Now Richt’s just messing with us.

This is borderline cruelty.

A day after touted Florida State linebacker signee Matthew Thomas told the Miami Herald that he wanted out of his scholarship in order to play at Georgia or Southern Cal, Richt said not all of the Bulldogs’ 85 scholarships are taken.

“We could have signed as many as 35 this year,” he said. “We signed 33.”

Richt did not mention Thomas specifically.

Nudge, nudge and all that…

I still think it’s highly unlikely we’ll ever see Thomas in red and black.

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31 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

31 responses to “Now Richt’s just messing with us.

  1. Spike

    Why not?

    • First, because I doubt FSU lets him out of his commitment. I don’t believe Thomas is going to sit around and lose a year of eligibility as a result.

      Second, if you’ll recall, it wasn’t Georgia who was a close second on signing day. It was Junior, who I suspect is the one stirring up the pot now.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Yeah, this has the odor of Junior about it.

      • Silver Creek Dawg

        Maybe, but if I’m FSU, I damn sure put an embargo on him headed to LA.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          I think there is such a thing as a release with exceptions in it that say you cannot go to a certain school, usually a traditional rival or some school on an upcoming schedule. In this case it would only be justice to bar him from going to “them that caused the problem.”

  2. Irishdawg

    When is everybody going to get wise to what a conniving fuckwit Lane Kiffin is? It’s not like there isn’t ample evidence already.

  3. Dog in Fla

    On the long and winding road to CMR messing with us through Paschall, the theorem slowly dawned on me:

    How can we miss Michael when he won’t go away?

  4. Spike

    Got it. Thanks Senator.

  5. DawgPhan

    I wouldnt be so sure that FSU doesnt cut him lose with a No-ACC type of deal.

    Seems like the bad press might not be worth it.

    • Normally when it comes to recruiting, I’m as pro-player as it gets. But FSU didn’t do anything wrong with Thomas. I can see an argument that FSU giving in here might set a bad precedent with future recruits who want to change their minds after signing day.

      • Cojones

        Yep. Let him go and you start worrying about keeping signed players all over again. It would flip the apple cart.

      • Macallanlover

        That is quite a dilemma because not only are you concerned about the precedent but do you really want a disgruntled freshman with all the baggage this one now brings to camp? I agree they will exclude the ACC, and perhap schools nearby that are annual recruiting rivals. I also doubt he ends up in Athens. Isn’t USC still under scholarship limitations? If so, how would they have an unused scholarship available? More proof that Junior is playing games with scholarships in a similar fashion as Saban and “dumps” the non-performing players. (I have no specifics on the USC actions, just heard that accusation on satellite radio last season. Sounds a lot like Junior and Orgeron though so I tend to believe the caller.)

        One additional thought on an option for FSU, they could allow him to transfer to GT and let him serve a 4 year sentence at an irrelevant mid-major. No significant fan enthusiasm, no chance of high-profile bowls or media interest, and doomed to CFB mediocrity.

        • Just Chuck (the other one)

          Maybe when he gets to campus he decides he likes it there. Must have been something about the program he liked when he made his visits else FSU wouldn’t have been on his list. On the other hand, if he gets there and still isn’t happy, how much infouence can he have? He’s a freshman who hasn’t done anything yet. I can see with a bad attitude he’s hurting himself. Wonder if it would really have all that much influence on the team.

      • DawgPhan

        But that has always been the case, right? Coaches have always been loathed to let players transfer…well other than CMR who seems to bend over backwards to help them land on their feet.

        Anyone remember Randy Edsall? Seems like he got skewered pretty hard in the media…will the difference be that FSU is better than Maryland?

      • Cosmic Dawg

        Yeah, you have to enforce making him sit the year. No getting around that. The problem is a) before signing, the recruiting process is bizarre and drama-filled – they need to stop even talking about so-and-so gave a verbal commitment and just relax until everybody signs on the bottom line, and b) the players ought to be able to endorse, or speak for, or sell, or work for, anybody who wants to hire them to do so, just like the rest of us. The school can prohibit/charge for using their logo or jersey or whatever, but the player gets paid for being himself.

  6. mdcgtp

    I do think it is possible that Richt “messing with us” in the sense that what he said was true and highlights my (and many others) frustration that he could do a better job at taking a more “actuarial” approach to estimating “closing rates” on signing day, attrition, and qualification. That said, I can appreciate being disciplined about holding the final two scholarships for someone better in 2014.

    Certainly, he could be sending a very very thinly veiled message to the Thomas suggesting that UGA has a scholarship available for him if he is able to extricate himself from FSU. As for Kiffin, NONE of us have any informed opinion that this is his doing nor his using UGA as a foil to appear to get thomas without having tampered with him and concocted this scenario. I have no idea how it will play out, but based on the kids public comments, I can only conclude that he does NOT want to go to FSU, it seems unlikely to me that simply holding to him to his LOI is going to change that.

    • How do you take a more “actuarial approach” to what Tunsil did at the last minute?

      • Sounds like we needed more of a “banking” approach with respect to Tunsil?

      • Cojones

        And Da Rick and others. I am surprised that Richt had 2 more scholarships to give. Early attrition? Didn’t count the Jrs (2) going to the NFL? Sounds likely because they declared after Signing Day? Nah. That wouldn’t be exactly true.

        • Macallanlover

          I think it is more a case of one for Tunsil, and one that we didn’t have another offer that justified using that last bullet. My keeping that one extra you have a chance to reach that guy who didn’t sign on NSD, or to use for motivation for a walk-on this summer. At the very least it is just sitting idle for a few months until we get to use it for a better candidate in the next class. It isn’t like 33 wasn’t a very big haul, we had tons of talent signed so I can agree it was wise to save that extra sholarship for a better opportunity. This may be that opportunity, but probably will get used next February. I would rather do this than oversign like some others around us, still cannot believe that loophole for bad behavior hasn’t been closed.

      • mdcgtp

        My original point was that I was okay with Richt holding the two scholarships back for 2014. That said, I think our process around estimating attrition would benefit from a seemingly more probabilistic approach.

        by “last minute”, I was a bit imprecise. Ultimately, each case is different. Obviously, I have NO IDEA about what information our coaches are privvy to on a recruit by recruit basis. Sometimes we perceive that we “lose” a guy that we never really had. Kamara was reported to be leaning to Bama from late December onward, but Our coaching staff CLEARLY wanted two backs, as evidenced by Brendon Douglas. That is actually a case where the coaching staff acted, but it prompts the question as to whether he the “best” fall back we could have taken? Sometimes we lose a guy late that we almost certainly had like Tunsil OR Coradelle Patterson or Dwayne Allen.

        I get that every situation is different but by actuarial, I mean our coaching staff can use a simple “expected value” formula that incorporates the probability of different events occurring that create scholarships. What percent chance could they place on one player transferring/quitting, failing out, doing something to get themselves kicked off the team, or one of the signees not qualifying? Now ask yourself, what percent chance that number is 2, 3, or 4 instead? You apply simple probabilities to each of those outcomes and that is how you do it. My point is they probably have enough data in 12 off seasons to be able to refine those estimates of probability. You are not going to be right 100% of the time, and there might be a situation where we get caught tight with numbers.

        That said, you have calibrate your efforts with “second choices” better. If we liked Andousian as a project to replace Tunsil, shouldn’t we have offered him anyway? Is there really that much skew in the numbers? Ultimately, there is a OL from the dream team that appears unlikely to contribute during his UGA career. If we really like Andousian, shouldn’t we have assigned a high probability to that guys attrition in the 2014 off season such that our numbers would fall back to where we wanted them to be EVEN if TUNSIL never sniffed Ole Miss.

  7. AlphaDawg

    FSU should release him and let him transfer with or without restrictions(their preference). I would want the same thing if he was a UGA recruit. There is obviously something wrong if he hasn’t even been on campus and doesn’t want to be there and/or feels like he was pressured to commit on signing day. The negative press and distraction this could bring to the team/coach isn’t worth the ‘teaching this kid the meaning of commitment’ approach many seem to desire. Cut him loose and begin preparing those on campus for the upcoming year.

  8. 81Dog

    isnt it possible FSU could ultimately decide to let him go? While it seems reasonable for them to test his determination to leave by denying a release, ultimately it seems that forcing a guy to stay no matter what, or sit out two years if he doesnt come, is kind of a nuclear option.

    I could see them saying “no ACC school, no one on our schedule, no other Florida schools, and no Southern Cal (if it’s felt Laner is stirring the pot, or maybe just because, you know, screw the Laner).” If UGA isnt thought to have any hand in encouraging the kid to bail, and isnt really a rival except maybe in the recruiting sense, maybe they’d rather see the kid with us than a lot of possible places.

  9. 69Dawg

    FSU is in a bad position. If the kid gives in and goes there his heart is not going to be into it. If he is serious and does not enroll then FSU looks like they have screwed the kid by blackmailing him. Either way FSU can’t make a kid play for them they can only punish him and that is bad for business.

  10. Dog in Fla

    Jimbo radios best closer to deal with the Mother again. Tells him to get it right this time

    http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/sports_college_fsu/files/2010/09/0904jimbofisher.jpg

  11. FRED

    This kid is not coming here. If he wanted Athens he would have signed in Feb!