It’s great to be a Georgia Bulldog… most of the time.

The background chatter isn’t letting up.  Quite the contrary, it’s getting noisier.

USA TODAY Sports spoke with multiple people who have insight into the situation at Georgia. They spoke on the condition of anonymity and encompass all levels of the college athletics industry from well-connected supporters of the program to agents to search firms.

Those conversations produced the following conclusions:

► Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity favored a coaching change after last season but was overruled by president Jere Morehead. Richt was then given a contract extension.

► Regardless of the ultimate decision on Richt this time, defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt almost certainly will not be back, as his relationship with Richt and Georgia administrators has grown toxic.

► Georgia does not have one or two mega-boosters with the influence to make the call on Richt, but the displeasure of the Bulldogs’ high-dollar financial supporters has made its way to Morehead’s office.

► If Richt stays, it will be with a coaching staff that looks very different as first-year offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has also been viewed as a problem.

It’s an untenable situation for any major program, particularly one like Georgia that should be competing for SEC titles annually but has squandered opportunity in the weakened Eastern division over the last few years.

The personality conflict between Pruitt and Richt stands at the center of Georgia’s failed season. Pruitt, who came up from the Nick Saban tree and was Jimbo Fisher’s defensive coordinator in 2013 at Florida State, was given wide latitude to improve the program from its recruiting operation to autonomy over several coaching hires.

But as Georgia has continued to lose, the intense and brash Pruitt has butted heads with the laid-back Richt, who has never been a fan of the idea that Alabama influence has become pervasive in his program. A lot of the blame internally has also been directed toward offensive line coach Rob Sale, who was hand-picked by Pruitt but has coached a unit that underperformed despite high expectations.

Many in the industry question whether Georgia will have the stomach to ultimately force out Richt and that it might be better for all parties involved if he chose to walk away after this season.

Little leakage there, Butts-Mehre?  In the immortal words of Wilford Brimley’s character in Absence of Malice, “You had a leak? You call what’s goin’ on around here a leak? Boy, the last time there was a leak like this, Noah built hisself a boat.”

That’s the sign of an inept administration.  And this is a sign of a coach having to deal with that, on top of his self-made problems:

Whatever you think of Richt at this point, there is no way to excuse what’s going on right now.  There’s no way to think it won’t factor into the process when the next coaching hire comes in to play, either.

Jesus, what a fucking mess.

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103 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

103 responses to “It’s great to be a Georgia Bulldog… most of the time.

  1. Turd Ferguson

    Jacob Eason’s gonna fix this.

    Like

  2. Jared S.

    This has “clean house” written all over it….. Starting with AD, CMR.

    Like

  3. DawgPhan

    Dont worry. I am sure the admin will turn it all around when they need to make some important decision this decemeber.

    Like

  4. Russ

    Wow. Just…wow.

    I can’t blame Pruitt for being pissed, but there are good ways and bad ways to go for change. And obviously Richt should have headed all of this off. I can’t see how anyone survives this mess. I guess McElwain will be coaching up Eason next season. Crap.

    Like

  5. Monday Night Frotteur

    If you are thinking about firing your coach, fire your coach. In the history of college football there are almost no examples of firing a coach too early and hundreds of examples of a year or two of Dead Man Walking setting your program back significantly for the next guy.

    Tom Herman would win huge in Athens.

    Like

    • Free Shoes U

      Huge? He’s done nothing but inherit a stellar QB in a sub par league.

      Gary Patterson would win HUGE!

      Like

    • Charles

      “In the history of college football there are almost no examples of firing a coach too early”

      Probably because that’s an impossible thing to validate.

      Like

  6. Theotherdoug

    Richt needs Pruitt to stay.

    Oh, and these leaks don’t look to be an accident.

    Like

    • Alkaline

      The fact that Pruitt is reportedly being targeted as a source of the team’s overall dysfunction does not bode well. Based on the Senator’s earlier post on stats, he is the one seemingly competent on-field coach that we do have…

      I’ve worked in a few toxic office environments: The more you point out to your bosses how things can easily be corrected with a little self-analysis on their part, the more of a liability you become in their eyes.

      Like

      • BABaracus

        My thoughts exactly when I read that article. If Pruitt is rubbing the admins the wrong way with his intensity & demands, that certainly doesn’t make me feel encouraged about what we might end up with if/when we do clean house.

        Like

        • Normaltown Mike

          Perhaps it’s that Pruitt rubs CMR et al the wrong way, not the AD.

          I have heard from a person that covers the program that Pruitt is very candid with his “WTF” attitude when things are done “the Georgia way”.

          He might be A problem but he’s not THE problem at UGA.

          I”m more concerned that a DC was able to demand and then articulate the reason we need an IPF when our CEO coach couldn’t be bothered.

          Like

          • W Cobb Dawg

            Well said. If someone like Pruitt can’t change the atmosphere, why would Patterson or Mullen take the job? People can damn Pruitt all they want. But he brings an attitude and work ethic we haven’t seen in a long time.

            Like

  7. Free Shoes U

    Auburn loving our dumpster fire….

    I must admit, the anti Richt crowd, me included, about to get our wish.

    Like

  8. DawgPhan

    It is certainly an interesting day on the internet.

    Like

  9. Jared S.

    Hey, I just got back from a trip to the future. Richt-led Georgia, still accompanied by Pruitt and Schottenheimer, wins their next 18 straight games, including next years SEC Championship. And we all have a good laugh about this year.

    Like

    • jntiii

      Why on earth did you come back? Sounds like a great place to be. Do they have hover boards and did the Cubs win the series?

      Like

      • Jared S.

        No hover boards and no Cubs in the playoffs, but John Kasich won the White House without winning the popular vote – by the skin of his electoral-college teeth a la George W. – and Todd Gurley was the MVP of the Super Bowl.

        Like

  10. CMR has lost control of……….well, everything.

    Like

  11. SAtowndawg

    seems as if there is a concerted effort to scapegoat Pruitt and his staff as the problem this year, led by Fran yesterday and Pollack today…could be true, but I’m sure the OC is enjoying the lack of focus on him…

    Like

  12. 2016….starting to look like 1989….

    Like

  13. Castleberry

    “Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity favored a coaching change after last season but was overruled by president Jere Morehead. Richt was then given a contract extension.”

    This is the first time I saw this. Was I under a rock or something? I’m not counting what folks heard on a message board…

    Wow. How did Bradley miss that?

    Like

    • Between the Bradley interview and the rumors swirling around the bowl game, I don’t think you had to read very far between the lines last December to realize that.

      Like

      • Castleberry

        Seems clear now, but at the time my take was that McGarity was not a good leader. “I support him… until I don’t”. I just didn’t connect the dots with Richt rumors after the bowl.

        Like

  14. sure…a first year head coach with one year of experience driving the boat. that’s exactly what we need.

    Like

  15. This Old Dawg thinks it is great to be a Georgia Bulldawg all the time.
    However, the 20 years from 1982 to 2002 was not the best for a
    lifelong Gator Hater. Still I was & still I am an avid Dawg Fan. That
    will never change: whoever the Coach is or the coaches are. Go Dawgs.

    Like

  16. @gatriguy

    It sure seems like every single person that wants the program to be better than it is ends up having a problem with Richt. That said, if Pruitt has really done all that’s out there, then he can fuck off. Get through the year and then like BVG, Callaway, Kirby, etc. Don’t be an unprofessional asshole.

    Like

    • It sure seems like every single person that wants the program to be better than it is ends up having a problem with Richt.

      You aren’t seeing the whole picture. Make sure you read my last post before drawing conclusions.

      Like

      • @gatriguy

        Yeah, got it. Senator, you’re right: this is a fucking mess.

        I’m probably alone in this, but think this Bama influence has been a disaster. UGA is never going to have th culture of Bama. Richt (if by some miracle he survives) or the next guy is going to have to find their own organic formula, or look at some other program to imitate.

        Like

        • Gaskilldawg

          Agree wholeheartedly. Whether on mocks the Georgia Way or embraces it, the institutional and community support for the Saban way differs from the institutional and community support in Athens.

          Whether that is good or bad, the Saban Process has to adjust to the UGA and Athens reality. Apparently if takes z different personality type than Pruitt has.

          Like

          • Scorpio Jones, III

            “differs from…” Gaskill, to me, that’s like saying chocolate differs from vanilla.

            It seems to me these two universities could not possibly more different, institutionally.

            I know a guy who came to Athens to teach…from Tuscaloosa, said it was like going from high school to graduate school.

            This University of Georgia will never, ever be Bama.

            Like

        • No you are not alone. There is a vast difference in the two schools and sports support. Living in Alabama has really tuned me in to this.

          Like

  17. Denver94

    That Tweet is the death knell.

    Like

  18. 3rdandGrantham

    ” Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity favored a coaching change after last season but was overruled by president Jere Morehead. Richt was then given a contract extension.”

    I just went from disliking ADGM to really, really liking him.

    Like

    • No One Knows You're a Dawg

      Absolutely untenable situation. Either Richt, or McGarity, or both have to go. Frankly, Morehead should have realized that last December.

      Like

  19. Athens Dog

    Maybe Pruitt is holding RIcht hostage and made him tweet that………..

    Like

  20. lakedawg

    USA Today, CbS, Paul Finebaum, AJC, yeah sure they know everything.

    Anything to sell something.

    Like

    • Denver94

      Mark Twain has a few words for you.

      Like

    • Yeah. Because out of the 100s of millions of possible readers it’s better for national impartial writers to focus on getting all those UGA fan clicks? Or does USA Today have a secret vendetta against Richt? Man. Some of y’all are delusional.

      Like

      • Charles

        It’s hardly delusional to observe that a story based on anonymous sources might be sliiiiiiightly sensationalistic.

        Like

        • If you and lake are still insisting there’s no fire here, I don’t know what to tell you. The metaphor of an ostrich with its head in the sand is just too easy.

          Like

          • Charles

            I can’t speak for lake, but you’ll have to forgive me for being slightly skeptical that [RANDOM ANONYMOUS DONOR/AGENT] might be putting actual reality above their interests here.

            Ultimately, who can say?

            Like

  21. ApalachDawg

    Our admin and athletic dept is like a bad episode of Cops circa1991 at the BakerCo trailer park trying to bust up Tammy and Darnell’s domestic dispute.

    Do you think top coaches want to deal with this kind of environment?

    This is the reason that our university hires people like Goff, Donnan, Richt, etc

    Like

  22. IAmAChubbyMan

    Senator – How about “Moses, what a fucking mess” instead of “Jesus, what a fucking mess” since you are Jewish?

    Like

    • Jesus fuck, I hope you weren’t butthurt over a goddamn line like that.

      At least the Senator put a comma between the two words. I just one upped him.

      Like

      • IAmAChubbyMan

        You know, I think Moses was a little more prominent to the Jewish people.

        Like

        • bad byron

          Except for that dying on the cross for them thing…..

          Like

          • IAmAChubbyMan

            Uhhh…you might want to study your history…he didn’t die on the cross for the Jews.

            Like

            • AthensHomerDawg

              Put your history book away… open your bible.
              “Timothy 4:10 says that Christ is “the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.”

              Like

              • IAmAChubbyMan

                Uhhh…not for the Jews, dumbo. That’s why they’re still waiting for the Messiah. It’s nice that the Christians have anointed him the savior for everyone. Perhaps you should let the Jews determine who is their savior and who is not. After 2015 years, they are still not interested.

                Like

                • AthensHomerDawg

                  You’re confusing two separate things here. Every breath that an unbeliever takes is an act of God’s mercy withholding judgment (Romans 2:4). Every time the gospel is preached to unbelievers it is the mercy of God that gives this opportunity for salvation.
                  Honestly, sometimes I feel as though I am dealing with my brother in laws children while here. Let it go Chubbs– you’ve not the knowledge or the ability to discuss this. You’re that swimmer, that can’t swim… gets to close to the rope that marks the deep end and you’re bouncing off your toes gulping air trying to ballet your way back to the shallow end. Per chance to grap that ladder and climb out and catch your breath in the kiddie pool. Safe once again.
                  Lol.

                  Like

                  • bad byron

                    I think that sound was the woosh passing over Chubby’s head, but nice effort on your part AHD.

                    Like

                  • IAmAChubbyMan

                    Actually, you and bad Byron are a couple of ignorant asshats, of course. Spouting everything your ignorant preacher told you like the braindead tools you are.

                    It’s pretty clear from the old testament that the Jews are correct in not accepting Jesus, per Deuteronomy 13 pasted below. All God wants is his law followed and that any prophet who insinuates otherwise is false and should be put to death.

                    But asshats such as yourself can’t even get through the internally contradictory gospels where John contradicts Luke who contradicts Mark who contradicts Matthew.

                    I have no dog in this fight, religiously. But for you to tell the Jews who their Messiah should be is laughable at best, ignorant and pathetic at worst.

                    1 Everything I command you that you shall be careful to do it. You shall neither add to it, nor subtract from it.

                    2 If there will arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of a dream, and he gives you a sign or a wonder,

                    3 and the sign or the wonder of which he spoke to you happens, [and he] says, “Let us go after other gods which you have not known, and let us worship them,”

                    4 you shall not heed the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of a dream; for the Lord, your God, is testing you, to know whether you really love the Lord, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul.

                    5 You shall follow the Lord, your God, fear Him, keep His commandments, heed His voice, worship Him, and cleave to Him.

                    6 And that prophet, or that dreamer of a dream shall be put to death; because he spoke falsehood about the Lord, your God Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and Who redeemed you from the house of bondage, to lead you astray from the way in which the Lord, your God, commanded you to go; so shall you clear away the evil from your midst.

                    7 If your brother, the son of your mother, tempts you in secret or your son, or your daughter, or the wife of your embrace, or your friend, who is as your own soul saying, “Let us go and worship other gods, which neither you, nor your forefathers have known.”

                    8 Of the gods of the peoples around you, [whether] near to you or far from you, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth;

                    9 You shall not desire him, and you shall not hearken to him; neither shall you pity him, have mercy upon him, nor shield him.

                    10 But you shall surely kill him, your hand shall be the first against him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.

                    11 And you shall stone him with stones so that he dies, because he sought to lead you astray from the Lord, your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

                    12 And all Israel shall listen and fear, and they shall no longer do any evil such as this in your midst.

                    13 If you hear in one of your cities which the Lord, your God, is giving you to dwell therein, saying,

                    14 “Unfaithful men have gone forth from among you and have led the inhabitants of their city astray, saying, ‘Let us go and worship other gods, which you have not known.’ ”

                    15 Then you shall inquire, investigate, and ask thoroughly, and, behold, it is true, the matter is certain, that such abomination has been committed in your midst

                    16 You shall surely strike down the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroy it with all that is in it and its livestock, with the edge of the sword.

                    17 And you shall collect all its spoil into the midst of its open square, and burn with fire the city and all its spoil, completely, for the Lord, your God; and it shall be a heap of destruction forever, never to be rebuilt. \

                    18 And nothing that is doomed to destruction shall cling to your hand, so that the Lord may return from His fierce wrath, and grant you compassion, and be compassionate with you, and multiply you, as He swore to your forefathers.

                    19 For you shall hearken to the voice of the Lord your God, to keep all His commandments which I command you this day, to do that which is proper in the eyes of the Lord, your God.

                    Like

                    • AthensHomerDawg

                      Welp, by reading your post I can see who you are and that this is true…A small amount of knowledge can mislead people into thinking that they are more expert than they really are. Careful when you wave those things around they bite!

                      Like

        • AthensHomerDawg

          “Holy Moses!” Feel better? Ya know I use to believe you were just some azzhat trying to bait Bluto. I’ve reached the conclusion that you are a very sad chubby man. Sad and chubby is no way to go through life son. (Sigh)

          Like

      • Charles

        Strong.

        Like

      • Normaltown Mike

        You’re in good company

        Like

    • rocksalt

      Pontius Pilate thinks that phrase is just fine.

      Like

    • Normaltown Mike

      What about “Tebow, what a fucking mess”

      Like

    • Jack Klompus

      I think he was referring to Jesus Quintana- Let me tell you something, pendejo.

      Like

  23. Will Trane

    The part about McGarity wanting to get rid of Richt last year is a loud statement. Sure Morehead and Tarkenton stood in the way.
    We would be ahead of the curve if it had happened. 5-10 Richt. Yep that says it all except to Morehead and Tarkenton.
    There is no doubt UT and UF are building their programs. Look at their staff and how they play. Pruitt saw it. He walked in and tried to jump start that passive, let-it-go CMR. CMR is just low energy, get along guy.
    Tired of hearing he is a good old boy. 5-10. Yep, UF and the rest of the SEC love him.
    Ask the high school coaches what they think of the CMR country club atmosphere in Athens. This is where the issue is. UGA is the flag ship program in this state. Georgia is loaded with players in all sports, but they go outside. Like Spurrier said, they get the players but look what happens to them. We did. They get arrested. It is an annual issue with CMR.
    Heard many of his former players say players do not fear CMR. They know they can take off on plays, just get by, and etc. Have two players out at 2:30 am during a week when the program is in trouble. Then you hear all this weird crap from CMR’s mouth.
    Reason Bauta was playing safety on scout is because Pruitt probably told him I am not going to get a starter hurt. You have all those QBs on offense they do nothing and all those RBs, like Thurman, who do not play.
    Where is Thurman. Richt does not coach or develop players.
    McGarity saw that.

    Like

  24. Normaltown Mike

    The McGarity insinuation of a quote is outrageous, if accurate.

    I can’t imagine McGarity or Richt being able to work together if CMR knows already or just found out that his boss wants him canned.

    Totally crazy.

    Like

  25. Hogbody Spradlin

    We are officially a cluster fk, dumpster fire, train wreck, fubar, snafu, hot mess, porcupine fk, unmitigated disaster.

    And Wilford Brimley absolutely stole that scene in Absence of Malice. Favorite line: “Wonderful thing, a subpoena.”

    Like

  26. paul

    This just gets curiouser and curiouser. The guy doing his job is the first one out the door? Meanwhile, the guy whose offense didn’t score a red zone touchdown for an entire MONTH is hardly mentioned? Sounds to me like the one we really need to get rid of is McGarity.

    Like

    • Otto

      McGarity wanted Richt out last year, and seems to have wanted Pruitt, Richt has proven his ceiling over the past decade. McGarity is the one who should stay.

      Like

      • @gatriguy

        I’ve said this in this blog for 5 years: McG wanted Richt gone almost immediately. His “they’re out working you” comment to Richt re: Florida told me all I needed to hear. The time was after 2010, but he didn’t have the stones and/or the political capital.

        Like

  27. Jeff

    Hey, is there a game Saturday? What time?

    Like

  28. dawgman3000

    Senator, unless this team wins out and look like the New England Patriots doing it, this situation will not end well.

    Like

    • It’s not going to end well, no matter what, I’m afraid.

      I honestly don’t get the optimism of those who think Richt’s departure will make things better. (Which isn’t the same thing as saying I think Richt should stay.)

      Like

      • Jared S.

        I’m right there with you Senator. Let Nebraska be a lesson to us…. Firing Richt could likely mean several years of absolute irrelevance in college football for the short-term.

        Like

      • Connor

        It’ll be interesting either way. Maybe the Ivory Tower administrators of UGA need to suffer through a less adept coach, watch them run the football program into the ground and see the vengeful anger of the riotous fan base. Or maybe the more fanatical elements of our fans need to suffer through those doldrums, to appreciate some of what we had, and to see that the institutional restrictor plates extend beyond the head coach. You and the blog-sphere are the only guaranteed winners out of this mayhem. Honestly, I’m loving the anarchy. This is the best of both worlds; Off-season coaching drama.. and a game in 48 hours! What a time to be alive.

        Like

      • IAmAChubbyMan

        It will most definitely end well…in the long run. In the short run, there may be some hiccups. Or maybe not, as Jim McElwain is proving, if you make the right hire. But in the long run, the program will be much better off. Keep in mind, the long run may only be a couple of years if we get the right guy in here. This isn’t necessarily a 5-10 year overhaul. At least not yet. If they let Richt hang around another year, it may turn into that. Fortunately it won’t come to that – Richt will most definitely be gone.

        Like

        • ugadawgguy

          No, the long run at Georgia is indeed a long run. The problems here clearly run far deeper than the head coach, or even Butts-Mehre. I think the counterproductive, self-sabotaging Georgia Way can be traced as far as the Board of Regents, and it’s so entrenched that I see no way it EVER changes.

          And that means the Richt era’s probably going to end up looking like the Golden Age of Georgia Football.

          At any rate, no coach could walk into this situation and fix it himself. No one. The couple of coaches who could (1) would not willingly take a job in this environment and (2) would require a level of autonomy that no coach at Georgia has ever enjoyed. The head football coach at Georgia doesn’t — and never will — have the power to change the weed policy, the local PD’s approach to athletes, the school’s approach to academics for athletes, or the amount of money dedicated to football support staff.

          We’re in deep, long-lasting — maybe permanent — shit.

          Like

      • AthensHomerDawg

        NO Bluto… THis will not end well.

        Like

      • Raleigh St. Claire

        The last time we made a coaching change things did get better. When organizations go stale, the only way for them to improve is through change.

        We are stagnant at best and more likely regressing. I don’t understand the fear of bad things when things already are bad.

        Like 5-10 against the Gators while losing to 5 different UF head coaches bad.

        How much would that suck if that happened.

        Oh wait.

        Like

  29. AthensHomerDawg

    It’s great to be a Georgia Bulldog… most of the time

    Like

  30. Derek

    “Here’s what I say about that: I went to school there, I graduated from there, I’m an alumnus, I played football there, I have bled and sweat for that school and did everything I could to help it win, and there ain’t another man in the country I’d want coaching at the University of Georgia than Mark Richt,” Bobo said, his voice level rising. “His time’s gonna come. It’s gonna happen, OK, because he’s consistent, he does it the right way. He’s going to win. If he doesn’t, he doesn’t. But at the end of the day, he’s going to be able to say, ‘I’ve done everything I possibly could – time, energy, resources – into trying to make Georgia a complete program that cares about kids.’

    “Our biggest job is make sure these guys grow, not just as a football player, but as a person,” Bobo continued. “When they walk out of school, they’re ready. They’re ready to walk out there and do what it takes to be successful. He does that better than anybody. There isn’t any guy I’d rather have there than him.”

    Who is in any position to argue with that?

    Like

  31. Why do these rumors have so much credence? As far as I’ve seen, 100% of this could be fabricated BS from outside B-M and Richt’s tweet was just to quell some of the ridiculousness so it wouldn’t be a distraction. What am I missing?

    Like