“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

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

  1. Mayor

    Only in the fantasy world of the NCAA would requiring players to attend a life skills/financial skills symposium count against the summer training limit. Maybe they should take some footballs and free weights in with them.🙂

  2. I bet Nick doesn’t have time for this … Another reason why I have real respect for Coach Richt and his mentality that he considers developing his players into men, fathers, and responsible adults as part of his responsibility as head football coach.

    • ASEF

      Alabama’s been doing this since Nick got there I believe. Def last few years. Big part of their “Process”

      • My question is whether Nick, Gus, Boom, Darth Visor, etc. would make something like this mandatory and count against the new 8-hour requirement. Something tells me that’s not likely.

        • I believe CMR is called to coaching.

        • ASEF

          Every part of Nick’s process is mandatory. Now, I am betting it all adds up to more than 8 hours a week during the summer. As does Georgia’s combination of mandatory and “voluntary” activities.

          This idea that Mark is a saint and Nick is evil plays well in a Greek tragedy, but some of the ways we try to apply it in situations like this seem to be a real stretch.

      • stoopnagle

        Did Ha Ha attend?

  3. reipar

    And only in the UGA fantasy world would we think an appreciable number of recruits would be swayed to signing with us because of this. If stuff like this mattered to the vast majority of high profile high school players Bama would not have the number one recruiting class every year.

    Losing player development time is not something Nick Saban has time for.

    • I don’t give two shits if it sways recruits.

      It’s the right thing to do. I know plenty of stories of players signing pro contracts and waking up a few years later penniless. If this helps even one Georgia player avoid that, it’s worth it.

      And that’s why they should go out of their way to explain about it to parents.

      • The players do enough in their own summer workouts. I’m glad it counts against the cap so there isn’t pressure to have additional mandatory stuff to do on top of this. And this is exactly the type of thing young people need no matter what socio-economic background they come from. Kudos to Richt & Co. for making this a thing.

      • reipar

        And therein lies the problem. Fans that don’t care. No wonder you keep talking about giving up your tickets.

        • You’ve managed to miss my point completely.

          By the way, do you really think I manage this blog on my lonesome without caring about Georgia football?

          • Reipar

            Care or love to complain? Fine line. Maybe a better way for me to say it is we have too many fans who care at a level below much of our SEC brethren. They do not give two shits if what we do improves the program.

            • LOL. I’m not the one doing the complaining here, man.

              And I would argue that this is something that does improve the program.

              • reipar

                Yes. Taking away practice time for something that in no way enhances on the field performance has to make us better. Especially when you admit you do not give two shits if it has any effect on recruiting.

                I was not complaining about the cream puffs, the 8 game schedule, the loud music, the trouble getting out of Athens v Augusta, or the damn kids on the lawn again. I was saying it is a fantasy world to think this will positively effect recruiting. However, in response to your not giving two shits I am certainly complaining about the portion of the fan base that feels like you.

                • If this encourages one kid to avoid behaving like a knucklehead and being suspended for a game, how do you think that would affect on the field performance?

                  And if you think offseason practice is a zero sum game in which those hours aren’t going to be made up in some other way, hokay, fine.

                  • reipar

                    Financial literacy will reduce drug and failure to appear suspensions? My God I had no idea. I now agree whole heartedly with your point. I honestly had not made the connection between not squandering your money and not being a typical knuckleheaded college kid. If it eliminates scooter related offenses too we may never make the national news again for being thug u.

                    On a serious note are you suggesting in your second paragraph that CMR is going to turn around and violate the 8 hour rule? There is no substitute for a coach being able to be with a player so if we reduce those hours the only way to get them back is to commit a NCAA infraction by meeting with the players in excess of 8 hours. I really do not see that happening, but maybe you know something I don’t about how we skirt the rules.

                    • NFL wide receiver Mohamed wraps up the symposium on July 24 with a class on “Value Based Decision Making.” The symposium kicks off with an initial class called “Business Etiquette: Clothing and Dining.”

                      It’s not all about financial literacy.

                    • reipar

                      “Matt Stinchcomb, David Greene and Jeremy Lomax will teach a class called “Banking, Credit and Self Awareness.” D.J. Shockley and Tra Battle will conduct a session on “Budgeting, Saving and Investing.” Jon Stinchcomb and his wife Ali will team up with Robert Edwards and his wife Tracy will lead a seminar called “Sudden Wealth Syndrome and Career Management Principles.” NFL wide receiver Mohamed wraps up the symposium on July 24 with a class on “Value Based Decision Making.” The symposium kicks off with an initial class called “Business Etiquette: Clothing and Dining.”

                      Yeah the hour of value based decision making is going to go a long way to reducing suspensions. I mean we already have people in their ear constantly and that is not doing anything, but this will solve the problem. Do you remember when you were 18-22 and in college?

                    • I see how this discussion works – you get to make assumptions that this will have no impact on the recruiting trail and I don’t get to make assumptions that this will aid in team discipline.

                      I guess that means you win the Internets today. I’ll go back to complaining tomorrow.😉

                    • Cosmic Dawg

                      Actually, I think anything that makes kids remember that the future is coming and has consequences reduces the chances of suspensions. Any chance the kids get to put on a coat and tie and be treated like adults improves the likelihood that they will want to see themselves as scholars, as potential professionals, as educated members of society, etc. It helps them focus their image of themselves in a positive light, and you’re also giving them time with good role models.

                      By the way, I’d submit that you should care more about the kids playing for your alma mater beyond whether they win you a stinking football game.

                    • reipar

                      The only difference between us is I deal in probabilities and likelihoods based on recent performance. You deal with how things use to be and yearn for a simpler time before they went and started trying to ruin the game you love. Some people adapt to change and others do not. I hear MLB use to be popular, but they lost the younger generation. Maybe CFB will lose the older generation.

                    • You’re playing the keeping it real card? Ouch. Man, now you’re just piling on.😉

                    • reipar

                      Is the keeping it real card similar to the so you’re telling me there’s a chance card🙂

                    • I couldn’t say.

                      I’m still trying to figure out how the same meatheads who won’t get anything out of a one-hour seminar about values will absorb like all-SEC sponges what their coaches would tell them in that same hour were it devoted to training.

                    • “Financial literacy will reduce drug and failure to appear suspensions?”

                      No, but it might reduce “Hey dumbass you can’t cash the same check twice” suspensions.

                      And on your second paragraph, about that 8 hour rule, do you really think that’s all the time they work on during the week? Because schools certainly haven’t already figured out how to make sure these kids appear strongly for “voluntary” workouts for several more hours than 8 every week of the summer for years?

                    • reipar

                      Maybe because they enjoy and care about the actual playing of football whereas almost no college student thinks about long term consequences of doing something fun (and likely stupid) while they are doing it. Surely when you were at UGA there was a class you liked. In that class you probably paid more attention and did better than in other classes. As much as CFB is no longer a game I believe most of the kids playing it still like it and will pay a lot more attention to anything involving football over say economics 301 banking and finance. I guess one could say they do not give two shits about that class.

                    • I guess last year’s knuckleheads didn’t enjoy and care about the actual playing of football enough.

                    • reipar

                      Knuckleheadedness (yeah it’s a word). had almost no part in our disappointing season. The rash of injuries that left us a shell of what our team in the first three games had almost everything to do with the outcome. I guess you gave up for season tickets last year if you missed that. lol

                    • That would explain the numerous mistakes on special teams, the 99-yarder by Nebraska and the end of the Auburn game.

                      Thanks for clearing that up for me.

                    • reipar

                      A blown coverage on a 99 yard touchdown equals a drug related suspension? I thought most people considered the knucklehead things off the field issues, but you seem to believe making a mistake on the football field is the same? I am actually asking because if there is another way to read what you wrote I am all ears (or eyes as the case may be).

                      At this point I am starting to realize you decided to intentionally pick the losing side of an argument just to practice your court room skills here.

                    • A blown coverage on a 99 yard touchdown equals a drug related suspension?

                      WTF? Who said that?

                      And since I don’t litigate, I don’t need the practice.😉

                    • Mark Emmert

                      I’ve got to side with Reipar on this one. As we all know, responsibility isn’t a general trait. You can’t just say that a kid is responsible. He’s either financially responsible, or he’s a responsible football player. He can’t be both. There’s only so much responsibility to go around.

                      Also, who really cares about preparing these kids for life? That’s not what college is about. College is about taking these kids, using up their bodies, and spitting them out. Hopefully, UGA can beat Bama, Auburn, and Florida before they run out of cannon fodder … I mean student-athletes.

                      And nobody better even think about exceeding that 8-hour rule. Our enforcement staff is on the mother.

                  • Debby Balcer

                    It has be shown the completing college makes a more successful pro career so education can improve decision making skills and thus on field on off field behavior but even if it didn’t it is the smart thing to do.

                  • reipar

                    Ohh so any mistake equals being a knucklehead. Thanks for clearing that up for me. You certainly paint with a wide brush when it suits you.

        • Jack Klompus

          reipar- ask Paul Oliver’s family what they think about this.

        • The Bruce

          Reipar, who peed in your Wheaties? Seriously, you seem to have a bug up your butt to nitpick everything the Senator says today, so allow me to do some picking of my own.

          First of all, to act like someone who runs a blog specifically about Georgia Football doesn’t “care” about Georgia Football is patently absurd. Who died and you made you the arbiter of caring vs. not caring? Is there some magic threshold we all have to meet with our fandom in order to satisfy your personal definition of “care?” Please enlighten us, oh holy one.

          Second, you act like the amount that fans “care” has any correlation with winning. It doesn’t. Cubs fans “care” about their team just as much as Yankees fans “care” about theirs. It doesn’t translate into wins. And don’t give me any garbage about financial support, because that’s not what we’re talking about and you KNOW it.

          Third, do you know what has been shown time and time again to be the NUMBER ONE factor in deciding a recruit’s destination? The opinion of the kid’s closest parent or guardian. Hands down. Parents care about seeing their kids get educated about life issues beyond football. For you to act like this has no potential implications for recruiting is just plain ignorant of how recruiting actually works.

          Fourth, if you have proof that your precious Bama has no similar program, or if you could enlighten us as to exactly how this will have a negative impact on player development, I would be glad to hear it. Maybe you have insider knowledge about Alabama’s program or Georgia’s summer workouts that I don’t have. Otherwise, you’re just running your mouth and making assumptions.

          There are some things more important than winning or losing football games. Doing the right thing and taking care of your fellow human beings (in this case by educating them) is first and foremost on that list. The fact that you would even equate that belief with a lack of “care” tells me enough about your character to know that I’m glad we are only acquainted through a computer screen. If winning is all that matters, and this blog is so displeasing to you, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. And by the way, “The more one emphasizes winning, the less he or she is able to concentrate on what actually causes success.” – Nick Saban

      • Vinings Dawg

        Could not agree more Senator. Sometimes all that matters is what is right. Would I mention it on the recruting treail though? Absolutely! Not to show off but to instill the very point that CMr is trying to do things the right way. Kids go to college to be better men in this sport and they get a chance at an education that will help them do that especially when they came from a background that could normally not provide them this oppprtunity to step out whether it be due to grades, crappy local education or lack of guidance. CMR gives them that chance by attaching it to their God given athletic ability. It’s something to be admired.

        • Sh3rl0ck

          It seems to me that very few of the players go to college to become better men and receive an education. That may be true for guys like Arthur Lynch and Chris Conley, but most of the players seem conviced that they are going to start for three years and be an early-entrant first round draft pick. Otherwise, I couldn’t agree with your statement more.

      • Debby Balcer

        +1. These kids need these skills.

        • tess

          Hell, I could have used these skills and I was a liberal arts major. I’m sure a lot of people are focusing on the kids from less-than backgrounds, but even suburban kids are often not taught anything at home about handling finances, investing, saving, dealing with credit.

          • Cojones

            Yea!, Tess. That’s a good synopsis of what Blutarsky wrote and one that agrees with my BA undergrad experience .

      • Dawgfan Will

        Well said, Senator. Maybe it’s because I teach kids that are about to become college students, but one thing I am proud of is that we at least try to do right by the players as students and people as much as we try to develop them athletically. They are not professionals yet, and most of them never will be. I’m not willing to sell my alma mater’s soul at the expense of the welfare of those upon whose backs its programs are built.

  4. jack

    Sometimes he really lives up to the “St. Mark” sobriquet.

  5. Exhibit A to the Financial Planning Symposium should be an ex coach who still resides in Athens. If a deal looks too good to be true, it always is.

  6. Jack Klompus

    Good for Coach, good for UGA. BTW- Isn’t this what ever college student should be learning?

  7. DawgPhan

    Dont care if everyone else is doing it or no one is doing. I am glad that we are doing it.

    Love that UGA found something creative to do the new mandatory instruction time during the summer other than drills and weights.

  8. HiAltDawg

    Making it mandatory for the families of recruits would probably be the best for all parties involved

  9. Skeptic Dawg

    I am thrilled to learn that our coaching staff is putting forth an even greater effort to distance this program from the top tier SEC programs! It’s not as if the athletic department and administration hinder this program. UGA is most certainly in the wrong conference. Would the ACC or Ivy League be the best fit?

    • Hackerdog

      Laws yes. I mean, it’s not like Richt’s last major hire was the hottest coordinator/recruiter in the country. I think he actually hired an English teacher just to help the kids with their homework. He obviously doesn’t care about winning. We’re no better than Wake Forest. Good call.

  10. I Wanna Red Cup

    This is a good thing. If it helps one kid avoid financial disaster later it is worth it. Am damn proud of our Coach and program for this. Anyone who complains about this needs to get a life.

  11. Cousin Eddie

    If your kid played, would you rather him go through this program or an extra hour of film study? No rule that a dedicated kid can’t make up the time on his own.

    • Skeptic Dawg

      If my son is blessed to play major college athletics, I would hope that he attends a school with a strong academic reputation and a coach who pushes his program to win. If an additional hour of film study, practice time, or weight training is what it takes for my son to improve and for the team to win, then I vote for that instead of a weekly symposium. However, Richt has made it clear that winning is certainly not first and foremost at UGA. He has proven this time and time again. So why fight it? The university and AD are content to collect the revenue we as fans continue to supply. The majority of fans are satisfied with losing 2-5 games a season. So we will yet again find ourselves pondering the future and direction of a football program that falls short of its potential and goals. Questioning what went wrong and how the Dawgs could improve. All the while finding fault with the officials, or injuries, or a new DC, or ST’s, or an awful OL, or an inexperienced QB, or a poor group of DB’s. Such is life as a Dawg fan though.

      • If an additional hour of film study, practice time, or weight training is what it takes for my son to improve and for the team to win, then I vote for that instead of a weekly symposium.

        How do you know for sure that’s the trade off here?

      • Hackerdog

        You want your son to go to a school with a strong academic reputation, but with a coach who pulls kids away from academics and pushes for wins above all else? Why even pay lip service to the academic stuff at all?

        Also, if your son is a 5-star recruit, I’m sure Nick Saban will be more than happy to give him a one year scholarship that will be renewed for as long as he remains healthy, productive, and Saban has no superior players at his position. Otherwise, he can finish his degree at an academically challenging school like North Alabama. Good luck with that.

        • stoopnagle

          Wait. Did you just imply Bama is an “academic” institution of repute? Dude. RTR.

          • Hackerdog

            Well, compared to North Alabama, sure. But Skeptic is clearly more interested in on-field success more than anything else for his son, so Bama is a natural fit.

  12. Mayor

    Senator, I agree with you about this issue but you have to admit that reipar and the others have a legitimate point. The symposium is taking away hours of summer training from the 8 hours per week limit imposed by the NCAA. Again, Georgia has put itself behind other programs voluntarily. The real bad guy in this is the NCAA which makes something like this count against the summer training hours. Is that worthless, corrupt organization trying to keep players from learning life skills by punishing schools that try to teach them? It sure looks that way. Another reason to get rid of the NCAA.

    • Mayor, there’s a certain amount of having it both ways going on here.

      If there’s been a consistent criticism of Richt here, whether in anger or sadness, it’s that he’s not perceived as one of the top program managers in CFB. You and I have both made those kind of arguments before.

      So what’s the story supposed to be now about these suddenly five critical hours – that a staff that’s never been as strong on management as we’d like wouldn’t waste them to some degree if they were devoted to training, or that a staff that’s upped its game with the new coaching blood brought in can’t figure out a way to work around a five-hour seminar?

      I’m getting tired of trying to keep up with this.

      • Mayor

        I get your frustration. That said, the really consistent theme here is that the NCAA sucks.

        • Quick Senator, please write another posting on how the NCAA sucks so I can read a bunch of whiners complain that you spend too many words telling us about how bad they are and all the lawsuits they are hilariously fumbling around with right now!

  13. Q

    The university already has a 1 hour course called money skills that I took. Just make them take the class and don’t skimp on practice.

    • Q

      1 credit/semester. Not 60 minutes.

    • Dawgfan Will

      I haven’t taken said course, but I’m thinking kids who become millionaires are dealing with some issues that probably aren’t covered in it.

      • stoopnagle

        Still, it probably wouldn’t be too difficult to have a course in the sports management program that all the S/As would take. They register before anyone else so long as they take advantage of that, they’d all get it and it wouldn’t fill up with frat bros looking for a gut class.

  14. DawgPhan

    Observers, far removed from the work being quite sure what the best use of a new resources is sounds an awful lot like bigger government and more regulation. I dont know why you guys hate freedom so much. This is America.

    I say we let a small business decide how to use their new resource. Let the market decide what works, instead of all of you nanny state government lovers wanting to control every aspect of this small business.

  15. Cojones

    Agree wholeheartedly on your take Senator. Recently I failed to use the “Never mind.” statement and it now makes me feel worse being in the same category as Chip Towers. This post did elicit negative responses from two of the “Fire Richt and Bobo” nonsense crowd that confirms their past attitude hasn’t changed much even with evidence to the contrary published here regularly..

    This is not suckup of any kind, just an acknowledgement of info getting incorrectly presumed by the author. In my case it was more of a reading comprehension mistake.

    This program, along with it’s presenters, should help enrich each player’s life since it comes from former Dawgs who give them the benefit of real life financial and judgement experiences that lie ahead. It will put the players in touch with financial managers as well. Most of us are proud of our University for caring for it’s players beyond their production on the field and in the classroom.

  16. AusDawg85

    Damn that Coach Richt for trying to improve the life prospects for his players!!! Even despite the good Senator’s update that the symposium will not count against the allotted practice time, the “skeptics” are right that Richt continues to prove time and again that he’s not interested in winning, but just being the best leader by example he can be.

  17. On your update, see Senator. I done told ya about using the AJC and their folk, linking to them, citing them as sources and the like. Serves you right for still relying on that news not fit for toilet paper, and maybe you’ve learned your lesson and won’t ever mention them again (I can dream can’t I).