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.