Anthony Dasher voices a strange complaint about the Lanning promotion.
Yes, Bulldog fans should be thrilled that Smart is their head coach. Having said that, the public confirmation of Dan Lanning’spromotion to defensive coordinator deserves comment. It’s one of the oddest deals I’ve seen in 32 years of covering collegiate athletics.
For those unaware, the word from on high didn’t come in the form of a press release or a formal announcement by the University. No, it’s the result of an open records request, one made by UGASports and other media outlets that regularly cover Georgia’s athletic program.
I’m still scratching my head, trying to figure out why Smart allowed it to be handled this way.
When Georgia announced the promotion of James Coley, the hirings of tight end coach Todd Hartley and defensive back coach Charlton Warren, and even offensive analyst Shawn Watson, the school released the news in a professionally written email to beat writers, complete with a quote from Smart extolling the virtues of the program’s latest hire.
That wasn’t the case with Lanning.
It wasn’t until Georgia’s open records office replied to requests late Friday afternoon, listing Georgia’s assistants and their titles and salaries, that anyone outside the program could say what Lanning’s title was.
Was this a wise decision by Smart?
There’s no doubt a good portion of the Bulldog Nation who don’t give a flying flip how it affects the media and their ability to do their job. “It’s Smart’s team and he can do what he wants; you (media) don’t have a right to know.” I get it.
That’s actually not my gripe. It’s the false narrative that was unnecessarily created that Georgia had to settle for Lanning when that was not the case.
But while everyone tries to figures out Smart’s motives were—he’s been unavailable for comment since the Sugar Bowl—those reasons, whatever they are, seem curious at best.
The fact the media had to find out on its own via an FOI request has been a running joke for opposing fans.
Now, Coach Smart doesn’t care what anyone thinks, but it’s a shame that this incorrect narrative on Lanning’s hire has been allowed to percolate among Bulldog rivals: they could claim use Smart really didn’t “get his man,” and use it as recruiting propaganda.
Okay, Kirby doesn’t care, most of us don’t care and I’ll bet the coaching staff doesn’t either. But what opposing fans say is supposed to matter? Shit, if that’s all it took, we would have put Georgia Tech football out of business years ago.
I will be curious to hear if Dasher brings this up at Smart’s next presser, even if I’m pretty sure of the response if he does.