In a shocking development, a Georgia Tech fan finds fault with the way Mark Richt runs his program.

This critique of Richt is so fact free it makes Mark Bradley look like the Encyclopedia Britannica.  Consider all of these assertions (from a relatively short piece), made without any supporting data:

  • “But Mark Richt has created an atmosphere in Athens to where there have been a number of players, past and present, that do not respect the discipline methods of their head coach.”
  • “In some of his player’s eyes, he is a pushover.”
  • “And since Richt has been in Athens, he has traditionally been known to be the most relaxed in the SEC on handling discipline to his players (Spurrier and Stephen Garcia aside).”
  • “Suspension of players for a quarter of one game, a half of another, or maybe a suspension during a non-conference opponent such as New Mexico, Georgia Southern, or Wyoming.”  (Yes, I know that’s not a complete sentence.)
  • “Then there are coaches like Gene Chizik, Nick Saban, and Les Miles that have mixed a tough discipline policy with newer ideals than those from a generation or two ago and have had national championship success.”

I could spend a lot of time picking this crap apart bit by bit – his suspension data is a total departure from reality, for example – but I think I’ll just settle for a quote from Janoris Jenkins about another coach well known for mixing discipline policy with newer ideals:

“No doubt, if Coach Meyer were still coaching, I’d still be playing for the Gators,” says Jenkins, a star cornerback and a potential first-round draft pick whom Muschamp booted from UF’s team after being arrested twice for possession of marijuana during the offseason. “Coach Meyer knows what it takes to win.”

Funny, those newer ideals sure sound a lot like the older ones.

Look, I’m not going to sit here and proclaim that Mark Richt does a perfect job with discipline.  No coach does.  Nor do I  have any particularly direct insight into how Georgia players feel about their head coach’s approach to handling behavior problems.  Neither does Taylor King, though.

But here’s what I do know:  Isaiah Crowell’s path to being the number one running back was cleared in part by one predecessor being dismissed from the team by Mark Richt and another being dismissed for academic problems.  Both strike me as sending pretty clear messages about accountability.  If those did not sink into Crowell’s conscious thinking, what exactly does Taylor King suggest would do the trick?  Public stoning?

(As a side note, if Richt’s “lack of discipline is the major reason that Mark Richt has failed to bring home a national championship to Bulldog nation”, how can one explain Richt winning ten out of the eleven games he’s coached in the Tech series?  Is Paul Johnson that bad a head coach?)


Filed under Georgia Football, It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant

73 responses to “In a shocking development, a Georgia Tech fan finds fault with the way Mark Richt runs his program.

  1. Someone should add a link to that column in the Wikipedia entry for “concern trolling.” And another one in the entry for “irony,” if this guy’s holding up Gene Chizik as an example of tough disciplinarianism Richt should strive to emulate.

  2. Stew

    What I think most people are being naive about is that Richt doesn’t sweep this stuff under the rug like a Saban or Miles does. No, Richt is not perfect but I really do believe that he is trying to make his players better men built for others and putting a focus on that. He is a Christian man in a big leadership position and some people do not understand the decisions he makes but I believe it is for the betterment of the individual and the team rather than him getting a bigger badder contract. If I was him I wouldn’t give two thoughts to what the fans thought of how I ran my program (as long as I was winning). If your losing then your at the mercy of the fans and have some sucking up to do. Patience is lost in our society and culture and I think he has so much that people can’t seem to comprehend it. Football is not his life. God and his family is life. I can’t say the same for Saban or Miles. If they are then they need to do a better job of portraying that.

  3. Derek

    I think that too many people equate not being an asshole with being a pushover. Are players afraid of CMR? Probably not. Do they respect him? I think they do. Is it quite clear that missteps have consequences? Absolutely. The idea that harsh punishment results in deterrence is just stupid. People of good character follow the rules because it’s the right thing to do. People who break the rules have character issues of varying degrees and generally they don’t think they will get caught.

    If you want to criticize CMR it would be for tolerating the idea that there is more to life than football. I won’t though because there is.

  4. Rebar

    Beejebus but that fellow is an idiot!

  5. Bard Parker

    “public stoning”
    I see what you did there

  6. The other Doug

    I thought Tech fans were supposed to be the smart ones.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      If they were smart they wouldn’t go to Tech in the first place. When my oldest daughter (a particularly smart young lady) was looking at colleges another girl we knew who was a student there flat out said, “Do NOT go there.”

      • Debby Balcer

        My oldest daughter a ChE from Tech would disagree with you. The younger one with her Masters from UGA was never interested in Tech. Both girls are smart and very pretty.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          Debbie, I don’t want to argue but…several of my closest friends in the world went to Tech. I was almost influenced for athletic reasons to make the same mistake. If I had no doubt I would not be a lawyer today. Tech has high admission standards and even though they refuse to admit it–Tech grades on the curve. To compound the problem a significant percentage of Tech students are foreign, predominately from Asia. So if you are a normal college kid, intelligent and ambitious, but you want to have a social life and experience college (parties, football games, etc.) you are going to be up against people who spend Friday night and all day Saturday in the library. The curve makes it damn near impossible for a kid to make good grades except, interestingly, unless the student majors in something like ChE, AE or the like. I have gone through this relatively recently with a friend whose son went there. Thank goodness the kid transferred before his life was ruined by flunking out (BTW he salutatorian of his HS class and now has graduated from another college and is doing well in the insurance business) but it was a bad experience for him and his family. The real problem is that there is an adversarial relationship between the student body and the Tech Administration (they call it “The Hill”) where it seems that the Administration is always trying to do bad things to the student body. I sued Tech once when they tried to flunk out a kid who wasn’t even on probation. They knew they were in the wrong and backed down, letting the kid back in. He graduated about a year later with a flat 2.0 average but at least he did graduate. It was touch and go. It got to be a badge of honor there a while back for Tech to flunk out jocks. Remember Sammy Drummer, the former Tech basketball star that was found a few years ago working as a janitor at a HS? The coaches in all sports have now set up very detailed tutoring programs to try to keep kids eligible and hopefully help them to actually graduate. Tech still has one of the lowest graduation rates for athletes among D-IA institutions, though. I’ll leave you with this final thought and then shut up about this–for about 20 years not a single member of the Georgia Tech Golf Team actually got a degree from Georgia Tech. Not Larry Mize, not David Duvall. I don’t think Stewart Cink graduated. As I understand it most of the Tech golfers are now graduating but that is because of the coach and the tutor program he instituted, not Tech.

          • Dog in Fla

            “The curve makes it damn near impossible for a kid to make good grades except, interestingly, unless the student majors in something like ChE, AE or the like.”

            Aren’t there easier things to attack at Georgia Tech than the caliber of its engineering programs? I never would have imagined that it would be easy to get good grades in Chemical Engineering or Aeronautical Engineering at Tech. I thought the deal for engineering at Tech was look to your right and look to your left and one or two of you will not be finishing the drill in engineering. Not that there’s anything wrong with survival of the fittest.

            • Debby Balcer

              It is not easy to get good good grades in the engineering program. My daughter the valediction of her her school worked hard for her 4. GPA. She loved her time at Tech. She hard lots of jobs to pick from and works for an interatnational oil company. She is very successful. My UGA grad is also successful in her field. My oldest would have gone to UGA if it had an engineering program but it didn’t. I personally think both schools need to respect the other’s academics they both represent the state of Georgia well. On the football field we at UGA don’t have a worry.

              • Debby Balcer

                Had lots of jobs not hard. It is hard to type on my kindle.

                • Mayor of Dawgtown

                  Good Lord, is this some sort of Tech lovefest? ChE and AE as well as some other small programs at Tech (i.e. not very many students in them) are hard to get into but if you do and you do the work you get good grades. Part of it is the familiarity between the faculty and those students. I underscore the fact that the students have to be damn smart to major in those things in the first place and deserve good grades IMHO. But that’s how you beat the system at Tech. A friend of mine was a ChE major there and that is the very reason he picked that major. I am very happy for Debby that Debby’s daughter has been so successful at Tech and in life. However many other kids who go there have a lot of problems particularly in Industrial Management which is what most kids study at Tech. I remember when Rich Yunkus had the highest grades in the School of Industrial Management, a 3.4 average. If that was the highest GPA you can only imagine what most students grades were like. An awful lot of otherwise smart guys got their lives screwed up by that place. Even if they graduated their low GPAs messed them up for getting into grad school, etc. Also, socially the place is absolutely nerd central. If you love Tech so much go on StingTalk and tell them about it–but not on a UGA football blog. That’s really bad form. I noticed that you didn’t have much to say on any of the other facts I cited above–like lousy graduation rates for athletes (actually for the whole school) or the nasty relationship between the student body and the Administration. Maybe you just didn’t know about those things.

                  • Debby Balcer

                    I don’t need to trash Tech to prove my love for UGA. I know how well my daughter and her spouse and friends have done. I also know how well UGA grad is doing. Both kids are happy and successful. I route loud and proud for the DAWGS every Saturday. I am in the stadium as soon as the gates open and don’t leave until the band plays after the game-win or lose. GO DAWGS!!

                  • Dog in Fla

                    Not Debby but because she was up late last night, I’ll offer the following:

                    “friend of mine was a ChE major there and that is the very reason he picked that major.”

                    And I always thought that someone had be pretty ****ing smart to take upper division chemistry, math and physics course work and really, really fun labs concurrently and call it one major so that’s why ChE was always less populated. Now I know they’re in there for the lower student-teacher ratios.

                    “the highest grades in the School of Industrial Management, a 3.4 average.”

                    But that’s only because they punish those who wash out as Engineering majors. There have to be consequences.

                    “If you love Tech so much go on StingTalk and tell them about it–but not on a UGA football blog. That’s really bad form.”

                    I’ll accept that mission to StingTalk but only if there’s Crown Royal, Moon Pies, a Boba Fett and some Princesses.

                    “lousy graduation rates for athletes (actually for the whole school)”

                    Tech needs to have its Stat Department figure out how to deal with those numbers because “[i]t’s just all made up and flagellant,” anyway.

              • Russ

                As a registered professional engineer with a BS and MS in Engineering from UGA, I’d say your oldest daughter missed an opportunity to attend UGA. BTW, my engineering degrees have been good enough for 20+ years in the space program, and I got to matriculate with Herschel Walker and Dominique Wilkens. Good times were had by all!

          • Robert Smith

            Mayor, you are showing huge ignorance. The Georgia Tech golf team has historically been loaded with fine student-athletes who have excelled in both golf and in education. You have ZERO basis for this claim and in fact, Georgia Tech just this year one Tech golfer won the Byron Nelson award for being college golf’s finest student athlete, all nine players held GPA’s above 3.0 and they young men who won the ACC Championship (for the 4th straight year) spring grades consisted of two 4.0s, a 3.75 a 3.5 and a 3.0. Your comments prove your ignorance. Enough said.

    • Just Chuck

      The next time someone tells you tech people are brighter and better educated, just pull out this article. Only a tech person would believe this isn’t nonsense.

  7. Puffdawg

    Could somebody please explain to me what makes that article any different than something I’d see on Stingtalk? There is ZERO substantiation. What garbage. I love this gem: “He probably did not know Crowell had a gun.” Seriously?

  8. hassan

    CMR only looks like he’s got more disciplinary problems because he actually punishes on the first offense. (At least with drug policies) Most other schools offer no punishment and therefore do not report first offense failed drug tests.

  9. AthensHomerDawg

    Who wants to bet that this clown doesn’t have a purple “Royal Crown Whiskey” bag hanging from his rear view mirror?
    just sayin’

  10. peligroperro

    That there is all made up and flatulent.

  11. BCDawg97

    Sadly, some regulars at our tailgate make those same arguments…

  12. Corbindawg

    I did a piece on my blog today (hope this doesn’t count as one of your demerits for commenting etiquette), but look at Courtney Upshaw at Alabama. Back in 2009, Upshaw was arrested for a domestic disturbance where he allegedly grabed his girl friend by the back of the neck during an argument. Grabbed her by the scruff like I grab my cat.

    Upshaw’s punishment? No suspension of practice time or games. Sanders Commings does a similar infraction-and Richt suspends him for two games. Now, tell me, who is harder on discipline in a situation like this: Saban or Richt?

    Not to take away from Saban…but you can’t say that these things wouldn’t go on at Alabama. Well, you could, but you’d also be ignorant.

  13. durrtydogg

    See you in November!

  14. bubba king

    WOW…I don’t remember playing Wyoming…what a total dumbass

  15. timphd

    Wow, I stupidly went back and read the article. I will never get the movie reference right because I am old and forgetful but I think it was an Adam Sandler movie. After a long dialogue that made no sense, a man to paraphrase, said “nothing you said made sense, that was really stupid and everyone is this room is dumber for having heard it”. That is how I felt after reading it.

    • Heathbar09

      If you don’t mind, I’ll correct you.

      “What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

    • Silver Creek Dawg

      I feel that exact way every time I catch PAWWWWWWWWWWWLLL Finedouche on the radio in AL…

  16. Dawgy45

    So this is what a Jackette resorts to when National Geographic doesn’t have any nudie pictures.

  17. Go Dawgs!

    The major reason Mark Richt hasn’t brought a national championship home to Georgia is that he plays in the same division as the University of Florida, which he has been able to beat on even a somewhat regular basis. As we all know, Florida is MORE lax on discipline issues than Georgia, not the other way around. Therefore, in the championship argument, one would have to contend that Richt should be LESS of a disciplinarian.

    Of course, that’s foolish. Richt does a good job of player discipline. If championships were all that drove him, Crowell would be on our football team today, as would many other outstanding players that Richt showed the door over the years. Would you feel better about relying on our current stable of running backs protecting Aaron Murray in pass blocking if we still had LSU’s starting quarterback as his backup?

  18. Uglydawg

    Do you think the University of Alabama police hunt down football players and pull them over and search their cars on a whimsical suspicion?
    Not if they want to still be a UAcop tommorow.
    Do you think the LSU police, or the USC police, or the FU police do this? What’s the deal in Athens? My guess is that at ….say….Alabama……if a player is “out of line”, the police handle it quietly and turn him over to his coach. He does twenty extra wind sprints and you never hear about it……….Not so at UGA…Why? I believe CMR refuses to operate in such a shameless fashion. Give the man this…he’s no hypocrite.

    • Biggus Rickus

      I think it probably has something to do with Athens having a different culture than most southern college towns. Though Austin has a similar culture and their police don’t seem to go out of their way to harrass students. So maybe it’s just that Athens cops are kind of assholes.

      • Biggus Dickus

        Since you brought it up and since some Techhies are being such sanctimonious assholes about this, a Georgia Tech LB (I don’t want to say his name as I do not want to contribute to smearing kids when they screw up) was arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct and fighting on June 9 in….(you guessed it)…Athens. I don’t think he had been kicked off the team by Paul “the Dick”…er…Johnson though.

      • Ginny

        I’ve often said that living in Athens can at least be partly attributed to all the player arrests. There’s a reason it’s consistently voted “Best College Town”. Just a lot of temptation (most bars per square mile than any other city in the nation??) that I don’t think many other college towns don’t have. When I lived there, I absolutely did some stupid stuff that I probably would not normally do in a different setting. It’s like Vegas; the town just breeds sin haha.

      • DawgPhan

        I dont think that it is Athens or the cops that have a different culture, it is that the Administration and president of UGA meets with the police to start every school year to remind them that arresting frat boys and football players sends a message to the rest of the student body. Adams wants athens run exactly the way it is being run. Maybe next year the worm turns, but things are happening according to plan right now.

        • Normaltown Mike

          Adams might say that to Jimmy Williamson of the UGA police

          But I very much doubt he says that to ACC Chief Jack Lumpkin. And even if he did, it’s unlikely it would resonate. The people that run the ACC Government (and the UGA faculty in large part) view students as an irritant that must be tolerated.

          They don’t look at the students as, you know, the reason that Athens is Athens and not Toccoa, Elberton or some other small market town in Northeast Georgia.

    • I agree with you regarding the police at other collleges Maybe we should stop worrying about a special teams coach, and consider having a coach whose primary responsibility is to bus kids around Athens in the wee hours of the morning (back in the day I guess we would call that needing a babysitter). Serously, I don’t like Mark Bradley any more than the next UGA guy, but I am starting to feel like he wrote concerning off-the-field issues: ‘not only Georgia, but always Georgia’. Where, when , and how does all of this crap ever stop?

    • Silver Creek Dawg

      I can vouch firsthand the Gainesvega$ cops are at least as bad at the Athens cops. I was visiting my brother (a UF grad student at the time) and we were outside the Purple Porpoise. A fight broke out on the sidewalk and the cops broke it up. My brother stepped off the curb to avoid the crowd gathered around the fight and was promptly handed a citation for jaywalking.

  19. James Stephenson

    IMHO Oliver wants Richt gone because Richt beats Auburn on a consistent basis. And sometimes just beats the tar out of em. As far as the techie fan, the same can be said.

  20. Timphd

    On a related note, James Wilder Jr gets out of jail after a week and Jimbo Fisher “isn’t required to issue a suspension” (see David Hale’s report on the WWL). What would Richt do with him?

  21. GT Fan

    Over the past couple years Coach Richt definitely has taken steps to address accountability issues at UGA. Crowell apparently didn’t understand the message, but I don’t think it was due to a lack effort on coaching staff.

    Had this been Crowell’s first incident, I suspect he would still be on the team, but he was a repeat offender and I think Richt’s hand was forced. If he lets Crowell off easy, what hope does he have of maintaining discipline with Crowell in the future and, more importantly, what kind of message would that have sent to the other players on the team (the freshmen in Crowell’s car particularly)? If Richt harshly punishes Crowell by, say, suspending him for the season, then Crowell potentially instantly becomes the most disgruntled and unhappy player on the team by far and could wind up dragging down team morale. That is not to say that would have happened, but Richt had to consider the possibility. Dismissing Crowell from team lets Richt punish Crowell, show that Richt is serious about discipline and accountability, and avoids any potential issues with an unhappy Crowell.

    Maybe you could argue that Richt should have taken a harder line with Crowell last season, but hindsight’s 20/20. Richt made the decisions he thought were the best and consequences are what they are. Rather than babysit Crowell every waking minute, which would have been one way to make sure Crowell stayed out of trouble, Richt tossed him into the lake and said ‘sink or swim’. Unfortunately, Crowell sank. Maybe telling Crowell to sink or swing wasn’t the best approach, but that’s irrelevant after a fashion. Richt has to pick a discipline philosophy and run with it. Losing an occasional player who doesn’t comprehend the philosophy is just the cost of doing business, so to speak. Better to have it happen now while there’s time to plan around it.

    While no coach likes to have to make a discipline decision that scrambles the depth chart, I think Richt made the right decision regarding Crowell.

  22. The only way the Nerds can bee hay is if Richt suspends all 85 athletes including himself. They are all losers. LOL

  23. mike

    I’m done with the thug element. That’s what Tennessee and Auburn are for. Shit man, all he had to do is go to class, play ball and get drafted in 2 more years. Heck, the car might as well said “4 thugs w/ guns. Please pull us over!!” Fucking retard. Mama is pissed and he better hope for at least 2 years in the pen or she might kill him.

  24. charlottedawg

    I think the most damning example of Richt’s lax discipline standards is how he lets his players physically assault Tech football players for sixty minutes every year. It should be criminal to physically, mentally, emotionally abuse such a weak frail program and fan base psyche year after year.

  25. dawgfan17

    Another way to look at it is that Richt being TOO much of a disciplinarian is why he has yet to win a national title. Georgia players are suspended/kicked off team for things that other coaches would “handle internally”.