“It wasn’t like Georgia did something bad to them, it was what they did back to the University of Georgia.”

I know I’m a little late to the party, but I read Sterling Bailey’s dad’s – happy Father’s Day, Mr. Bailey – reaction to Tray Matthews’ decision to take his talents to Auburn University with some interest.

“When I read some of the things said, it just made me sick to my stomach,” Bailey said. “That young man (Matthews) needs to realize who opened doors for him first. I’m speaking as a member of the Georgia Bulldog family, of the Bulldog Nation, because my son goes to school down there, too. I love Tray. I love his mom and dad, too. We’re good friends. But the comments I read made me feel like they were putting down the University of Georgia, the system and the coaches. Not one time did I see it mentioned what Coach Richt or the other coaches have done for him. That’s what made me mad.

“Coach Richt and the coaching staff opened their arms to this kid. They welcomed him into the Bulldog Nation and they stood behind him. For him to come out like that and make it seem like the University of Georgia had done him wrong, that’s what makes me so mad. Same with Shaq Wiggins and the other kids who had the opportunity to play at the University of Georgia. They leave and transfer and get dismissed from the team and they blame it on the school system. It’s not the system; it’s the kids. If you come and do what you’re supposed to do and do it right, you wouldn’t get in trouble and things like this wouldn’t come about.”

He’s spot on in that last sentence, of course, but overall I think he expects too much from teenagers who have an overly exalted opinion of themselves.  That’s hardly unexpected when you consider how they’re seen before they get to college and how it often continues that way.  (Anyone notice the way most commentators last year delicately described Nick Marshall’s departure from Georgia?)  If you’re unwilling to accept the responsibility for not fitting in with the demands of Richt’s program, and you can’t keep your virtual mouth shut, where are you going to pin the blame for no longer suiting up in Athens?

That being said, I also think it’s unfair to lay all of this at Richt’s feet for welcoming kids like Matthews into the program in the first place.  The idea that Georgia should have seen the signs during the recruiting process and laid off a talent like him, a kid who was avidly pursued by every major program in the South, is little more than 20/20 hindsight.  (Now if he fails to connect at Auburn, you can’t say Malzahn wasn’t warned.  But that’s another story.)

If you believe a recruit will fit in, you sign him.  You’re not always going to be right.  So the trick is to make sure that you recruit in sufficient numbers to weather the storm if he turns out to be one of those who needs to go elsewhere.  And you don’t look back, no matter who he blames for the failure.


Filed under Georgia Football

45 responses to ““It wasn’t like Georgia did something bad to them, it was what they did back to the University of Georgia.”

  1. Beakerdawg

    Auburn = the obnoxious dude at the restaurant that leaves his hat on at the table; he is the loud talker at the party that has done it bigger and better than anyone else;basically anything that doesn’t represents class is your Auburn Tiger. They continue to validate their “stay classy” attitude every year.

  2. Athens Dog

    Marshall stole from teammates. Triga tray only stole from his university. Auburn must be so proud.

    • 81Dog

      Trigga’s the early favorite for the 2014-15 AU Cam Newton Class and Dignity trophy.

      Does Auburn get his Fulmer Cup points now?

  3. Lrgk9

    Buy In and Get It or watch the screen door hitting you on your way out. Be a Part Of the Georgia way or Get Off the Bus.

    Hope Da Triga grows up cause the world will chew a kid up. And he’s a kid with a kid’s attitude and a kid’s lack of understanding and a kid’s bravado who is going down a wrong road whistling in the dark.

  4. Atticus

    You are correct, it is not Richt’s felt that a kid steals from his teammates. But I will say this. UGA has had too many problems the last several years that have led to them losing more games than they should. The coach gets paid to win games. I don’t have specific numbers to see how many UGA kicks off the team and suspensions versus the rest of the SEC but if it’s the most then it begs asking the question why. Is is because they don’t do their homework in recruiting? Are they really asking the questions that needed to be asked in the hometowns? Do they fear the coach? I don’t know the answer but whenever you lose more players than your competition then there are specific reasons. At some point it’s your job to reach the kids.

    I know the loss in players combined with Richt’s failure to recognize this fact and pay closer attention to the roster numbers cost the program some losses that could’ve been avoided. Chris Sanders and Nick Marshall were kicked off the team but yet we had a couple of years to make up for that hole, why were freshmen starting all over the defensive backfield last year?

    • Sanford222view

      The answer is Richt/UGA actually do something when kids screw up. The other SEC schools sweep it under the rug for the most part.

      • Macallanlover

        And that is the issue for why it “seems” we have more going on. If you take away the first time suspensions, have 2-3 incidents that get taken to CMR for being handled internally rather than finger printing them, we are not any different than others who get a pass. I don’t think many fans, including UGA fans realize the huge disadvantage we operate under. Yes, it puts us in the public spot light more. Yes, it has led to losses that have increased the heat on the program as not achieving. But yes, it is the right way to operate (outside of some of the minor traffic offenses that get treated like OJ type atrocities).

        The mountain shouldn’t have to move to Mohammad, other schools should clean up some of the crapola they sweep under the rug. There isn’t more going on at UGA, we just take the responsibility on where other put their heads in the sand. We are all recruiting the same athletes and more should be said about the culture that brings about the punk behavior that we are seeing. These problems usually start at home at an early age, and cannot/are not corrected by the education system. Throw a huge helping of adulation on top of immature teens and you end up with what we often see when the whip finally cracks; sometimes in college, sometimes in adulthood when they hit the NFL with their pockets full of cash. Sadly, some never even make I that far before they crash and burn.

        Much of the ink that is thrown our way should be directed at the societal problems of a culture that is totally out of control. Lack of leadership isn’t just confined to the SEC, NCAA, or Washington offices, it exists in every community where elders have thrown up their hands and quit.

        • Bulldog Joe

          Don’t blame society. Blame the player for screwing up and give him extra work to make it up to himself and his team.

          Don’t give him days off through suspensions and don’t drag it through the national media. It reflects worse on the program than it does on the player.

          With the extra work, he will either rise to the occasion or he won’t.

          If he doesn’t, make the move.

          (I apologize in advance for soundling like a broken record.)

          • Macallanlover

            I don’t disagree with your personal accountability slant at all, many people who were born into bad circumstances are able to rise above that and achieve great things. Good on you for bringing that up.

            I do feel the willingness to excuse bad behavior in today’s society contributes to the failures of many weak individuals. Social passing in schools, broken/one parent homes, drugs, and tolerating lawlessness are all major factors that contribute to the end result though. Community leaders, pastors, and lifestyle role models do share some responsibility for the outrageous numbers we are seeing though. Throughout history we have always had many people who were dealt tough hands but strict discipline, and not coddling those who chose to play outside the lines did much to minimize the size of the problem so I feel there is a role to play.

          • Mayor

            I agree with what has been posted above in this thread but I still think the kids don’t have enough supervision.

  5. Anon

    New slogan:
    Auburn. Everyone’s Fallback School

    • Comin' Down The Track

      I’m pretty sure that’s also the old slogan.😉

      • Irwin R Fletcher

        I’m still trying to figure out how they’ll accept his transfer with that Incomplete in Children’s Lit….

        • Dank Jankins

          Also…do the terms of his pretrial diversion complicate his impending move to Auburn?

  6. DawgPhan

    I really liked the part about CMR covering up a failed drug test for sterling and just letting him by with some extra running and no missed game time..

    sort of erodes the tough on crime meme that some fans like to hang their hat on.

    Would sterling bailey’s dad feel the same way if CMR had called the police, had his son arrested for being drunk and underage and then he had to read about it in the AJC?

    Maybe, maybe not.

    How classy is it to make sure you kick a guy on the way out?

    • sort of erodes the tough on crime meme that some fans like to hang their hat on.

      Given the number of recent dismissals, what would that “sort of” be?

      • DawgPhan

        How many words have been spent on this blog about drug testing and how UGA’s policy is far tougher than anyone else and how that first dirty test is missed game time.

        Except when it doesn’t.

        • I’ve only ever heard of our guys getting suspended for alcohol related offenses if it was brought to light by an arrest. I’m sure Bailey is far from the first person to fail the test for alcohol, but I’ve never heard of us suspending for a player for failing an in-house alcohol test. I don’t see Bailey’s treatment as anything inconsistent from what we’ve always done.

        • Olddawg 55

          I realize that you equate “failed drug test” and early detection of drinking as equals..perhaps CMR is old fashioned like me…in my personal, coaching and military life I drew a different line on drugs vs drinking. Maybe hypocritical in your sense but so be it. Young Bailey was an alchohol offender, first detection, so he suffered internal discipline and parental notification. Enough punishment for the crime and obviously effective. So be it!

    • Sanford222view

      Your reading comprehension is superb. He failed the alcohol portion not the drug portion. The automatic suspensions policy at UGA is related to drugs so using the words “cover up” seem our own place.

      • DawgPhan

        Never seen the actual wording on the policy, I doubt you have either.

        A failed screening is a failed screening in my book. You fail a screening and you miss 10% of the season. That is the policy as I understand it. Obviously their is some wiggle room in the policy.

        But wiggle room isnt really the Georgia Way.

        • Wait a minute – you’re waxing indignant about a policy you’ve never bothered to review?

          Officially, here’s the specific minimum punishment:

          First violation for consumption, use, or distribution of alcohol, facilitating the use of alcohol by others, or distuptive or disorderly conduct caused by the influence of alcohol: Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) education program and probation for twelve (12) months from the date of resolution.

          • DawgPhan

            That is the same minimum punishment for illegal drug use as well.

            Obviously the athletic department goes above and beyond that.

          • 81Dog

            this actually just proves the guy is a Barner. Only a Barner would be enough of a dumbass to confidently argue about a policy he hasn’t ever read, and apply it to a situation it clearly doesn’t cover, and then accuse anyone who disagrees of being a blowhard.

            Barners have more brass than an ammo factory, but if their brains were gunpowder, they couldn’t generate enough of a pop to tip their own hats.

        • Mudcats Impala...

          f. UGAA drug test panel includes EtG: a biomarker for alcohol. The EtG test is sensitive to the presence of any
          alcohol, even low-levels, and can detect alcohol in the urine several days after consumption. Any student-athletes
          under the age of twenty-one who has a positive EtG test will be referred for alcohol counseling and education;
          however, this will not be considered the same as a positive drug test and a violation of the substance abuse policy.
          Any student-athletes over the age of twenty-one who has a positive EtG test at a level of concern for alcohol abuse
          will be referred for alcohol counseling and education; however, this will not be considered the same as a positive
          drug test and a violation of the substance abuse policy.


          • And while we are on the subject How Long Can Marijuana Be Detected?
            Some THC metabolites have an elimination half-life of 20 hours. However, some are stored in body fat and have a elimination half-life of 10 to 13 days. Most researchers agree that urine tests for marijuana can detect the presence of the drug in the body for up to 13 days.

            However, there is anecdotal evidence that the length of time that marijuana remains in the body is affected by how often the person smokes, how much he smokes and how long he has been smoking. Regular smokers have reported positive drug test results after 45 days since last use and heavy smokers have reported positive tests 90 days after quitting. And you can’t fool the test.

          • DawgPhan

            Thanks for the link. I looked and couldnt find it. Didnt look hard enough. Clearly their policy on failed tests is different for booze.

        • Never seen the actual wording on the policy, I doubt you have either.
          Man you could see what was coming next a mile away.

          • Merk

            What is this google thing and how does it work?

            • DawgPhan

              lulz…of course the top 3 links are the handbook if you look for UGA athlete handbook. Searching for UGA drug policy was not as fruitful..

    • RobG

      it was alcohol, drinking under age, we have all been there

  7. Doggoned

    I hope Trigga flunked that lit course.

  8. Michael Dyer has traveled an interesting road. Michael Dyer plays in BCS bowl. Breaks Bo’s record and wins MVP. The following year kicked out of school for ? guns and fake pot? Follows Malzahn to Ark State and is kicked out there for guns and pot? Enrolls in Arkansas State Baptist College. Transfers to Louisville to play for the Cardinals. Undergoes hernia surgery and is now buried on the depth chart.
    And this road.
    Was it kind of CMR to sign Christian Lemay after his “youthful indiscretions”. Kicked out of school for 30 days and not playing football for a whole year to remain at his HS was unwise and he never turned into an SEC football player. Never really contributed to Georgia at all. The fact that his brother came and then went was equally puzzling. These kids came from what appeared to be a good home. I sure Pastor Lemay is scratching his head too. Waste of opportunity and talent. Sometimes you don’t know what you got … until it’s gone.

  9. hassan

    Wiggins and Matthews had a chance to be Bulldogs. They didn’t want the opportunity anymore. Someone who wants it more will take their place.

    Nothing to see here. Move along.

    • Yeah, and as mentioned yesterday I suspect Matthews, Shaq, et.al., would have had a better chance of coping had they come in this year instead of last. They still may not have made it, but they would have been forced to make a decision soon after they arrived.

      I also think we won’t see as many of these cases. Kids will come in, and they’ll either shape up and conform, or they’ll run into the wall, quick.

  10. Slaw Dawg

    Good senator, I agree with you far more often than not, but I don’t think Papa Bailey expects too much at all. I get that a big ego on a recent high school grad can be a dangerous thing, but there are plenty of examples of teenagers, including at UGA, who have conducted themselves admirably even with multiple recruiting stars following their names. And we all know plenty of no name students who screwed up without having the big name jock “entitlement” excuse. I applaud Mr. Bailey’s comments and am glad he made them.

  11. Will Trane

    Talk to the high school coaches about the problems they have with kids with 3 stars to 5 stars beside their names and the publicity they get in the news and blogs. It is a big issue for them re juniors and seniors in their programs. Their upside. First, probably the school board will not fire them as quick as a D1 AD and alums. Second, and maybe more important, the kids generally can not transfer to another school. In other words they are locked in and are subject to the coaches discipline.
    Suggestion, CMR and UGA. Do not release them from their letter of intent. Do not put them on the field. Just hold them until you have a replacement. And that is always coming. Why spend money and time on a kid you recruited, coached, and schooled by letting him transfer to an opponent, especially one your schedule. Makes you look dumb and goes against your discipline. A cowards way out.
    By allowing them to transfer you allow them to set the tempo. Their is value in being a “hard ass” on them. Does not matter who they are, who their mommy and daddy is, their background, and etc…you made a mistake, cost me time and money not only you but for another roster position or two.
    What the SEC should do is not allow transfer unless the player sits out for 2 full seasons of play.