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

CrackDaddy

November 3rd, 2010
8:24 am

It’s a technical foul in bb, why make it a felony in fb?

Lisa

November 3rd, 2010
8:25 am

Mountain of a molehill. Haven’t we beaten this poor dead creature long enough???

Tech fan siding with dawgs

November 3rd, 2010
8:25 am

Tony, I very much respect you and your view of things, but … not this time. A coach can call time out to try to freeze a kicker to miss a kick, but Grantham can’t visually show what every Georgia coach, player and fan in the stadium and in the country wanted to happen? I guess the next step is to fine a coach for actually celebrating when an opposing kicker actually misses a kick. It was much ado about nothing on Saturday and it remains so today.

RambleOn84

November 3rd, 2010
8:25 am

You can’t keep bringing up what Florida has or hasn’t done to its players as an excuse for what UGA has done.

If you want to take the high road, you don’t just point out that someone else has done something worse than you. You stand up and do what’s right in the things that YOU have control over.

What Florida does with its players is none of UGA’s concern. Stand up and take responsibility.

Tony is exactly right. An adult has no business conducting himself in that manner.

I am a Tech fan, but I pull for UGA in games they don’t play against us. However, it becomes harder and harder to pull for UGA when the team (players and coaches) conduct themselves in a fashion embarrassing to the state, and it’s even harder when the fans just point fingers elsewhere instead of demanding responsibility and civility from their own team.

King Gator

November 3rd, 2010
8:25 am

Rainey threatened to kill his g/f; UGA’s AD could have killed his g/f.. drunk driving with her panties off.. just saying. Go Gators!

No Discipline

November 3rd, 2010
8:26 am

What an embarrassment UGA has become around the country. It truly is the laughing stock from red panties to hit-and-runs to dui’s to now coaches intimidating opposing players. Bad seed growing in Athens and it’s watered at the top.

SOGADOG

November 3rd, 2010
8:27 am

You and Schultz are blowing this thing way out of proportion.

RambleOn84

November 3rd, 2010
8:27 am

If your goal is to be slightly more classy than UF, then by all means do nothing to Grantham and just point out that UF has bigger problems.

If your goal is to run a truly classy program, suspend Grantham one game (it’s only Idaho State, after all) and send a message that you expect more out of your players and coaches.

Soutwest Ga. Dawg

November 3rd, 2010
8:27 am

All I can say Tony is thank God you are not in charge. If thats the worst thing he does during his coaching career he will be very siccessful. There are a lot of more important issues that to spend your time writing about something as silly as this but maybe your writing skills are limited. Your a fool!!!!

CalGatorBrotha

November 3rd, 2010
8:27 am

As a Gator…I have no issue with what happened this is freaking football..it’s a rivalry game…there is emotion involved…..it was a critical game for both teams….Tony get over it

BirdDog

November 3rd, 2010
8:28 am

Seriously? Wow, you gotta love the media. Too bad it didn’t work.

BBrown

November 3rd, 2010
8:29 am

Tony,

One more thing, I’m shocked at all the individuals who are actually supportive of Granthan with respect to his actions. Do they not have any sense of sportsmanship? The columns by you and Jeff Schultz are right on target. As you said, “This is about the adults in charge acting like adults.”

Todd from Birmingham

November 3rd, 2010
8:29 am

Tony- shut the hell up! Seriously, a choke sign should get u suspended and fined? I’m glad he did it! Florida has the worst kicking game in the nation..you know this kid is about to kick so you hold the choke sign- big freaking deal! Urban was kissing Tebow on the sideline last year and no one said anything about petifelia.?

Football and PC do not mix

November 3rd, 2010
8:29 am

Eye gouching is alright, but God forbid that a defensive coach would say anything to an opposing player. He did not go out on the field and tackle him. I had worst things said to me from my High School coaches and by the way, they were my coaches. This is just stupid. Football is a tough and mean sport, get over it.

Gary gator

November 3rd, 2010
8:30 am

Tony, the dawg fans don’t understand that the players are kids and the coaches should be held to a higher standard. Grantham shows he doesn’t get what college athletics is all about. He belongs in the nfl.

Still a Dawg fan

November 3rd, 2010
8:30 am

Some people do things in the heat of battle that are emotional and they later regret. Grantham needs to send an apology to Chas Henry, end of story. Chas Henry pulling his helmet off and sending an f-bomb back his way (which he did) after the kick is where this should have ended. Ask Urban Meyer about emotions. He hit his knees after beating a 4-4 Georgia team and then sought out the Georgia section to stand in front of and mockingly do the Gator chomp. This story is OVERBLOWN. The real story is why does Georgia not value the football when they play the Gators?

Joe Pa

November 3rd, 2010
8:31 am

Who exactly IS running the clean and classy football program at UGA?

Tom, Resident Georgia Fan

November 3rd, 2010
8:31 am

Tony you are my favorite FB columnist but you have been infected by the mania that ruins people’s lives over nothing. Be careful what you write for it is a record that can come back to haunt you should you get caught in a moment on live TV. Take the high road and let lesser columnists get in the gutter without you.

CalGatorBrotha

November 3rd, 2010
8:31 am

It must be a very slow week for you writers at the AJC

travy

November 3rd, 2010
8:31 am

wow, i think being able to talk smack about chris rainey is the highlight of the bulldog season. u guys ought to send him a thank you text.

RambleOn84

November 3rd, 2010
8:32 am

Yep, keep on pointing out UF’s classlessness. If your goal is to only be slightly more classy that UF, you are aiming pretty darn low.

Htowngtr

November 3rd, 2010
8:33 am

LOL, gotta love the dawg idiots here who are defending a paid coach because some 20 year old kid made a mistake that he is already convicted in court for doing — neither of which have anything to do with the other. Also, dawg idiots, do you think King should have played too?

The hypocritical double standard here is amazing for UGA fans. You guys love to talk up class and other BS, but in the end you are just as bad if not worse than anyone else. I wonder how all of you reacted when Spikes was busted on camera last year? I’m sure I can guess.

unbiased observer

November 3rd, 2010
8:35 am

Why all the up roar about the choke sign? The real issue regarding this game was Chris Rainey actually being allowed to play football again. But everybody is too afraid to call out Urban and bash him, so they pick on Todd Grantham. Tony, you are a complete joke of a writer.

SCJack

November 3rd, 2010
8:35 am

Very well said 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.

CharlotteGator

November 3rd, 2010
8:36 am

You know, I gotta give Tony credit for this article. Never thought for a second that he’d actually write it and take this stand.

Now whether I agree is a different story. Do I like seeing stuff like that happen in a game? Absolutely not. Let’s not forget Grantham also yelled ‘You’re going to f**** choke…you’re going to choke’. However, I do not think he should be suspended or fined at all. I have the same feelings with this as I did the Spikes incident last year. There was a huge firestorm when it was caught on tape (which Tony helped lead and which I didn’t think he’d do here), but my feelings were the same then. I didn’t like seeing it and it was embarrassing, but I also think it was blown out of proportion as Ealey himself wasn’t bothered by it at all and came out and said it was no big deal and Spikes didn’t make contact. Don’t like seeing it, but understand it happens both ways and is part of the game, just happened to catch some guys on tape. I’d submit Sean Williams has just as many TV moments from this year’s game and last years.

Of course, as fans, we’re all biased one way or the other, so I’ll allow for that. And just for the record, I don’t think Rainey should have been allowed to play either. Admittedly, part of that has to do with the fact that I’ve never thought he was as good as made out to be, and the other part has to do w/ the fact that you have to send a message for what he did if ‘respect for women’ is a value of your program.

ATL is TigerTown

November 3rd, 2010
8:36 am

Wow! I thought this was a non issue too, but I guess I was wrong. Tony is entitled to his opinion and he’s probably right on this one. Adults really should act like adults and set a good example for kid. That’s especially true in this case, where many of the kids seem to end up in jail. Those of you who disagree are part of the problem. Referring to Tony, one of your biggest supporters, as an idiot and a moron doesn’t exactly add much to the conversation. And it sure doesn’t set a very good example. I bet you’re the same people who put the criminal in the governors mansion. Good luck with the Idaho Fighting Potatoes. War Eagle!

Htowngtr

November 3rd, 2010
8:36 am

Also, Tony, just look at how UGA fans are reacting here and take a guess why Richt won’t do anything to Grantham.

“Hey, some player on their team did something bad too!!!”

Bunch of losers. Take pride in your program and man up. What UF does isn’t any of your concern so control what you can with your own program. From Richt flipping the bird to UF’s players and coaches during the game to Grantham screaming “f***in choke!” to a student-athlete on a FG attempt — you guys have really gone downhill. Not to mention the former AD driving drunk and getting busted with some chick’s panties in his lap. Lots of problems at the top and hopefully McGarity sets it right.

CobbDawg51

November 3rd, 2010
8:37 am

Barnhart, I guess you didn’t have a problem with Meyer doing that stupid ass Gator Chomp at the UGA fans as he was leaving the field. Quit wasting advertising space in the paper.

travy

November 3rd, 2010
8:37 am

and he should apologize or face fine and suspension. gotta represent the school better than that and i’m surprised all the dawg fans here don’t agree. you guys are better than that. what are you, vols?

Arrogant punk

November 3rd, 2010
8:37 am

Tony, you have the arrogance to call yourself Mr. College Football and you have the arrogance to think your opinion should carry more weight than anyone else. Get a life. I agree with the earlier poster who asked why you needed to WRITE “hell” twice in your pathetic article. At least Grantham’s action was truly in the heat of the battle whereas you actually got to type that. The only way this should be an issue is IF he missed the kick!
I’m sure you will take your little platform to CBS this Saturday…but please don’t forget to mention that tubby coach in Atlanta that encouraged fans to punch people in the face if they give you a hard time about losing to Georgia. My gosh, he should be fired and thrown in prison for those words! Tony you are useless…I thought you were the last hope for the AJC, but obviously I was wrong.

george

November 3rd, 2010
8:37 am

HA HA HA HA AH AHA HA HA AHA HA AH AHA HA AHA HA HA AH AHA HA HA AHA HA HA all you uga morons are proving once again why yall are the worst fanbase in all of college football. If you can not see why this is 100 % out of line than you really need to get a clue. And for all of you dolts trying to play it off by saying meyer let his “thug” play this is truly one of the most priceless excuses I have ever heard. Do you really think Florida has more thugs than UGA?????? The answer is hell NO! both the programs are a true embarrasment to college football and should be ashamed of themselves. So until the next handcuff bowl next october just keep crying your little eyes out.

War Eagle 30082

November 3rd, 2010
8:38 am

What I can’t figure out is that Richt HAD to have heard it, and he did nothing. Grantham was right behind Richt, and basically was shouting in his ear. If Richt had reacted and told Grantham to STFU, this issue would have been over and done with.

Htowngtr

November 3rd, 2010
8:38 am

One last time, dawg fans: Do you have a problem with King playing and catching a TD? Of course not, but you’ll have an issue with Rainey — a kid who’s never done anything wrong in his life — who has already taken his punishment because of a text message.

Choking Hazard

November 3rd, 2010
8:38 am

Grantham needs to grow up and act like a 44 year old man.

MURPHY

November 3rd, 2010
8:38 am

This was a classless act. I agree with Tony-He must be repremanded.Yet another black eye for our football program.

Busterdawg

November 3rd, 2010
8:39 am

You are an IDIOT!!!!!

MB

November 3rd, 2010
8:39 am

Oh you backwoods UGA fans crack me up……oh yeah well look what their kid did. That’s your defense? You’re not reading Tony’s article any more because he said something about your joke of a program? At least McGarrity said if invited at 5-7 UGA would still go to a bowl…..so there’s still a chance for you to get out of the trailers just before Christmas. I actually respect Richt but I think there is definitely a personality conflict between the two and this is just a bad fit……

what a joke

November 3rd, 2010
8:39 am

Well, yet another morning in which I realize what a freaking waste of time reading sports blogs are.

drew

November 3rd, 2010
8:39 am

You did nothing wrong todd, don’t apologize to these jerks. Had we won, it would have been a different story. The media throws everything out of proportion. I am ashamed of you tony bernhart, you my friend are a gutless coward, and an instigator. Leave todd alone, we have more problems to worry about.

meyer, coach

November 3rd, 2010
8:39 am

On the Rainey situation…I went to high school in the early 90s…there were no cell phones.
What theses athletes must realize is that whatever you put on fb or text to someone can be saved forever. Back then we had to talk face to face with each other. Im sure each of us has said things in the heat of a relationship that we wish we could take back. Facts are Rainey never touched the girl, never beat her up.

Another thing that I’m not sure all the Dawg fans know is that Rainey suffered a severe concussion in the game on Saturday and then this incident with the girlfriend happened on saturday or sunday night I believe. I dont think he was in his right mind after the concussion he suffered. I think he paid the price and is still paying for the stupid text.

RambleOn84

November 3rd, 2010
8:39 am

Even if you don’t think he should be suspended, is it really going to matter?

Shouldn’t you just appease people who think it was a big deal and just suspend him against Idaho State?

Kinda like suspending a starting running back against Vandy?

Felix Millan

November 3rd, 2010
8:40 am

should Meyer be suspended for doing the chop at our fans?

GT51

November 3rd, 2010
8:40 am

If you get a call from the sec commissioner about the issue, then its a big deal. A bigger deal than a player trying to poke another player in the eye like what happened last year.

george

November 3rd, 2010
8:40 am

why dont all you moronic uga fans just try to concentrate on getting as many wins as arrests each year then you will be in pretty decent shape. To hear you idiots talk about ANY other program being clasless is truly amazing and shows how clueless the uga fanbase is.

One choke over the line « Get The Picture

November 3rd, 2010
8:41 am

[...] wasn’t going to return to Chokegate, but, pardon my French, Tony Barnhart’s lost his goddamned mind this morning. … Grantham, Georgia’s first-year defensive coordinator, did something in the [...]

Jeff

November 3rd, 2010
8:41 am

Tony, this will be the last time I follow you as well, get a life, this column is crap this makes headlines because it was against the stupid gators, uh oh did i say “stupid” its amazing that spikes trys tp rip out Ealys eyes, and Rainey is aloud to come back after threating to “KILL” someone. But no one wants to drag that through the media for weeks, but instead talk about how bad Coach Richt is and lets his entire team run on the field for excessive celebration, and all the the off field problems with players, and now Grantham so what, its obvious that he wants to win what DAWG doesnt FL has owned us for the last 20years we recognize that, but get over it MR.CFB and to all you gators shut your pie hole and quit crying all the time, GO DAWGS, GO COACH RICHT, GO TODD GRANTHAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RxDawg

November 3rd, 2010
8:41 am

OMG….WTH?

I’m I stuck in some other diminsional twilight zone? Why is everyone trying to turn this into some horrible event? Get over it, it was nothing, your all a bunch of nanny sissies. This is the weakest attempt at political correctness I’ve ever seen. I hope Richt gives Grantham a raise and flips off the news camera when he does it. How bout that?

MURPHY

November 3rd, 2010
8:41 am

Htowngtr,

I agree.We shouldnt worry about what another program does,we must take control of ours,and it’s a mess right now!

DawgPride

November 3rd, 2010
8:42 am

Tony, get off your high horse. This is only a story because of the heated rivalry between these two teams. You know good and well this happens on a weekly basis on football fields all over the country. Why not more outrage at UF for letting a deviant like Rainey on the field Saturday? Stop making this more of a story than it needs to be.

UGAgrad92

November 3rd, 2010
8:42 am

So freaking what if he made a choke sign. Tony, you are blowing this way out of proportion. Lost a bit of respect for you with this article.