Jumpin’ on the Herbstreit bandwagon

USA Today’s Dan Wolken goes there.

And over at MrSEC.com, John Pennington uses an old news analysis about penalties (and I do mean old… you can find similar stuff Matt Hinton wrote years ago about penalties and winning in the archives here if you search) as a platform for this “I’m not sayin’, but some people would say” observation:

Georgia has come under fire of late due to a spate of player arrests.  They also begin each season with a number of players serving suspensions (though we feel that’s a product have having tougher mandatory punishments than other league members).  Still, some will take a look at the number of flags tossed at UGA over the last seven seasons, marry it with the arrest/suspension issues and decide that Mark Richt’s program might lack discipline overall.

It’s starting to look like this year’s Mark Richt meme is rounding into shape quite nicely.

I’m as unhappy about the arrests and suspensions as anybody, but here’s the thing – exactly what would anyone critical of Richt’s management suggest he do differently on the discipline front?

Is he chasing the wrong kids?  If so, he’s got plenty of company.

“From the standpoint of coach Grantham not picking the right guys, there’s teams that have – I’m not picking any names in particular – there’s teams that are picking up guys who have done way worse things than here,” Jenkins said. “People who make that statement need to go check the other schools and who they’ve recruited, and who’s on their team now.”

That was a point Richt made a bit obliquely as well, defending the screening process his staff does in recruiting.

“The reality is, if you look at who we sign, they’ve got offers from five to 20 schools that we compete with,” Richt said.

Not to mention the kids who have left Georgia and gone on to contribute at other D-1 programs.  And nobody can claim those coaches didn’t know they were bringing on baggage.

And even further, allow Damian Swann to retort.

“How many regular students do you hear about getting DUIs? Or just being arrested? We don’t know any. We might see a guy get arrested when we’re out, but we don’t see it on the news or on ESPN. It’s the spotlight we’re put in, and we have to deal with it.”

Actually, you can check the arrest logs of the ACCPD and see that the number of students arrested is legion, but Swann’s larger point is correct.  It ain’t news unless you’re already in the spot light.  Does that make the fault lie more with the institution that is the University of Georgia than it does with the football head coach?  In my mind, hells, yeah.  But that’s not the way the fingers are pointing these days.

Bottom line, it’s the same deal I mentioned the other day about Greg McGarity’s fretting over the situation.  If there really is a valid fix for Mark Richt’s problem, society as a whole needs it more than Georgia’s football team does.  So what I’d say to critics of Richt is simple.  If you’re gonna wag your finger, offer a suggestion for improvement while you’re at it.  My bet is that’s too hard for most of you.


Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football

73 responses to “Jumpin’ on the Herbstreit bandwagon

  1. Russ

    I don’t know or care who Dan Wolken is but it’s hard to imagine his head any farther up his ass.

  2. ScoutDawg

    I would like my DAWGS to just KICK EVERY BODY’S ASS, and shut them all up.

  3. There is a problem in Athens with the football players. It stems from Richt’s philosophy of Threat Them Like Men Until They Prove Otherwise. This mindset has hurt the program time and time again. The Senator posted an article not long ago referencing the suspensions and discipline issues of 2003, and nothing has changed. The solution: Keep freshmen and sophomores under tight lock and key until they prove that they are capable of handling freedom. Fill their hours with school work to ensure they are on track academically early on. Study the Playbook to ensure they know the UGA system inside and out. Hit the gym. Conditioning. Pair all freshmen with a junior/senior counterpart for accountability. Give all freshmen a curfew and enforce it. Provide incentives and rewards for doing the right thing. Show examples of those that have made mistakes in the past. Lord knows there are plenty of those examples. As someone mentioned last week, when a player screws up punish the entire unit. Smarter, faster, stronger! These players enter as kids, not men. Treat them as kids.

    • ScoutDawg

      Yeah that is brilliant. Then some DUMBASS like a “DubiousDawg”, for instance, comes along and wonders why ALL of the top recruits HATE GEORGIA. Brilliant.

    • Cojones

      While your at it with the militaristic solution, why not put them under lock and key. Give’em some straw to piss in and clean out their stalls each morning when you let’em out to crap. I’m sure that curfew idea has been broken by every FB player to ever attend IGA. What then is your punishment for them breaking new regs you’ve pasted on top of society’s regs plus school regs that FB players break everywhere.

      Damn, son, you need some good history reading about FB programs and a current events course to keep up with what’s happening now. Your simplistic solution “ideas” show that you don’t have a clue about the problem (media finger pointing) and use any opportunity to poke at MR. I firmly believe you misrepresent your background at UGA. Don’t think you have one.

      • Cojones

        “IGA” is not a snark, just the worst typo of all time. Should never have placed the “I” key so close to the “U”.

        • ScoutDawg

          ” Big Ones”, we knew what you meant.

        • Dog in Fla


          I know exactly what you mean. Had a sweet indoor job there as a bag boy before I was relocated to higher paying $1/hour jobs in the watermelon fields and potato sheds


          • Cojones

            My God! You’re a closet old fart. Didn’t know that. You, Mac and I ought to get together for a libation. How about the “Elbow Room” down where the girls used to be in our day, Old Fart Lauderdale. Didn’t mean to cut the other old farts out, but this is a social mission.

            • Dog in Fla

              Only if Mac is unarmed. I mean, he’ll still be dangerous, but at least he won’t be weaponized

              • Macallanlover

                My weapon permit is honored anywhere in the south except SC, so you two Dims would need me for protection. We would be OK in the Panhandle, lot of brothers to protect us there, but in the ATL you can bet I would be packing. And that is a good thing.

                • Cojones

                  Welcome back you old piss and vinegar. There are more gun-totin’ permits per capita in So Ga/ No Fl than anywhere else in the world except Pahrump, Nevada. You can take your place with all the other unfamiliar bulges.

                  A neutral and familiar site would be The Outback. I’ll be the guy outside with my “Yea Obama!” inflammatory sign held high and riddled with bullet holes. When you arrive, just spank three rounds into the “O” and I’ll wave back from behind a car. DIF will be the guy wearing a computer and with his middle finger wagging. DON’T SHOOT IT if you wanna have drinks.

            • gastr1

              Did they have a lot of IGAs down south? I remember them from my growing up years above the Mason-Dixon line, but I don’t recall more than one or two after we moved to NC in the 70s. I think they had one in Asheville, NC.

              • Dog in Fla

                In the extremist Redneck Riveria where I spent the glorious days of my youth, the IGA’s were only outnumbered by the Piggly-Wiggly’s. Most heard phrases growing up:

                1. I’m going to the IGA, get outside and mow the lawn;
                2. I’m going to the IGA, get outside and weed the garden;
                3. I’m going to the IGA, you’re coming with me, I’m dropping you off to mow Grandma’s yard and weed her garden;
                4. I’m going to the IGA, get outside and pick up pecans
                • Chopdawg

                  Why, just this afternoon, on the way home from the golf course, I stopped at an IGA that usta be a Piggly Wiggly. Serious.

              • budro

                They’re all over South Georgia.

      • RugbyDawg79

        +1 Cojones–I doubt he ever played and Doubt he ever attended UGA

    • Dawgfan Will

      How does one prove one is capable of handling freedom if one is kept under lock and key?

    • GaskillDawg

      Thank you for making a suggestion as to what Richt should do rather than just complain. That said, could you elaborate how you would keep freshmen and sophomores under lock and key? The NCAA outlawed athletes only dorms about 25 years ago. The NCAA limits the number of hours the coaching staff can have contact with athletes both during the summer and when school is in session, so how would you monitor whether athletes in summer school are studying the play book the hours they are not in class, doing class work, exercising, eating and sleeping? How would Richt enforce breach of the summer “stay in your dorm and do homework and study the play book” rule considering the limited summertime contact?

      What level of punishment would you assess to Hutson Mason if the freshman he mentors, say, Jacob Park, unbeknownst to Mason, gets an underaged possession arrest? You you defend suspending Mason from the Clemson or SC games? Would you even support making Mason or Swann or Jenkins miss practice for those games by making them use their 20 hours per week time to run rather than prepare for the opponent because the 18 year old they are charged with mentoring screws up?
      What punishment did you mete out to yourself or you wife when your teenager screwed up?

      Finally, are you willing to trade the huge recruiting disadvantage UGA would get in exchange for having zero arrests.

  4. sUGArdaddy

    Senator, I don’t know what we can do about people not being very smart, and that’s what this really comes down to. I’ve got young kids. I run a pretty tight ship. There are some kids in the neighborhood who run wild, they say whatever they want, roam where ever they want, and pretty much start fights with whomever they’re playing with. My kids get in trouble when they misbehave and are punished. Does my house have a discipline problem because my kids would get in trouble saying ‘shut-up’ to one of their little brothers while other kids don’t get in trouble when those kids are saying STFU to anyone they please? It’s a ridiculous idea.

    Nick Marshall’s situation is case-in-point. First, we’d never sign a kid dismissed from a member institution, and if by some miracle we did, he’d be off the team after an arrest, and if by some other miracle Richt didn’t boot him, he’d be suspended for a game. JSW has never been in trouble, was arrested and will be suspended for 1 game. Marshall was dismissed from UGA for stealing, was NOT arrested but only ticketed for the same infraction as JSW and will simply not play a series against Arkansas.

    It seems we have a larger problem (the tenacity of the ACCPD), and institutional problem (a lack of awareness from our Athl. dept. to NOT publicly shame our kids for college mistakes), and a coach who actually does what is right. Wouldn’t it have been nice if JSW had gotten a ticket, no one new about it, the University didn’t release info and Richt suspended him quietly for the first game (and we wouldn’t have even known because he’s nursing a knee).

  5. ScoutDawg

    I am all excited. You know football is almost here when we get a new meme. Booyah.

  6. 69Dawg

    I’m the one that pointed out earlier this week that the team or at least the players in the offending players position group should have to serve a punishment for the wrongful behavior of a teammate. This would serve to get the players to exert some positive peer pressure. I was immediately jumped on by Dog in Fla. I was in no way advocating physical punishment by the players on another player but something has to get these young men to realize that they have a stake in the actions of their teammates. The coaches by themselves can’t stop it from happening, not under the NCAA constraints.

  7. Irishdawg

    If our players were getting arrested for things other than what normal college kids do (I’m not counting Jonathon Taylor, who was booted rapidamente), then I would be concerned. But they’re not. Now I think a DUI is serious, but I don’t think drinking underage or open container are. When our guys commit a damn HOME INVASION ROBBERY like Auburn’s did, then we’ll talk.

    • Correct – the notion that our players or team are lawless or undisciplined because they are arrested for things that college students do every day/night (for the most part) is evidence that this is a societal problem, not a “team” or coach problem. The fact that other police agencies issue tickets/citations for most of these petty misdemeanors, while ACC and University cops arrest students (including football players) further confirms it…

  8. Minnesota Dawg

    Most college football pundits, talking heads, and other so-called experts in the media are like a lot of college football fans with respect to these “negative” stories–they don’t want to hear about them and would rather pretend they don’t exist. As far as they’re concerned, college coaches just want what’s good for their players (their second “family”) and college players are mostly choir boys or, at the very least, potential choir boys (if simply given a 2nd/3rd/4th chance). At best, they are promoters of the game. A more cynical view would be that they are promoters of product.

    Georgia’s relative transparency when it comes to disciplinary issues is an affront to this head-in-the-sand desire. It brings to light players acting…well, like most any other large group of male. I know everyone’s SHOCKED when we hear about misbehavior or recreational drug use, but it obviously happens. Still, no one wants to be reminded of it, or have to confront it as an pervasive issue in any meaningful way. For many it’s just easier to say “that’s a Georgia problem, not a college football problem” and move on.

    They actually appreciate the Jim Tressel, Joe Paterno, Frank Beamer, Nick Saban, etc., etc….. approach, which is essentially to look and talk like a disciplinarian, but to cover up player misbehavior and all that other dirty laundry and, of course, don’t get caught. In return, no one will look very hard.

    • Cojones

      Yep. Color me SHOCKED, especially about dat smokin’. Course they can always go to O “Doobie” U, to A “Tiefin'” U and other sundry “Higher” Schools of Learning” after dismissal.

      “Tiefin'” is an euphemism used in the Bahamas for “thieving” as an occupation. It least it was when I lived and worked there and they had 40% unemployment at the time. A Bahamian interviewed for a job working with me and he was wearing reflective sun glasses during. When I asked him why he wanted the job he replied that his Mother wanted him to quit the interisland band he was working with because he was constantly around ganja and coke and he was against “tiefin'”. I hired him on the spot and, no, his eyes were clear when I asked him to remove his glasses. The point is that no matter where you are and what appearances dictate, everyone is different and can be morally true to themselves even in a society that winks at “tiefin”. Behavior is always owned by the individual.

      • AthensHomerDawg

        noun: euphemism; plural noun: euphemisms

        *a mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing.* 

        Not hardly Cojones. As much as I admire your writing skills you wiffed on that. It’s just pidgin English my man. Or Ebonics. And I have worked all over and I didn’t stay in the office a lot.
        just sayin’
        This from Guyana newspaper:”Dem boys seh de big man must be suffering from stitches in de side because of all de laughing he doing. When he look all over de world and see all dem things people does do, he does gat to chuckle. Is when he look down pun Guyana, then he does get a hearty laugh.
        People in this country tiefing like when dey ent got no jail. Is tiefin’ and more tiefin’.

        • Cojones

          Didn’t understand the “….you wiffed on that.” Wiffed on what?

          “It’s just pidgin English” What is “It’s”? “Tiefin'”?

          Are you saying euphemism is used incorrectly? I used it to say that “tiefin'” doesn’t sound as bad as “stealing” or “thievery” so it’s used as an inoffensive word to their senses. That makes it an euphemism for “thiefing”. They plainly speak English in the Bahamas and can say “thieving”, “stealing” or “robbing”. An euphemistic analogy: in your case it would be like calling you “dickhead” when plainly “asshole” would be on target, but more offensive to you. Take your pick.

          “pidgin” is a generalized term, but if used with a language that is pidginized, it is capittalized,for example, Pidgin English.

          Are we thru parsing?

          • Cojones

            There are English majors who read this blog and they would disagree of using “Cojones” in the same sentence as “writing skills”. Mine are terrible. but I’m trying to improve and indulge in writing a coherent book and afterwards get a good writer to rewrite it before some reviewing editor has breathing spasms after laughing so hard at the first 4 pages of my efforts.

    • AusDawg85

      Your last paragraph is spot on. We would not have a discipline “problem” if we worked hard a quashing media reports, stayed silent about internal player transgressions, did not use game suspensions as a form of punishment, and had a law firm on speed dial ready to defend any player in trouble with the law.

      P.S. How could you have left Corch off your list??

    • sectionzalum


  9. Cojones

    Has it escaped everyone’s attention that the players speak more tight-knit than ever before; that they are proud of the work they accomplished this summer; that the players who cause aspersions to be cast on the team are causing the team to stand shoulder-to-shoulder as spokesmen for each other? Let me use this moment to call it to your attention if you missed it. It’s a good thang.

  10. Hogbody Spradlin

    Lemme get this straight: Georgia disciplines players and announces discipline. Alabama and Auburn don’t discipline and/or don’t announce it. Therefore we have a worse discipline problem than Alabama or Auburn.

    • gastr1

      Here’s what I understand about this: We have our principles and our way of doing things and this is it. The university thinks it’s right, CMR thinks it’s right. Everyone else should do things our way—they can come up to our standard. What I really do NOT understand, though, is why they think this approach is working. Clearly the method has created an opposite perception and Richt and the university are embarrassed by it. But we keep doing it that way, hoping for the meme to change? Why don’t they tweak the process so the reality of the program, and CMR’s approach to discipline, can be more clearly understood by the outside world???

      • Debby Balcer

        Depends on what you mean as working. We have no Aaron Fernandez dragging our name through the mud after breaking rule upon rule and not experiencing discipline. We don’t have the Stephen Garcia stories to worry about. The discipline is working but college kids will be college kids and mess up. I do believe it is working.

        • gastr1

          “Working” means we have some kind of combination of players staying out of trouble, getting disciplined when they do get in trouble, and the rest of the world believing in and respecting our coach, program, university, and process. We have, I think, one of the three going about right.

      • Cosmic Dawg

        +1 – We don’t have a (big) discipline problem, we have a PR problem.

  11. Raindawg

    It’s easier to curse the darkness than light a candle.

  12. Dog in Fla

    “Jumpin’ on the Herbstreit bandwagon”

    If Herbie picks up on this, I vow to never to use his first name again

  13. sectionzalum

    Mark Bradley would be proud to call that lazy attempt at logic and epic trolling his own. Even that fatass on 680 who questioned Dawgs’ effort after 2012 SEC champ game stands breathless in awe.

  14. Scorpio Jones, III

    So, I am a player at the University of Colorado…how can I be punished for smoking dope if it’s legal? Since the NCAA has no actual legal standing, how can NCAA drug testing include a drug that is legal by state law?

    This is all pretty interesting to me. Georgia football players getting busted for something that would be legal in Colorado is not.

    But writing about it does fill space and its low-hanging fruit, which is always choice pickins when you are a sports ah…writer?

    Here’s a bigger question, to me. And that would be where to buy a new hat for this year?

    • Cojones

      They had a good selection at the medical ganja counter in Boulder last I saw on TV.

      • Cojones

        How’s about a used one that would be “new” to you? Choose between the black, red or white baseball cap with the letter “G”; or a red winter wool with the letter”G”; or a white one with “DAWGS” on the front or 5 other models not sanctioned by UGA and presented by friends and family with the best intentions. Guaranteed not to be stolen when laid upside down or inverted and hung because no one will touch them with the light brown headband blackened in front.

        • Scorpio Jones, III

          Coj I tried the used hat thing a couple a years ago…nothing special for sure.

          The Kharmic Bitchez have got the wavelength of the one I used last season.

          I’m thinking a road trip deep into the heart of middle Georgia, maybe even down to Hahira.

          • Cojones

            We would be in close proximity, like the other side of Climax. If you get here for Mule Days, that would be exciting or should I say, Climaxing? Maybe if you are recruiting in Valdosta or Bainbridge I could create a hat for your upcoming Kharmic Bitchez polemics. Ever had a Straw-Dawg’s hat? You could wear it to the ESPN gameday at UGA (which ain’t gonna happen), but you could untune that wavelength they are putting out.

      • budro

        Blackledge should go there for Todd’s Taste of the Town if ESPN ever sends his crew back to Boulder.

        • gastr1

          Nah, he’s gotta get high and then go to the Tibetan restaurant. Only one I’ve seen pretty much anywhere…Tibetan. Lotta soups and goats.

    • Hell, you don’t even have to leave the state to see the inequity – our guys get arrested in Athens for weed, Nick Marshall gets a citation for it 120 miles or so to the southwest… 200 miles to the east in downtown Savannah, the odds of a white guy even getting a citation (much less being arrested!) for smoking weed is pretty low as long as you aren’t driving or aren’t obnoxious about it.

  15. Jeff Sanchez

    Meanwhile, at Oklahoma…

  16. 80dawg

    the problem is simply explained. When other schools “excuse” issues UGA punishes, UGA will always be at a disadvantage. until the sec or NCAA sets uniform penalties, nothing will matter except individual decisions of character over winning.

  17. Just Chuck (The Other One)

    We haven’t had anyone arrested for murder or locking their kids in the basement after they played out their eligibility and left the University.

  18. AthensHomerDawg

    I remember reading in Parade magazine. (If it qualifies as a mag but it was an insert in the Sunday paper). A big reason for a woman’s success was a very strong father figure and presence in the home. It went on to relate to the number of successful CEO’s and politicians etc that attributed their success to their dads. I thought that was pretty interesting. I don’t know but I imagine that Bluto’s girls are pretty accomplished. I believe he has three. Bernie from BerniesDawgBlog has two daughters. They are part of his blog and his blog’s story. I sincerely admire that. He posted a youtube of his daughter catching a pass. Nice hands. I’m sure they will be very successful women.
    70% of African Americans grow up in single family homes. The majority of our football players are African American. I don’t know the numbers but I can imagine there is big cultural shock in store for them when they get to Athens. How many are really prepared for college life at UGA or a Notre Dame? How many would ever be there if they didn’t play sports. I don’t know. Glad they got a shot. But really, it is a small target for them without the foundation that we two parent families sometimes take for granted. Bluto’s right. If you don’t have a fix for a problem don’t bitch and point it out. Well, I’m off my soap box. Thanks for your patience. Skeptic you really should stfu. Just sayin.

  19. This whole thing is about optics and the opportunity to pile on to the meme. The media is coming after Richt and Georgia fans for a different reasons. Richt as a coach who believes in doing the Lord’s work while he coaches. The media wants to take shots at him as a hypocrite whose inmates are running the asylum. He also wants to take a shot at the Bulldog Nation for criticizing him for the wrong reason (he doesn’t win enough). Either way, it’s about trying to light the chair on fire and get the hot seat meme going again.

  20. GaskillDawg

    Does anyone have a link or citation to the percentage of UGA students as a whole that are arrested each year? I would bet that the 5% or so of the 120 football players is no higher, and possibly be lower, than the student body as a whole. I also wish I knew what percentage of male UGA students are arrested, also so I could see if our football players as a group behave the same as, or better, than the male student body as a group.

    • Cojones

      Don’t have those stats, but from personal college experience I was arrested once by the GSP and Sheriff’s Dept at the same time. Something about stealing the GHP’s 4×8 sign from over their doorway, fleeing the scene, leading a riot and trying to burn the school down. I DID NOT try to burn the school down- it was the other knuckleheads who joined the third hour of rioting, not me.

      Anyway, the umpteen times I could have been arrested, I wasn’t. That included everything from drag racing to pig rustling to abandoning a hammerhead shark (17+ ft) hanging on the scales at a Gulf dock. Honestly, I think back as to how those headlines of high-jinks would have looked had a Dawg player been involved and arrested and thank God no one has sought to repeat.

      Gotta admit, though, that the headlines would be a little more snappier than smokin’ and drankin’.

  21. meanmachineinredandblack

    Our arrests this season are less than half of seasons of recent past. In addition, four of the seven offseason arrests were all one scheme, and two of the seven offseason arrests were one (now dismissed) player. I think that the biggest part of our disciplinary problems is now coaching at Louisville. However, while we’re looking for further solutions, the summer after we were named the #1 party school in the country by The Princeton Review, the ACCPD responded by going on a Jihad and arresting everyone for everything. That was also the offseason when the football program had 17 arrests if I’m not mistaken. Stop being named the #1 school, or get the police to knock off their spurts of martial law are my solutions.