me to make the distinction clear for you. Let’s say an employee of yours or a child of yours robs a bank. Should you serve time side by side with that person? 

    I know, since you’re incapable of producing quality content that would draw traffic based on its merits, you’ve been reduced to simply trolling for hits. Nevertheless, I hope this response has been instructive for you.

    Regards,
    A level-headed follower of the game, of which there are many more than you assume.

  • Dash Lok

    This article’s logic is “laughable”.  Richt comments on “winning at all costs” in relation to oversigning and basically screwing kids over, and you say HE IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST CONTRIBUTORS TO THE PROBLEM? Where is the logical connection here?  I guess if signing players in highschool that he KNEW would break traffic laws means he is willing to win at all costs, then sure, you got him.  I’m sure Richt, during recruitment, when talking to Mettenberger’s mom (she works in the UGA athletic department by the way), had a good laugh when she told him how her son liked to fondle underage females.  Are you high? Recruiting kids who end up making mistakes is not contributing to the problem – IGNORING such mistakes is contributing to the problem.  How are you employed?

  • http://twitter.com/MIkeInValdosta MikeInValdosta

    Violence has not been tolerated. Traffic offenses have received the appropriate response. When considering the things that go on in Columbus, Ohio and Gainesville, Florida it is odd that you would go after Mark Richt.  Auburn has been paying players since the late 70′s.  Southern California is agent blind. 

    Mark Richt removes real criminals and gives traffic violators a second chance.

    What is your agenda here?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Micheal-Roberts/503092830 Micheal Roberts

    Frankly Larry, most of UGA’s “problems with the law” boil down to traffic offenses.  The only guys that have gotten in any real trouble have been kicked off the team almost immediately.  Don’t let research and facts get in the way of a good rant though.

  • Yodi Williams

    You obviously have some issue with CMR, if you didn’t you wouldn’t have taken the time to put this piece of trash on the web with your name behind it.  The posters above me have already said everything that needs to be said so I won’t roast you any further.  BTW, I’ve noticed that you have replied to these ppl that put your trash to shame, could that be because you have no real response?  I think so.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PAQAIDRXC3EJQSWWSK5KCCGLSA David

    Damn, Yodi beat me to it, but it is incredibly telling that you haven’t responded to any of the criticisms in the comments, other than a two sentence critique that simply called someone’s response “pathetic” without any other explanation.  Perhaps you see a pattern with the tone of the comments here. Also, an ad with a hot blonde and an O face that says “She can’t control her box” on the side of your site really lends credence to your credibility as a legitimate sports writer.  Well done, dickhead.