Holy mother of crap – this article indicates things are moving much faster away from Richt than I thought.
And while Georgia’s defense has played relatively well — the Bulldogs are fifth in the SEC in total defense (321 ypg) and second against the pass (183) — defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt is not above reproach. According to more than one source close to the program, Pruitt increasingly has been the source of friction not only within the football office but throughout the athletic department.
Pruitt denied having run-ins with fellow coaches, as has been asserted, but declined comment.
Richt was asked Tuesday if he had been dealing with disharmony or dissension on his coaching staff. He did not forcefully deny it.
“Not really,” he said. “You know … there’s always things that happen in the heat of the battle and all that in every game. I think if you put a microphone on everybody, if you’ve got a play-caller upstairs and you’re calling a game and every word was recorded, you know, there would be like people get hot about this, that or the other. But it’s just typical game-day type stuff. But we’ve had no issue there.”
Obviously, any and all dysfunction falls at the feet of Richt. One of his strengths — being easy to work for — is turning into a weakness, say some sources close to the program. They worry that Richt has not moved quicker to quell the dissension, or to make structural moves to fix the offense, such as moving Schottenheimer to the press box during games, or taking over play-calling himself, or giving it to someone else on the staff. Richt called plays the first six seasons of his tenure before handing off those duties to Bobo.
That’s a lot of background chatter directed to members of the media, more than I’ve ever seen, from insiders. It’s McGarity, the man who gave that infamous interview to Mark Bradley last year, who’s tight-lipped.
This isn’t to say Richt’s gone, but no doubt there are battle lines being drawn over his future.
Meanwhile, Richt’s support has dwindled considerably among individuals who are intimately connected to the program through financial support and/or past or current service. The level of discontent among them with regard to Richt in wake of the Florida game is “very high,” according to one source. Some longtime Richt advocates flipped afterward.
That said, there is no immediate movement afoot to initiate a change at the top. Among those who most loyally support the program, Richt is given credit for his 15 years of mostly good work and exemplary representation as the face of the football team. They take into account the fact that Richt has won at a higher rate than almost any other coach UGA at a time when SEC football is more competitive than it has ever been.
It’s one thing to read that kind of stuff in a blog comment thread. It’s another to hear it from the people who supposedly have some degree of juice inside Butts-Mehre. From them, it’s an effort to work the refs, i.e., McGarity and Morehead. That’s not good for Richt. But you know what? It’s probably worse for the program.
This isn’t going to work out well, I’m afraid. No matter what Richt’s fate may be.