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

npgator

November 3rd, 2010
11:37 am

I love it! On CSS the night before the game all the Bulldog faithful were so sure that they would win.

Mobile Dawg

November 3rd, 2010
11:38 am

Bama dude, you lead by example, pure and simple.

Phil, I’m absolutely done with CMR, over it, ready to move forward.

Jtdawg, you just don’t get it, apparently along with 80% of the others on here so don’t feel like the Lone Stranger.

G8R GRAD

November 3rd, 2010
11:38 am

“The PC crap has to stop!”

Since when does unprofessional behavior have anything to do with political correctness?

Congrats

November 3rd, 2010
11:38 am

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve posted serious disagreements with Tony on this blog. Today, I give him the highest compliments. To Tony’s credit, this is a column that Furman Bisher might have written, and that’s the highest praise I can give a sports journalist. There is right and there is wrong. Many times it takes a lot of guts to stand up for something right. Way to go Tony, and God bless you Mr. Bisher!

Connie Lingous

November 3rd, 2010
11:39 am

Tony, I would enjoy seeing you make these comments to Coach Grantham’s face, though I seriously doubt you ever would.

$750,000 cheerleader

November 3rd, 2010
11:39 am

I agree with all the mutt fans, the real problem is Tony reporting on this. UGA used to have the single most delusional fan base in all of college football. Now in addition to delusional, they have now become desperate. If Grantham could coach his way out of a wet paper bag, it never would have gotten to overtime and come down to his stupid, desperate actions. $750,000 of the schools (tax payer) money pissed away on this guy?

Agree

November 3rd, 2010
11:40 am

I agree the gaters are a classless bunch. No debate about it.

Stacey Conaway

November 3rd, 2010
11:40 am

So what? What’s the big deal? The rest of the entire S.E.C. wanted him to choke, too. It’s a ballgame. Same as yelling, “Miss it.”. Now all the fans can make the choke sign, too, while we’re screaming, “Miss it!”. Can the players, coaches and fans not do anything anymore to support our teams? What if we all just stay home and watch it on TV so we don’t offend anyone? Does that work for you?

BAMA dude

November 3rd, 2010
11:40 am

What I find very funny is that all these fans of other programs somehow think that their players and coaches don’t say and do things just like it…only don’t get caught on camera.

Yep. All those cameras in every stadium these days but none of them catch other coaches trashing opposing players. Conspiracy.

Hedgepruner

November 3rd, 2010
11:40 am

old school is that the best you can do, Paul Johnson has TEN TIMES the CHARACTER & DISCIPLINE of any one in your Embarrasing program , THUGA has become the cesspool of college football in the South taking the honor away from MR’s formner employer FSU….uga’s football program is irrelevant !!!

Bama Sux

November 3rd, 2010
11:41 am

All you Bama red-necks get a f–king life my God there is more to life than a lying coward like Nick Saban and Alabama football,you people are obsessed with a bunch of college kids!!!!!!

S FL Chapter of the Bulldog Nation

November 3rd, 2010
11:41 am

King Gator…I couldn’t agree with you more on the Bobo statement! The only word I can use to describe the play calling is “questionable”.

That game marked the 3rd of the season where one of the best place kickers in the nation was unable to make a kick to put us ahead in the final minutes of the game….that’s just how the cards fall sometimes.

Lady Luck smiled on our boys for three weeks in a row and she glanced at our boys last Sat for a minute with the two balls that were put on the ground, but our boys were just a step too slow to get on them….

I couldn’t be prouder of those guys though! They fought their asses off to over come the 3 three turnovers prior to the OT one…and even then…one of the most exciting games I’ve ever attended! Heart breaker but exciting!

The Bulldog Nation will rise again!!! GO DAWGS!!!

katherine

November 3rd, 2010
11:42 am

BAMA dude
November 3rd, 2010
11:40 am

What I find very funny is that all these fans of other programs somehow think that their players and coaches don’t say and do things just like it…only don’t get caught on camera.

Yep. All those cameras in every stadium these days but none of them catch other coaches trashing opposing players. Conspiracy.

Really? lol oh you are so right…uga is the only program to ever do anything like that…ever….my mistake.

Agree

November 3rd, 2010
11:42 am

Yes…Paul Johnson telling tech fans to punch uga fans in the face. That is about as stupid as it gets right there. PJ needs to be fined and suspended.

BAMA dude

November 3rd, 2010
11:44 am

Name another incident like this Katherine. Just one. Don’t give me Urban pandering to fans either- I’m talking about a college football coach talking trash to an opposing player.

Mobile Dawg

November 3rd, 2010
11:44 am

Katherine, have you ever heard the phrase “you reap what you sow”? If the shoe fits, wear it. If it doesn’t fit change shoes.

katherine

November 3rd, 2010
11:44 am

S FL Chapter of the Bulldog Nation
November 3rd, 2010
11:41 am

King Gator…I couldn’t agree with you more on the Bobo statement! The only word I can use to describe the play calling is “questionable”.

That game marked the 3rd of the season where one of the best place kickers in the nation was unable to make a kick to put us ahead in the final minutes of the game….that’s just how the cards fall sometimes.

Lady Luck smiled on our boys for three weeks in a row and she glanced at our boys last Sat for a minute with the two balls that were put on the ground, but our boys were just a step too slow to get on them….

I couldn’t be prouder of those guys though! They fought their asses off to over come the 3 three turnovers prior to the OT one…and even then…one of the most exciting games I’ve ever attended! Heart breaker but exciting!

Nicely said :)

crossdawg

November 3rd, 2010
11:46 am

WTH, I don’t see the big sin. No difference in telling an opposing batter to swing.

BAMA dude

November 3rd, 2010
11:46 am

Bama Sux

November 3rd, 2010
11:41 am
All you Bama red-necks get a f–king life my God there is more to life than a lying coward like Nick Saban and Alabama football,you people are obsessed with a bunch of college kids!!!!!!

Interesting. See, this is a college football blog. Folks who enjoy the game of college football come here to discuss it. You must be in the wrong place. Mosy along now, little fella. \patsonhead

Agree

November 3rd, 2010
11:46 am

LOUD NOISES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CANNON BALLL

Astropig

November 3rd, 2010
11:46 am

If Mark Richt doesn’t do something concrete about this then he is not the man I think he is.Even when the Dogs were on the ropes this year and a couple of others,the one thing that you could not criticize was the man’s character and class.This is a character test of what this university and this coach really believes.I hope that he ignores these “win at all costs” non alumni that could happily put Rainey on their team if they thought that he could help them win.

UGA is bigger then this . I hope.

BAMA dude

November 3rd, 2010
11:47 am

crossdawg

November 3rd, 2010
11:46 am
WTH, I don’t see the big sin. No difference in telling an opposing batter to swing.

Agreed. That’s also illegal in the sport and any coach that does it is tossed immediately.

Dontavius Supremo

November 3rd, 2010
11:47 am

Unfortunately, this is fairly typical of Georgia’s program right now. It is sad to see a proud program go this route. I would go farther though and take his resignation today. The New AD (or Richt) needs to act now.

katherine

November 3rd, 2010
11:47 am

Bama…..I don’t know about another incident…but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened. I already said I thought what happened was very immature and shouldnt have been done. All I’m saying is that it’s football and things are said and done in the heat of the moment sometimes…and not just at uga. If bama and florida think they are on some moral high ground now…well ok then.

Rick

November 3rd, 2010
11:48 am

Again – If Grantham had spent as much time on his defense as he did on the UF kicker, maybe we could have held the gators mediocre at best offense to less than 31 points and 450 yards in regulation. I believe that he was upset because he was caught off-guard by the new wrinkles UF put into their offense during the bye week. The UGA D was totally unprepared for it. I also feel that Grantham’s choke sign shows a lack of self control, and that same lack of control in evident at times in our defensive players. Good grief, Miss State held the gators to 7 points in the Swamp! Rainey is not good enough to make that much of a difference.

mike

November 3rd, 2010
11:48 am

No, you should be suspended and fined for writing such a stupid article. Moron.

Al

November 3rd, 2010
11:50 am

I never thought I could add Tony Barnahrt to the list of journalists who have completely overblown this story.

richtfan

November 3rd, 2010
11:50 am

tony,

you have gone senile. what grantham did was not only appropriate but hilarious. this is football, not a girl’s dance recital.

Bob/ Okeefe

November 3rd, 2010
11:50 am

I was told one time that the entire DAWG nation was stupid. I said–No way ,all of them can’t be stupid. Well, guess I was wrong.

OaktownGator

November 3rd, 2010
11:50 am

Grantham was out of line, no doubt. But I think the university should just ask him to “man up” and apologize for his behavior, then handle any other punishment internally.

Even as a long time rival, I don’t think Grantham needs to be suspended. But I understand TB’s argument for it – Grantham is supposed to be leading his team, rather than behaving like somebody who needs to be disciplined himself.

But the officials can take care of that kind of behavior, too. Just throw an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on it. If the rules don’t currently support that, maybe they should.

Mobile Dawg

November 3rd, 2010
11:50 am

Katherine, take the next step now. You don’t agree with what CTG did. Does UGA have him apologize, or take no action. That’s the subject of this blog today. Pick a side please. You can’t defend CTG’s action.

OJ

November 3rd, 2010
11:51 am

Hey If I was a youngster again I would go to UGA. Sounds like a fine school.

All of you 5 star players go to Athens. It is the place to be.

And remember if the glove don`t fit you can`t convict.

Tony who?

November 3rd, 2010
11:52 am

Tony, I usually agree with most everything you say but you are blowing this WAY out of proportion. Did Urban have to apologize when he called 2 timeouts last year in a blowout to let his team celebrate and let Tebow run up and down the sideline gator chomping? Thats unsportsmanlike but nothing came of it. An apology from Grantham should be enough, but to be fined and suspended is absolutely CRAZY. Did you just decide to jump on the bandwagon because everyone else is? Is this the most important thing going on in college football this week? He is a defensive coordinator, somtimes they lose their cool and it just happened to be on camera. Im sure if there was a camera on every coach every second of the game there would be more stuff like this seen but we are going to suspend CTG because of what he did? Get over it.

shalalalaquandra

November 3rd, 2010
11:52 am

Who Cares. no wonder this country is in the shape its in.Man up people. who cares.

katherine

November 3rd, 2010
11:53 am

Mobile Dawg
November 3rd, 2010
11:50 am

Katherine, take the next step now. You don’t agree with what CTG did. Does UGA have him apologize, or take no action. That’s the subject of this blog today. Pick a side please. You can’t defend CTG’s action.

I would have him apologize…and that would be the end of it.

RJM Dawg

November 3rd, 2010
11:55 am

What a joke. This is insanity! Get over yourself MR. College footballl dork! This is a nothing story

StatesBurr

November 3rd, 2010
11:56 am

Please TB. You as the Media continue to energize this… The only time you have grabbed your neck in the choke hold is when you were at Bryant-Denny stadium and choked on the ribs…. Dufus. Let the University’s settle it as most do… Apologize.

258DAWG

November 3rd, 2010
11:56 am

Quick response to a blown WAY out of portion topic…..
what do you think he was trying to do?? Answer: get in the kids head!
what do you think coaches call timeouts to ice the kicker? Answer: to get in the kids head!

there really is no difference, unless we are now confirming which one is the most proper way to get in a kids head. Remember this is a full contact, brutal sport.
take your fines and suspensions and put them on yourself for getting your panties in a wad over such a bland topic! It’s football!!!

shalalalaquandra

November 3rd, 2010
11:56 am

Henry might suffer mental problems the rest of his life because of this. hey Tony, maybe he should sue UGA and JAX for future complications from his great ordeal. Everyone pray for Chaz . this truly devastated him.

Really????

November 3rd, 2010
11:56 am

This is the most idiotic piece of drivel you’ve ever written. You’ve been hanging around Bradley and Schultz too long. Sensationalizing this to this level is ludicrous. I certainly lost a lot of respect for you with this one. I’m a dawg fan that can honestly say had the roles been reversed and this were a florida coach my response would have been the same: “So What?”. Get off the sanctimonious high-horse. Of all the things Georgia fans and Administrators should be concerned about surrounding the football program, this ranks just below “Who’s going to cleanup Uga’s poop at the game on Saturday.”

Richard Cranium

November 3rd, 2010
11:57 am

WHY DO UGA PLAYERS AND COACHES HAVE SUCH A HARD TIME FOLLOWING BASIC, COMMON SENSE RULES… ???????????

NO CLASS.

Bubba

November 3rd, 2010
11:58 am

Tony, you must be a whiny Liberal. Man up bro

Mobile Dawg

November 3rd, 2010
11:59 am

Katherine, thank you. So would I, and he hasn’t done that, yet….

gdawginkalamazoo

November 3rd, 2010
11:59 am

To be such a middle of the pack lower tier SEC program that is irrelevant there sure are a lot of post about the program today.

hobnailboot

November 3rd, 2010
12:00 pm

I love what coach Grantham did. I love his intensity and passion. If he would have done the same to a Idaho State player, nothing would have been said. This game that I love is being polluted with wusses and crybabies.

Richard Cranium

November 3rd, 2010
12:00 pm

WHAT DOES UGA AND THE TITANIC HAVE IN COMMON….. ???

Jonathan Smith

November 3rd, 2010
12:01 pm

I honestly think, this is the stupidest story ever posted on this site, have you really nothing else to write about? Its not like Grantham was holding his throat, insinuating he wanted to kill the kicker, he simply wanted him to “choke” and miss the kick, which is what every coach on the possible losing side would want to happen. Had, this been a high school game you may have an argument, but these student athletes are grown men, they aren’t in high school anymore, they aren’t babies. They live on their on now. You have blown this way out of proportion, and I truly wish you had something better, more interesting, more worthy, to write about.

Honest Lee

November 3rd, 2010
12:01 pm

Nice article, Tony. As a Gator fan, I basically agree with your position, though I feel the punishment you prescribed is probably a bit overzealous. Fundamentally, he should apologize (as you suggested), not just state that he regrets his actions. As for the rest – the fine and suspension – I think Grantham sincerely regrets his actions so additional punitive action is not necessary, IMO.

To all you Dawg fans trying to claim some moral high ground based on whatever actions Urban Meyer has taken that offend you, I hope you can recognize how ironic it is that you are now defining the standards for your football program in terms of another football program that you despise. That’s pretty stupid, even for a Dawg.

GT79

November 3rd, 2010
12:01 pm

Good story, Tony. How can UGa expect to control their athletes’ behavior if the adult coaches and administrators cannot control themselves – first the the AD and now a football coach. Coach Grantham should be reminded that this is not the NFL and trying to intimidate a college kid is totally unacceptable behavior. And I would think this way if a similar situation at Georgia Tech happened. Thankfully, it hasn’t. I could only imagine the wrath of the Bulldog fans if a Tech coach did this to one of their athletes. Now, lets Go Tech and take care of business in Blacksburg.

Double Standard

November 3rd, 2010
12:01 pm

Shankit, the UGA fans don’t need the AJC’s help to make fools of yourselves. You do a pretty good job of that all by yourselves!