Grantham should be suspended and fined–now

The University of Georgia, led by President Michael Adams, should run the school’s football program the way it sees best. Dr. Adams delegates that task to his athletics director, Greg McGarity, and his head football coach, Mark Richt.

But if I’m in charge at Georgia, three things would happen today:

 **–Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham will be informed that he’ll be watching Saturday’s game with Idaho State from somewhere other than Sanford Stadium.

**–His wallet will also be considerably lighter because I’m taking a sizable chunk of his $750,000 salary.

**–He would know, in no uncertain terms, that if he ever repeated the behavior in question again and it could be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, he would be fired on the spot.

It took a couple of days to sort out but the facts are no longer in dispute. Grantham, Georgia’s first-year defensive coordinator, did something in the Georgia-Florida game that is so far over the line that it can’t even be debated. He gave a student-athlete from another school, Florida kicker Chas Henry, the choke sign as Henry was preparing to kick the game winning field goal. Grantham was caught in a screen capture and the image went viral in no time at all.  Jeff Schultz showed you the video where Henry told Tracy Wolfson of CBS that coaches on the Georgia sidelines were telling him that he was going to choke.

Since the first posting of this before 8 a.m. it has come to my attention that there was some taunting going on from both sides. In other words, Grantham was provoked and lost his cool. In other words, he took the bait.

Okay. It has been duly noted. Every story has has two sides. I got it. 

Still, 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. I don’t care what the other side is doing.

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?

Now in fairness I have to say that I have yet to meet Todd Grantham. He may well be a perfectly fine fellow. I hear that he is. His defense is starting to play better. They might play better still if he would concentrate on coaching them instead of trying to harrass players from another team.

This is unacceptable and embarrassing for the University of Georgia. Grantham said Tuesday wants to “move on.” I’m sure he does because he knows he screwed up big time.

But before Mr. Grantham moves on he is going to apologize to Chas Henry and apologize to the University of Florida. Then he’s going to apologize to the University of Georgia for embarrassing the institution on a national stage.

Then he will accept a one-game suspension and a fine and keep his mouth shut.

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Barnhart and Durham: Today we are joined by Ohio State coach Jim Tressel and Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, whose Hokies host Georgia Tech on Thursday night. Join us at 10 a.m. on www.790thezone.com.

1,919 comments Add your comment

UgaLeeDawg

November 3rd, 2010
7:54 am

Tony, I agree it is classless and was not appropriate. While the actions are not condoned there was a player on the other side line who THREATENED TO KILL HIS GIRLFRIEND! To me a MUCH bigger story and abomination of ethics. Urban should apologize. He got his win, partially thanks to this thug. Great coach he is. I think what Mark did with Grantham is fine. Let him answer for himself. He did and he is sorry. Now the spotlight shines on hime for future occurences.

UgaLeeDawg

November 3rd, 2010
7:55 am

First? Wow. I got one! I am retiring now on top and thanks to the little people that helped me get here!

BWAHAHAHAHA

November 3rd, 2010
7:57 am

TOOO EFFING FUNNY!

uga IS A JOKE!

Red panties, player arrests, now THIS?

Yes, each individual act (minus the panties) isn’t that big of a deal.

But combined, uga is EASILY the most embarrassing program in the NATION!!!!

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Are you serious?!

November 3rd, 2010
7:57 am

TB, you just lost an avid reader of yours. The guy made a made a mistake in a crucial moment of the biggest game we have played all year. People like you are blowing this out of proportion. Get a life!

Top Dawg

November 3rd, 2010
8:00 am

I agree, UgaLeeDawg, talk more about the THUG that was aloud to play so his team could beat the Dawgs. Say what you want about the discipline under Richt, but that THUG wouldn’t have returned to the team under Richt.

John Fan

November 3rd, 2010
8:00 am

Tony, do you write/comment for NPR?

JCSdawg

November 3rd, 2010
8:00 am

Tony, love your columns and your radio show, but it’s time to move on. Did he do it? Yes. Was it wrong? Yes. Should be disciplined? Perhaps, but internally. Is it more serious than UGA’s player arrests or Rainey’s “TTDB” text? Definitely not. Move on, this news has been given its due and like most folks when they realize they screw up….we probably won’t see this behavior from him again. Only the media can keep this story alive now…so let it go.

King Gator

November 3rd, 2010
8:00 am

Who cares? Why suspend him and do UGA’s next opponent a favor. The D is terrible in Athens and for the choke sign, Coach G might has well have been making that sign in the mirror. Go Gators!

1785 Dawg

November 3rd, 2010
8:01 am

I disagree Tony.

It is best to just let this go. No doubt, Coach Grantham got the message. Let’s move on to higher ground, and support The University of Georgia. You will not see a repeat performance.

King Gator

November 3rd, 2010
8:02 am

CMR should suspend Bobo for the AWFUL play calling in OT…. talk about choking. Go Gators

82Dawg

November 3rd, 2010
8:02 am

Tony, why shouldn’t McGarity stepped in and told Urban that the kid that text “time to die b****h” was off of the team for good? Not even on the same page.So you think to threaten someone’s life is ok but giving someone the choke sign during a game isn’t? What CTG did was wrong but get a life this is getting way blown out of portion.
MR Barnhart you are wrong my friend..

Max Sizemore

November 3rd, 2010
8:02 am

It’s big-time competition, Tony. Players and coaches will do whatever they can to win, and those on the other side understand that. Most would think that Derek Jeter of the Yankees is a class act, yet he admitted he faked a HBP in an important September game. Players on the other side said they would do the same thing. There’s a lot at stake, and it’s no different here. Judge not, lest ye be judged.

Who cares

November 3rd, 2010
8:03 am

Tony, these student athletes give it to each other far worse than the choke sign, not to mention from their own fans or opposing fans. The students are adults. How about Meyer gator chopping the UGA fans? Who cares about this or the Meyer gesture.

Peter

November 3rd, 2010
8:03 am

Tony, why can’t you control your language…emotion must have run high.

Hank

November 3rd, 2010
8:03 am

Wow. Really? Did he shoot him or something? This is killing a fly with a sledge hammer. He did not mean he literally wanted him to choke and require medical attention but, only miss the field goal. You have got to be kidding me. All of this is really going to far. I am not a young fan or a casual bystander, I am a high school coach and I would like a return to some of what players used to be able to do and celebarate a little. It is unfortunate to have athletes spend countless hours preparing for competition and then be penalized for accomplishing their goals. IT IS A GAME! If Grantham hit the kid or gave him the finger perhaps but, wanting him to choke. C’Mon Man!

bdawg

November 3rd, 2010
8:04 am

Please tell me u this is not your column today. This is a joke if so. I’m pretty sure he was not threatening to harm the kid. It’s very childish, but to fine and suspend? Write something about football, not this B.S.

Dawg_Mike

November 3rd, 2010
8:05 am

Why did the kicker look at the UGA sideline ?
Do most kickers look at the opposing sideline for words of encouragement?

Please…..non story. move on.

3rdN8

November 3rd, 2010
8:06 am

here’s my biggest regret of this incident: now we’ll have to discuss UGA football for another 24 hrs. After yesterday, I am fatigued by it all.

King Gator

November 3rd, 2010
8:06 am

This just in … Dawg fans still angry 4 days later….at least the D Coach can have the focus on his stupid “choke sign” and not how how bad the defense really is this year. Go Gators!

Spike

November 3rd, 2010
8:06 am

Tony, lighten up! A lot worse things happen. Was it wrong? Sure. But you are way out of line in this column.

2 cents

November 3rd, 2010
8:07 am

Not buying it Tony. You’re still a Georgia homer. This is a non-story. Now, if the coach went all “Tonya Harding” on the kid, then I could see your point. I doubt Florida is fuming about it as much as you….they’re still celebrating the fact that even in a down year they can still whip the Dawgs.

UgaDawg

November 3rd, 2010
8:07 am

Folks, please step back and get a grip. Why not focus on real issues like the S&C program or why our HC is reactive and not proactive in addressing problems. Focusing on a “choke” sign of a game in the past is the problem, look forward not back.

Again Dawg fans and media, get a grip.

Fire Richt!

November 3rd, 2010
8:08 am

Are you Serious?! You are an idiot wrapped around a moron!!! If the situation was reversed, every Dawgfan in the world would be calling for Urban Meyers’ head! Saying he is a punk and has no disipline. This is the problem with my fellow bretheren Dawg fans, you can’t step up to the plate and say that something that UGA does is wrong. It is okay to admit to something as stupid as what Grantham did as dumb. There should be some penalty to TG. Especially the way he acted in his so called “apology” statement. Tony, great article! I don’t always agree with you, but this was right on. This also shows why UGA is so undisiplined, from the coaches down to the players, the lack of disipline is downright deplorable!

Steven

November 3rd, 2010
8:09 am

I have to say I think this is the first time I’ve disagreed with you Tony. Pretty disappointed in this article. You are blowing this way out of proportion.

No difference in what he did and what Meyer did, leading the chomp in front of the Georgia bench.

Beast from the East

November 3rd, 2010
8:10 am

Typical lunatic fringe. Let’s deflect from our own problems and bring up a kid that was allowed to return after a 5 game suspension.
“You’re fat!”
“But he’s fatter than I am!”
Doesn’t change the fact that you’re still fat, does it?

I disagree that Grantham should be suspended, but he should have at least had the stones to apologize to Henry. Just another example of his poor decision making abilities. Like I said yesterday, it’s already old news and time to move one. The only one to be harmed by this is Grantham and UGA’s image. Henry nailed the kick and was the hero.

yea Tony

November 3rd, 2010
8:10 am

Georgia is pathetic—–booo hooo hooo—we cant beat the gators—–wonder why ====boooo hooo hooo–this defensive coach , again, —his defense allowed Florida to score 34 points—-Why doesnt UGA just hang it up( which in many ways i think they have—the public has just not caught on yet)—and just try and beat Florida and Ga Tech every year. If they did that I think evey one would be happy. Because UGA cannot beat Florida in any year no matter how bad the Florida team is————terrible i say. Off with their heads!!!!!!!! Who cares really though—its so bad now—I doubt it will ever turn into a top ranked football program again—and even if they do—they are not going to beat Florida————–ever again.

Jim

November 3rd, 2010
8:12 am

Tony, you are a waste of valuable internet space. Get a life – you have such a great opportunity but your constant drivel is tiresome, self aggrandizing and painful

G8rman

November 3rd, 2010
8:12 am

This is about what lessons the coaches impart about sportsmanship and playing the game as it should be played….Hope the new AD steps in and does something more than sweeping it under the rug…anything else is a nod to the status quo and sanctioning such behavior….So, who really choked here?

What a column...

November 3rd, 2010
8:13 am

Tony, you choked on this one. Is it too late to hit the delete button? Hmm, I say we suspend you for the next few columns. And let’s fine you while we’re at it. Get a grip Tony!

Felix Millan

November 3rd, 2010
8:13 am

So, do we now stop calling timeouts to “ice” a kicker? Do we now not call timeouts with seconds remaining while up by 20 something? At least this was in the heat of “battle”, unlike Meyer’s t/o’s.

Old School

November 3rd, 2010
8:14 am

My only regret is that Grantham’s tactic didn’t work. If it had, he should’ve gotten a raise.

Joe

November 3rd, 2010
8:14 am

Tony you are an idiot, stop trying to make a non-story into something just because it’s a slow news day. Move on.

stw

November 3rd, 2010
8:15 am

And if you were so reprimanded for your nonsensical columns you would have been out of a job years ago. If Adams ran the program we’d be playing two hand touch…in skirts

bdawg

November 3rd, 2010
8:15 am

Ever notice how Tony writes a blog and haul tail’s it out of here! At least Bradley and Schultz will defend themselves. Still can’t believe this is Mr. College Football’s article for the day. Pretty slow day in college football.

Tony Barnhart

November 3rd, 2010
8:16 am

Two quick things before I have to run:

What Florida did or did not do with its internal discipline to Chris Rainey has nothing to do with this. I criticized Meyer’s decision to bring back Rainey. This is about what is and what is not acceptable at the University of Georgia.

I don’t have a problem with players trash talking each other in the heat of the game. But adults don’t get to do that. The adults set the standard and the players follow. At least that is the way it’s supposed to work.

TB

Joe

November 3rd, 2010
8:17 am

At least Grantham didn’t threaten to kill anyone – then Urban Meyer would have started him next Saturday.

joe suggs

November 3rd, 2010
8:17 am

Rainey threatens to kill his girlfriend and he plays !! Florida is owed no consideration.If your boy Urban had done this then it would have been considered great coaching.Tired of this we must apologize for everything mentality in this country.

maroonseedymon

November 3rd, 2010
8:18 am

These comments are incredible! the first one tries to shift blame to MEYER?!! then all the others just justify and defend! GOOD GRIEF! I think Mark Richt is a great guy, but come on! Tony is right, EXCEPT the coach should be terminated right now! You guys want discipline, but wont impose it on the DC?! gimme a break!

Boise Dawg

November 3rd, 2010
8:18 am

I have very mixed feelings here…. I admit the media seems to be blowing this way out of proportion, but I also find the entire incident incredibly embarrassing.

There is absolutely no excuse for the poor sportsmanship that Grantham displayed. I won’t shed a tear if he isn’t retained at the end of the year. Emotions aside, he showed me the type of man he is and he is not someone I would want leading my kid on the field.

And for those trying to compare this to Rainey? Why? First of all Rainey was suspended, so it isn’t like he wasn’t punished….. second that has to do with Florida, not Georiga. I think plenty of folks and writers have been highly critical (rightly so) of Urban Meyer reinstating him. This has nothing to do with Rainey, this is about a coach at Georgia acting like a complete idiot.

Old School

November 3rd, 2010
8:18 am

Should Paul Johnson be suspended for hiding a player on the sidelines before a fake kick last year against Clemson? He knew it was illegal, did it anyway. Why no outrage? What was that saying to those young men? Win at any cost.

enoughalready

November 3rd, 2010
8:19 am

McGarity needs to END this today.Ask him to apologize,If he says no,Then you have a tough call to make.But end it today!

You Can't Be Serious

November 3rd, 2010
8:20 am

Tony, next you’ll tell us that calling timeout to ice the kicker is “bad sportmanship.” What is this, tennis? There were 11 defensive players on the field, 80 more players on the sideline, and 40,000 UGA fans in the stands, hoping he would choke. Get off your high horse, out of the CBS booth, and on to the sideline of a FOOTBALL game….you’ll see and hear a lot worse things than what Gratham did.

joe suggs

November 3rd, 2010
8:20 am

Also to you Florida fans : looking forward to hurricane season. Do not whine for help from other states !!

King Gator

November 3rd, 2010
8:21 am

Wahh Wahh Wahh, Urban Meyer started a bad guy who was better on Saturday than our bad guys… we lost, but we’re going to cry and whine about all week. Get clue Dawgs, you lost because your team wasn’t good enough on Saturday, you should be used to it by now.Who cares if the “choke sign” was given … didn’t make a difference. 18-3 .. Go Gators!

stw

November 3rd, 2010
8:21 am

Tony: As an adult I apologize to you for any bad thoughts I had about you/your columns. I will suspend myself from reading your articles for 3 weeks. But then I appeal and ask for 6 months.

truth4u

November 3rd, 2010
8:21 am

You are wrong on this one Tony!!! I am proud of Grantham for being a competitor. HE WAS NOT THREATENING TO CHOKE THE KICKER AND KILL HIM. Get a grip. It is football and the game is not for the weak hearted or the politically correct. Do you have any idea of the things that are said and done on the field during a game that the fans never know about? Look Georgia people.. do you want to be tough and be competitors or do you want to be politically correct? Urban is a competitor and that is the reason that he played a kid that threatened to commit murder! That seems a little over the line to me. Foley would never have the stones to call McGarity because he is afraid that he may have to explain why he endorsed playing a felon that plea bargained. Get over it or stop watching football and move on to badminton.

BBrown

November 3rd, 2010
8:21 am

Tony,

Right on! I totally agree. Hey, I understand and appreciate the passion and competitive nature of such an individual. However, it does not give him the pass to do what he did. He is dealing with kids still in the formative years and here he goes and acts like an @$$. Real mature, huh? Further, from the AJC article, “Asked if he feels that he owes an apology to the Florida kicker, Chas Henry, Grantham said: “I’ve kind of basically said what I’m going to say.” Oh really, is that it, just push it under the carpet. You can bet that if players were doing what he did and it was caught on camera that they would be held to some internal punishment. I like Coach Richt but if doesn’t “man up” here and do the right thing, I’m one Georgia season ticket holder who is going to be quite displeased.

I’ve got to feel that somewhere right now, Willie Martinez is smiling. What is that saying about being careful about what you wish for?

Mr. Fair Play

November 3rd, 2010
8:23 am

I’m appalled! If Grantham were any kind of sportsman, he would have ordered the defense to jump offsides a couple of times, to make the kick easier for the young man.

Mike Hunt

November 3rd, 2010
8:24 am

Tony,

You are dead wrong on this. I’m glad we’ve got at least one coach in Athens with some swagger and some fire in his belly! It’s time we got some a-holes on our coaching staff. It’s time to win some championships and not worry so much about proper etiquette. Football ain’t tidlywinks!

dawg

November 3rd, 2010
8:24 am

Coach Grantham: Glad to have someone on the sidelines who’s into the game and not just holding a clipboard or asking Bobo “Wha Happened”..