Category Archives: Life After Football

Capturing the Zeitgeist

If you haven’t read Seth Emerson’s piece on Mark Richt’s Paul Oliver Network, take a minute to do so now.  It’s a terrific take on how Georgia’s head coach is wired and how he’s lucky enough to be in a position to do something about a matter that concerns him.

But that’s not why you should read it.  This is:

Richt sat in a private room at his office this summer. His voice lowered.

“Paul, somewhere along the way, lost hope,” he said.

Oliver never called Richt looking for help. Richt doesn’t want to presume that the inability to find work was the reason for his depression. But Richt sensed that any man with a wife and kids would feel pressure to provide.

“It’s one of the things that I believe God has ordained us to do, is to provide and protect for our families,” Richt said. “When you’re not able to do that, your ego takes a beating, or however you want to say it.”

The coach took a deep breath.

“I don’t want any one of our guys to feel like, ‘I don’t know where to go, I don’t know where to turn,’ ” he said.

There will be cynics who argue that this will help Richt with recruiting, that it can help his good-guy image and encourage players to go to Georgia.

Richt himself brought up that side of it.

“I can promise you it doesn’t have anything to do with recruiting,” he said. “I’m sure it could help recruiting. But I can assure you I’m doing this because I really care about these guys.”

After fourteen years in Athens, it’s amazing that he still thinks there’s a need to reassure some part of the fan base about his motives.  And that’s not meant as a reflection on him.  But it’s obvious that he does.

This season will be Richt’s 14th as Georgia’s head coach. He’s only 54, and yet there is always speculation that he could walk away to pursue non-football measures.

But the Paul Oliver Network is just that, and Richt feels he can do more good by staying as the head coach at Georgia. It empowers him, because this is a major way he can make a difference on the job.

“It fires me up,” Richt said. “I’ve always had a greater purpose in coaching than trying to get a raise or trying to win a championship or coach a Heisman Trophy winner. I mean I’ve been blessed to win championships, coach Heisman winners, All-Americans, national championships, ACC championships. I know we didn’t do that at Georgia as a national champion. But you know, I experienced all that. And if that’s all there is at the end it’s empty, unless you help these guys.

“And that’s what people misunderstand sometimes. I’m highly motivated to win the national championship. But just because I care about them beyond football they think, ‘Oh he’s more worried about that than he is winning.’ No that’s not true at all. Not true at all. I want to win, and we’re gonna do the best we can to try to win. But I feel like we truly are educators, and we truly have a responsibility to help these guys.”

And, sadly, he’s right about that.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Life After Football

Hello, I must be going.

Four months after signing day, Hunter Atkinson walks away from college football… hell, walks away from college[Update:  He says he's staying in school.]  More power to him, of course.

But as MaconDawg points out, health at the tight end position just became a very dicey affair this season for Georgia.


Filed under Georgia Football, Life After Football

Chalk it up to preparing for the real world.

Tyrone Prothro is one of the O’Bannon plaintiffs.  You may recall that he suffered a gruesome injury that ended his college career at Alabama.

But one thing from college lived on.



Filed under Life After Football, The NCAA

“They all think they’re going to make it in the NFL.”

Now this is something I can wholeheartedly get behind:

UGA executive associate athletic director Carla Williams, who counts student-athlete services and life skills among her many responsibilities, told the Athletic Association’s board of directors Thursday about a symposium that has been organized for the Bulldogs’ football players this summer. Attendance for the “2014 Career Management Symposium” is mandatory for all 125 players, and the once-a-week sessions will be conducted over a five-week period beginning on June 18.

The seminars will be conducted by former Georgia and NFL players and the subject matter is designed to be especially useful for players that may eventually become sports professional.

“It will have heavy emphasis on financial literacy and is similar to the NFL’s rookie symposium,” Williams told the board at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge on Lake Oconee.

Even more impressive, Mark Richt is putting his money where his mouth is, so to speak, by making attendance mandatory.

Since attendance is mandatory, the symposium will count against the new eight hours per week allowance the NCAA has approved for summer training for football.

Well done, folks.  And I expect this is being explained in detail to every mama on the recruiting trail.


UPDATE:  In what may be the biggest “never mind” in the history of this blog, I’m being told by someone who checked with the school that, contrary to what Chip Towers reported, the seminars don’t count against the eight-hour allowance.  Damn it, Richt, don’t you want to take away practice time?


Filed under Georgia Football, Life After Football

“I’m just the overweight P.E. teacher,”

Scott Woerner is an inductee into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.  The AJ-C‘s Steve Hummer caught up with one of the mainstays of the 1980 national championship team and got a great story out of what he’s doing now. Definitely worth a read.


Filed under Life After Football

Forget Michael Sam. What about Myron Rolle?

What does it say that college football, warts and all, is more comfortable with a person of great character than the NFL is?


Filed under College Football, Life After Football

Most of them will go pro in something other than sports.

Hella classy move, Todd Monken and staff.  And I bet your kids never forget it.


Filed under Life After Football