Georgia’s embarrassment is about arrests (11), not wins (2)

Mark Richt's program is bound to have more arrests (11) than wins this season.

Mark Richt's team will have more arrests (11) than wins this season.

The arguments for keeping Mark Richt as Georgia coach always start with this: He wins (this season notwithstanding).

But at some point the focus shifts to other matters — dare I suggest in SEC country, even  more important matters than winning — and we’re certainly at that point now.

Eleven arrests?

Bulldogs junior running back Caleb King was in jail in Clarke County Monday morning. He had an outstanding warrant in neighboring Walton County for failing to appear in court for a speeding ticket back in June.

Honestly, this arrest could stem from an unpaid candy bar theft when King was 6 and I’m not sure it would matter. This makes 11 arrests since the spring. That’s nothing short of embarrassment.

By the end of this season, the Dogs may have twice as many arrests as wins. (Right now, the score is 11-2.)

Please, no more excuses about how Richt can’t be faulted for kids who do dumb things, or the wonderful conspiracy theories about how police are just out to get Georgia athletes. Personal responsibility not withstanding, the arrests are a reflection of Richt and the Georgia program that he runs. He ultimately is in charge of screening, recruiting, counseling, coaching and disciplining the players. He creates the culture.

As for the “police are just out to get them theory”: Really? Tell me: How many of these arrests did not involve an illegal act? Because last I checked, it was zero.

If Mark Richt loses his job, it won’t be because his football team sunk to 5-7 or 6-6 this season. It will be because of the off-the-field issues. It will be because he can’t control his players. That’s a greater indictment of a college head coach than a win-loss record.

Georgia president Michael Adams is aware of the dinged perception of the program, nationally as well as locally. He wasted no time in accepting the resignation of athletic director Damon Evans following his arrest for DUI.

Adams said back in September, alluding to the football arrests: “We have had too much in the football team. We expect the coaches and the AD’s to provide role models and leadership for their players, and I told the whole Athletic Association staff that.”

Georgia’s reputation is equally important to new athletic director Greg McGarity, especially given the circumstances surrounding how he got the job. McGarity may not strike a lot of people as a fire-breathing guy but he’s not happy about the arrests. H also has no ties to Richt (whom he had never met before taking the job).

Richt recently has become tougher in these matters. After instituting a zero tolerance policy, he kicked freshman linebacker Demetre Baker off the team last month following an arrest for DUI and underage drinking. It remains to be seen if the zero tolerance policy will apply to King.

Regardless, the number of arrests should be considered more important than the number of wins. Ultimately, that could be Richt’s undoing.

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC and Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

1,372 comments Add your comment

DawginLex

October 11th, 2010
10:28 am

It’s a traffic ticket but the bar has been set very high. Richt will have to kick him off the team.

Taylor Hanson

October 11th, 2010
10:31 am

Wow! I didn’t expect to see this article from you Jeff. You aren’t at all predictable.

JOD

October 11th, 2010
10:34 am

DUM… DUMM..DUM…. Another one bites the dust!!! DUM… DUMM..DUM…. Another one bites the dust!!!

UgaCdawg

October 11th, 2010
10:34 am

I agree with DawginLex… it’s unfortunate as he is the best back we have now but he’s got to go… how dumb is he anyway? You know all the arrests going on, etc. and yet you don’t show up for traffic court? Seriously??!

JOD

October 11th, 2010
10:35 am

Lets see if he only punishes someone hard only if he is not starting. Over/Under on the handslap punishment?

Randall

October 11th, 2010
10:35 am

Richt’s 90-27 record, and being a top 10 most profitbale program for 8 years in a row, buys him a lot.

I’m not sure a kid going 5 miles over the speed limit is a reaosn for being fired, and I’m not sure any rational person thinks that.

dawg fan

October 11th, 2010
10:35 am

Some of these guys are just irresponsible. Did he think this would just go away? I fault the parents of these athletes. Teach your kids how to be responsible and how to take care of business. Coach Richt shouldn’t have too raise these players.

[...] 10:30 a.m. More on UGA’s spate of football player arrests. This time from the AJC’s Jeff Schultz who says “UGA’s embarrassment is about arrests,  not wins.” [...]

what's the beef jeff?

October 11th, 2010
10:35 am

i mean honestly? yes, we get it. it’s been a bad stretch and coach richt is working hard to fix it. but i guess not as hard as you’re working to get him fired huh. what’s the matter jeff, did he not laugh at one of your columns?
seems like you’re the last to realize it’s beginning to look personal with you and richt…

ATL XMAN

October 11th, 2010
10:36 am

no he won’t..don’t be stupid. quit being drama queens like this writer. uga keeps winning everything else will take care of it’s self. no execuses needed for a unpaid traffice ticket. pay the fine and move on. the program is fine and this stuff happens at just about every school. uga just happens to make the papers. again keep winning and everything is ok.

go dawgs.

Augusta Dawg

October 11th, 2010
10:37 am

Coach Richt has NO choice but to kick King off the team immediately!

82Dawg

October 11th, 2010
10:37 am

Jeff, What can Richt do if the players lied to him? I am sure he has stressed to the guys if there are anything out there they need to take care of it. King probably is gone. These are stupid mistakes. JUST STUPID!!!!

munsondawg

October 11th, 2010
10:37 am

Thanks Caleb, you idiot. No questions asked. Turn in your helmet and jersey, and leave town.

Larry

October 11th, 2010
10:38 am

85% of AJC readers say when a player messes up, it’s the players fault, not the coaches.

Jeff thinks it’s the coaches fault. His perogative. But 85% think when players mess up, it’s because of their free will, something a coach cannot control, as 85% of us know.

Here’s the survey, if you guys owuld like to read another perspective than Jeff’s on this matter:
http://blogs.ajc.com/mark-bradley-blog/2010/07/12/blame-mark-richt-hes-not-the-one-whos-embarrassing-uga/

J dubb

October 11th, 2010
10:38 am

DUI is one thing; forgetting to pay a speeding ticket is another…..l hope there is way to not kick him off the team – but zero tolerance is a tough stance. If he made special exception here, it could tell any other idiot who is thinking of breaking a law that they could get away with it.

heach coach = parent?

October 11th, 2010
10:38 am

unfortunately, maybe thats the case. i feel for coach richt. i mean, what’s he supposed to do- sit down and go over the consequences of showing up at court to pay your speeding ticket versus sending it through the mail?

sorry jeffeypoo- no matter how you spin it, it’s not mark richt’s fault that a kid didn’t pay a speeding ticket.

ATL XMAN

October 11th, 2010
10:39 am

he was too busy becasue he has to practice football. again move on, nothing to see here. go beat vandy and rush for 130 yards and everything will be forgotten.

gadawgs

October 11th, 2010
10:39 am

It’s not about the speeding ticket. We have all had one (or in my case more than one). It’s not showing up for court to handle it like a responsible person should do. It shows a lack of respect for authority and just being plain old stupid on Caleb’s part. He should be gone ,sorry.

trupert

October 11th, 2010
10:39 am

It’s just hard to believe that this has happened to King after all that has already occured.

Makes me wonder what kind of family King comes from. You would think that if he had anybody in his family that cared, he would have asked his parents or a uncle to help with the money for the fine.

dawginfla(help!)

October 11th, 2010
10:40 am

As much as I don’t want to say, I agree (and in fact, was already there back when it was 10 arrests).

I think the overall lack of discipline shown by the Dawgs on and off the field reflect a team culture. I would expect a few arrests every once in a while. These are, after all, 18-25 year olds in college. But 11 arrests represents more than 10% of UGA’s players.

I said a few weeks ago that CMR will probably have to go. I think if he wants to really show he wants to turn things around and re-instill discipline in this program, he’ll need to let Caleb King go immediately.

And that really hurts.

Stats For You

October 11th, 2010
10:41 am

Randall he was going 76 in a 55, hardly 5 mph over get your facts straight. Richt won’t be fired and King will get a one game suspension because CMR doesn’t have the stones to toss a starter. All we have seen out of CMR is he can toss a non-traveling RS Freshman.

johnny 5

October 11th, 2010
10:41 am

82dawg, that’s a lot of people lying then huh?

1eyedJack

October 11th, 2010
10:41 am

This is enough to drive a coach to drink.

These kids are not just ignorant but just plain stupid. Ignore it, I guess, and it will all go away. Part of society does not believe that life is a game, with rules, and if you don’t play it that way there are consequences.

DawginLex

October 11th, 2010
10:41 am

Did the coaches know there was an outstanding warrant?

King knew it. He thumbed his nose at the authorities. Does anyone think he wasn’t in the meetings where Richt said the next one who does something is done? Baker beat King as first in line but King knew the rules.

It doesn’t matter that it wasn’t more serious. He was warned.

He should be done.

PMC

October 11th, 2010
10:41 am

Lack of Institutional Control?

Jerry

October 11th, 2010
10:42 am

Jeff-

Why do you continue to rant on this topic? It’s a losing argument. You’ve been doing this every time a guy gets arrested and Richt never gets fired, it’s just not going to happen, I know that’s surprises you, but it’s just not.

You want to link up up effects (players making bad decisions) with wrong causes (Mark Richt, instead of players).

There’s no proof this is Richt’s fault. You’ve offered no evidence that proves Richt is responsible for Caleb’s speeding ticket.

trupert

October 11th, 2010
10:42 am

When this happens at Alabama or Auburn we never here about it, they handle it under the table and that makes them better coaches than Richt?

Toole

October 11th, 2010
10:42 am

How does King not tell any coaches he got a speeding ticket and needs to pay it by a certain date or be in court that day.

DuckulaDawg

October 11th, 2010
10:42 am

Kicking off King, painful as it maybe for all of us to hear, will send a clear message to the team: no more screw ups! It will be a big step forward in a lot of these guys growing up and becoming mature adults which is what matters, not the wins, not the adulation, not the glory. Anyone who disagrees really needs to question their sanity and, if they attend a religious organization, their belief ideology.

gadawgs

October 11th, 2010
10:43 am

Jeff, I do have to say though that your hatred of anything Dawg related is apparent. What happened to you that has made it your life mission to bring UGA down?

Chuck Allison

October 11th, 2010
10:43 am

Richt should create a new, full time staff position for the UGA football team. He should have a full time parole officer on staff to ride herd on the many criminals UGA has out on bond.

Fulmercupwinners

October 11th, 2010
10:43 am

I can see some of the team giving King secret high fives when he gets back and when the coaches aren’t around saying “yeah man you got out of that one ha ha he he”. Bet they think these arrests are funny and cool but to everyone else they look like a bunch of thugy, spoiled, stupid jacka$$es!!

Smart like a Fox

October 11th, 2010
10:44 am

Hey this weekend Court-TV is having a Dawg-A-Thon, 48 hours of nothing but UGA thug trials! don’t forget to support your favorite Dawg ! This is can’t miss TV.

Stats For You

October 11th, 2010
10:44 am

13% have been arrested WOW, 11 out of 85 players, sounds like lack out institutional control to me…

Biff

October 11th, 2010
10:44 am

Shultz, going 56 in a 55 is an “illegal act.” Ever done that? Don’t think you can disprove the “out to get them” theory with simple logic. There is definitely something to it. A little due diligence would make for a better article.

dawgface

October 11th, 2010
10:44 am

C’mon folks, get real. It’s an unpaid speeding ticket. There’s a difference between zero tolerance (for genuine issues such as DUI, theft, assault, etc) and zero tolerance for anything at all. Anyone calling for King to be dismissed for this is over-reacting big time and Schultz, you should be a little embarrassed for fanning such flames about this.

Lee

October 11th, 2010
10:44 am

The message about personal responsibility hasn’t gotten through to the Georgia players. Is it important? Yes, it’s really important, and it needs to be taught and demonstrated by the coaches and the seniors on the team. I am a lifelong fan. But the arrest problem is out of control, is killing the team’s reputation (even more than the losses), and Caleb King needs to be kicked off the team. Richt has to show the players he has zero tolerance.

bill

October 11th, 2010
10:44 am

It’s official…we recruit the dumbest players in the SEC. Enough is enough!

4.5 Years in Athens, 0 Arrests

October 11th, 2010
10:44 am

These kids are turning into morons. This is so stupid. You go to court, pay the fine, and then be done with it. I hope he is kicked off. It is only fair. I managed to live there, go out three to four times a week, and went to the courthouse for jury duty. It is not that hard to be responsible.

munsondawg

October 11th, 2010
10:45 am

Once again, turn in your helmet and jersey Caleb. And leave town………………….

Jerry

October 11th, 2010
10:45 am

Richt never said he has a zero telorence policy, typical Jeff, exagerration.

Please supply source for proof of that Jeff.

Ted M

October 11th, 2010
10:45 am

King was stupid for not paying that ticket but CMR should know by now that his players are stupid. He should be addressing the team collectively and individually. Asking about any possible issues with the law, drivers licenses or whatever.

gdawginkalamazoo

October 11th, 2010
10:45 am

Really since AUGUST! It took them a month or two to fing Caleb King? I think they should hire the defenses of South Carolina, Colorado and MSU, they had no problems finding Caleb. They were just waiting for our second win to pick him up and make the headlines.

In reality when CMR laid down the law, so to speak, he should have told the players to come clean with any outstanding tickets, fines, stolen property, locations of the buried bodies, where the stash of booty is hidden, and who they may have punched kicked or grabbed at any point in time in their life. Tell me now so we can deal with it or kick you off the team.

DawginLex

October 11th, 2010
10:45 am

up here in Blue town(UK), the basketball players live in Wildcat Lodge. The b-ball team at UK is the dominant thing in town here. In Athens, it’s the football team. Back in the day, the team lived in McWhorter and had a curfew.

Maybe it is time the university ponied up and built some separate facilites for the football team. It might keep things in check a little better.

JSS

October 11th, 2010
10:45 am

@ Taylor…
He’s (Schultz) been on this same tip since the Valdosta groping incident and through the Evans arrest…

I generally stay of the corrupt entity that is major college sports. They rank right up there used car dealers, mortgage bankers, and political bloggers in my book. But UGA, like Miami, Florida State, and Michigan Basketball in the ’90’s are in a really dark place. They better thread very lightly… There are worse things on the horizon if they don’t… They might be worse then the fallout from Dr. Jan Kemp!

E

October 11th, 2010
10:46 am

20+ mph over speed limit means superspeeder fine…

munsondawg

October 11th, 2010
10:46 am

Dawgface, you just don’t get it. He didn’t show up for court. Hence a bench warrant was probably issued. Not showing up is plain STUPID. Let the fool go……….

Ted M

October 11th, 2010
10:46 am

Still don’t kick the kid off the team for an unpaid ticket. That would amount to punishing him for CMR’s failure.

bp2010

October 11th, 2010
10:46 am

Basically, UGA is King’s employer. If he needs to be “fired” i.e. kicked off the team for a speeding ticket and subsequently being too stupid to handle it in a timely manner, I hope that sets an example for all “employers” to fire people for similar offenses. I can almost assure you the unemployment rate will double or triple within a month!! My suggestion is that Mark Richt collects copies of all drivers licenses, and has one of his gofers check the state database every month for violations. He can pay it himself out of his $60,000 a week salary. I’m sure the peace of mind would be worth it…

Tdawg

October 11th, 2010
10:47 am

What an amusingly idiotic article. Richt wears his religion on his sleeve, constantly discusses doing things the right way, adopts children, goes on mission trips annually, and is lauded by reporters and rival coaches (see Spurrier) alike as one of the good guys…..but the only explanation for the arrests must be the “culture” he has created. Anyone who attended school in Athens has had experience with the Dudley Do Rights who patrol the town. They’re a bit overeager. Does anyone really believe that the student athletes in Baton Rouge, Tuscaloosa, Knoxville, Oxford, etc. are that much more chaste and pure….besides Schultz? Of course not.