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Monday, April 19, 2010

Who's to Blame for Off-Field Issues?

Has Mark Richt lost control of his program?

I'm not asking that question for my benefit. I'm asking it because the question has either been posed to me by people outside of the program or I've heard it said by Georgia fans enough times that I think it warrants exploration.

With the dismissal of quarterback Zach Mettenberger yesterday, the laundry list of off-field incidents grows by one more -- although perhaps only insofar as an incident we already knew about may have been a bit more serious than we first thought.

Since February of 2007, I count 37 different incidents (some of which were one event in which multiple players were involved) in which a Georgia player was arrested and charged with a crime or served some form of punishment in terms of a suspension by Richt for a violation that did not involve a criminal act. (*All of which I list below if you care to read through them.)

Thirty-seven.

If you go by the sheer numbers, that's a whole lot. And when it comes to public perception, little else matters beyond those aggregate numbers.

Of course, for those of us who occasionally enjoy firing up more than two or three brain cells to contemplate a situation, there is obviously much more to the story.

In Mettenberger's case, we don't quite know yet what happened. Obviously the facts we do have -- five charges stemming from a situation at a bar in Valdosta -- show some very poor decision-making by the quarterback. Beyond that, it's all conjecture. So let's set that aside for now.

Of the 37 incidents since 2007, here's the breakdown in terms of severity:

8 minor alcohol incidents, including public intoxication, underage consumption and possession of a fake ID.

5 DUIs. Of the five, however, one charge (against Clint Boling) was reduced and did not result in a conviction.

1 weapons charge. This came against Jeremy Lomax and was dropped completely.

7 were incidents involving an assault of some sort, although two of those belong to Montez Robinson. Two more -- charges against Trinton Sturdivant and Justin Anderson -- were also dropped. Another involved a recruit, Dexter Moody, who had not yet arrived on campus and was not charged with a crime.

6 were minor driving violations -- emerging from an alley and what not.

2 were for destruction of property, including one -- Darius Dewberry's run-in at St. Mary's -- that did not result in criminal charges and was handled internally.

8 were cases in which Richt levied discipline against players for violations of team rules that did not stem from any legal charges.

And in one case -- Taxi-gate -- Georgia's reputation took a hit, despite the fact that no criminal charges were filed against any players.

(And if you're doing the math, the lone missing incident is the most recent situation with Mettenberger.)

So let's put that into more context: Of the 37 incidents since 2007, only 13 would be something most of us would consider a particularly serious charge -- weapons, assaults, DUI. Of those, charges were dropped or reduced in four instances and in Moody's case, he was neither officially a UGA player, nor were charges filed against him.

So now we're looking at eight serious charges in a little more than three years -- four of which were DUIs and two of which were assaults all pegged to the same player (and one whose background adds further complexities to any judgment we might pass).

That's seven players who found themselves in serious trouble. Of those seven, the three who were charged with assault were all dismissed from the program. The four charged with DUIs all served suspensions, and in the cases of Jeff Henson and Donavon Baldwin, were dismissed from the program upon a second infraction.

(So... seven players charged with serious crimes in three years. Given that there have been roughly 220 players -- scholarship and walk-on -- pass through the program in those three years, that's roughly 3 percent who have gotten into significant trouble. I'd be curious to see how that correlates to the student body as a whole.)

And as I noted, on eight occasions, Richt levied punishment upon players whom the public never would have known were in trouble otherwise.

Seven players were involved in more than one "incident" (assuming you're counting Mettenberger's arrest and dismissal as separate), and of that group, four were kicked off the team permanently. In addition, Akeem Hebron served a year's suspension and spent that time at GMC, Bruce Figgins sat out six games -- and eventually redshirted for the season -- and the final player arrested twice, Vince Vance, was only charged with two minor traffic citations.

In fact, of the 28 players listed in incidents below, seven did not finish their careers at Georgia, one (Hebron) served a year's suspension, and four others were essentially cleared of any wrongdoing.

So while the program may be taking a hit, it certainly doesn't appear like that has been caused by a lack of consequences dished out on Richt's part. He has punished players, and I fail to see any instances -- with the possible exception of Montez Robinson's first two arrests -- in which additional punishment would have been necessary or possible.

Of course, this doesn't include academic issues like the ones that plagued Paul Oliver or John Knox. And it assumes that incidents that resulted in in-house punishment but not arrests were not of grave significance. And, obviously, these are only the things we know about -- the ones who got caught, so to speak. And it doesn't include stuff like THIS.

If you look at Florida -- a comparable program -- the Gators have had their fair share of arrests, too.

But if you look at how those schools stack up against others, it's also pretty clear that those aggregate numbers are higher than they should be.

So I ask… is this enough to consider Georgia a program out of control? And does that even matter? Are the simple problems that come with bad publicity enough to be of serious concern? (And before you answer that, ask yourself what you, as a Georgia fan, think of the discipline at places like Florida and Tennessee, and how it is you came to those conclusions.)

I've read arguments that Richt has failed to make his players understand the consequences of their actions. But what more can he do? Robinson was on probation, had a restraining order against him and knew that one more issue would cost him his scholarship. And he screwed up anyway. Mettenberger had a shot at becoming the starting quarterback, and he still screwed up. How much more can two players have at stake?

I've read that Richt is simply recruiting the wrong types of players. I'm not even sure what it means, though it strikes me as having some particularly ugly possibilities. But the truth is, Robinson and Mettenberger couldn't come from more divergent backgrounds. Robinson grew up in foster care and came from a high school in Indiana. Mettenberger comes from a strong family background, his mother actually works in the football offices, and he grew up down the road in Watkinsville, a lifelong Georgia fan. Both got in trouble. And if you look at the list of incidents during the past three years, it includes the names of rich kids and poor kids, black kids and white kids, veterans and freshmen. So who is this perfect group of athletes Georgia should be pulling from?

I don't know the answers, but I do hear the criticism. I would submit that, given these numbers, Georgia may want to consider reviewing the training it does with players regarding alcohol and traffic issues. I would also suggest that, given the number of incidents that occurred concurrently, perhaps the players should be doing a bit better job of policing each other as well. And the scooters -- that's another issue altogether.

I'd also be curious, if you think Richt has failed in his role as head coach, mentor or disciplinarian, what would you suggest he could have done differently? And might your opinion change any if Georgia had gone 11-2 last season instead of 8-5?

I don't mean that to sound condescending to anyone upset about the situation either. I honestly would like to know.

Because it's easy to say that 37 off-field incidents in a three-year time span is too much. But it's a trickier question to start asking why it has happened and how it can be prevented in the future.

List of Off-Field Incidents Since 2007

(* I can't promise I didn't miss any, but this is the most comprehensive list I could come up with.)

Feb. 25, 2007 -- Linebacker Akeem Hebron arrested and charged with underage possession of alcohol. Suspended two games.

Apr. 26, 2007 -- Linebacker Akeem Hebron arrested a second time and charged with underage possession of alcohol. Removed from team, but returned after a year at GMC.

Nov. 26, 2007 -- Snapper Jeff Henson arrested and charged with DUI. Suspended for Sugar Bowl.

March 23, 2007 -- Tanner Strickland arrested and charged with possession of fake ID. He was not suspended.

June 10, 2007 -- Blake Barnes and Tripp Chandler arrested and charged with open container. Barnes was also charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor and Chandler with underage consumption. Both served a one-game suspension, and Barnes later transferred.

May 25, 2007 -- Walk-on defensive tackle Tripp Taylor was arrested on assault charges.

July 18, 2007 -- Tailback Caleb King arrested and charged with operating a scooter without a license.

July 30, 2007 -- Tight end NeDerris Ward arrested and charged with operating a scooter without a license.

Jan. 20, 2008 -- Defensive back Donavon Baldwin arrested and charged with driving under the influence. He was suspended to be suspended for the start of the 2008 season.

Jan. 20, 2008 -- Fullback Fred Munzenmaier arrested and charged with underage possession of alcohol. He was suspended for the first two games of the 2008 season.

May 14, 2008 -- Left tackle Clint Boling was arrested and charged with DUI. He was suspended for two games, but the charges against Boling were later reduced, as was the suspension -- to one game.

June 3, 2008 -- Defensive end Jeremy Lomax arrested and charged with speeding and carrying a concealed weapon. He was cleared of all charges and was not suspended.

June 28, 2008 -- Linemen Trinton Sturdivant and Justin Anderson arrested and charged with simple assault for touching a pregnant woman's stomach. All charges were eventually dropped against both players.

June 28, 2008 -- Defensive end Michael Lemon was charged with felony battery after a fight at an off-campus party. He was dismissed from the program by Mark Richt -- later being arrested again in Athens -- but played a year at GMC and is now a member of the NC State football team.

Aug. 2 2008 -- Defensive back Donavon Baldwin and linebacker Marcus Dowtin are both involved in a fight at a downtown Athens bar. Dowtin served an internal punishment and was not suspended. For Baldwin, it was his second off-field incident in less than a year. He was suspended indefinitely, eventually deciding to leave the team in what Richt dubbed a mutual decision. No charges were formally filed against either player.

Aug. 2, 2008 -- Snapper Jeff Henson is charged with public indecency after he was found urinating in public in downtown Athens. This was his second charge in less than a year as well, and he was dismissed from the program by Richt.

Aug. 5, 2008 -- Linebacker Darius Dewberry is suspended for the first two games of the season after Richt announces he was involved in damaging property at Saint Mary's Hospital when he went to visit teammates Baldwin and Dowtin there the previous weekend.

Aug. 20, 2008 -- Tight end Bruce Figgins is benched for the entirety of Georgia's opening game for what Richt called a violation of team rules. He played the following week.

Oct. 19, 2008 -- Defensive tackle Brandon Wood is charged with driving under the influence and receives a two-game suspension from Richt.

Oct. 19, 2008 -- Lineman Vince Vance is arrested and charged with driving without a license. No suspension is levied, as Vance was already out for the season with a knee injury.

March 17, 2009 -- Mark Richt revokes the scholarship of recruit Dexter Moody after the player threatened at teacher at his high school.

May 8, 2009 -- Defensive end Justin Houston is suspended for two games for a violation of team rules, while tight end Bruce Figgins lands a six-game suspension, also for violating team rules. Wide receiver Tony Wilson was rumored to be involved in an incident as well, but he was instead given a medical disqualification and did not return to the program. He recently joined the football program at Bethune-Cookman and said the incident at Georgia involved him getting into a physical altercation with a member of the coaching staff.

Oct. 13, 2009 -- Cornerback Vance Cuff is arrested and charged with operating a scooter with a suspended license and the now infamous charge of "emerging from an alley." He was suspended for one game by Richt, but did not play for the next several weeks.

Oct. 25, 2009 -- An arrest warrant was issued for linebacker Rennie Curran, who was charged with failing to pay parking fines and theft by taking after he moved his scooter, which had been booted by traffic police. Curran cleared up the incident, paid a fine and was not suspended.

Oct. 28, 2009 -- Offensive lineman Vince Vance is arrested for the second time in the past year for driving without a license. Richt says Vance had a learner's permit, but not a proper driver's license.

Nov. 19, 2009 -- Lineman Jonathan Owens is arrested and charged with driving a motorcycle without a license.

Dec. 4, 2009 -- Defensive end Montez Robinson is arrested and charged with misdemeanor simple battery and felony criminal damage stemming from two separate incidents -- one involving pushing his girlfriend and one involving smashing a parking light on her car. He was suspended for two games.

March 7, 2010 -- Quarterback Zach Mettenberger is arrested outside a bar in Valdosta and charged with five misdemeanors, including underage consumption and possession of false identification.

March 31, 2010 -- A police report is filed by several UGA students claiming they were harassed and assaulted in a taxi cab by four Georgia football players. It was later revealed that only one player was involved -- running back Dontavius Jackson -- and he attempted to play peacemaker in the situation.

April 4, 2010 -- Montez Robinson is arrested for the third time in the past four months, again for misdemeanor simple battery of the same woman. He is immediately dismissed from the program.

April 18, 2010 -- Mettenberger is dismissed from the team for an undisclosed violation of team rules. UGA confirms the dismissal is not related to a new arrest.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Hale,

Please don't put a rational argument together b/c then I feel conflicted about making irrational inflammatory statements on your blog.

Everyone's best friend,
Anon

Anonymous said...

I often wonder whether the kids are more out of control today than they were say twenty years ago when I was in college or whether, to some extent, it is the fact that today we have instant transmission of infractions world wide via media outlets, message boards, bloggers, and the like. Just twenty years ago ESPN was still relatively new, sports talk radio was much less common, and the primary source of sports information was your local newspaper. I can remember football players, other athletes, and regular students doing many of the same things that we scrutinize today and little was made of it outside of the team. It is no excuse for the athletes today, but to those who so eagerly label many of these athletes as having inferior character I offer that some of what we bemoan now is no different than what has been going on for years with little or no attention paid to it on a widescale basis. Again, it is no excuse and that is the price you pay as a high profile collegiate athlete, but I suggest that for some of these young men with relatively minor offenses in the grand scheme of things it makes them a college kid who made a bad decision like many of their non-athlete peers and a miscreant with no moral fiber.

Anonymous said...

Should have said NOT a miscreant in last line of previous post.

Jayna said...

I think Mark Richt and Company have tried to screen for character. If we think back on our time in school, our antics could have landed us on the front page if we were media worthy ball players. As David Hale pointed out, most of the incidents are very minor would not be newsworthy if they were not UGA football players (scooter issues). I think UGA runs a good clean program and we do not draft THUGS. Period end o story!

Anonymous said...

Ultimately, I don't know if there is anything else Coach Richt can do to stop kids from having off-field problems. Early on in his tenure, Richt was a lot softer on kids (Odell Thurman ring a bell?), but I think now he is handing down fair punishments in most instances. Should he be harder on kids than he has to be? I don't know.

I think the biggest problem has been how things have been dealt with in terms of media/blog coverage. Why release a blanket statement saying he violated team rules? They know why they kicked him off. Just be honest about it. I've read wild speculations on what happened that really don't need to be out there. They could nip those rumors in the bud if they just were upfront with the fans.

In the end, I think the football program needs to do a better job of educating these kids on the consequences of abusing alcohol. CMR could also be harder on alcohol related crimes which seem to be the major problem.

Anonymous said...

When you sign thugs, you get thuggish behavior. As an education black man, it troubles me to see many kids get a shot to make something of themselves and then blow it. I grew up near Turner Field, an area now filled with violence and drugs. These kids just don't know how blessed they are to have a free education and a chance to play a sport they love

dawgjammin said...

David,

I think there's two classes of violations here...ones that a large portion of regular college kids get caught doing (fake id's, traffic violations, dui's, etc) and then there's ones that are violent crimes (fights/brawls, unwanted advances or violence towards women,etc).

I'm assuming the "violation of team rules" is missing class, missing workouts excessively, failed drug test (PED's, weed or something else), etc.

I think Richt has taken a hard stance against these guys. 1 to 2 game suspensions in most cases. He's even sent some to military school or kicked them off the team but helped them land somewhere else that is willing to deal with a players off the field issues (see Michael Lemon @ NCST). Take a look at some of the crimes Florida players have been involved in (Using the credit card of a teammates dead girl friend to go on a shopping spree, Firing automatic weapons in a parking lot, etc). I don't think we've had anything this tasteless or out of control.

I've always viewed Richt as a coach that doesn't hesitate to suspend players. Unlike a lot of the other SEC coaches (Corch Meyers and his half game suspension). He may be more likely to work with his players for a 2nd chance, but I think that comes from the fact that he realizes kicking a kid off the team for minor infractions could send that young man's life spiraling out of control and contribute to them being even a bigger meanace to society in the future.

I would say out of everyone's encounters with the law, Montez Robinson's is by far the worst, violent acts against women. You could see how much the whole staff was pulling for this kid, but enough is enough. I'm sure when Robinson's leagal problems are over, Richt/Garner will take an active role helping this kid get another chance with another team.

Overall, I don't have any problems with the way Richt punishes the players. Yeah, it hurts to be a UGA fan and see these headlines, but for the most part these are the same type of mistakes a good percentage of the 18-22 yr old crowd make. Wether they get caught or not. I know I certainly violated the fake I.D. and underage consumption while I was at UGA and never had my name thrown about in the newspaper or blog headlines.

Dr. Merkwurdigliebe said...

To answer your question:

The players are to blame for their own actions. In this day people like to spread blame like icing on a cake, but the simple fact of the matter is we all have to take responsibility for our own actions. The UGA coaches can't watch these players 24/7/365.

Mettenberger seriously screwed up and whatever new information was presented to Richt, it must not be good.

The way I look at it... the QB controversy is over - Murray is the guy and we now have another open scholarship to pick-up one of those 5 star QB's we're currently after.

Time to move on!

Anonymous said...

David,
Your question is valid but you've got 2 major issues playing into the Richt era as opposed to former UGA coaches.

#1. We live in the information age today unlike in the past. Nothing beyond a player passing gas while riding his scooter on campus goes untold. Unlike players of 10 or more years ago, players are scrutinized more than ever. Every journalist, tweeter, face booker, and fan(atic) can't wait to be the news breaker.

#2. Mark Richt runs a tight ship that has a set of rules that don't bend for anyone, including a star recruit who's mother works for UGA. There are alot of other coaches and programs that consistantly sweep the dirt under the rug and move on. Richt refuses to run his program this way and the end result is more punishments, suspensions, and expulsions which lead an outsider to believe the program must be out of control when in actuality the program is better off today discipline speaking than it's been in 30 years.

I say that last statement with the experience of attending UGA during the Ray Golf era when I personally witnessed numerous football player fights, unruliness, and public intoxication that went unpunished by Coach Goff. For example, his star All SEC LB hospitalized a kid in front of me one night. Beat him to a pulp after the guy was knocked out. Went to court over it, LB found guilty of assault etc., but star LB never missed a game, much less a season, but did the media hear about it? And the stories go on. We could write a book about Quincy Carter's drug addiction while at UGA but he didn't leave until Richt arrived. Coincidence? I don't think so.

I've never been prouder of the way our program is run. Kudos to CMR for upholding his values when decisions are as tough as the one he made yesterday.

Go Dawgs,
Dan

NCDawg said...

Remember, 18-22 year old men do not always use good judgement. Other than the summer of the Sports Illustrated cover, issues at UGA do not seem to be out of line.

Yesterday, Anon 7:41 said that Dooley never had these issues. Well, I attended the University of Herschal Walker, and things were not as wholesome as Mr. Anon remembers.

First, during Dooley's tenure drinking age was 18, so under age drinking was a non-issue, and if you looked like a man, you had no need for a fake ID. Second, misdemeanor issues by athletes rarely got reported, and if they did, they did penance at practice instead of being kicked off the team. One star player had no door knobs in their house, because they would get drunk and snap them off. Lineman would be assertive with girls at parties; today it would be harassment.

So, no, Dooley did not have to deal with these issues, but it was not because they players were more wholesome than today. I was there then, and I have children in college today. Student athletes, and college students in general, are more responsible and more sober than they were when UGA won it's National Championship.

Maybe Richt has recruited the wrong kind of people to lead us to a Championship. Maybe we need more animals.

Anonymous said...

I went to UGA,was in a fraternity,and was either participating in,or knew people("supposed upper-crust material included please know)that participated in most of the "infractions" these athletes have committed. Not the domestic abuse,but I knew people who when drunk liked to pick barfights. The point is,this is hype, & this is a different age as pointed out by someone earlier where we know instantly(photos and youtube videos even provided). Relax about it and enjoy the games - they are immature teenagers playing football, and our problem is we care WAY TOO MUCH about it. Richt is doing a better job than most to a problem that is age old and will never disappear as long as beer is served in Athens.

Anonymous said...

Dan makes some good points. If you have tougher standards you will have more kids fail to live up to them. It's a tough comparison with other programs when we know that other programs do sweep things under the rug and have different academic and team rules. I grew up in a home where my parents ran a tight ship (to their credit). I'd get in trouble for things my friend's parents overlooked or wouldn't deal with. It didn't mean I was a worse kid; there were just different standards.

John F said...

This has nothing to do with off-field behavior, but I was wondering what the punishment for Ealey is after he took a swing at one of the players on G-Day? I think there needs to be a message sent that that kind of behavior will not be tolerated on the field.

Dawgfan17 said...

I would be concerned about his control of the program if he wasn't kicking players off the team that had gone too far. To say he has lost control because a few (I believe you stated 3%) guys act up is stretching it. There is no excuse for the some of the actions of the players but take any random sample of 100 18-22 year olds and I would feel confident that the football team would be no worse than that sample.

Riley said...

Richt is doing the best job that he can to make sure the players are held accountable for their actions. He's shown that he's not afraid to show someone the door, even if he probably did give Montez too many chances (I don't care for the "look at his background" defense when dealing with cases of domestic violence). I feel Richt does an admirable job, and I'm glad he's the caretaker of our team.

On another note, fans, please quit with the "other teams sweep things under the rug all the time" complaints. It makes UGA fans/alumni sound like children.

Anonymous said...

Any dawg fan knows about the 'hog incident' during the summer of 1980. if that happened today, they would have all been arrested (probably felony) and suspended. 30 years ago it was handled in-house. all involved are probably better men because of the way it was handled. most long-time dawg fans probably remember john brantley's bar room escapades in the 80's, too.

this is a prime example of why you can't compare coaching regimes and players from then to now. it's just a different world. i doubt there is much difference in the players - the difference is in the publicity and the public response.

Lawson Bailey said...

I hate seeing anything about UGA in a negative light. However, the NCAA, the conferences and the schools can not have it both ways. If you want to make the coaches responsible for the off the field behavior of their players then you have to allow the coaches to be around the team. With the 20 hour per week rules for organized team activities it leaves WAY too much time that the players can do whatever they want. You can not on one hand say the players can not be around the coaching staff and then blame that coaching staff for not having control of the players.
It seems to me that CMR will suspend any player but can be guilty at times of giving a second or third chance when others would drop a player.

ChicagoDawg said...

David -- One of your best efforts. Well reasoned and thorough. I too wonder how the 3.2% number compares against the entire male population at UGA or the broader national 18-23 year old male demographic?

Intuitively, that percenatage would seem to be on par, if not below the broader statistics, but it would be great to validate either way.

Anonymous said...

The UGA coaches can't watch these players 24/7/365.


Exactly. At some point the players have to take on some responsibility. They have to think to themselves that if I get into this certain situation, nothing good can come out of it.

Anonymous said...

I don't see in any of the comments where people are putting the blame on the parents. Raise your children to know that life is made up of choices---you make good ones, things go good, make bad ones, then you suffer the consequences. You don't send your kid to college for the coaches to "raise" them---that's the job of parents and it starts when they are born.

Roaddawg said...

David,

What about the police in Athens? I think they are looking for football players. The traffic tickets are ridiculous that they hand out. It's a college town. Also, the minor alcohol tickets the give out. I have received two open container tickets because I was talking on the phone and wondered out of our parking lot onto a closed road and both times they gave me a ticket. No other university gets all these minor traffic ticket. All the other Universities you can take drinks anywhere. It's a college town and the police make it miserable. Now the University is making it so hard to tailgate. Partly some of the fans fault but if you want to be big time that is part of the territory. Let's just have 40,000 fans like in the past. I THINK THE CITY OF ATHENS NEEDS TO LIGHTEN UP ON THINGS.

Anonymous said...

If these players are truly 'thugs' why aren't they convicted and sent to jail or rehab? I think they are definitely held to a much higher standard than the general population.

Ya know, the colleges, many businesses and CMR make millions on these kids. Is it right that CMR goes home with millions while all the players get the shaft? Nobody comes to see CMR on game day. They come to watch Mett and the other players.

IveyLeaguer said...

Very nice rundown.

It's clear that Richt is a good disciplinarian and that there's no thuggery going on like there has been at Florida, Tennessee, and other places.

The weapons charge was silly, which is why it was dropped like a sledge-hammer. The Lemon assault was serious, but Richt acted swiftly. Dewberry freaked out and kicked in a gate and paid the price. Robinson freaked out over a girl, couldn't get it together, and he's gone. Mett must have done something serious, but he doesn't seem like a thug.

Thuggery is were the line is drawn, and you're probably talking one case - Lemon.

A small percentage of college kids generally do the kind of things you described. And Athens is famous for its Gestapo-like police. In Athens, much more so than any other SEC town, you have to be very careful as to how you "emerge from an alley".
~~~

Bourbon Dawgwalker said...

37!? /Clerks

Coach J said...

David,

A great blog and I think you do a great job of detailing all the off-field issues. Ultimately, these young men are responsible for making their own decisions in life, just like everyone else. Not the coaching staff, not the parents, these players made all these bad decisions.

I think the key ingredient in all of this is indeed alcohol. It impairs judgment and leads to a lack of self-control. Combined with the lofty perch athletes, especially football players at a major SEC school, are placed on, it tends to lead to a big fall when they take a tumble.

Perhaps the program can do a better job of preparing these boys to stay in control and make better choices NOT to put themselves into these situations? Maybe, but who is ultimately responsible for choosing to keep drinking?

The worst cases which have involved violence have resulted in the harsher penalties, as they should have. Most were dismissed from the team and dealt with harshly.

But, I know Coach Richt cares as much about helping teach these young men about life, about being a good person and doing the right thing. Does the average fan realize how many of these kids come from fractured families without father figures involved? Or from bad neighborhoods and a scholarship might be the only way to escape? Coach Richt tries to help these men be champions on the field and (I know this is almost blasphemy in the SEC) off the field. He shows compassion sometimes when it is warranted, and in some cases it may be the only time a player has ever been shown such a trait.

For Zach, I know there MUST be more to it. Maybe it has to do with the fact he showed some intent and forethought about the bad choices he made before he even left Athens? When he was stone cold sober. Maybe it is a lack of remorse? Or maybe, you simply don't want to have a QB showing awful judgment off the field, leading your team on it. Regardless, I am confident this decision was extremely difficult for Coach Richt and I hope Zach can get his head on right and learn something from this.

Anonymous said...

Well, it is hard to judge if Richt is doing all he can do to prevent problems if none of us really know what Richt actually does to try to prevent these incidents. One thing is certain, ALL of these athletes knew right from wrong and knew what the consequences could be if they got caught, so teaching them rules wouldn't have helped. I think the only solution would be brainwashing them all to understand that when you screw up, you are not only putting yourself in a hole, you are letting ALL of your teammates down, as well as placing a black eye on an institution that has produced many outstanding young men. If they don't care about getting themselves into trouble, maybe, just maybe, they would feel a little more guilt if they thought they were hurting many more innocent people. Bring the thought of "Hurting Momma" into it.

Anonymous said...

Vince Dooley had numerous problems with Lindsey Scott and Guy McIntyre. Guy was a major cokehead even then and Lindsey was out of control. Neither missed a game to the best of my recollection.

Anonymous said...

If you are going to talk about Rodney Garner / Coach Richt Recruits at The University of Georgia, please do so.

If you are going to list their Arrests / Suspensions, then 1 incident results in 1 Arrest / Suspension.

Listing players that are not players for UGA, just adds to the excuses / confusion.

Look at your responses.

Do you see anyone say that you missed 1 ?

Coach Richt was hired 20 December 2000 by Vince Dooley at 2 am. I recall specifically that many incidents happened.

List just the 85 players on Scholarship 20 December 2000.

List those whom he recruited February 2001 and gave a Scholarship to.

Do the same for each year.

The numbers are astounding. I found 92 Arrests / Suspensions of Players on Scholarship. I see your number of almost the number I figure were on Scholarship in the 9 year Coach Richt Era.

How can there be 300 who have gone through the program since 2/25/2007 when there were 85 on Scholarship 2/25/2007 and 20 or so were added 2008, 2009 and now for 2010.

You have doubled the number and failed to therefore present what you say you are asking David Hale. And, that is that 1 of the questions you asked is are we recruiting the wrong kind of players.

Another of your questions David Hale is are we giving out fair punishment.

And, a 3rd question you ask is what if we had gone 12-2 last year in these 14-game seasons nowadays.

The fact is that we have LOST to 5 teams in our SEC East who none of the 5 are ranked in the Top 25 of the Final AP Polls the year we lost to them - just in the last 4 years alone. We also average # 96 in the NCAA Ranking for Most Penalties, every year of the last 4 years too.

Our football recruits can do whatever they want, on the field or off the field, and we have suffered with BAD PRESS.

BAD PRESS : 5 Losses SEC East last 4 years none of the 5 Top 25 Final AP Poll the year Coach Richt lost to them.

BAD PRESS : 37 you say Arrested / Suspended in the last 3 years. He has been here 9 years now. Is the total 37 times 3 or 111 UGA Bulldogs' Football Players here on Scholarship who have been Arrested / Suspended in the Coach Richt Era.

You have a whole entire page of Excuses here except for the post about Washaun Ealey retaliating to Nick Williams holding him down by punching him, for which the G-Day Rules called for NO PENALTY.

But, a new guy took 1 look at it and kicked Nick Williams out of the game.

We have Coaching issues.

You cannot average 14 interceptions a year every year for 4 years in a row which is what we have done, and NOT demote the QB Coach demote the Offensive Coordinator, which is by the way what Coach Richt had to do.

He should have fired him. No QB ready to take over 2006, 2009 and now again in 2010.

We have averaged 21 fumbles per year (not all lost) every year of the last 4 years.

37 Arrested /Suspended the last 3 years.

5 Losses to not ranked in the Top 25 Final AP Polls the last 4 years alone just to SEC East sorry football teams.

You add it up.

Yeah, we are in Decline.

Who cares if we are out of control ?

We are in Decline.

You cannot look at your list of just 3 years and say what we have here is Discipline.

DISCIPLINE is NOT any of this.

It is what Coach Todd Grantham did to Nick Williams. Now, that is DISCIPLINE.

And, I am sure the number is higher than 111 Scholarship Football Players Arrested / Suspended in the Coach Richt Era. Just as I am sure we are 9-4 or 10-3 in 14-game seasons nowadays, with 14 interceptions, 21 fumbles, # 96 in Penalties, and 1 a month Arrested / Suspended.

Scott said...

Each person is responsible for his on actions. All you can do is give them a chance.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, BuLLdawg from the AJC forums has found his way here.

Bad news.

Anonymous said...

David Hale,

The answer is 4 percent of the U.S. Population is arrested.

http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2008/index.html

2008 is the latest today that can be verified by the FBI.

Violent crime makes up .00 That is 0 percent of the population 0.2 or 200 of each 100,000.

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/5760786/Uniform-Crime-Report-Crime-in-the-United-States-September/


After studying all your URL Links, I see that UGA Bulldogs' fans love to talk about Florida having 24 arrests since Urban Meyer was made Head Coach to win 2 of the 5 National Championships from 2005 to June 14, 2009.

UGA had 30.

Florida had 21.

vols had 21.

Florida State had 13.

Miami of Florida had 2.

That is a 4 year period from 2005 hiring of Urban Meyer through June 14, 2009.

There a lot of variables here, but the simple truth of the matter is that The University of Georgia Bulldogs' Football Program since 20 December 2000 through the day yesterday prove clearly that we are the MOST ARRESTED / SUSPENDED football program.

When studying all the articles back a year ago some of us read that you reference, there is a common thread about Florida arrests and the fact that Florida is WINNING.

UGA on the other hand, has not been winning the last 4 years, today.

10-10 vs SEC East teams including 5 losses the last 4 years against just SEC East teams who are NOT Top 25 Final AP Poll teams.

Have not played for The SEC Championship any of the last 4 years.

# 96 NCAA Average Ranking in Penalties every year of the last 4 years.

21 fumbles per year average (not all lost) each of the last 4 years.

14 interceptions per year average each of the last 4 years.

And, while we fired Jim Donnan for having 13 losses his last 4 years at UGA, Coach Richt and staff have lost in fact 14 their last 4 years under review as in Decline.

Getting Arrested / Suspended at the highest rate of any football program in the Coach Richt Era and having the last 4 years - going into his 10th season now at UGA having to fire his entire defensive coaching staff except for the Recruiting Coordinator, firing his Special Teams coaches, and should have fired his offensive coaching staff but instead announced last week he was taking over ALL THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES, coupled with the glaring fact that in the state of Georgia with the 4th most high school football players who go on to the NFL from this state that we signed none of the high school Offensive All-Stars

what we are left with Mr. David Hale, is that we are NOT Florida. While they have 7 felonies, we have 4. While they have 21 arrests 2006 to 6/14/2009, we have 30.

Anonymous said...

And, 21 by the way David Hale arrested at Florida in the 4-year period is 10 percent of the players on the roster according to the Orlando Sentinel.

If 21 is 10 percent of the Florida roster 2005 to 2009, what is 30 at The University of Georgia. 228 from 2005 to 2009 and 21 arrested at Florida. That puts us closer to 13 percent arrested in just the period from 2005 to June 14, 2009.

December 20, 2000 to end of 2004 was a lot worse for The University of Georgia in arrests than from 2005 our last SEC Championship to June 14, 2009.

If they say there are 30 from 2005 to 6/14/2009, and there are 7 from 6/14/2009 to today, then I can provide URL Links to 55 Bulldogs' Football Players Arrested / Suspended from the beginning of Coach Richt Era 2001 through the end of 2004.

Let's say these numbers are approximately correct. 92 of 513, using 57 as the number for each year on the roster. I get right at 18 percent Arrested / Suspended.

You have the resources to provide that which all but 1 blogger basically denies here on this blog.

That we are the most arrested / suspended football program in America and represent 4 and half times more than the general population.

450 percent more than the general population.

Let the excuses begin that our players are targeted, that they do not represent really bad crimes, that we are tough on Discipline, that the players who are really bad were kicked off the team, that we don't have any issue whatsoever on the field the last 4 years or off the field.

And, that specifically the coaching staff of Coach Richt has been nothing but GREAT.

The lone poster to your blog here Mr. David Hale that dissents from that opinion is the one who wrote about a punch of another player on the field during the G-Day Game, one of his own teammates in retaliation of being held down by the defender.

Note if you will the eye-popping PRESS MEDIA COVERAGE of that incident on the field by Coach Todd Grantham who comes here with no baggage and just simply kicked his player out of the game for all to see. No but coach this or coach that from the player was tolerated.

No coddling.

No making excuses.

We are not coaching our players winning on the field or off it. Unfortunately for Coach Richt he stubbornly kept his entire offensive coaching staff, the very ones he should have fired.

Look at the personnel decisions. Orson Charles not made starter until game 12 last year. Knowshon Moreno redshirted so we get to see best RB in 30 years only 2 years. When we did have Knowshon in the 3 embarrassing on the field losses when we ended # 13 in the Final AP Poll giving up 31, 42 and 29 consecutive points having the rank of # 1, we handed Knowshon the football an average of 14 times. No QB ready 2006, 2009 and now 2010. Cannot coach up Marlon Brown to throw to him more than 2 passes all season last year and Branden Smith only 2 passes all year, but they were able to coach up AJ Green ? They said in 2006 that Joe Tereshinski III was # 1 on the depth chart, Joe Cox # 2 and Matthew Stafford # 3. They redshirted the # 11 RB in the nation Washaun Ealey until the 3rd quarter of the 5th game. He led us in Rushing. He got 2 starts.

And, not the last 2 games.

We are getting arrested / suspended and LOSING, not like Florida at all.

Kathleen said...

I am pretty sure that if you want to write THAT much, you need to figure out how to get your own blog.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Kathleeen.

I am absolutely certain that there is NOTHING on-topic in your blog post.

NOTHING but a FLAME.

A Lost Arcadian said...

Per your questions about how it the percentage compares to the general student body, the Office of Judicial Programs has semester reports for a lot of the information. http://www.uga.edu/judicialprograms/about/reports.html

For alcohol, the numbers go drastically down as the students get older (i.e. more for freshmen than all others). Keep in mind that the numbers are rough estimates for enrollment (about 4800 per class, ~25000 total undergraduate enrollment), etc. Conveniently, they reports are since 2007, and I'm only doing alcohol as that's certainly illustrative. Keep in mind this is only Alcohol & drug related and does not include arrests or other violations.

Alcohol/Drug related Cases
Fall 2007
Fr-454 - ~9% of Fr class
Soph-67 - ~1.3%
Jr - 16 - <.001%
Sr - 1
Total - 538 - 2.1% of undergrads

Sp. 2008
Fr - 432 (9%)
Soph - 44 (.9%)
Jr - 21
Sr - 4
Total - 501 (2%)

Fall 2008
Fr- 444= ~9.5% of Fr class
Soph- 38= 0.7%
Jr- 13
Sr- 0
Total - 495= 1.78%

Sp. 2009
Fr- 265 (5.5%)
Soph- 71 (1.4%)
Jr- 32 (0.6%)
Sr- 22
Total- 390 (1.5%)

Fall 2009
Fr- 364= 7.6%
Soph- 57= 1.1%
Jr- 21
Sr- 13
Total- 455= 1.82%

Obviously, not complete numbers, but you get the general idea w/ alcohol & other drugs.

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