So much for avoiding that pissing match.
On the first day of spring semester classes at Georgia, the parents of Bulldogs walk-on kicker Rodrigo Blankenship issued a statement Thursday going public with why they feel like coach Kirby Smart should have put their son on scholarship after his redshirt freshman season.
It came the same day they said their son paid for his spring semester tuition.
“Our son being refused a scholarship is an injustice to him as well as a crushing hardship for his family,” Ken and Izabel Blankenship said in an email to some media outlets, including OnlineAthens.com.
… The family said Smart didn’t mention scholarship limitations to them in the meeting as the reason why Blankenship isn’t going on scholarship now but did say that “he never puts anyone on scholarship mid-year.” They pointed to scholarships that opened with the departures of transfers Shaquery Wilson, Juwaun Briscoe, Kirby Choates, Shaun McGee, Rico McGraw as well as Isaiah McKenzie declaring for the NFL draft.
“Since there will be about a half-dozen brand-new Georgia Bulldogs riding on the scholarship gravy train on Jan. 5 (as early enrollees and transfers), we beg to differ with that statement,” the family said. “…It it is very distressing to us that our son, who has ALREADY made fairly significant, valid and measurable contributions to this program commands a lower priority than those who have yet to provide a single play or single point for that same program. Isn’t Rodrigo a somewhat viable candidate for future contributions? Has he not established a somewhat impressive track record on which to base future projections?”
Ken Blankenship said Smart said in the meeting he wasn’t sure he could “trust Rodrigo to be the player we want in that position,” and questioning “practice injuries,” he had.
The year is already getting off to a bang for Kirby and we’re not even out of the first week.
At least Ken doesn’t think Smart holds a grudge.
The father said he didn’t think acrimony with Smart would jeopardize his son’s standing on the team.
“He said in that meeting he wouldn’t do anything like that to retaliate because he wasn’t given any scholarship,” Ken Blankenship said. “I don’t know if he meant that but that’s what he says. We have to agree to disagree. …Rodrigo’s not saying any of that. It’s us. We think this decision was not fair or just.”
Stage parents. What are you gonna do?