Fine for me, but not for thee.

You’ve gotta love the comment thread to David Hale’s post about the likelihood that Reshad Jones has had a change of heart about leaving for the NFL.

After reading a number of comments savaging the entire 2006 recruiting class because some of its members have committed the unpardonable sin of wanting to earn a living, commenter “papadawg” fires back with this salvo:

Why in hell would Reshad want to leave a school where an extremely vocal contingent of the fan base constantly bitches and moans, calls for the firing of several coaches, and (most importantly) calls him out personally?

If it were me, I would DEFINITELY pass up the opportunity to pay for more money than I’ll ever see…just to return to my good ol’ alma mater that loves me so dearly…

While I think he’s just as guilty of painting with too wide a brush as those he criticizes, I do think he’s spot on in pointing out that it’s a bit rich for those who’ve been taking Jones to task in harsh, yet anonymous terms to be whining about loyalty right now.  Especially when you figure that if most of these folks were in the same shoes as Stafford, Moreno, Allen and Jones, they’d probably be making a similar decision.

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31 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

31 responses to “Fine for me, but not for thee.

  1. peacedog

    You have to get drafted to get that money. Just sayin.

  2. dudetheplayer

    I’m actually the next comment in that thread that stated:

    “Except for the fact that Jones might not make an NFL roster nest season and could legitimately be out of the league within several years.

    It doesn’t really make any sense to leave college after only 2 full years of playing experience when you haven’t really proven anything other than that you have very poor tackling technique and no discipline on the field whatsoever.

    It’s a strange decision to say the least.”

    I’ve tried to never attack Reshad (or any of our players) personally or felt that all of our defensive/special teams blows were to be blamed on him alone. The guy is a student here like myself, and it is ridiculous for some of these people to become so bitter towards guys who are amateur athletes.

    However, as a fan of Georgia football, I find it very disconcerting and frustrating that we’re seeing defections from guys like Allen and Jones, who are not even close to being guaranteed first day draft picks. It’s frustrating for all of us when we see this happen to our guys and then compare it to players like Sam Bradford, Taylor Mays, Brandon Spikes, etc (players who are guaranteed first round picks) and see them coming back to school in all likelihood.

    Certainly it’s ridiculous to try and drag down the entire ’06 recruiting class based on the decisions of 4 of its players. But it’s hard to watch our guys bolt for total uncertainty in the Draft when more established and highly touted players of the programs we’re trying to compete with decide they want to come back for another year.

    • dtp, let me clear about something here. My post isn’t about the wisdom of these kids going pro early. I have my own thoughts about that, but seeing as I know nothing about their personal situations, who knows if my thoughts are truly informed?

      What I am noting is the hypocrisy of some of our fanbase – people who had no problem throwing some of these kids under the bus (including Stafford and Moreno after the Florida game, if you’ll recall), but now feel that they owe the fanbase enough loyalty to turn down the opportunity to earn thousands or even millions of dollars. And that their character is somehow now in question simply for taking that chance.

      That’s very different than the frustration you’re feeling right now about their decisions. At least I hope it is.

  3. Joe

    Guess what? NFL fans are a helluva lot more unforgiving than the most brutal UGA fan.

    And NFL coaches are brutal.

    As UGA fans, we want the kids to succeed. We may be critical of an individual play here and there, but most folks understand that these are 19 year old kids and want them to be successful.

    NFL coaches do not understand that. They do not give a shit if your entire family was just massacred and caused you to lose focus and miss a tackle at practice. They will simply cut you.

    And NFL fans and writers do not grant the free pass to players that the AJC and ABH do to UGA.

    Dennis Felton has literally been allowed to suck at coaching for 6 years and has never been asked a difficult interview question.

    • Guess what? NFL fans are a helluva lot more unforgiving than the most brutal UGA fan.

      And NFL coaches are brutal.

      You don’t see a big difference between someone getting paid to play football and someone who isn’t?

  4. The Realist

    Reshad does know the NFL is not flag football, right?

    But, seriously, when I saw that Reshad might go to the NFL, I didn’t think, “Reshad owes me or UGA or anything else.” I thought, “Reshad owes it to himself.” I know the NFL has a habit of overlooking on-field performances for combine measurables. But, c’mon. Is the draftable safety crop this year that bad that Reshad thinks he’ll be a first day pick?

    I hope for his sake that he is right.

  5. Faulkner

    I wonder who they have been talking with about their prospects at the next level.
    My only thought is that they think due to the economy, the money available next year will be a good bit less than what they may get as a late round this year. Better to go in a later round now than a higher round later and make less $$$$. From that standpoint, it makes sense to get out.

  6. Darryl Strawberry

    I attacked Reshad during the season and now i say GOOD RIDDANCE.

    We will be better off without him.

    But i think the players are sending a signal to Richt.

    He should have made a change to the defensive staff.

  7. peacedog

    Faulkner, we discussed this at Paul’s site, but it doesn’t make sense from a money standpoint. Other things equal, being a higher pick next year will bring in more money. I can’t speak to the personal/family situation for each player, so I can’t comment on how much the desire to get money this year outweights the potential to improve draft stock with one more year.

    It’s certainly possible both players think their stock will never be higher, which could have helped the decision along.

  8. dudetheplayer

    “That’s very different than the frustration you’re feeling right now about their decisions. At least I hope it is.”

    Yeah, absolutely. I’m with you in that we have no idea what the circumstances are that have made these guys want to enter the draft. Even if I don’t happen to agree with it and don’t quite understand where they’re coming from, I’m going to wish them the best either way.

    As for our program, though, it seems to be a bad sign when guys who are coming off sub-par years and have iffy draft potential decide to leave school anyway. Especially when one of your rivals (with players who have much better draft potential and are coming off a MNC) is not having the same difficulties.

  9. baltimore dawg

    well, i don’t think “hypocrisy” is a very precise way to describe some fans’ reactions since none of them is in a position to act counter to any claims for themselves. call it “judgmental” or “unreasonable.” calling them hypocrites makes it sound as if they’re in a more important position than they are—i don’t think “blog commenter” rises to the threshold at which one may be a hypocrite.

    but the other thing about your remarks, senator, is that they seem, in some part, to reflect an opinion i hear expressed from time to time by uga fans who criticize other uga fans who criticize players and coaches: namely, that uga fans make playing for uga an unwelcoming experience (and, e.g., that’s why players leave). my observation of college sports fandom, from having worked in higher ed at a number of different universities, is that uga fans are no more or less reasonable than others. if there is any difference, i’d say that some uga fans are more willing than ever to police the rhetoric of their brethren on this count.

    i’m neutral on reshad’s decision *and* on fans’ criticism of him. but you ask “You don’t see a big difference between someone getting paid to play football and someone who isn’t?” my answer is “not as much as your question suggests.” Add up the cost of a scholarship, the weight rooms, the coaches, the trainers, the academic tutors, the meal plan and allowances, the recruiting visits, and everything else it cost to land a reshad jones out of high school. there may be arguments for tempering one’s criticism of college athletes, but that they aren’t “compensated” isn’t one of them. (and by the way—how do you measure uga’s return on investment in a player like reshad jones? because if it’s strictly on-field performance, then there wasn’t much bang for the buck.)

  10. Dog in Fla

    Point #1: It’s all about the money.

    Point #2: See Point #1.

    There is no reason whatsoever that these guys should not go for the gusto as soon as they can.

    They know that they have already made tons of money for their schools and their coaches in return for tuition, room, board, hours upon hours of practice and games with only the risk of a career ending injury on every play. After all, the players know that major college ball is just their minor league program for the NFL.

  11. dudetheplayer

    “Point #1: It’s all about the money.”

    Then how come Sam Bradford (a projected #1 overall pick, we’re talking 30+ million guaranteed here) isn’t leaving school?

    • “Point #1: It’s all about the money.”

      Then how come Sam Bradford (a projected #1 overall pick, we’re talking 30+ million guaranteed here) isn’t leaving school?

      Maybe he doesn’t want to suck at the next level.

      … Bradford has thrown only 824 passes in his two college seasons.

      The last three underclassmen drafted in the first round at quarterback were JaMarcus Russell in 2007, Vince Young in 2006 and Alex Smith in 2005. Russell threw only 797 college passes, Young 718 and Smith 587. All three continue to struggle in the NFL and two have already lost their starting positions.

      The more passes you throw in college, the more ready you are for the NFL. Bradford should have 1,000 passes under his belt by the 2010 draft.

  12. Stephen Hawking

    Best of luck Reshad in the NFL… Thanks for coming to my tacking clinics!

  13. RedDevilDawg

    DTP,

    As for our program, though, it seems to be a bad sign when guys who are coming off sub-par years and have iffy draft potential decide to leave school anyway. Especially when one of your rivals (with players who have much better draft potential and are coming off a MNC) is not having the same difficulties.

    AMEN!!

    Asher easily could have been a 1st round guy/ higher draft stock with a healthy senior yr performance. Reshad needs another year to get better and improve a sub-par year. It’s just sad that we’re losing some bright talent at some key positions that over the years have been inconsistently staffed.

    It’s like we had an embarrassment of riches last year with the worst injury luck ever..and the fans were just looking forward to this team coming back 100% and seeing what everyone could do healthy and unified.

    Sickens me to look at these other programs like USC and Florida who– like us– have real talents and depth, yet still manage to keep a hold of their potential 1st round/1st day guys.

    Seriously though when’s the last time we had a senior heavy defense?

  14. 69Dawg

    USC, UF and OKU will be competing for MNC’s year in and year out and it is this prospect that causes their players to want to be part of it. Apparently our guys don’t think this will happen or they just don’t care. Meantime UGA just keeps trying to get butter.

  15. Dog in Fla

    dtp, re Bradford, some do elect not to go pro as soon as they can, and you are correct, it is not all about the money for them at that time. See, Matt Leinart.

    For those who do elect, it is all about the money.

    It will be about the money whenever Bradford, and others, elect to go pro even if they defer that election until after eligibility.

    Why do they defer? Who knows, but after watching the way Richt and Bobo let our QB operate as a pro QB would, Stafford is much more ready, in my opinion, for the NFL than Bradford. In the BCS game, it seemed that both offenses looked to sidelines for calls on every offensive play. If Stafford’s body can survive a few years of getting stuck on a bad team, such as the Lions or the Chiefs, my guess is that he is going to be much better pro QB than Bradford. See, Archie Manning.

    I think that for those who do elect after three years out of high school, it is about the big money (Stafford, Moreno), a lesser shot at the big money (Allen, Jones), or for most, even getting some money, and getting away from being on a college team.

  16. We Georgia fans reserve a special kind of antipathy for the most random of players (see Inman, Daniel). Jones certainly wasn’t the only defender to get burned or miss a tackle – even in the Tech game – but you’d be challenged to find another defender who got half as much grief.

  17. “see Inman, Daniel”

    or Thomas, Jeremy.

    I think the combination of dumbass plays and no discernible punishment for such is what fries the hides.

  18. Barry

    I’ve been a loyal Dawgs fan since I was 7 yet somehow I’ve managed to survive the next 45 years without screaming at or dogging our players.

    I’m upset about RJ leaving too but look at it from his point of view: he reads the tubes and sees “fans” on the message boards belittling his contributions. After awhile, he views his stay at Georgia as a chore rather than a delight.

    I know that RJ missed a tackle in the Tech game, but face it, all of the players and coaches (except MoMass) lost that game. And do we really know what injuries RJ or any of the other players were coping with?

    It’s one thing for “loyal” fans to scream at a coach; they get paid good money to produce. But for us as a fanbase to ridicule our players is shortsighted and, frankly, disloyal. And this I promise: other schools are using our fans’ treatment of our athletes against us. I can hear it now: Coach Kiffin is whispering to Marlon Brown, “If UGA is so great, why are players leaving early? Ask Reshad Jones how their fans treat the players.”

  19. dudetheplayer

    Come now, man, just about every program in the SEC (and anywhere else) is going to have segments of the fanbase that dog their underperforming players.

    This is not a situation exclusive to UGA.

  20. dean

    Back to the point I believe you were trying to make Senator; I’d wager 99.9% of the fans who ripped the players for their decision to go pro would do the same thing, especially when they were 19, 20 years old. I would leave my current job in a second for NFL league minimum, much less 1st, 2nd or 3rd round draft pick money, and I’ve worked here for 10 years. I guess I’m not a loyal employee. Even though I show up on time for work every day and do the best job I can.

  21. Dog in Fla

    For a little bit of good news for us, Harvin is apparently gone. That’s a good decision for him. He can be drafted while he can still walk. Hopefully, Spikes will follow.

    Let’s hope Atkins and Owens stay and don’t follow Asher and Jones.

  22. Robert

    Does anyone think that Reshad leaving has anything to do with his grades in school?

    Maybe it’s not about the money since he’s not even being projected as a 1st day pick.

  23. Dog in Fla

    Awesome?

  24. Dog in Fla

    Awesome? Repeat offender? Dazed and confused?

  25. dawg

    “I’d wager 99.9% of the fans who ripped the players for their decision to go pro would do the same thing, especially when they were 19, 20 years old.”

    you’re an idiot.

  26. drunk dawg

    He’s a flip-flopper! UGH! He’s like that damn John Kerry. Now I wish he would just go.

  27. dean

    dawg,
    At least be man enough to give an explanation as to why you feel I’m beneath your superior intellect.