Pick your poison.

For those of you bitching about Richt electing to leave some of the upcoming bowl practices on the table, it turns out there’s something of a tough choice facing him of which you probably weren’t aware.

As a result of a recent rule change for FBS programs, many staffs could face a choice in the coming days between time spent recruiting future players or coaching current ones.

Mark Richt(Photo by Philip Williams/UGA Sports Communications)

Georgia has chosen recruiting.

The Bulldogs will not use their full allotment of 15 allowable bowl practices this year, according to UGA coach Mark Richt, and one of the reasons is the NCAA’s move to recently extend the postseason recruiting dead period to a full month.

The upcoming dead period (during which no in-person contact with recruits is allowed) will coincide with winter holidays, bowl season and the AFCA coaches convention, lasting from Dec. 16, 2013 through Jan 15, 2014. (View the NCAA’s full FBS recruiting calendar here)

So after the regular season concluded Saturday, Richt wasted little time, meeting Monday with assistants and “Making sure that we’re going to get everybody in the right spots that they need to be in between now and the dead period.”

UGA coaches have been on the road recruiting this week and it should largely stay that way next week as well, even though the Bulldogs will have learned their bowl opponent by Sunday at the latest.

Basically, new recruiting restrictions in January means Georgia’s staff will spend the coming week making up that time. So formal bowl preparation in Athens will be on hold while that happens.

So, a couple of questions for those of you who previously objected to Richt not utilizing the full number of bowl practices:  (1) which of bowl practice or recruiting would you prioritize and why and (2) if you picked recruiting, why does that have a higher priority for you than the players’ preparation for finals?


Filed under Academics? Academics., Georgia Football, Recruiting

58 responses to “Pick your poison.

  1. Rebar

    I think the Coach knows more about the program than I do. If he feels more time needs to be spent on recruiting new athletes than practicing with who we have, I’m fine with that. I also think it speaks to Coach Richt’s knowledge of the new rules and working within the.

  2. UFTimmy

    Yeah! I see the silver living! No tough choices for UF.

    • Some programs have all the luck.😉

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        THIS is exactly the first thought that struck me–the damn NCAA, by another rule not well thought out–is actually rewarding teams that do not make it to a bowl by giving them a competitive advantage in recruiting time. Bizarre is the best word to describe this. When will the big schools all get together and leave the NCAA? PLEASE!!!!

        • Dolly Llama

          I guess you could look at that the same way they look at “parity” in the NFL, kind of like letting the teams that sucked the most ass pick first in the “draft.”

  3. The other Doug

    I wonder how Saban will get around this?

  4. Skeptic Dawg

    Well, there you have it. Thanks for this info! I am actually torn between coaching up the kids already in and landing new kids. However, given the lack of depth seen throughout this program in recent years, I am leaning towards recruiting. This team has definite needs (LT and RT, C, DB, S). That being said, if you do not have the time, or ability, to coach up what you have does it matter who you bring in? All that to say, go get a few someone’s to play tackle! GATA.

    • I thought the Senator was rather generous and showed some finesse with his post. I also thought it was cool that you showed up and posted an acknowledgement of sorts. And then you dropped this: “That being said, if you do not have the time, or ability, to coach up what you have does it matter who you bring in?” Gee Skeptic. Did no one hold you or read to you when you were a kid?

      • Dog in Fla

        Not Skeptic because I’ve always depended upon the kindness of strange people but I bet he would say:

        Maybe Yes, Maybe No


      • Skeptic Dawg

        I too appreciate the fine Senator’s post. He was extremely kind in not calling me out. I do feel as if the talent on hand needs to be coached up, yet the Dawgs need as much depth as possible and there are certain holes to fill. I actually heard a quote today from former UNC coach Dick Crum that sums up the Georgia program perfectly, “You can’t be Harvard and Yale Monday thru Friday and then hope to be Nebraska or Oklahoma on Saturday.”

        • gastr1

          Stanford, Michigan, UCLA, and Notre Dame have historically done a pretty good job of trying, though.

          • shane#1

            “You can’t be Ga Tech Monday thru Friday and be Stanford or Michigan on Saturday.” There, I fixed that for you.

        • Always Someone Else's Fault

          Having directly witnessed the final year and aftermath of Crum’s program at UNC, I can honestly say he achieved neither Harvard nor Nebraska. He did manage to create a reasonable facsimile of Switzer’s Oklahoma – off the field.

  5. jack skelton

    Sick ’em, Senator!

  6. jadams

    Recruiting, no doubt. Give our guys time to heal right now and they can get together and workout on their own, anyway.

    • Dawgfan Will

      Indeed. If Mason has been watching Murray’s example, he’ll have his boys out there running routes and getting even more comfortable with them.

      • I think you’ve hit on something . Let Murray organize practice while the Coaches are recruiting. Hell he’s done everything else and I’ve checked his schedule he’s ain’t busy..

  7. Governor Milledge

    Is there a prohibition on the Grad Assistants running practice? Could they not do two-a-days with an AM no-pads session and a PM full pads practice session?

    While the status quo of practice may not jive with the recruting schedule, I have a hunch that there are creative ways to get the full recruiting pitch in while also maximizing current players’ organized practice time.

    • Dawgwalker07

      Aren’t there only 4 GA’s? That would make it pretty hard to manage a practice with 85+ players. I’m not sure that’s more beneficial than letting people rest/study/workout.

    • Yeah! You end up half-assing both.

    • IveyLeaguer

      I trust Richt’s decision on this and have no problem with it. I also thought about the GA’s, and it seems they could do some light fundamental work and conditioning, etc.. But maybe not .. I don’t know enough about it to say …

  8. Russ

    My first thought is with Florida not having bowl practice at all, they are spending all that time with recruiting. Therefore I think the additional time Richt spends on recruiting vs bowl prep is warranted to blunt any “advantage” Florida might gain otherwise.

    • Russ

      Just saw Timmy’s response above. And while painful, the extra focus on recruiting is a tangible silver lining for them.

      • Joe Schmoe

        They will need to extra time to explain to recruits why they should come play for a coach that has a high likelihood of not being employed after next season.

        • I think the larger issue for Muschamp’s December recruiting is that he isn’t planning to hire an OC until after the bowl season. How do you convince skill players to commit when you can’t assure them what type of offensive scheme they will be playing?

          • Dawgfan Will

            Why would he wait if he’s not going to a bowl game? Does this make sense in some way that I can’t see?

            • adam

              Most of the good OCs are busy with bowl prep and they often won’t interview (or at least won’t announce that they’re leaving) until after.

              • Mayor of Dawgtown

                Right. All the guys he’d want are in the middle of bowl prep and if they were asked to interview they’d be told by their superiors they cannot right now.

  9. Merk

    Well, I would venture to say that Grad Assistants could go out and record practices, as the rule is just something that causes the coaches needing to be in 2 places at one time and not a limitation on either recruiting or practices. Thus, the players get practice in for the bowl team and the coaches can watch the tape prior to the practices they go to allowing them to get some of the effect of the practices back.

  10. Oh Lawd! This won’t go over well with the Richt isn’t committed to success folks.

  11. Class A

    I am OK with them focusing on recruiting right now. BTW, Richt was at Sprayberry HS in Marietta yesterday personally recruiting their kicker.

  12. uglydawg

    Auburn is going to have to recruit a quarterback…the guy as FSU just got good news from the DA…no prosecution (not a strong enough case). Too bad, Whardamheagles…..he’ll get to stay at FSU.

    • Merk

      They only pick up ex-SEC QBs, and those guys have to have stolen something. Then the coach just whispers to them before every play, “Run like you stole it.”

  13. TennesseeDawg

    This group is known to be better recruiters than coaches anyway so lets go recruiting.

  14. There are 9 months before our next meaningful game. There are 2 months before national signing day.

    You focus on recruiting.

    The players on the team will get marginally better between the end of the season and the bowl game. But, a kid we DON’T sign in February will not have a chance to improve our team at all. The bowl game is a reward, nothing more. Yes, we want to see the Dawgs win every single game they play. BUT, if the coaches focusing on recruiting in December costs us a bowl win, but results in signing some 5-star guys (or at the very least IMPACT players at OL and DB), then it’s well worth it.

    I think Richt is right-on with this one, no doubt about it.

  15. Noonan

    Coach Right was at Westover in Albany today.

  16. W Cobb Dawg

    Still don’t get why its an either/or situation. You’re telling me a school that’s had thousands of players and hundreds of future coaches come through can’t scratch up a few warm bodies to oversee 5 practices? This is a joke, right? Because bringing back CTG and then topping that off by dropping 5 practices cause we can’t find a suitable babysitter is a headscratcher.

  17. hassan

    Recruiting…definitely. It’s not like we are not going to have practice at all. They will still have more practices to prepare for the bowl game than they do between games during the regular season. We don’t even know who we are playing yet.

    I think that if the kids get a week off and then a week to prepare, they’ll be fine.

  18. AusDawg85

    Mark Richt has lost control of reasons to criticize him.

  19. Ubiquitous GA Alum

    Looking back at the Outback Bowl (2012) they didn’t practice for the first time until 12/15 & the dead period start 12/16 …


    I don’t recall us ever using all 15 allotted practice sessions in the past … seems like he’s always cut it short & left 2-3 on the table.

    • THAT EXPLAINS EVERYTHING!!!1!!1!!!! FIRE MARK RICHT!!!1!!!1!!!1!

      • Ubiquitous GA Alum

        Well we did lose that game due to a special team failure (Walsh missed FG in OT) – though the narrative then was that he had been over-coached and thus his mechanics were all fouled up …

        So the takeaway was that we practiced too much? My head hurts … I’m going to the Dawgvent for l;ess thoughtful discussions