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

1,919 comments Add your comment

First to Last

November 4th, 2010
10:23 pm

Fire Grantham!


November 4th, 2010
10:24 pm

Hangin with Wes Durham has finally gotten to your brain. You’ve lost your mind. It won’t be long ande you’ll be working for ESPN with commentary like this. Whats next for you? Moving to Columbus, OH?????? Tony Barnhart: The Mike Bianchi of College Football.


November 4th, 2010
10:29 pm

I like seeing Grantham inspiring this defense and showing some compettitive spirit. What we need is Richt grabbing them facemasks and getting in those players asses when they screw up on the field instead of that stoich look he always has. What about BoZo embarrassing UGA everytime he calls a play?


November 4th, 2010
10:46 pm

TB. I mean honestly is THIS the BIGGEST story your editor is letting you report on? Sounds like you were relegated to the scout team of journalism. YOU should now be suspended for one week from writing ANYTHING and fined for wasting your reader’s time.


November 4th, 2010
11:53 pm


I enjoy your reporting and coverage of college football. That being said, you need to recognize that your credibility drops when you overreact. You are overreacting to this relatively minor incident after a extremely tough loss to FLA, just as you overreacted last year after the very tough loss to LSU. I quote, “I have been covering college football as a professional journalist for 32 years and, without being too dramatic here, there is a good chance that the excessive celebration call on Georgia’s A.J. Green last Saturday against LSU is the single worst officiating mistake I have seen in my three decades of covering the sport.” Do you still believe that a year later?

Crimson Crush

November 5th, 2010
12:16 am

Cmon … I could care less about what happens to Georgia on the bad side of the column but this media hysteria about a little needling in a game is pathetic . :-(

. OHHH NOOO … the precious feelings of an opposiing player might have been hurt . OOOOHHH NOOO he might have had added pressure . OOHHHH NNOOOOO … He might have nightmares and delayed stress syndrome from the fear that the Georgia defensive coordinator was actually signalling that he would kill him after the game . !!!!!

It is bad enough that 90 % of the AJC rag is politically correct scrubbed and sterilized of any rational thought in the other sections of the web site . Now they want to inflict their Left Coast values on college football too ??????? How about we just stop keeping score in SEC games and give everyone a ribbon for participation ? Would that make the “I wanna cry corwd” happy ? This garbage is pathetic . No wonder most left wing media outlets are circling the drain of bankruptcy ….


November 5th, 2010
6:14 am

Crimson Crush…why are you confusing the issue? Why do you make illogical analysis of the situation…

Question, do you sweep floors for a living?


November 5th, 2010
7:27 am


Are you an attornery or simply TB’s relative? You’re definitely a FL fan, but that’s ok. If you’re an attorney, then as RED suggested … go back for remedial classes. UGA will enroll you.

FYI – I don’t want TB’s opinion. I’m educated and can quickly determine right from wrong. BTW I was able to skip Journalism 101 as it wasn’t a requirement.

The Count of MonteFisto

November 5th, 2010
9:53 am

The Count approves. Grantham should be emulated.


November 5th, 2010
2:17 pm

Jeez, please just shuttup. Its not like Grantham texted Henry that it was “Time to die”. People making this out to be a big deal are just really really stupid and need to stop being little girls and put on their big boy pants and move along. Apologize? Really? Im really proud of Coach Grantham for NOT apologizing. He’s a fiery coach and is just what Georgia needs.

Lordy Lordy

November 5th, 2010
3:06 pm

The Count approves. Grantham should be emulated.

You mean “emasculated,” of course. :-)

Burma Shave

November 5th, 2010
3:09 pm

It got so bad

That Grantham was hired

Now it’s time

To see him fired.

Burma Shave

[...] Todd Grantham choking gesture incident — which I think people are blowing out of proportion — Tony Barnhart is calling for the defensive coordinator to be fined while Jeff Schultz wags his finger in the face [...]


November 6th, 2010
9:40 am

Discipline CTG?! You gotta be kidding!!! I can’t believe you’re “elevating” this non-issue Mr Football. What a waste of ink/time/effort!

mr. chas.

November 7th, 2010
3:15 pm

Where were you when one of Fla. gangstas tried to put out the Ga. Q-backs eye the previous year? You must be a democrat!

mr. chas.

November 7th, 2010
3:21 pm

Tony you look like a twin to Ned Beaty in Deliverance. Squeeeeeel!!! Get those panties down boy!


November 7th, 2010
10:34 pm

Your a f****** idiot 4 thinking a coach doing a choke sign to a “student-athlete” should be fined and suspended. People nowadays are so f****** weak and you are one of them. Your a f****** female.

New Zealand Dawg

November 10th, 2010
9:52 am

I wish class was still in our game. I know stuff takes place off the field, but on the field? No matter the score, we should act as we are, or aspire to be, a class institution. From 10,000 miles away, I felt ashamed for this act and apologize to the Gator fans for this act. I hope we will see the game for what it is….a game that certainly is fun, intense, and part of our culture. Let’s try not to devalue that.

[...] convalesced from a collective case of the vapors, of course – by demanding Grantham be suspended, fired and/or branded for life with a red-hot ‘C’ without [...]