UGA coach forced to change plans with Troup County valedictorian candidate


Chris Burnette

Chris Burnette

Georgia coach Mark Richt made a promise last month to Troup County offensive lineman Chris Burnette: If you’re the valedictorian, then I’ll be at your graduation to hear your speech.

However, as it turns out, NCAA rules will prevent Richt from attending the high school graduation. But he still plans on hearing Burnette’s speech.

“If Chris is the man and he gives the speech, hopefully they will tape it … I would absolutely watch it, I’d be excited to watch it,” Richt said. “I’ll make sure to check with compliance, but I can’t imagine that being [an NCAA] violation.”

Burnette, who signed with Georgia, said he is fine with the altered plans. “Everybody around here was excited about Coach Richt showing up at graduation. But he can’t do anything about the rules … I understand, it’s no big deal.”

“It really means a lot to me that [Richt] wanted to be there to support me. I knew there a chance he couldn’t make because of [NCAA rules], football practices, or the coaches going on summer vacation before the season. But [Richt] gave it his best, and that was very important to me …”

“If it happens [finishing as valedictorian] and I get to speak, we’ll record it and show it to Coach Richt later on. I’m excited about that, too.”

Burnette decided against enrolling early at Georgia so he could stay at Troup to compete for the No. 1 academic honor. Burnette has a 5.012 GPA and slight lead over two others in the valedictorian race. He has made straight A’s since kindergarten.

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63 comments Add your comment

Chuck Uga

February 16th, 2009
8:33 pm

Hey Mikey, two words…drop dead.

[...] the Presses. Mark Richt Lied! UGA coach forced to change plans with Troup County valedictorian candidate | College Football Recrui… I am sure that this will be a major scandal rehashed ad nauseum on Dawg message boards. Dawg5150: [...]


February 16th, 2009
8:12 pm

You must have a very selective hiring process and a great company there big dawg 17! hahaha

Big Dawg 17

February 16th, 2009
8:10 pm

I got 3 tech grads working for me and total they don’t have a 5.012 GPA


February 16th, 2009
8:04 pm

Richt actually followed a rule??? This recruit must not deserve the escalade that Thurman got?


February 16th, 2009
7:24 pm

What kind of crazy rule is that? He’s already signed with Georgia, so what harm could it do for Richt to be there?

Big B CH 99

February 16th, 2009
7:20 pm

As a Tech fan also, I find this NCAA rule to be very STUPID, the NCAA is way out of touch. If they want to make it so that coaches can’t use H.S. graduations for recruiting, then why don’t they say that coaches can only go to the graduation of recruits that have already signed LOI’s.

They could also say that the coaches can’t recruit (talk to) underclassmen at graduations.

But either way, CMR should be allowed to go to the guy’s graduation, especially if he’s valedictorian.

Buddy El

February 16th, 2009
6:47 pm

Two things. If Burnette reads these comments the first thing he would do is tell FlaDawg the “shone” is spelled “shown” and Roger, the leadin to these comments specifically state “SINCE kindergarten” not including kindergarten.
Welcome to Dawgnation Mr. Burnette and congratulations whether you are the valedictorian or not. We want and need you.


February 16th, 2009
6:37 pm

Congrats to you Mr Burnette. Legend… you are right. Stop those commercials. They don’t mean a thing now. If I was CMR I would go to that graduation and dare the NCAA to make something out of it. That would cause a firestorm that might get some of these stupid rules changed.


February 16th, 2009
6:20 pm

hmm, i don’t remember receiving letter grades in kindergarten…..