Giving the people what they want

In this case, a crackdown.

Georgia coach Mark Richt said the two-game suspension he issued starting tailback Caleb King for Monday’s traffic-related arrest represented stricter guidelines in punishing off-the-field incidents for Bulldogs players.

… Richt has stopped short of saying there is a “zero tolerance” policy now in place. But considering Baker’s dismissal, players are now saying they’ve noticed a change in Richt’s handling of these matters as the arrests have compiled.

“Everybody knows at this point in time, if you get in trouble, you’re going to get a pretty good lashing,” said wide receiver Tavarres King, who was suspended for the first game of the 2010 season for an alcohol-related arrest this summer.

“There’s been a change in Coach Richt, not necessarily in a bad way,” defensive end Abry Jones said. “But you can tell how much he cares about us. He sees he has a certain responsibility for us. And this change getting stricter, taking away a little bit some stuff we could usually do, I wouldn’t say that’s a bad thing, because we know we didn’t do the right thing in the first place. He stepped up and did his duty as a coach to control the team and keep everybody on a correct path.”

Jones said Richt is now taking the step of revoking privileges for players to be able to go out to the downtown district in Athens.

“He’s taken those away,” Jones said. “That’s pretty much it so far. But he’s been more strict about how we act and things like that.”

Five’ll get you ten that three years from now I’ll have commenters complaining that the stricter rules are impeding recruiting.

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19 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football

19 responses to “Giving the people what they want

  1. Normaltown Mike

    He needs to show some leadership and lead the team team through the double doors at the Municipal Court Government Annex Building, Room 210!

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  2. Russ

    Glad to hear it from the players. Sounds like the message is getting across.

    Oh, and Senator, you’re 100% correct, but that’s a given regardless of the situation. Just like you’ll hear people complaining that a lack of discipline is causing problems with the team. Unless we’re constantly 13-0 with zero off the field problems, you’re always going to hear diametrically opposed complaints from the fans.

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  3. Scott

    3????

    days maybe………

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  4. Go Dawgs!

    Your recruiting point is a great one, Senator. I know that downtown Athens and Georgia football were the two factors that tipped the scale towards me going to UGA and not another school that had my degree programs.

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  5. Dawgfan17

    I was one who on another blog (dawg-extra.blogspot.com) put that King should be kicked off the team. I was over-reacting given the severity of what had happened but it was more a comment on how I feel that obviously the players weren’t getting the point even though Richt has actually been one of the stricter coaches in the SEC (if not the country) when it comes to suspensions. If a player doesn’t come to UGA because of Richt being strict on guys who get in trouble with the law then they are probably someone who will run a higher risk of getting in trouble anyways. Maybe weeding out a few guys before they get on campus will solve part of the problem. Let them go to UT and beat up cops if that is how they feel. Maybe with less guys like that, even if they are the more talented players, the guys who are left can focus better in spring ball/summer practice so that come the season they are a TEAM with chemistry and won’t take as long to start playing the way they should be all along.

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    • Hey, that worked for Miami in the eighties. 😉

      Seriously, going downtown isn’t the same as getting in trouble with the law, is it?

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      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Senatorio….I hope that you don’t really believe Mark Richt is responding to the blogosphere by cracking down (or to what people want), because if you do believe this I fear we are doomed.

        Maybe I am naive, but I would hope a coach makes this kind of decision based totally on his own perceptions, not those of the people…well maybe with a little input from Mr. McGarity.

        Just like I hope the defensive changes had nothing to do with the primal whine from some of the fan base (We Got Willie.) and were based on the coach’s desire to have a better football team.

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  6. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Athens-Clarke County PD nabs another dangerous criminal and tries to f#ck-up UGA’s season even more in the process. Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill. DUI, theft, etc. are reasons for arrest. Forgetting to pay a traffic ticket is not legitimate grounds to be taken into custody. This stuff needs to be brought up in future elections and the incumbent mayor and council need to be defeated. Just the threat should be enough to get the Police Chief fired, which is what really needs to happen. Maybe the Gestapo tactics will end then, not just for football players, but for the student body, too.

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    • Not only do I agree but I said what I thought on another of the Senator’s Blogs today. It is time for the University to step in & step up & see if something can be done about the police in Athens. The University should be handling a lot of the misdemeanor (minor offenses) that the police are overreacting to now.

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      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Sorry guys, but my tale is thusly told:

        I got a speeding ticket whilst in school, did not pay the fine, got another ticket for running a stop sign with a car full of girls, and got taken to jail because there was a bench warrant for the first offense.

        And this was not during the football season, nor was I a starting tailback.

        One of the girls had to drive the car back to the dorm, the cops had to turn the crank handle for her.

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    • AmpedDawg

      While I agree that the law enforcement tends to be a little heavy handed in Athens, I also disagree with the premise of your post for the following reasons:

      1. A traffic ticket of ANY kind is a summons to appear in court. Your failure to appear in court, in any jurisdiction in the Great State of Georgia, means that a bench warrant for your arrest will be issued. By paying the fine prior to the court date, you are entering a plea of guilty to the offense.

      2. Some tickets require that you be taken into custody on the spot (DUI for example) and that prior to release you post a bond to ensure your appearance in court for a plea. Others do not (speeding for example) and you are released though you are required to either pay the ticket before the court date or appear in court to enter a plea.

      3. If the Athens court system, or for that matter any court system, didn’t pursue warrants for those that allegedly broke the law and received a ticket but didn’t show up to court, how long would it take for the entire system to break down? You would have to take everyone committing a traffic violation into custody and post bond. Otherwise people wouldn’t pay any fines and just throw tickets in the garbage. The fact that you get released after receiving a ticket for speeding is a convenience to you for a relatively minor offense.

      4. It isn’t the Athens police’s fault or the fault of the Mayor or Council. The state legislature promulgates the laws and the local authorities are there to enforce them (other than local ordinance violations like public drunkenness). About how much do you think that the AJ-C press would jump all over a story about selective enforcement of the laws between athletes and non-athletes?

      Simply put, if the players stop effing up this is no longer an issue. But don’t blame the police for enforcing laws the exist all over Georgia. Just because it’s Athens doesn’t excuse unlawful behavior.

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  7. W Cobb Dawg

    The whole damn thing in Athens is truly bizarre. Are cops out to get these kids? Are these players a total bunch of f-ups or do they have bulls-eyes on their backs? Coaching is equally bizarre at times, except they don’t get arrested for temporary ineptitude. Doesn’t seem to matter whether the team is on-field or off-field, in-season or off-season. It all leads to one question – who are these people and what have they done with the real Bulldogs?

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  8. CraDawg

    Man, I wouldn’t been arrested every week back in the early 90’s. Honestly, the cops are pretty much complete pricks. Wife and I were downtown on a Friday night before the first game. We’re walking around downtown and an older couple is next to us. The lady has a cup in her hand. Looked like a cocktail, but who knows. Barney Fife comes out of no where and says, “which one of y’all wants the ticket?” rather than tell her to throw it out the cop escalated the situation by being a complete dick. I’m sure some of these ticky tack issues could have been handled differently.

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  9. The Realist

    I’m just glad that you plan on sticking around here for 3 more years with all the grumbling that’s been going on.

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  10. 69Dawg

    Let’s face it Athens makes a ton of it’s money with these chicken shat tickets. Football players or not just follow the money. The cops could act like normal human beings and warn people the first time but there is no money in that and no attaboys for the cop writing the most tickets. Georgia stopped speed traps by requiring municipalities to account for their fines and if the traffic enforcement accounted for X amount of their total revenue the city was determine to be a speed trap (See the former City of Mountainview). How about a look at the amount of money the ACCPD makes from writing stupid tickets.

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    • Paul

      Not trying to be snarky, but I’m curious what percentage off Arcade’s revenues come from traffic violations? Also, what’s the punishment for being a “speed trap”?

      //Honestly has no idea

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      • The Realist

        Now that Arcade has paid for its fancy new city hall, they have increased the speed limit on 129 and there are virtually no cops around anymore.

        (Speed at your own risk, howevah.)

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