Response from Georgia proves they don’t get it

By Adam Silverstein
November 3, 2010

Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham had an opportunity on Tuesday, after deciding not to address the situation on Monday, to issue an apology regarding Grantham’s despicable gestures during overtime of Saturday’s loss to the Florida Gators.

No matter who the apology was to – the University of Georgia, the University of Florida, the Southeastern Conference or even just Gators senior punter/kicker Chas Henry – it would have been accepted and the relatively minor issue would have blown over. Instead, Richt and Grantham played the “move on” card.

“I’ll just say that emotions run high,” Richt said. “People do things they probably wish they didn’t do, so I think that [the choke sign] was what was being communicated. I don’t think he’s necessarily proud of it. We’re just going to learn from it and move on.”

Grantham spoke briefly Tuesday evening. “As a competitor, sometimes you get caught up in the heat of the moment,” he said. “I wish the situation hadn’t happened. It was a tough, hard-fought game. They won it, and I’m ready to move forward and finish out the year strong.” Asked whether or not he would apologize, Grantham said: “I’ve kind of basically said what I’m going to say.”

Here’s what members of the media had to say about it Tuesday:

Tony Barnhart – Atlanta Journal-Constitution

This is totally unacceptable on any level. And I don’t want to hear this “heat of competition” crap from anybody. I don’t care how intense a game is. A coach does not attempt to intimidate a student-athlete from another school. You don’t do it. Period.

If I’m Jeremy Foley, the athletics director at Florida, I’m on the phone to my friend, Greg McGarity, who worked for me for 19 years. And I’m raising some hell.

This not about competition or the intensity of the Georgia-Florida rivalry. This is about the adults in charge acting like adults. Georgia fans complain to me all the time that they think Mark Richt’s program doesn’t have enough discipline. If the adults can’t control themselves how in the hell do we expect the players to do it?

10 Comments

  1. Mr2Bits says:

    Awesome!

  2. PGator says:

    Good post Adam. Grantham isn’t sorry for what he did, he’s only sorry that he got caught. And for all those who say how good a person Richt is, he totally missed a prime opportunity to set an example for his players.

    Love this line from Barnhart, “If the adults can’t control themselves how in the hell do we expect the players to do it?”

    • I think Tony got that from what I said yesterday. Maybe not, but still: “If you ask that from a 21-year old college senior, it is the least you can expect from a 44-year-old coach.”

  3. Scooterp says:

    I really don’t care. I thought the eye-gouge and excessive celebration instances were overstated. Actually, I like the added intensity it brings to the rivalry.

  4. cline says:

    over and done. Time to get Vandy.

    Let’s go Gators!

  5. Tim says:

    Is this really as big of a deal as it’s made out to be? I honestly don’t see why anyone cares. More evidence that the world needs thicker skin.

  6. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    It is disapointing Richt didn’t aplogize but I think he is in the middle of a massive storm right now that he may not survive and I think this and the elbow to Hines only helps us in future years…we are the ones who have dominated this series but as long as they keep up crap like this we will always bring everything to this game!!!

  7. Scooterp says:

    Drew – Agreed. I just thought the firestorm that erupted from Spike’s eye-gouge was stupid, especially if you actually watched the game. Then the time out issue….good god. So, I’m not gonna get worked up on this.

  8. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    Scooterp – I agree the Spikes gouge was so over hyped especially seeing he didn’t even hurt the guy….but we were #1 and had won 2 out of the last 3 national championships at the time….the media and every jealous fan in American loves dirt on someone at the top period….that is why the arrest record will not die

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