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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Saturday Links (3/6)

Answering a few of your questions...

Ally writes: David, have you been able to find out why Zach "punt block" Renner left the team? I love this kid & thought he was really happy at UGA.

David: This is a pretty unfortunate situation. When UGA awards walk-ons with a scholarship, they are one-year scholarship agreements. Usually Mark Richt tries to keep those players on scholarship, but it's not always possible. That was the case with Zach this year. Unfortunately, that put Zach in a precarious situation financially that prevented him from remaining with the team. He told me he is hoping to transfer to a DIII program closer to his home in Connecticut, which will ideally be more affordable.

Mike writes: Do you have a schedule for spring football? When will the first full-pads practice be?

David: They'll practice every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday beginning March 16, and while the official schedule hasn't been set for full-pads and scrimmage days, my best guess would be either the 20th or 23rd for their first full-pads practice.

Trae writes: Saw a lot of stuff about the defense in your post on bulldog blog but what about the offense? Did you get a chance to see the QB's work any?

David: You can check out some of their throws on the practice video I posted yesterday. Beyond that, it's tough to say too much from the small glimpse we got of the QBs -- not that I'd necessarily know what I was looking for anyway.

Mark Richt, on the other hand, had a clear idea of what he wanted to see, which I thought was pretty interesting: "We're teaching them to think right and think in a systematic way so that when the pressure is on, they'll be able to function properly. Thinking is a habit just as throwing a football is a habit. If you think properly, down after down after down, rep after rep, even in the film session as you watch it, you go through the same progression over and over and over, you're just forming a habit. You're going to do the right thing and make the right decision. One thing I told them before we left the meeting was, if you want to impress me, show me your helmet -- I want your helmet to be locked in where it should be as you progress. When you watch film, you can watch that quarterback's helmet. You can't really see his eyes, but you can see his helmet and see where he's progressing and the timing of it, and you can tell if he's doing it the way he's supposed to be doing it or not."

OK, a handful of links for your Saturday reading...

-- Connor Nolte has today's final regular-season game day trick shot posted and it features a cameo by Charles Barkley.

BTW, here's what Mark Fox had to say about the trick shots: "What's amazing about the trick shots is when Connor started that, I gave him a hard time that it was more important to them than the simple fundamentals of the game. But it's garnered so much attention for our program -- I woke up the other day and had a million messages about ESPN. It's been amazing. ... I joked with someone that this kid got us into 10 million homes, and it's been great publicity."

-- Chattanooga writes about Trey Thompkins' rising star.

-- It won't mean much in the standings, but there's still a lot Georgia is playing for against LSU today.

-- I had a story in yesterday's Telegraph on the chemistry among Georgia's coaches after so much turnover from years past.

-- Chris Low talks to Todd Grantham about his philosophy and plans for this season.

-- Bubba N Earl take a closer look at how Zach Mettenberger stacks up in the QB competition.

-- Jeff Schultz writes that this spring is about establishing a new attitude at Georgia.

-- Former Bulldog Charles Grant got his walking papers from the New Orleans Saints.

-- Bill King writes about Bill Goldberg's impending trip to "Celebrity Apprentice."

-- The Lady Dogs fell to Mississippi State in the quarterfinals of the SEC tourney.

-- NBC has officially renewed "Community"... along with "30 Rock" and "The Office," not that those were much of a surprise.

-- So Conan O'Brien randomly picked one person to follow on Twitter -- which has immediately changed the girl's life. Crazy.

-- Billy Corgan sounds like he's not too thrilled with one of his former bandmates.

-- i09 offers five reasons why the parallel universe in "Lost" is a complete waste of time.

-- Another former cast member will be back on "Lost" for at least one episode.

-- And finally, the Village Voice has an interview with a stripper who talks about how music at strip clubs is chosen. This article wins the award for "story I am astonished I found interesting" this week. I mean, who knew that Weezer fans were now a key part of the strip club demographic?


Anonymous said...

Gotta hate bein' a part of that #1 curse. At least they're good enough to have that ranking though!

Anonymous said...

David..with all due respect to your reporting (b/c you are the best), the Zach Renner situation does not pass the "smell test."

The dude lays out for the team and we cannot find some type of scholarship for him? I cannot ever recall something like this occurring in the past.

There has to be more to the story.

David Hale said...

Well I can only tell you what I've been told, Anon. But I talked to Zach directly, and he said the situation is strictly financial. Moreover, I've talked to Mark Richt about this before and it is his philosophy that schollies for walk-ons are given on a one-year only basis. Georgia -- as with all schools -- is limited to 85 schollies, and if there wasn't one available for the fall, then it would stand to reason that Zach would be out of luck.

dawgjammin said...

from a football fan...
i can't rember a basketball season being this taxing on my emotions. yeah I get that we aren't supposed to be very good with a young team and a first year coach, but its been pretty draining and deflating. you have to think the team has the "here we go again" mentality when that clock hits the 3 minute mark in the 2nd half...

here's hoping the pull an upset or two in the tourney and show out in the NIT.

Anonymous said...

As you know, all scholarships are one-year deals, not just the ones awarded to walk-ons. Perhaps Mark Richt chooses to look at the ones he awards to walk-ons differently than the ones he gives to high school seniors, but he doesn't have to. Have you heard of Richt doing this in the past to a walk-on? This is the first I've heard of him pulling a scholarship for anyone, although these types of things fly under the radar especially with a walk-on who rarely sees the field.

David Hale said...

Yes, he has done this in the past as well. He let's the walk-ons know ahead of time that the schollies are for one year only. He tries to renew the scholarships as often as possible but has said in the past that it's not always possible. More often than not, the walk-ons who are awarded the scholarships are seniors anyway, so it's rarely an issue.

Of course, another question worth asking is this: If there wasn't enough scholarships for Renner, what would have happened if UGA hadn't had four players de-commit in the final weeks before signing day?

Anonymous said...


you think they told the walkon's the scholarship wasn't there before the start of spring semester because of the commits they were pretty sure of...remember da'rick and the rest of the decommits were still pretty strongly committed before spring semester started....therefore Renner could have transfered before spring semester started. if money was really that big of an issue for him to be in school...why stay another semeseter? Or is he still currently enrolled this semeseter at UGA?

David Hale said...

Scholarships run from fall through spring, so Zach is still in school at UGA on scholarship, which ends at the end of this semester. I'm sure if there was a scholly available, the situation would have been rectified. Rodney Garner said on signing day that UGA had just one vacant scholarship and that may have already been accounted for to someone other than Zach.

Anonymous said...

An interesting topic for you. Do you think that the 3-4 defense might be ideally suited for stopping the spread offense. I know it was / is mainly employed in the NFL to stop pro-style offenses, but having an extra man standing to make reads and make quicker lateral movements before first contact seems ideal against the spread. Any thoughts?


Ally said...

Oh wow. I thought our policy was that once a kid has a scholly he's got that scholly until he graduates or leaves. I'm pretty shocked by the situation with Zach Renner.

He came to UGA as an out-of-state student without a scholarship. I guessed his financial situation changed once the scholly wasn't renewed? I wish we could've somehow helped him with financial aid packages, grants, etc. to keep him at UGA. This is just rotten. He is an amazing young man, and an talent on special teams. I truly hate that.

Thank you David for following up with him. I will ceratinly miss #80 in red & black and wish him the very best.

dawgjammin said...

Any possible way we can petition the NCAA for some reinstated credit on Andy Bailey's 4 year scholarship? What a waste...

Ozam said...


Thanks for commenting on my original post re: "not passing the smell test"

Even if all the reports are true, something is wrong with the system when a walk on who contributes to the Dawg's success isn't rewarded, especially when there are plenty of kids who get four year free rides based on their high school play.

Somehow the Renner situation just doesn't seem right. Hell, I would contribute money to keep him at UGA knowing that either way he will not be playing football anymore.