“You could see it coming from miles away.”

Chip Towers’ obituary for Tray Matthews’ Georgia career is… well, different.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think Matthews is a bad kid. In my brief experiences with him over the last year, I found him to be very upbeat and gregarious and fairly forthright when it came to post-practice and postgame exchanges with media. But he had an other side off the field that became evident, one that I’ve seen way too many times over the many years I’ve covered college football.

He was a goof-off, a cut-up, a “knucklehead,” coaches call them. That’s not to say dumb. He just always seemed to be more interested in having a good time and enjoying the social side of college life than he did about the football and academic element of Division I college athletics. And it was always getting him into trouble, from dancing down the hallways of the team hotel after midnight before games to girlfriend drama to classroom misbehavior.

So few inside the program were surprised when Matthews was told to hit the bricks…

I don’t know about you, but the question that jumps to my mind is, if Matthews hadn’t been dumb enough to be involved in Checkgate, is the rest of the behavior Towers described enough to earn a player the boot from Mark Richt?

I will say Towers deserves bonus points for referring to Todd Grantham as Petrino’s “defensive henchman”.  So there’s that.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

28 responses to ““You could see it coming from miles away.”

  1. CreswellKing

    “…enough to earn a player the boot from Mark Richt?”

    No, I seriously doubt it. Those supposed “antics” reminded me of Knowshon when he was in Athens (minus the disturbing classes). The difference being Knowshon was really getting after it on the practice field (at least his freshman year).

    I think check gate put Trigga Trey on really thin ice. Instead of cleaning up his act, he made it worse by not seeing eye to eye with Pruitt and probably the most inexcusable: the classroom disruption. Will every football play strive to be a Rhode ‘ s scholar? Absolutely not. But there’s a HUGE difference between sleeping through class and getting a “C” and being such a distraction that you’re hurting other students (non-athletes too) in their pursuit of an education. I might even I see that as worse than check gate.

    • DawgPhan

      You do know that you are taking about a maymester children’s lit class. Everyone single person in that class was there for the easy A.

      • CreswellKing

        I don’t care if it was a joke class, the principle still stands.

        • DawgPhan

          Except that your “principle” is really just a sliding scale and no one’s pursuit of education was hurt on the last day of a children’s lit maymester class.

          To me the whole disruption thing just reads like bitter professors parting shot.

          • gastr1

            Yeah, right. Even Matthews’ description of the situation sounds out of control. Don’t dismiss any class like that, dude, it’s your school too.

          • gastr1

            (That’s right, I forgot…You’re the one who thinks that professors teaching literature and whatnot somehow profit from the football team’s spoils.1. I want some of what you’re smoking; 2. Why are you so down on the academics on this front? Athletes have each other, and advisers, to help them find profs & classes with an athlete-friendly approach. You know that, right?)

          • CreswellKing

            No, no, no. YOU’RE the one with a sliding scale that says which classes are a “pursuit of an education” and which classes aren’t. If you’re going to be given the privilege of being a student athlete at the University of Georgia, the least you can do is not disrupt class to the point where a professor is forced to ask you to leave. Regardless of the class.

      • Dawg19

        “You do know that you are taking about a maymester children’s lit class. Everyone single person in that class was there for the easy A.”

        Which still does not give anyone the right to disrespect the professor or his/her fellow students. Seems to me that you are the one attempting the bitter parting shot.

  2. What does he mean by “defensive henchman?” I don’t get it.

  3. South FL Dawg

    Yes. Checkgate is definitely a no-no but the right response is accept responsibility for what you did and stay out of further trouble. Tray Matthews is like, “I didn’t talk back” and “I was going to transfer anyway, I just hadn’t put it out yet.” Alright well he should be happy now.

  4. the question that jumps to my mind is, if Matthews hadn’t been dumb enough to be involved in Checkgate, is the rest of the behavior Towers described enough to earn a player the boot from Mark Richt?

    I think probably so, Bluto. The professor thing that was the last straw is a serious matter to Richt, as it should be. Even without Checkgate, he wasn’t buying in this year and was going to be a disruptive and negative influence.

    And I think that’s why his teammates, on the whole, are glad to see him go.

    (Matthews) expects to find his second home soon. He has expressed interest in Alabama, Auburn and Louisville, where former UGA defensive coordinator Todd Grantham holds the same position and former teammates Josh Harvey-Clemons and Shaq Wiggins have since transferred.

    LMAO. I would LOVE, love to see Matthews take that act of his to Alabama. Now THAT would be some fun entertainment for the next few months. Won’t happen though. Saban would never take him in the first place.

  5. BMan

    Makes me wonder if “hamstring problems” is just another way of saying “I don’t want to practice all that much.”

  6. Careful Brad

    No, if he had gone another two or three years with zero incidents then he would have been more than welcome to stay. As an educator and coach for eleven years I have seen it go both ways.

    • DawgPhan

      So if he would have stayed out of trouble for 2 or 3 more years he would have been more than welcome to stay…why that is mighty gracious of you.

  7. Go Braves Go Dawgs I'm leaving for Charleston, SC in the morning

    look we will be fine. we will win the sec east and beat both south carolina and florida and play for the sec championship. I’m excited to go to the new college playoffs. go dawgs sic ’em woof woof woof woof

  8. hassan

    A couple of years ago, no it wouldn’t be enough to get kicked off. This year, I believe it is. Particularly on defense. Pruitt is not putting up with it. The pace of practice is more intense and what is expected off the field is as well. We’ve lost talent on the D and the personnel isn’t what Pruitt would want for his scheme, however I believe this new staff is going to get the players to play to their maximum ability. So what good is a top talent guy going at half speed? We’ll be better off with guys giving it their all. That way when the culture changes, the top talent guys will know they have to put the same effort in.

    I partly blame the knucklehead players, but I also blame the coaches that allowed it to go on, So yeah…those players are probably stunned as well because in their eyes, they haven’t changed. “It’s not us, it’s them”. Well, I believe the culture is changing.

    • Good observation. +1.

    • Mayor

      “…I also blame the coaches that allowed it to go on…” Damn right! Grantham, Lakatos, et al–good riddance to you! Kids need discipline. Indeed, kids really WANT discipline. Grantham ruined Matthews and JHC, IMHO. If they had been supervised the right way from the beginning they would both still be in Athens.

      • If they had been supervised the right way from the beginning they would both still be in Athens.

        It’s a valid point, IMO. I’ve had that though as well, though Matthews seems like a longer shot than the others.

  9. Dank Jankins

    I am hearing that it was more than just those couple of things outside of checkgate.

    He was generally disliked by a good portion of the team due to his constant over-the-top boastfulness, lack of respect shown toward his teammates and lazy attitude toward practice, training, coaching, etc.

    I have heard that during the same week but before the classroom incident he was late to a workout or better yet had to be sought out and told to show up and he was being a total jerk to the newly arrived freshman.

    Based on CMR’s comments concerning his dismissal I do believe that it was a series of things that week that came to a head.

    • Heard the same thing. And all that is consistent with his previous behavior.

      When you think about it, it’s amazing he lasted that long. There must have been a good deal of patience exercised on the part of Richt & Pruitt for him to get that far along in the year.

      A lot of us were expecting it. I had begun to fear it wasn’t going to happen.

  10. Slaw Dawg

    Dunno if the non check writing behavior would have been enough to get Mr. Matthews booted, but probably would have cost him playing time at least. The classroom incident, on top of everything else and even without the check thing woulda probably been fatal, though, and should be for any coach.

  11. I Wanna Red Cup

    I am confident that the ones we have coming in have as much talent at Trey and will have better attitudes and coaching- they will be better tacklers, coverers, and will take proper angles.