Derrick Lott and the AJ-C: a new low?

I suppose there are two ways you could look at the news that Derrick Lott is leaving the team.

There’s the way that takes the announcement at face value, based on how the defensive two-deep is beginning to take shape in Grantham’s mind.

… This spring Lott was hoping to take advantage of the graduation of DeAngelo Tyson, one of only two starters leaving the team. But he was still behind Garrison Smith, who started when Tyson got hurt last year, and this spring Cornelius Washington and Ray Drew were getting snaps at end.

“Derrick and I met, and he believes he will have opportunities for more playing time elsewhere,” Richt said in a statement. “We support him and will assist in any way possible during this process.”

Pretty cut and dried, no?  Kid sees the writing on the wall and decides he wants to go elsewhere.  (Happens every day in the SEC, it seems like.)

Then there’s the AJ-C‘s way.  Cue the prairie dog.

This is a pretty shameless inference:

… If you find the timing curious, I do, too. For one, defensive line coach Rodney Garner spoke glowingly of Lott’s progress and abilities earlier this week. Though a career backup, Lott had tripped over some bad fortune — he ripped his leg open in a scooter accident before this past season — and appeared to be coming into his own this spring. According to several accounts of recent interviews with Lott, he spoke excitedly and optimistically about the upcoming season and the prospects it held for him.

Lott’s decision comes on the heels of the news that two more defensive players — All-America safety Bacarri Rambo and star linebacker Alec Ogletree — had flunked drug tests and are going to be suspended for multiple games at the beginning of the season. Alan Ingram, Rambo’s coach at Seminole County High School, said yesterday that as many as five Georgia players had failed surprise post-spring-break drug screenings.

If you know something specific, Chip, spit it out.  Otherwise, all you’ve done is cast aspersions some kid’s way.  I’m sure Lott will appreciate your speculation as he looks for another program.

And while I’m on the subject, WTF is with “Lott could not be reached for comment. He was probably attending a show”?

If I were Richt, I’d be pretty pissed right now.

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48 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

48 responses to “Derrick Lott and the AJ-C: a new low?

  1. Bubs

    If I’m being honest that was the first thing that came to my mind as well. I’m sure plenty of folks who aren’t the AJC are thinking this may also be the case. I have no idea, just guessing.

    We will all find out soon enough once it is discovered who those (supposed) other suspended players are.

    • frowertr

      I think journalism has a professional responsibility to report the facts only in a case like this. The is a college athlete, after all, who is playing on a scholarship. Kicking up rumors and fanning the flames does this kid a serious injustice if he is innocent of the insinuation that Chip is eluding too.

      Can you imagine if you were Derrick and you just signed with another school but then they (the school) read this article? He would have a whole lot of convincing to do before he even stepped on campus.

      • Bubs

        I don’t condone it via journalism, they do have a responsibility to report facts and not conjecture.

        All I said was that it was the first thing that came to my mind, and it was a guess.

    • Lott hasn’t been suspended before, has he?

      Does it make any sense that he’d be run out of the program now instead of serving a one-game suspension?

      Occam’s razor suggests otherwise.

      • Bubs

        Excellent points, Senator.

        As far as I know he hasn’t been suspended and I certainly doubt they would run him off for a first time offense (unless it was a BIG offense).

        Again, those were my thoughts and mine alone. I don’t write for the AJC so once again, my thoughts mean jack. I share them on occasion here because I enjoy the comments section and like to contribute once in a while.

      • Occam’s razor doesn’t sell papers. The AJC is doing what they always do, and I wish you’d join the boycott in discussing their shameless, shameful, yellow journalism tactics.

        • Pointing out their more egregious behavior for what it is is just as valid as boycotting it.

          • True, but you link them a lot. And you can point out their extreme behavior without links. It’s just my opinion, as worthless as it may be, but if Georgia fans boycotted the paper, and the UGA AA had enough nerve to refuse to grant any of them a press pass, do PCs in front of their reporters, etc, it’d go a long, LONG way to killing their unethical, National Enquirer tactics.

            • But look at this situation. I both linked and quoted – and the AJ-C subsequently edited both the header and the article. How would you know if I hadn’t done that?

              It’s not just the AJ-C which does that. I caught CBS’ Dennis Dodd doing the exact same thing a few years ago.

              When they pull crap like that, they deserve to be called out on it. If that means linking, so be it.

              • Understood. And they do that, sensationalist headline gets hits and links and then change it a few hours later after the sensationalistic, National Enquirer headline has done it’s job. I really wish the SID dept would just blackball them since they clearly aren’t acting like respectable journalists anymore.

  2. frowertr

    People still turning to the AJC as an authoritative source? It’s because of articles like that that I no longer even have it bookmarked…

    • Dawgfan Will

      Exactly what I’m planning on doing. I haven’t paid for an AJC in forever. Nowadays I can get anything I want on the Dawgs from the Internet. If the AJC is going to start speculating like bunch of blog commenters, I’ll just skip it and stick around here where the commentary is a dialogue.

  3. Normaltown Mike

    “For one, defensive line coach Rodney Garner spoke glowingly of Lott’s progress and abilities earlier this week…”

    C’mon Chip, this ain’t your first rodeo. If spring practice coach speak is an indicator, then that walk-on running back from Chicago was going to break Herschel’s single season rushing record and Daruis Swain was really “turning heads” and Logan Gray was “poised for a breakout season”, on and on and on..

  4. bulldawg165

    It’s times like these that I wish Richt would have an Urban Meyer moment and go off on that reporter.

  5. Okefenokee Dawg

    Bubs, it may very well been the first thing that came to your mind. But your important sentence is …” I have no idea, I’m just guessing”. The problem is so is Chip. And, If he is not he has an obligation to write what he knows. Mr. Lott deserves better, and so do the readers of the AJC>

    • Bubs

      That’s exactly why I typed that.

      Once again, in no way did I endorse what Towers wrote. I merely offered my opinion, nothing more.

  6. Spence

    Headline reads “Lott becomes latest player to abandon Bulldogs ship.”

    Wow. You’d think we didn’t just have ALL of our defense decide to stay and not go to the draft.

    It is reporting “themes” like this are annoying to a football fan base. Such themes and reckless opinionated news are also the reason there is no reasonable political discourse in our country. I’m absolutely sick of it and wish there was some accountability.

    And I used to think Towers wasn’t that bad.

    • Cojones

      Years ago and up to John Jenkins recruitment he used to phrase articles pro UGA or at least, not negative. That changed with Richts perceived demise last year. Chip used to follow UGA recruitment as well. When he began leading it, his was the last AJC I read. Their meme was “If you ain’t writing dirt to attract readership, you ain’t writing.” . AJC used to attack ESPN articles that were typically slanted negative toward UGA, now they’ve joined them to the last man. I won’t be participating in any AJC referenced blogs anymore, Senator. Hey! You’ve found a way to keep me off here.

    • In Chip’s defense on this point, usually it’s not the writer who comes up with the internet header, but an editor.

      • NRBQ

        Usually = never, methinks.

        And although he may have jumped the journalistic shark on this one, I think Towers usually does an admirable, even-handed job in covering the mess Athens has become.

    • Spence, Very good points. A lot of very good players are staying onboard.
      As to the AJC, & a new low, I thought that they had already bottomed out..

    • W Cobb Dawg

      Good summary Spence. Why would any Dawg fan want to read the AJC? I cancelled my subscription years ago and never regretted it.

  7. Hogbody Spradlin

    AHA,GOTCHA, SEE, I TOLD YOU SO, WHERE THERE’S SMOKE THERE’S FIRE, THE CESSPOOL THAT IS GEORGIA FOOTBALL, SOME WOULD SAY . . . , MANY BELIEVE . . . . !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Did Chip do time at The Red and Black?

    • Hogbody Spradlin

      BTW Senator, that looks more like a Gerbil than a Prairie Dog. ;-)

    • DawgVegas

      Yep – he was sports editor when I was a student (and I thought he did a good job).

      This article is a strange one, imo

  8. DawgVegas

    I agree Senator with your overall point, and am actually a little surprised by Chip on this. I remember on more than one occasion him defending being two or three days behind a story because he had to get verification on something that was being reported on fan sites, and he didn’t want to run speculation and rumors.

    As far as the ‘at a show’ line, that’s a (weak) joke based on the beginning of the article. Chip was out of reach when the news broke because he was at a show, so when Lott was unavailable for comment, Chip was joking that he must’ve been at the same or a similar place. Nothing worth getting offended over- just poorly timed imo.

  9. ScooBoo

    I see Chip is a reader of your blog Senator. He has changed the title of his story within the past half hour. From ‘abandon ship’ to ‘latest to leave’.

    • Cojones

      That might be better, but is he still listing the litany of the terrible march away from Georgia? It makes me ill to read drivel that tries to connect all into something nefarious going on at my University, as if they(the writers) have the right.

      • ScooBoo

        Ummmm, yeah his is still doing that, but you knew that wasn’t going to change…..just the headline.

      • Dog in Nam

        in another reply, i referred to Chip trying to write in a neutral manner. in order to achieve that neutral status and in order to cover up or delete any influence his very natural good feelings he has for our University, perhaps he at times goes a bit far to appear neutral, while you feel, justifiably so, that his cryptic references toward a treacherous destination for the march you describe may pass the point of no return. You, sir, let nothing pass on your watch without bringing it to the full light of day, and for that you certainly should be commended. When I read one of your critical posts, I always go back and research the subject at hand when it is one where I do not know about or one on which I may feel differently, and always I find the subject to be more as you described than I had previously thought….I really think Chip is overly cautious about his innate loyalty and maybe that leads him more often into your spotlight, which never dims by the way

  10. Baba O'Riley

    Lott’s defection isn’t that big of a deal but we’re now down to 73 scholarship players targeted to be on the team in August.

    • Baba O'Riley

      By the way, the 73 number includes the 16 current high schoolers that we’re planning on enrolling in August.

  11. AthensHomerDawg

    “If that was my son, we’d be going at it right now,” ;-)

  12. I wouldn’t blame the entire UGA athletic department from refusing to give the AJC any information or interviews ever again. If I were McGarity I would let it be known that if anyone so much answered a call from a number associated with the AJC that they would be looking for a new job.

  13. South FL Dawg

    The online story now has had this sentence removed: “If you find the timing curious, I do, too.” But it’s pretty clear how the writer sees UGA football.

    • Dog in Nam

      actually, Chip really likes UGA and the football program, and when he was writing the recruiting blog had to constantly catch the heat for having attended UGA. But, he has that journalistic integrity issue to deal with, and I think, does an excellent job in writing neutral and I don’t consistently see any anti UGA bias in his writing…most of the negativity appears in the headlines which, as the Senator so noted, he does not write. knowing him personally, I don’t feel he has any negative bias toward UGA

      • I don’t think Chip is biased against Georgia. I think, like almost every one who writes for the AJ-C sports page these days, he’s biased towards writing things that draw hits. Unfortunately, this is the kind of stuff that drives attention.

        • Macallanlover

          I agree. It isn’t the writer being biased as much as the state of journalism, and our society, today. Like our government, we get what we deserve (or will tolerate.) Right now we are, collectively, bottom dwellers. Between the paparazzi, the rumor mongers, and reality shows, Americans seem to be insatiable for all things trashy. To hell with the consequences and collateral damage of the story.

          Even if there is nothing “sinister” behind Lott’s decision, the number of athletes at all schools that are heavy on talent electing to transfer is a huge complication for CFB. Difficult to recruit depth at positions when the expected backups elect to bolt and leave you hanging. If Lott doesn’t see playing time at UGA at this point, he doesn’t shouldn’t count on the NFL providing his future salary needs, better hit the books.

          Instead of complaining of about the NCAA’s one year penalty for transferring to D1 schools,, and none to 1A schools, perhaps the penalty should be increased. Let the lessons of working harder and managing your conduct begin in college, pretty good education, imo. I realize there are some legit needs/reasons for transfers (family issues, etc.), but most are purely about the individual.

  14. TennesseeDawg

    AJC has turned into nothing but a troll rag and the writers feed right into it.

  15. Bob

    And now another one leaves…a DB at that. Safety Marc Deas has also left the team. I understand that folks leave for lack of playing time, but this is getting ridiculous.

  16. Raleigh St. Clair

    Boy, I sure am glad we signed a full class this offseason.

    Maybe one day Mark Richt will learn that self imposing scholarship restrictions when you’re team isn’t on probation isn’t a good idea.

    Other teams examine thier rosters and anticipate attrition. At UGA, we prefer to enter fall practice with 70 scholarship players. Brillian plan. I’m sure it’s destined for success.

  17. Cojones

    And now, Marc Deas.

  18. A new low for the AJC,as the great philosopher Bart Simpson says,” that’s unpossible” Why do I get my best info on the Dawgs from here(GTP) and Macon, what is going on?
    Finally, isn’t the small signing class just saving up extra scholarships for next years more talented class of 2013?