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

PT

November 3rd, 2010
10:51 am

You people sound like a bunch of parents at a Pee Wee football game. I can’t take anymore.

Clutch

November 3rd, 2010
10:51 am

Tony, you are a joke. you are totally blowing this out of proportion as most people are. Are you serious? Fine and suspend him? It’s because of people like you that college football is what it is today. Next thing you know, college football will be like the NFL, NO FUN. Emotions are high at all times, no doubt about it. You wouldn’t know this because you have never been in the situation. You absolutely have NO idea what you’re talking about.

Driving Ms Dooley

November 3rd, 2010
10:52 am

Apologize??
Did the Germans apologize when they bombed Pearl Harbor? (if you’re too young to remember John Belushi, please don’t correct me here)
Did Rommel apologize when he gave the choke sign to Churchill?

Good Grief!

November 3rd, 2010
10:52 am

BAMA dude

Key words here. “high school”
Big difference between HS and College. Keep the blinders on if it makes you feel my friend. I don’t suuport this kind of behavior, but it’s still a non-issue. The only one that should have been affected by it was the kicker and it didn’t affect him one bit!
Can’t we ALL just let this go!

clancy west

November 3rd, 2010
10:52 am

Get a Life!!

Roaddawg80

November 3rd, 2010
10:52 am

I am glad for one to see all the UGA fans stand up for Grantham! This is what we are missing. Keep it up! Maybe not to that much extreme but I am like Murray. I love it!

Tony- you just lost a reader. For you to demand him to apologize you my friend are out of place and are no much better. Read all the comments and you will find that 90% do not agree with you. SO LONG!

davsag8r

November 3rd, 2010
10:52 am

joe suggs you are an idiot my friend. Florida will NEVER need help from Ga during a hurricane…but if your precious Savannah or Jeckel were blown off the map we WOULD be the first on the scene to help save lives and property!!

ga gator

November 3rd, 2010
10:53 am

Just for your reading information, 63% of the voters on the Gainesville Sun website say that is NOT a big deal.

404

November 3rd, 2010
10:53 am

katherine:

The MAJORITY of UGA fan comments in here:

1) Are supporting Grantham and 2) Cursing Barnhart.

Like I said, just pathetic.

gomdawg

November 3rd, 2010
10:54 am

Tony I for one never one have thought that you would print something like this I thought you were in to FOOTBALL NOT THIS KIND OF SHZT ,JEFF I COULD SEE

JD

November 3rd, 2010
10:54 am

I am a Tech alumni and your suggestion is over the top. Grantham has been publicly embarassed which is worse than a suspension or fine for a football coach. Let it go, I really doubt that he will ever consider doing it again on a football field.

h walker

November 3rd, 2010
10:54 am

Georgia needs to show more enthusiasm and emotion. I probably wouldn’t have given the choke sign, but so what if he gives the choke sign. Florida will gouge your eyes or spit in your face with cosent of coaches. Tony, Your articles are boring, unclever and lack intuition. Find other work.

davsag8r

November 3rd, 2010
10:54 am

The Gainesville Sun poll has non issue leading 66% to 34% issue
http://www.gatorsports.com

BAMA dude

November 3rd, 2010
10:55 am

Murphy, that’s what I mean. I don’t coach, but I am on the sidelines for about ten games a year (our school stadium seats 6000 so it’s used for playoff games at all levels) and I have never seen a coach do this. I’ve heard all sorts of obscenities tossed at officials but never seen a coach address a player in this manner. It is completely over the line.

katherine

November 3rd, 2010
10:55 am

404
November 3rd, 2010
10:53 am

katherine:

The MAJORITY of UGA fan comments in here:

1) Are supporting Grantham and 2) Cursing Barnhart.

Like I said, just pathetic.

You can’t seriously be stupid enough to think that a few people on a blog represent the majority of fans….can you? LOL no that is sad. If that makes you feel better about yourself then keep on believing that.

collegeballfan

November 3rd, 2010
10:55 am

UGA fans are the last fans on the planet that need to call other teams players thugs.

Could discipline be the reason that a UGA team with nothing but top 10 recruiting classes is sitting with a losing record on November 3?

But heads up UGA fans. You will win the Idaho State (is Idaho really a state?) game & win the game with the worse GT team in a decade. You may have to eat a loss at Auburn and end up 6 – 6. But with nothing but top 10 recruiting classes you expected better. Right?

Elton John

November 3rd, 2010
10:55 am

Georgia needs to show more enthusiasm and emotion. I probably wouldn’t have given the choke sign, but so what if he gives the choke sign. Florida will gouge your eyes or spit in your face with cosent of coaches. Tony, Your articles are boring, unclever and lack intuition. Find other work.

OH YOU HERSHEL WALKER!

Tim

November 3rd, 2010
10:55 am

Of course all the mutt fans would disagree with you Tony, sorry to hear that your shared fanbase is so classless. As to the others comparing what a 20 year old kid sent through a text message and what an adult, in charge of supervising these young adults, did in broad daylight in front of thousands of fans and millions of people watching at home reeks of homerism and bias.

Good luck in your December Bowl game. Hope it doesn’t come down to a late FG try by the other team.

jtdawg

November 3rd, 2010
10:55 am

BAMA dude

I’ve seen players and yes coaches, and the worst offenders, parents absolutely heckle JV kids (my son being one).

That doesn’t fly.

Even worse, we played a team earlier where coaches were encouraging their team to “slap” the opposing players in the head when tackling. In our game against them, 3 concussions were sustained, my QB son being one of them, and though they will always pay “face” respect like kneeling when a player is hurt, the story was the same.

Is this something you see all the time? No, not much, well execpt the parents, who are the WORST. But don’t be naive.

It DOES happen.

Steve

November 3rd, 2010
10:56 am

I 100% agree. I have no horse in this race as a Georgia or Florida fan. I am a Tennessee man. But I have watched the SEC for over 40 years. This is a low point. Go ahead, call me “Old School.” But whatever your school is, get real. This is not good from a Coach. Mr. Barnhart has split the uprights perfectly with this column.

Jdawg

November 3rd, 2010
10:56 am

Since the ousting of Coach Dooley as A/D the Georgia football program has spiraled down and out of control.Put the blame where it should be. Thanks Dr. Adams !

Rick

November 3rd, 2010
10:57 am

ga gator,

UF won, so why would it be a big deal in Gainesville? In fact, why would anything UGA does be a concern there after 21 years of domination?

Tony you are wrong !!!!!!!!!!!!

November 3rd, 2010
10:57 am

Hey man what CTG did was not right but giving him a fine or a suspension is out of line,it was a very emotional game and UGA really out played UF so losing to them again was not easy to swallow.Last year Ealey getting his eye gouged and Meyer letting Rainey play against UGA was far a worst situation than CTG gesture.Quit whining Tony cause I have always enjoyed reading your comments and have always respected your wisdom of college football.

JB

November 3rd, 2010
10:57 am

If I’m Grantham if something does come of this, I’d get out of Athens at years end……We have become mambe pambe land over there…….Every poot is collected, analyzed, written about and criticized and examined…..This football program has bigger problems than making a choke sign by an Assit. coach……..someone tell me every 18 year old in every program in America is perfect except at UGA….TELL me Every Assit coach in America doesn’t get “excited” sometimes on the sidelines and says or does something stupid ( see Paul Johnson, mr gutter mouth)…….. We’re imploding with this PC crap……

community service

November 3rd, 2010
10:57 am

Grantham should have taken the opportunity to apologise when he made his statement….hard fought game, emotions got the best of me, I meant no disrespect……whatever…now it has a life of it’s own. I agree with Tony on the fact that it has nothing to do with Rainey, Florida or anything else other than OUR program. Leave that crap for the fans, set a better example for your players. No fine no suspension, Tony, what are you nuts???!!!

KOOL

November 3rd, 2010
10:57 am

This is really important? Our society has become incredibly too sensitive, and this is the dumbest thing you’ve written in quite some time. I disgree with almost all of what you wrote.

KOOL

jtdawg

November 3rd, 2010
10:58 am

… and BAMA dude, it does NOT excuse them either. I’m just saying, when the game is over, all parties are usually respectful, as I am QUITE sure happend after Saturday too.

Grantham obviously needs to be more sensitive. But please, I would be way more concerned if these comments/gestures were happening AFTER the game when it’s time to pay ultimate respect for getting it handed to you…

Mike

November 3rd, 2010
10:58 am

Tony: I totally disagree with you. After working in the business world for 15 years, I have now worked in ministry for years as a youth pastor and as a pastor. This would be the equivalent of a youth pastor accidentally slipping up and saying a cuss word in front of the youth or a pastor saying something in amger to a troublesome member of the church who constantly causes problems. I would ask them to apoligize and move on. You are the one who is overreacting here — remember, you are a journalist here — stop trying to be a businessman or supervisor — you are not qualified.

BAMA dude

November 3rd, 2010
10:58 am

Good Grief!

November 3rd, 2010
10:52 am
BAMA dude

Key words here. “high school”
Big difference between HS and College.

I disagree. Good chance that players come to UGA (and every other school) partially because their parents are convinced that the coaches will help mold them into successful men. I’d bet that the coaches sit in the living room and sell themselves that way. This type of behavior sets an awful example and undermines that effort.

Driving Ms Dooley

November 3rd, 2010
10:58 am

Big Time,

My daughter would kick your a-s in tennis. You classy broad you. Grow up and play sports. It’s part of the game. It’s called having fun.

Jim 007

November 3rd, 2010
10:58 am

Steve,

Call me Old Fashioned too !

You are 100% correct .

All this kind of stuff does is to promote a classless atmosphere

ga gator

November 3rd, 2010
10:58 am

Rick, my point exactly. Who cares; but I posted it because some on this blog have suggested that Pat Dooley of all people is behind this nonsense.

SEC Fan

November 3rd, 2010
10:58 am

he gave him the choke sign. whats the big deal. he did not threaten anyone, shove a player, give him the finger, etc.

Why was henry even looking at the sidelines? if something was out of line, would the officials (who love flagging UGA) have called or said something?

LET IT GO!

Middle GA Dawg

November 3rd, 2010
10:59 am

Tony,

I couldn’t disagree with you more. Grantham’s action was not one of violence. He was simply attempting a psychological tactic, much like calling a timeout to ice the kicker. Your article is another instance of political correctness gone crazy. I wonder where is your outrage at Urban Myer doing the Gator Chomp to the Georgia bench or your beloved Tim Tebow doing the same last year. Now that is taunting which is actually against the rules!

THOROUGHBRED

November 3rd, 2010
10:59 am

I love reading some of these post from you uga fans that think this is a non issue. I hate it for the fans of UGA who actually went to UGA. To bad for UGA 60% of it’s fanbase is just a bunch of loud mouth rednecks with GED’s.

huckhound

November 3rd, 2010
11:00 am

Tony and Jef Schultz have virtually the same opinion on this. I rest my case. Tony, now a “national’ guy with CBS, has drunk their kool-aid and thinks he can judge anybody or anything and his opinion is final (”not debatable”). Kinda like Schultz. Well, it is debatable, and Barnhart is wrong. He’s criticized the Bulldogs for not being passionate enough, and now too passionate. I don’t see anything wrong with what Grantham did — GATA! Barnhart has now become a bedwetting judgemental liberal like Schultz, when neither said anything about Saban’s embarrassing profanity about a month ago after they lost to SC. Barnhart is drinking the CBS kool-aid.

carlspackler

November 3rd, 2010
11:00 am

THUGA fans have now reached the point to where they blindly excuse literally everything out of blind loyalty to the football program there. There is nothing an AD, a player, or even a coach can do that is too embarrassing for them. As long as it’s a THUGA player or coach, it’s excusable. Time for a lot of the THUGA contingent to stop, step back, and really look at what your defending when you think about it. You are now THE official laughing stock of college athletics, and nothing is beneath you.

GTBob

November 3rd, 2010
11:01 am

I have to agree with Tony. The guy is a professional mocking a student. He is supposed to be setting an example for his players, not acting like a misfit. If you are a top notch DC and get payed 750k a year then act like it. Even if a player did this it would be tacky and the coach should smack him in the head for it.

BAMA dude

November 3rd, 2010
11:01 am

jtdawg, I’ve never seen it from a paid coach at a high school. From parents? Sure. There could be any classless degenerate there and I’ve seen all sorts of stuff. But again, NEVER from a coach representing a school. It’s an embarrassment.

I bet Tony voted for Obottom

November 3rd, 2010
11:01 am

Shannon

November 3rd, 2010
11:01 am

I applaud CTG Im glad he did what he did at least it shows he”s in the game. AJC needs to back off and maybe go write a stories about players living in high dollar hotels, players beating up police or guy threatening their girlfriends.

G8R GRAD

November 3rd, 2010
11:01 am

katherine:

“Yes its very immature behavior for sure….just like the gators doing the chomp to uga.”

You miss the point.
UF players giving the Gator Chomp is a far cry from the number two man on your coaching staff yelling “You’re gonna fu(king CHOKE” to a 20 year old kid.

It’s a GAME, for crying out loud!

Ken Pyles

November 3rd, 2010
11:02 am

I agree 100%. Ga. season ticket holder.

NCDAWG

November 3rd, 2010
11:02 am

Tony… I agree with you most of the time… but FINED? SUSPENDED? GIMME A BREAK!!! He did it. He admitted it. He said he regretted it. They won the game and now any glimpse of us salvaging a good season is gone and Grantham looks like an idiot. THAT IS PUNISHMENT ENOUGH!! TIME TO MOVE ON!!!! WHO CARES.

MURPHY

November 3rd, 2010
11:02 am

jtDAWGS,

It is pretty sad when the young players show more sportsmanship than the adults. If one of my fellow coaches or any of my players acted in this manner,they would be disciplined ASAP!

#1 Hater

November 3rd, 2010
11:02 am

GTBob he might get paid 750K but he is not a top notch coach, he was the 5th choice of a desperate man.

jtdawg

November 3rd, 2010
11:02 am

THOROUGHBRED -

Serious? Why? What permanent damage has been done in your little world? Did someone say something to hurt your feelings? You are still a special person, you know. Sticks and stones!

Puhleauzzee – You would not even be here unless it was an opportuinity to trash a hated rival.

Take your ball and go home.

CO Nick

November 3rd, 2010
11:03 am

Tony, stick to what you’re good at in your columns, the xxx’s and ooo’s and pageantry of the game. You and Schultz acting like the moral police is over the top. But, since your paper is making such a big deal out of it, I’m going to join my many friends who are making the pick of Grantham doing this as their Facebook profile pick.

katherine

November 3rd, 2010
11:03 am

carlspackler
November 3rd, 2010
11:00 am

THUGA fans have now reached the point to where they blindly excuse literally everything out of blind loyalty to the football program there. There is nothing an AD, a player, or even a coach can do that is too embarrassing for them. As long as it’s a THUGA player or coach, it’s excusable. Time for a lot of the THUGA contingent to stop, step back, and really look at what your defending when you think about it. You are now THE official laughing stock of college athletics, and nothing is beneath you.

LOL this blog is very entertaining….thanks. wow.

JB

November 3rd, 2010
11:03 am

THOROUGHRED………………..60% you say………………..Read your blog again and see how “dumb” it makes YOU look…………Grabbing stats out of the air to spew hate is a joke, as you are.