You can’t handle the truth.

I admit that I’m a bit leery of wading into potentially hazardous waters with this question, but where did this sense of entitlement about getting every last detail regarding Mark Richt’s decision to dismiss Zach Mettenberger from the team come from exactly?

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UPDATE: Some similar thoughts at A Bulldog in Exile.

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70 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football

70 responses to “You can’t handle the truth.

  1. I love when the indignant donor-as-shareholder argument comes up. I look forward to voting in the coaching staff at next year’s shareholder meeting.

    But is it time to buy or sell?

  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    I was going to chime in over at Andy Coleman’s site, but Ben Dukes did such a good job of carrying the sword. Satisfying the purient curiosity of big donors isn’t going to add anything, and it’s going to make it a lot harder for Zach Mettenberger to get back on his feet. Andy and his kin should be happy we have hired a coach with discretion and nerve to make decisions like this.

    Some matters are best left private.

  3. Agreed, Senator. Obviously, Richt protects from public scrutiny and aids in the futures all of his players (even former players) as much as he can by not airing their laundry in public and helping to place them elsewhere if things don’t work out at UGA for whatever reason.
    This case is particularly sensitive since he has to go to work with the kid’s MOTHER every day. Nosy fans and reporters need to look for their dirt elsewhere because Coach isn’t going to be giving it up.
    You’d think everyone would understand his methods by now as he has been remarkably consistent this whole time. Right?

  4. Pingback: Facebook….not so much « The Dawg Whisperer

  5. The 3rd Richt

    The sad part is that the majority of these donors that feel “entitled” are the same ones raising this generation of teens that have that sense of entitlement. Like father, like son………..

    • Hahah! I am probably one of the most conservative people you would ever meet! Actually, I really call myself a Libertarian. I’m just a big fan of transparency.

      • Reptillicide

        You’re full of shit is what you are. Transparency doesn’t apply to a students personal life. Mettenberger is not a university employee, and you have no right to know what is going on. Richt dismissed him for violating team rules, obviously stemming from his trouble with the law. That’s all you need to know. Don’t spin any of that “transparency” crap in this situation, it doesn’t apply.

  6. I am extremely happy that our coach is going to finally crack down on things that belittle our program. That being said, I am a HUGE fan of transparency in virtually every issue that affects a large portion of a public base. Whether it be UGA football, government, or anything of that sorts. Little did I know I would cause such a firestorm with my call for knowledge on a subject. The story is extremely public; why not the details?

    My main point in the whole issue was that the dismissal shouldn’t have been made public without the true cause. I say this because it makes MY COACH look like he is giving less of a chance to a certain player than he has over and over again in the past to other players. I’m not going to make a race issue out of this, but a lots of my acquaintances already have.

    • Will Q

      I get what you’re saying, Andy, but the thing about this being an “issue that affects a large portion of the public base” is that this really doesn’t. Sure, we’re curious about what happened, maybe upset about the way our alma mater is portrayed, or even relieved that the QB race becomes clearer. But just because we’re emotionally (or even financially) invested in Georgia football doesn’t mean we have the right to know everything that goes on. A stockholder’s financial future is affected by the decisions of the company invested in; a donor is affected in no meaningful way by a student-athlete being dismissed from the team. As for not making the dismissal public, well, there’s really no way to do that. If the transgression was great enough for Richt to kick Mett off the team, the only ones with the right to know about it are those two men, but if a high profile player like Mett is kicked off the team, there’s no chance to keep that under wraps.

      • One of my biggest issues with the whole deal is not me knowing details. It’s the fact that Mark Richt is looking like a guy that plays favorites with other players who got lesser punishments.

        • Go Dawgs!

          Well, Andy, I’d have to say that’s a little bit of a silly sentiment. Zach Mettenberger was a scholarship quarterback and the son of a long-time UGA Athletic Association staff member. He played on the same Little League Baseball teams as Mark Richt’s son Jon. Their families have a history together. Not only that, but Mettenberger was still very much in the race to be Georgia’s starting quarterback this fall. Of all the players you would expect to get this so-called “special treatment” that you’re so worried about, Mettenberger’s at the top of the list. The fact that Mettenberger was dismissed from the football team shows us all that NOBODY on that football team is getting special treatment. Mettenberger’s rumored transgressions during that night in Remerton are well documented, but perhaps the worst part is that he apparently lied to Mark Richt’s face about them. That garbage isn’t going to fly, no matter who you are to the football team, and Mark Richt doesn’t owe you a sit-down on Oprah’s couch to explain the situation.

        • Go Dawgs!

          And, another thing, a lot of people are assuming that Mettenberger only got this one chance and Richt kicked him off the team after this one incident (and, then, if you believe the rumors, after he lied to the coaching staff about what happened). Well, the same rumor mill where we’ve picked up this “info” on “what really happened in Remerton” is also buzzing with hints that Mettenberger’s also had some trouble in downtown Athens. How does anyone know that Mettenberger wasn’t already on notice about his conduct? Georgia simply doesn’t air out dirty laundry in the press or to the fan base. Georgia never has, nor should it. Really, the only things we know about players disciplined in the past comes from arrest reports, or rumor. When was the last time that Richt, or any Bulldog coach gave a definitive answer about a player’s “misdeeds”? Did we ever get official word from UGA about why Michael Greer got kicked off the team? What about Quincy Carter’s “Injury-gate”?

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            Hmmmmm…. Are you saying that Mett was on double secret probation?

            • Go Dawgs!

              LOL! I actually almost used that term when I wrote that comment. I’m not saying he was, I’m just saying it’s possible. I have no idea if Richt was giving Mett the Dean Woermer treatment, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we don’t know everything about this situation. And, I’m OK with not knowing. Richt’s not going to take an action that could potentially hurt his team without cause, and that’s good enough for me.

        • If Richt were a new coach or had a history of playing favorites with his discipline, I might understand how his swift justice in this case could be questioned.

          Richt has a nine-year track record of how he runs his program. He’s suspended and dismissed starters, reserves, and walk-ons covering incidents from serious felonies to minor traffic violations. In almost all of those cases, the details of the offense have come from police reports and not from Richt. That’s not likely to change now.

          If by this point something appears to be a glaring inconsistency with that track record, it’s time to engage in some critical thinking and conclude that – man! Something pretty serious must’ve come up for this to turn from a one-game suspension into an outright dismissal.

          If we’re left wondering what that something is, that’s our problem. If that leaves Richt with a credibility problem in your eyes, I think that does a great disservice to the years of precedent in front of us and to common sense. Richt’s done as he has for nine years to suddenly have it in for a possible starting QB?

          As for waiting until the investigation is completed before dismissing him, we assume that there will be some tidy conclusion at some convenient time when all of the facts and findings are laid out in front of us. It might be that no additional charges are ever filed in which case we don’t learn one new fact and the investigation simply ends. But the information that Richt learned in the past few weeks was grave enough and factual enough in his eyes to act. Why, for what, and how long should he wait?

          • So, if I’m Mark Richt, I say “the kid lied to me, and I will not tolerate it”.

            I’m not Mark Richt, he is much more wise than me, so I will just have to trust in him.

            Can’t I still disagree though?

            • Go Dawgs!

              Sure. I guess the point of the Senator’s original post, and responses like Groo’s, is why are you just now starting to disagree? Mark Richt’s never explained these things to you in the past. Anything we know about dismissals or suspensions comes from public records of police departments. His public comment on these things, as seen in what he said about the Montez Robinson case, is always vague. In no way is his handling of this issue a depature from what he’s always done.

              • Well, I have always disagreed with things. I just started my blog though. Plus, who has been kicked off after one incident of “violating team rules”. I’m sure there have been some, I just don’t recall them.

                • Just because there is only one known offense by Mett does not mean that there aren’t others; it just means that we are not privy to some things that in Coach Richt’s estimation are not any of our freaking business. He doesn’t want guys’ futures completely derailed, but he wants them to understand that some behaviors (which happen to still not be our business) are unacceptable.
                  CMR is a teacher and molder of young men first. He has always stated that.
                  You want dirt for your new blog? I have no problem with that.
                  You are not ever getting dirt from CMR. Period.
                  You want inside info? Do the legwork and, get some contacts; but at the rate you seem willing to sell anyone out just for blog hits, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    • JasonC

      What if Richt said Mett was dismissed for lying about the events of that night, but didn’t go into details? Therefore, we would have the arrests for several wrong-doings + lying to the coach. Would that be a sufficient explanation for fans as to the dismissal? Or are we entitled to every single detail?

    • Left to Right

      -I believe no exact cause is ever given when a player is dismissed.

      For example, when Montez Robinson was dismissed from the team, Richt released a statement saying, “Montez has not been able to conform to some conditions and stipulations that were placed on him as a result of previous off-field issues,” said Richt. “I think this decision is in the best interest of everyone.” http://ugadogsblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/robinson-arrested-on-battery-charge.html#ixzz0lkL3Egej

      -OK, I’ll play. How is this a race issue? Are your “friends” alleging Richt dismissed Mett because he is white? Do your “friends” believe Richt felt the need to kick a white player off the team to “balance things out”?

      • -OK, I’ll play. How is this a race issue? Are your “friends” alleging Richt dismissed Mett because he is white? Do your “friends” believe Richt felt the need to kick a white player off the team to “balance things out”?

        I’m guessing it’s more along the lines of what was hinted at in the Red and Black article – that players like OT got second and third chances, while Mett doesn’t seem to have been afforded the same opportunities.

        • Exactly. I like to use the term “thugs” not race. Surely race is no issue. It’s just that we all feel for the life some of these guys come from. UGA is a new start for them. That being said, all players need to be treated equally. I think that is most likely the case, so put the truth on the table.

          • 69Dawg

            Well how about the old bible adage from one to whom much is given much is expected. This was not a kid raised to act like he did, he did it on his own. Some of your “thugs” never had the benefit of anybody raising them. I can see Mett being held to a higher standard and I agree with it.

  7. MT

    At some point we’ll get the answer to what happened in Remerton, but just probably not when we want to find out about it.

    Whichever school Mett ends up transferring to will have to go through a due dilligence period on him. Between UGA, the new school, and the Remerton PD/legal process, our curiousities on what happened will get satisified.

  8. The 3rd Richt

    Andy- Since it’s still under investigation you are not going to get anything out of Richt. It’s not his place at this point in time. How difficult do you think this is for Mett’s mom to be in the office right now. It’d be even worse for her if Richt gave details. He’s a better person than that and our fans need to be more patient if they want the details. I seriously doubt you’ll find out this week. Once the season starts this will all be in the rear view mirror and we’ll be stoked to be in Sanford Stadium.

    • The 3rd Richt, I think you just hit the nail on the head. I still think the dismissal could have waited until details came out. Apparently, I am in the minority on this one though.

      • fetch

        If CMR waited for details to come out, then everyone could rightfully say that he only kicked him off because what he did became public and he had to do it. Coach aint that kinda man. He’s gonna do the right thing if the whole world knows why or if it’s just between him and the player. Some coaches would sweep it under the rug as long as possible, luckily our coach aint one of them.

  9. Let’s say Mettenberger’s iniquities in Remerton that night included some really embarrassing stuff, and Richt went ahead and spilled all of it. Most likely, CMR would then be accused of going out of his way to embarrass an 18-year-old kid in a public forum, not to mention bringing additional bad press to the program.

    It’s a damned-if-you-do/damned-if-you-don’t situation, and Richt decided to take the path of greatest discretion. Can’t fault him for it one bit.

    And while it might be frustrating not to know exactly why he did what he did, that information is of minimal practical use now that Mettenberger is gone and not coming back. Basically, it comes down to whether you trust Richt to do the right thing for the right reason, and in this case, I do.

  10. Will Trane

    I would think the answer would rest somewhere in the list of “team rules”. I would think each student athlete is aware of those rules and what a violation might bring as punishment.

    This is my view on this matter and others…past, present, and future. If you are an academic scholarship, is there a set of rules that prohibit certain conduct? As a student are there certain rules that must be adhered to or you are dismissed? As an alum I think there are.

    But the point for me is the continued lack of respect, lack of self-discipline, and above all, lack of maturity one sees in student athletes today. You see and hear about it on and off the playing field. Is it hormones? Is it a modern culture that youngsters are caught up in on campus with peers and professors?

    If you are not mature enough to drink, how can you be mature enough to direct a team for four quarters or execute a play. What alot of these athletes forget is they represent a sterling university. When you wear the uniform it has to mean something at all times.

    If you have lived in Valdosta, you understand the tradition and pride in sports. You also understand and know the greatness of its people…fair, honest, and competitive.

    What happened to this young man is sad. It is costly to him in many ways. The price he paid here as with others is not something they forget. The next question is does he learn from this. And others.

  11. Irishdawg

    “But just because we’re emotionally (or even financially) invested in Georgia football doesn’t mean we have the right to know everything that goes on.”

    I couldn’t agree more. Bottom line, much as we might want to know, the details of Mettenberger’s dismissal are none of our goddam business. A 19 year old kid screwed up massively, and has paid a heavy price. It hurts my alma mater’s team, which I think sucks. I don’t really need to know anything more than that, and Richt is a stand up guy (as usual) for not assisting in any further embarrassment of the kid.

  12. Cojones

    Andy, you are wrong-headed about entitlement to info. I posted on Hale’s column before reading here and there is one thing escaping everyone’s attention. Suppose Zach racked up enough offenses to get JAIL TIME? Everyone should think about this and wait for Remerton justice. That’s where the offenses took place.

  13. Cojones

    Irishdawg said it better than I did.

  14. dboy

    People are naturally curious about what led to such a serious thing as dismissal from the team. It is Mark Richt’s and the Athletic Dept’s right not to tell us why, if they feel it is in the best interest of the team/ player. In the past is would have been left at that. The difference is that we are now in the TMZ age… everyone feels entitled to know the juicy details. My GF was watching an entertainment show the other day and they were interviewing / coaxing sexual and anatomical details out of john goslin’s mistressess… such journalistic excellence. Sh*t, I don’t want to know. If someone is in the public eye, we want to be in their business.

  15. baltimore dawg

    i think ferpa regulation prevents any official uga disclosure of zm’s troubles because, in addition to the legal trouble, there is also the university judiciary process. the ferpa consent that all athletes are required to give by the ncaa only covers their academic records.

    but it all comes out in the legal process anyway.

  16. elderdawg

    It seems to me that Coleman himself is the “rumor-monger” and the master of speculation! Blatantly accusing Richt of unfairness while having no basis for this. If one can’t trust Richt on this, then I say it’s time to become a fan of Fl, Al, or Tn. Maybe you can trust one of those coaches to do the right thing and provide the gory details . Would that satisfy your purient interest? Would it then make you happy to crusify some 19 yr old kid?

  17. Tommy

    I agree that there should be (and will be) transparency. I don’t agree that it’s on Richt to provide it. The Remerton police have expended taxpayer resources investigating this situation and, at some point, it will be incumbent upon them to reveal what that investment of public resources has yielded.

    The fact that Richt doesn’t want to do the Remerton police’s job for them is a non-story.

  18. elderdawg

    Read your own post at 9:29 AM. ….”dismissed without true cause”…. “given less of a chance”…..
    How do you know any of this!
    Speculation and accusation!

    • I love how you just reworded a quotes from me and took them out of the context of the entire statement. LOL…is that even legal?

      • B Man

        I’ll play along too. I don’t believe the following lines are reworded or taken out of context.

        “As a donor of the UGA Athletics fund, I feel that I am owed quite a bit more of an explanation than just ‘the player has violated team rules.'”

        I doubt that it’s just me, but that reads like someone that thinks they are entitled (read: owed) to know the details. You vehemently state elsewhere that you make no such claim of entitlement, but surely you can see how many of us read what you wrote and call BS.

        Would I, or many of us, LIKE to know the details? Sure, that might provide a few minutes of entertainment. Are any of us OWED the details? No.

        I’m sure you’re a good guy and someone I could undoubtedly have a beer with a debate the merits of Jimmy Womack or Mack Strong as a fullback, but in this one instance, you came across – to me anyway – as somewhat petulant. You do appear open to reasonably expressed opposing opinions, which is good. It is, in fact, one of the best things about this blog. People can come here and express opinions, even get called on them from time to time, and it doesn’t devolve into some AJC muck and mire.

        • “Can you please quote me on these rumors and blame? I missed it somehow…”

          That is what I said, so I am asking what “rumors” or “blame” I gave anyone. My response to entitlement can be found at my blog.

          • B

            I’ve seen your response to entitlement, and was trying to graciously call bullshit that you don’t feel entitled to (0r “owed”) an explanation. I still am calling bullshit, though somewhat less graciously.

            You and your family give money to the school and the athletic fund. That doesn’t mean you get to know every detail that impacts the team. It just doesn’t. No amount of holding your breath or kicking and screaming changes that.

  19. Macallanlover

    Hard to beleive this has become so controversial, neither Richt, nor the school have any right to give details about a student/player without it being public record, or permission given by the student. Hell, I was paying my kids’ tuition from my bank account and had ZERO rights to know about their grades, if they were attending class, or what kind of medication they were being given for what, if any, disease. And someone thinks Richt should go public with details? ZM is the only one who can make public statements about this until, and if, a charge is filed by a government authority.

    Richt has done an excellent job in not making decisions until he had more, or all the, facts prior to acting on MR or ZM this spring. He has chosen his words very carefully and seems to have acted in the athletes’ best interests. Knowing how hard this particular situation is for him, and how he has for ten years wrestled with the enormous effect his actions have on the young men’s lives he impacts, I simply cannot understand the number of doubters in our fanbase. Is there anyone among the coaching ranks you would rather have responsible for your son at this significant stage of his life than Mark Richt? He would not only be my first choice, it would be a slam dunk.

    It is time for this fanbase to rally around the players and coaches that remain and stop picking at every scab from past wounds.

  20. Phocion

    To answer the original question posed by the Senator…you can thank the Freedom of Information Act.

  21. Am I Wrong? Could not CMR, the Athletic Dept., & maybe UGA be sued for putting out Info on any student that has broken any law before that Info is part of the public domain. Parents are not even allowed to get their kids grades without the kid’s consent. Until the police findings are complete & made public, it is illegal to for others to do so.

  22. Reptillicide

    Andy, your blog sucks. Quit while you’re still only somewhat far behind.

  23. Can't believe what I'm reading

    Wow, just wow. Andy I’m sincerely curious as to your take on a few recent topics.
    Were you upset over the PR disaster that was our DC search? That it took tooooo long and we looked silly in the process? What about the tailgating ban on north campus? Was that Paul W’s fault and nobody could reasonably expect people to carry out their own trash? Was there is QB controversy over who was going to be the starter and even more so over why wouldn’t Richt name a starter?
    My money is your answer is yes to all three.
    I’ll hang up now and listen……………

  24. Reptillicide

    Andy is just trying to increase hits on his blog by making ridiculous posts

    • Don’t sell me out Rep, lol! Seriously though, I just spout what the brain God has given me tells me to! never in the world did I expect to get over 50,000 hits when I started the blog after the season was over!

  25. Dog in Fla

    Andy somehow finds himself on an Afghan mountainside today

    But does win the day’s toughest man in the target area award.

  26. Champ

    Ask Auburn how the football program does when big time boosters get involved!

  27. Macallanlover, You got it right. Could not agree more.

  28. Vious

    When someone is arguably going to be our starting QB and is suddenly dismissed, why the HELL would we not want to know?

    That isn’t crazy….that is normal

  29. dawgfan17

    There was an interview on 960 the ref with one of the guys from scout.com I think it was. His take on wanting to know the details, since he covers UGA and Mett is no longer part of the team there was no need for them to dig any deeper as it no longer pertained to UGA and there was no reason to try to pile on to Mett. Mett is no longer with UGA and so my focus is now on who we do have left and the recruits we will have in the future. If something happens to come out to disprove my trust in Richt about this situation then I will be surprised. But up to this point Richt has never given anyone reason to thing that he is doing anything but acting in the best interest of UGA and its football team. For some that may not be enough but for me it is. Also like several people have stated I am not sure the exact laws on what Richt/the school can reveal about students but I am sure it is something he has been advised on.