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

athhound

November 3rd, 2010
9:39 am

Interesting day today…sanity has a chance to make a comeback in Washington and TB writes an article that I completely dismiss. Neither happens very often. Richt show calm and control during his first five years, we Ga fans think he’s the greatest, Richt shows calm and control during his next five years, we Ga fans scream that he needs more emotion. TG shows emotion, we Ga fans scream that he needs calm and control…..my question is: why would any grown man put up with the idiots that fill Sanford (I’m one of ‘em) these days when said idiots change their attitudes like most of us change underwear? First it’s the S&G program, then it’s discipline, then it’s playcalling, then it’s emotion/lack of same from coaches…whichever way the wind blows…

SLAPAJACKET

November 3rd, 2010
9:40 am

Tony! Just wondering! Who woke up on top this morning, you or cum?

winterDawg

November 3rd, 2010
9:40 am

This is all so stupid. And yes, I thought the uproar over the Spikes eye gouging was uncalled for. It’s called football, in the heat of battle things happen. Nobody was hurt and not even anyones feelings were hurt. I think the media likes to play up episodes from the UGA-florida game to try and use it as some indictment of southern behavior. There was an election yesterday. Go talk about that stuff.

Looming NCAA Investigation at Georgia for someone paying Caleb Kings fine.

November 3rd, 2010
9:40 am

“It was a miscommunication, and unfortunately I had to get in trouble for it,” King said Monday. “I thought it was taken care of.”

Uh Oh!!!

Gen Neyland

November 3rd, 2010
9:40 am

I’m not gonna debate this issue, but I’d like to point out to those that consider this action a show belly-fire from a coach in the heat of the moment : It was an emotional outburst. I agree. Like when Tebow shed tears. That too, was an emotional outburst of a similar nature, only expressed differently. Guess Tebow should have thrown a bird at Alabama’s bench instead. Ahh, but that would have been out of character for him…Y’all have fun with this one. I’m gone for the day…

Herschel Talker

November 3rd, 2010
9:40 am

TONY BARNHART IS A JOKE. HE WRITES STUFF LIKE THIS BUT CONTINUES TO DEFEND MARK RICHT AND THE SHAMBLES THAT THE UGA FOOTBALL PROGRAM HAS BECOME. TONY BARNHART STINKS.

Dooley

November 3rd, 2010
9:40 am

I think you are blowing this way out of porportion. It’s not that big of a deal. Guess you have nothing better to write about. Back in my day we wouldnt do that but we thought it! Now I’m going back to my garden. Barbara where are my gloves……

78 GA ALUM

November 3rd, 2010
9:40 am

Tony are you kidding? Florida plays Rainey who text his girlfriend “TIME TO DIE” and that’s OK, but CTG tells the kid to choke and everyone including yourself gets upset? Maybe I should be offended by the Gator Chomp, I’m sure many people are scared of being killed by an alligator…maybe you should write an article about stopping the CHOMP, it’s threatening and scary for small children. Get a life and write about sports NOT non-issues, you’re better than this.

RambleOn84

November 3rd, 2010
9:40 am

Losers point to the mistakes of others.

Winners admit responsibility for their own.

betsy

November 3rd, 2010
9:41 am

oh get over it tony – really – what else do you want to cry about

OrlG8r

November 3rd, 2010
9:41 am

Tony, and the rest of the Bulldog nation. I agree that the actions of the coach were wrong, and he should regret having done and said what he did, but….I don’t think it rises to to the level requiring fines and/or suspensions. Look, the guy did something stupid. Give him a shot and move on. If he continues to be a jerk, fire his butt if you like, but let’s all get over this “holier than thou” reaction to someone else’ mistakes.

Stating the Obvious

November 3rd, 2010
9:41 am

Your “Constitutional rights” do not apply in this circumstance.

The right to free speech does not guarantee that you can’t get reprimanded by your employer. Try cussing out your boss and see how much he respects your “right to free speech.”

The “right to free speech” only guarantees that you can’t be arrested when using free speech in public, but even this does not always apply. You cannot yell “bomb!” on an airplane or “fire!” in a theater.

“Constitutional rights” do not necessarily apply in the private sector.

Ol' Wrecks aka WrecksNEffect

November 3rd, 2010
9:41 am

re: Spokesman for the SEC East

I personally don’t like like CPJ’s “diving at the defensive players kneecaps” Offense, because I think that at the BCS Level schools should not have to resort to that kind of crap, it leads to greater risk for injury, the games are boring to watch and your own team’s Defensive players don’t develop because they are seeing things in practice that other Offenses won’t do on gamedays.

What GT & CPJ do only works in crappy Conference like the ACC.

MURPHY

November 3rd, 2010
9:42 am

DC Duck,

I am a high school coach also,and this was a class-less irresponsible act.Think what our UGA players thought of him acting this way.This is not how a coach at any level should act.

Jim Nasium

November 3rd, 2010
9:42 am

For all the Dawg Nation that thinks all is OK with this behavior, check out what others think of you. Funny thing is, that’s why this coach does this, everyone in the Dawg Nation thinks it’s OK.
http://www.jimrome.com/videos?uri=channels/383728/1064155

John

November 3rd, 2010
9:42 am

Mr CFB opines:

“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.”

Speaking of “crap” Mr CFB, the above paragraph provides a shovel full itself. What in the wide world of sports do you call the tactic of calling a time out right before the kick but an attempt to intimidate the kicker.

What pious, holier-than-thou nonsense, sir!

You’ve lost your perspective dude. You’re part of the college football country club set so you offer up patrician bluster like this to impress your high-roller buddies with whom you share the inner sanctum.

Cripes, Mr. Barnhart. Maybe you’d be better off writing about golf – or polo. It seems that’s where your perspective is coming from these days.

What?

November 3rd, 2010
9:42 am

I don’t condone Grantham’s actions…but at least somebody on the sidelines is showing SOME sort of emotion!

That said, if I were Coach Richt I would take a page out of Randy Moss’ playbook and stop answering questions. I would take it a step further than Randy and institute a total media blackout. No statements. No Press Conferences. Nothing. If the SEC fines him or the University for not making the coaches and team available to the press–so be it! I wouldn’t say word one to a single reporter this year or next year. Same for the players. I have been critical of Richt in these blogs. I don’t think he is even the 6th best coach in the SEC at this point. But if I were him wouldn’t answer to the press–the AJC especially; just so that everything I do and say is over-analyzed and ultimately questioned. The team doesn’t need this. The coaches don’t need this. Recruiting CERTAINLY doesn’t need this.

For the record…I am only calling for a total MEDIA blackout, not another silly uniform ploy.

What do you expect

November 3rd, 2010
9:42 am

Guy’s it’s pretty simple it’s the “chickification” of sports!!!!! I’m sure Tony’s blog in the next few days will be about how this young man is in therapy, he just hasn’t been the same he hasn’t been able to attend classes and how his life has been a nightmare since the senseless attack.
Lets be real when we were 18, 19, 20, 21 years old what did we think about older people for the most part? That they were stupid old people. I’m sure this kid and his teammates were laughing there ASS off on the bus ride back to Gainsville at this clown!!!!! And I’m sure they weren’t crying because he gave him the choke sign.
I’m just going to guess but the conversation problem went something like this; Hey did you see the stupid old F@%# on the sideline yelling and giving me the choke sign. I ran by him after the game and told him to choke on this.

BG

November 3rd, 2010
9:42 am

Come on Tony! Don’t be a wimp! UF has been doing things like this to GA for 30 years.

john

November 3rd, 2010
9:42 am

Tony,

You are an idiot.
Every red shirt in the stands and in the state was thinking the same thing – miss it!
Yes, let’s fine and suspend a coach that wants to beat Florida.
This PC thing has gone too far.

From Where I Sit

November 3rd, 2010
9:43 am

Amen Tony,

The bottom line this was classless as I could accept another player doing this but a coach, come on. Just like Spikes last year with the eye gouging, not acceptable. Therefore, suspension is in order along with some sort of fine. Again, turn this around, and dawg fans would be calling for the coaches head.

Gators win the East again.

Enough Said!

Spokesman for the SEC East

November 3rd, 2010
9:43 am

Ol’ Wrecks aka WrecksNEffect

Does it bother you that a UGA linemen has been called on it at least twice in the last 4 games? Of course not he is a jawja boy.

RambleOn84

November 3rd, 2010
9:45 am

There used to be something called “honor,” and it was revered in all arenas, especially in violent ones such as football and war. Not only was it revered, it was considered “manly” to be respectful and honorable.

Only in a society as warped as ours can taking responsibility for one’s actions be considered “chickification.”

Jesse Stone

November 3rd, 2010
9:45 am

…and many wonder why UGA athletes (and now a coach) are always in hot water. It’s because the fans accept their behavior and make excuses for them. Stop being jocksniffers. Maybe if their behaviors were condemned, things would change.
This reminds me of the child that is constantly in trouble in grade school. When the parents were brought in for a conference, all the parents did was make excuses for behaviors or say that they “really aren’t that big of a deal”.

reebok

November 3rd, 2010
9:45 am

Grantham is a no-class jerk. He should at least have the cojones to apologize and take responsibility like a man.

93Dawg

November 3rd, 2010
9:46 am

What they said. Get over it Tony. Suspension and fine? Puh-lease. You are way off base on this one.

Really??

November 3rd, 2010
9:46 am

Are you serious??? This is football. The coach’s gesture is the least of the problems. Stop being so sensitive to everything. Maybe you should report on something like lipstick choices.

DawgMan73

November 3rd, 2010
9:46 am

Enter your comments herehttp://www.ajc.com/travel/
Your comment is your opinion. You are entitled to it. However, I do not need you to tell me how to think or feel. Grantham’s act has been blown out of proportion. The frustration of losing year after year to Florida in Jacksonville has caused many of us distasteful behavior. I’m glad to see that Grantham has a pulse. I’m glad to see that someone who could have a real impact on a game there, is sick of it too.

Eric

November 3rd, 2010
9:46 am

Tony,
Normally you write pretty level headed and informative columns that I enjoy reading. This was not even close to being one of them. This is such a non issue that it’s become a joke. There is no crime here and there is nothing wrong with wanting to win or wanting the other team to screw up a play. All it does is make Henry look even better for not buckling under the pressure. Hats off to him for stepping into a tough spot and making his play. But there is no story here. Move on.

Ron

November 3rd, 2010
9:47 am

Tony, you obviously never played the game of football. This is benign compared to what’s done and said during a typical practice. Quit writing for comments.

SMITTYSTHEMAN

November 3rd, 2010
9:48 am

It is so pathetic, yet so predictable that Dawg fans keep bringing up the fact that Meyer played Rainey in this game, as if that justifies Grantham’s childish behavior. Throwing stones at others when you, yourself, are being backed into a wall is petty and childish (he started it, no he did, no he did, yadayadayada). If you think playing Rainey was wrong so be it. There are a lot of people that agree with you, including me. But don’t start crybabying and bringing up other people’s transgressions when the full concentration should be on your own. For those of you who say it’s not a big deal what Grantham did, I thought you Dawg fans wanted a program you can be proud of — a class organization from top to bottom. Grantham was supposedly going to be the “savior” that would lead the Dawgs to the national championship, and yet he’s just as immature as the teenagers he’s being highly paid to coach. What a joke. I totally agree with Barhart.

Crazy Dave

November 3rd, 2010
9:48 am

I am still upset at the coaching at UGA!!! CUM looked scared and confused on the sidelines and he still managed to out coach CMR and staff!!! Maybe it was our own DC stating we choked and it had nothing to do with the kicker??? Fire CMR and the entire staff now–including R. Garner!!!

ga gator

November 3rd, 2010
9:48 am

Get real Tony, probably the only time you have ever sweated in your life was when some bully from the football team laughed at you and your boyfriend. Grantham did nothing wrong and probably helped Henry’s concentration.

NoAxeToGrind

November 3rd, 2010
9:48 am

If I were Grantham, this is what I’d do: I would tell Adams and “Sunday school boy” Richt to kiss my a$$, and I would resign at the emd of the season. Grantham comes from the league where big boys play. How long do you think Richt would last in the NFL? I’ll answer that for you. Not as long as Petrino. Why should Grantham go down with the Titanic?

Dan

November 3rd, 2010
9:48 am

Give me a break…while it was not in the best taste, it was not like he gave him the finger…this is football. Get over it. Just curious, how did you comment on Paul Johnson’s comment of punching Georgia fans in the nose? That’s what I thought.

Mutt Nonsense

November 3rd, 2010
9:48 am

ARDawg,

None needed. Fun banter back and forth keeps this interesting.

As far as TG, I have no desire for his suspension or fine. Don’t like what he did, but he’s free to do it in my book. He just needs to own it. Don’t be ‘man’ enough to be bush-league like that on the sideline, but then dance around the whole issue when questioned. As Gen Neyland stated earlier, at least Lane Kiffin is in front of a mic w/ his histrionics and doesn’t back down. I thought the fake non-apology from TG and the “limp wristed left weanie” comments by Richt about it were some of the worst parts of this affair. Doesn’t really strike me as strong leadership or the sign of someone righting the ship.

LA-DAWG

November 3rd, 2010
9:49 am

Tony, what the hell do you mean by your stupid remarks. If you think the Gator Kicker was looking at the Georgia Coach prior to kicking the ball, and not concentrating on making the kick….You need to get out of Sports reporting…..You have lowered your standards, and will be one less reader from here on out. Stupid

UGA Football Players

November 3rd, 2010
9:50 am

We suck! Lets go Party… Hollar

GaDawg

November 3rd, 2010
9:50 am

The only thing that’s going to come out of this, If it’s made into a mountain , is the fact that any coaching staff at any institution will be under the microscope. Now that’s going to be absurd because this sort of thing goes on in all games from every sideline, so who are we kidding here, is this a means to the end of good old fashion hate for everybody. I think so. Biggest load of BS I’ve ever read, thanks TB. Oh and by the way does this mean when the Falcons play Dallas this year there can’t be any flapping of the wings from you know who on the sidelines? Let’s take the fun out of football and make it a gentleman’s game, leave the real football to rugby player’s Geeeeezzzzz!
Tony, we want an apology from you

Dr. Love

November 3rd, 2010
9:50 am

Get a grip. Big deal about nothing. Happens in midget football all the time. Sick of PC sissies.

Ol' Wrecks aka WrecksNEffect

November 3rd, 2010
9:51 am

re: Spokesman for the SEC East

I don’t like it when it called on anyone, but it is even worse when the HC/OC “designs” those kinds of dangerous blocks into the “core blocking scheme” of the offense, like CPJ does.

The UGAy guy probably was late getting to his man and dove at him to try and “save” a play, that totally different from what CPJ “designs” his offense to do, blocking-wise.

CFB Officials worry about blows to the head, but there are many more lower leg injuries created by blocking schemes like the one that CPJ has a GT.

This message brought to you by Bobby Knight & Woody Hayes

November 3rd, 2010
9:51 am

Really Tony for just giving the choke sign? Wow. Talk about harsh.

Just a Fan

November 3rd, 2010
9:51 am

Love to see how the jawja fans get so upset when one of their coaches gets called out! This is hilarious. Seriously jawja fans you need to look at where your program is. Mark Richt is running it just like his daddy did at Florida State.

ga gator

November 3rd, 2010
9:52 am

It was going on both sides. First UGA called timeout to ice him. When they did, Henry pulled his helmet up as to say, it isnt going to work and that is when Grantham did it. I was sitting maybe 30 yards away and saw the whole thing. Move on everyone, it is football and it is not 1950 anymore.

Game Time

November 3rd, 2010
9:52 am

Agree, Tony. Very objective view of a very classless, immature act — one that should not be tolerated by a man given the responsibility of leading and molding young men — and given a salary of $750,000 (unbelievable, by the way!!) Can’t believe the ignorant posters who don’t understand the significance of this — well given it’s UGA supporters, maybe I should understand.

Stand Up

November 3rd, 2010
9:52 am

Excellent article, Tony. Someone needs to call out those that are charged with educating our youth and failing at it. I don’t want my kids going to UGA to learn from this guy. What’s he going to do next when he gets by with this? It’s getting so everyone (at UGA) wants to allow immature, unnecessary, and adolescent behavior and then say since it’s ‘non-criminal’ it should go unchecked. It’s disturbing when someone is as wrong as this coach AND his head coach sluffing it off AND the Dawg Nation thinking it is alright.

Latrell Sprewell

November 3rd, 2010
9:52 am

Chas, give me a call and I will show Grantham how to make a choke sign.

Chris Rainey

November 3rd, 2010
9:53 am

Coach Meyer told me to use the choke sign instead of sending a text next time. Thanks Coach Grantham you helping me be a smart thug!

Mobile Dawg

November 3rd, 2010
9:53 am

Totally disagreed with your column yesterday concerning keeping Richt. You failed to be a good journalist by not digging deep and bringing up all the issues plauging UGA when making your non emotional decision.

Today, I agree with you. What happened to respect, decency, sportsmanship? This society has gone in the tank generally speaking. This action is a direct result of the lack of morals, and principles prevalent in todays society. I don’t have any control over my neighbors kids but I do mine.

Special Ed

November 3rd, 2010
9:53 am

What would anyone expect from thUGA? Ignore the cancer within by focusing on Rainey…typical.