Richt has brought something more important than a BCS title to UGA

Mark Richt draws praise from outside the Bulldog Nation for the way he's handled recent events in Athens. (Associated Press)

Mark Richt draws praise from outside the Bulldog Nation for the way he's handled recent events in Athens. (Associated Press)

If you haven’t checked out MrSEC.com’s tribute to the kind of coach — and, more importantly, the kind of man — Mark Richt is, you definitely should. The headline sums it up pretty nicely: “RICHT CONTINUES TO SHOW THAT HE’S THE CLASS OF THE CONFERENCE.”

Knoxville-based John Pennington, who writes the blog, says that “for my money, there is no better representative of an SEC university than Georgia’s Mark Richt.”

Amen.

This testimonial from outside the Bulldog Nation is prompted by a couple of things. First, the restraint Richt showed in dealing with the media flap over incorrect claims that some of his football players had harassed a couple in an Athens taxi. As Pennington puts it: “Rather than bark about the media or point a finger at a writer, Richt kept his cool and discussed the dangers of rushing to judgment in our instant-media world.”

Drawing a comparison to Urban Meyer, Pennington notes: “There were no ‘we’d be going at it right now’ comments. No ‘be very careful’ warnings.”

And beyond the taxi affair, Pennington cites the way Richt handled the unfortunate need to dismiss Montez Robinson from his program after the linebacker used up all the second chances he’d been given. Rather than simply leave the former Bulldog in his wake, Richt visited him in jail and continued to try and counsel the troubled young man.

Says MrSEC: “Again, this kind of action shouldn’t surprise anyone. When linebacker Jamar Chaney was denied admission into UGA back in 2005, Richt helped convince Mississippi State’s Sylvester Croom to give Chaney a chance in Starkville. … ‘It didn’t surprise me at all that Coach Richt did what he did,’ Chaney said. ‘He’s a great man.’
”

Here the Richt detractors will say: Ah, but he hasn’t won a national championship. They would rather have someone along the lines of a Nick Saban or Meyer in Athens if it means a crystal football in the trophy case.

As if that’s the only criteria that matters in judging a college football coach.

Maybe in today’s results-oriented athletics scene, that puts Richt and UGA at a disadvantage. It’s easy to understand how 17- or 18-year-old kids coming out of high school might be more dazzled by BCS rings than repeated displays of character and stability.

I don’t agree with the way Richt does everything, but on the whole I’d rather have him as head coach than anyone else I can think of. And I happen to still think Richt can win a national championship at Georgia without turning into a ruthless, ego-driven jerk or an obsessive head case.

Still, even if that doesn’t prove to be the case, I’m glad he’s the way he is.

458 comments Add your comment

Frank Lane

April 8th, 2010
11:27 am

I agree. The two examples used in the article really differentiate Richt. A coach should seize every opportunity to do his job, to coach and to teach. Richt is exemplary. I am proud to have him.

Peadawg

April 8th, 2010
11:27 am

Amen Bill! Can’t wait for G-day! See y’all there!

BehindEnemyLines

April 8th, 2010
11:29 am

LOL, class? CMR? Please tell me this was written on April 1st.

SCJacket

April 8th, 2010
11:29 am

Though I will always say THWG, I must say I have always respected Richt and his program.

RAMMER JAMMER YELLOW HAMMER

April 8th, 2010
11:30 am

jennifer, you left out the dancing on the side line while getting thumped, anyway uga fans and beat writers need something to make them sleep better a night.

Peadawg

April 8th, 2010
11:31 am

“I want to win a NC as much as anyone but you never lower your values to do so. If CMR doesn’t win one so be it. His integrity speaks for itself. Go Dawgs!”

AMEN! I’ll take CMR over Saban or Meyer any day of the week!!!!!!!

DL

April 8th, 2010
11:32 am

Though being a Gator fan, I can say that Coach Richt is a hell of a person. My only opposition is the use the word class. Define class? If it’s defined by giving players a second chance, then a lot of the SEC coaches have it. Is it defined by not running up the score? So you tell your players not to play as hard and not to score? Is it defending your program, school, and players? Everyone defines “class” differently, so don’t assume that Coach Richt is the only one in the SEC with it.

GO GATORS!

Dr. P.

April 8th, 2010
11:33 am

Richt is a candy-a** and the team takes on that personality. Worse yet, that’s the type recruits he gets. There’s no place for “turn the other cheek” in the SEC

Kim

April 8th, 2010
11:34 am

Jennifer, couldn’t have said it better myself. Oh he’s so klassy AND a bible-thumper, oooo, what a winner.

Moore

April 8th, 2010
11:35 am

Funny how people are saying they don’t think Richt matches up as a FOOTBALL coach even though he’s a man of character yet he’s heading the most CONSISTENTLY successful teams in the SEC. The day is coming when the big one will land in Athens and when it does it’ll come with a solid record over time behind it. I think we can build a contending team with our coach who is a good football coach and an oustanding man of character. Yes, it can be done and Richt is proving it.

OrlG8r

April 8th, 2010
11:35 am

With all due respect to Coach Richt, and I agree he’s up there among the best, but I’d rather have my coach winning championships and standing up for my players when “entitled’ yet “unaccountable” reporters run my players into the ground. If his point is that Richt is a better man because he didn’t call out a reporter who wrote a dishonest piece about one of his players, then I don’t think that’s a compliment at all. Just sayin’

cobradawg

April 8th, 2010
11:36 am

Remember a few years back when coach Richt got a call that Tenn. I believe, was tipping their plays, and he called notified them, before we played them, Thats a class act. We win our share, and if he never wins a nat.title I can except it, atleast the NCAA doese’nt have a permanant room at the Athens Holiday Inn.

common sense

April 8th, 2010
11:37 am

Print the article and send it to all recruits parents. Maybe it will make them reconsider taking the bribe money from UF or UA.

Tired of mediocrity

April 8th, 2010
11:38 am

Moore, I don’t think losing to Kentucky and Vanderbilt at home a consistent winner. You may think so but I am ready for a coach who like Saban or Meyer distain mediocrity.

Vick=Dog killing thug

April 8th, 2010
11:38 am

I agree that CMR is a class act and I would trade him for Meyer or Saban. However I do feel that CMR needs to make adjustments to keep his players a bit more in line. Discipline, Attitude and Work ethic all need to improve for more than a few UGA players.

Go dawgs.. We run this state

bamaguy

April 8th, 2010
11:38 am

CMR and a crystal football will never both be in Athens at the same time.

read n black

April 8th, 2010
11:38 am

we all know what the “P” stands for “Dr.” and the AJC won’t allow me to type if for those who don’t.

Reader of idiots

April 8th, 2010
11:39 am

common sense, you got any proof about bribe money? Or could it be a losers way of striking at winning programs.

read n black

April 8th, 2010
11:40 am

Jennifer, is retard school on spring break? This article is not about Georgia’s team having class…it’s about Richt having class, which you apparently skipped a few of.

Reader of idiots

April 8th, 2010
11:41 am

Funny that these same jackass humper fans ridicule Tebow and his display of religion.

master

April 8th, 2010
11:42 am

Jennifer, how does having a blackout make him classless?

UGA2009ACC CHAMPS

April 8th, 2010
11:43 am

Bamaguy,

Kind of like teeth and toothbrush will never be in the same sentence in alabamer

C from Marietta

April 8th, 2010
11:43 am

To AlphG8r

A coach with class. Football is just a GAME. Intregity and Class are for life.

I will answer for Jennifer

April 8th, 2010
11:43 am

Master, not classless; better word should be hopeless. The Grambling State uniforms are 2-2.

Shaking My Head

April 8th, 2010
11:44 am

I entirely agree that Mark Richt is a good man with good intentions and he has great Christian values. But, for him to have “brought class to uga” is stretching it out too far. Look at all the arrest that have occurred during his tenure…where is the class in that? He recruited every single one of those players that were arrested. And sending the entire team out on the field to celebrate a touchdown against florida…GIVE ME A BREAK! If he is going to bring class to uga, he needs to share his values with his players first.

Rob

April 8th, 2010
11:44 am

The fine institution that produced Jan Kemp and Jim Harrick has no room to be talking about “class”

UGA is a win-at-all costs football factory that cares very little about the student in student-athlete

Charlotte Dawg

April 8th, 2010
11:44 am

Didn’t read the article but don’t care. We want championships first, class second….sorry but that is just how I think the majority of us championship starved fans see it.

Richt is trying to be an honest man in a den of theives and it is just not producing great results. Good but not great.

Meyer and Saban are classless, cheating jerks…but they win championships. It is about winning baby!

Gator Eater

April 8th, 2010
11:44 am

Jennifer and all CMR haters: so you guys think that a coach retired & unretired in less than 24 hours is class? Oh, his daughter is more important, no no hell with his daughter, his Tebow is more important. Wait, one more class decision: suspend a guy half game for violating sportsmanship IN FRONT OF NATIONAL TV!!?? The only joke here is you because if you hate him so much, why bother to read the article and write your stupid comments?

Spokesman for the SEC East

April 8th, 2010
11:44 am

We hope he stays for life!!!

Jennifer

April 8th, 2010
11:44 am

Apparently read and black thinks the team is not a reflection of its coach. So I guess his conclusion is that Richt is a class act, but a weak willed and ineffective one. You must be so proud.

C from Marietta

April 8th, 2010
11:45 am

To OrlG8r

Changing blog ids to make the same stupid point is really lame. I am just sayin.

Spokesman for the SEC East

April 8th, 2010
11:46 am

Charlotte Dawg, so if you win you must be cheating? Would Vince Dooley fit in that category?

C from Marietta

April 8th, 2010
11:46 am

To Charlotte Dawg,

I am glad your in the minority. Coach Richt get it.

Dawg Crazy

April 8th, 2010
11:47 am

Richt’s class is way ahead of other SEC coaches, with meyer and saban at the bottom, with no class. Class is much more important than BCS titles—saban and meyer would sell their own mother to win a national title. Richt believes that running a classy program is much more important!

DL

April 8th, 2010
11:47 am

Gator eater…the embodyment of class.

Spokesman for the SEC East

April 8th, 2010
11:47 am

C from Marietta we all learned that from your dufus humper named Patrick.

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1158327737&ref=name

Moore

April 8th, 2010
11:47 am

I don’t have any problems with Tebow’s religious beliefs. I actually applaud him for being true to himself. I blame the majority of Tebow’s “hater” issues on ESPN. If they just let the boy go about his business instead of doing Tebow-cam and telling us if he burps on the field then I think he’d have a lot more support. Just sayin…

ugafan426

April 8th, 2010
11:48 am

I agree with this article 100%, there is no other coach in the country i would rather have over coach Richt. As a college football coach, your job is not only to win games, you also have to teach those young men character and how to make good decisions in life because not everyone makes it to the NFL where you can run people over with your car and sexually harass women and nothing happens to you. Yes, he hasnt brought a championship here, but we definitely have the talent to win one. I hate all the talk about how Richt is on the hot seat, in my opinion, he should leave UGA when HE wants to leave. It took Joe Paterno 17 years to win his first national title, and Bobby Bowden 28 years (18 at FSU) to win his first, arguably 2 of the best coaches in history. I wouldnt trade coach Richt for any other coach in the country.

GO DAWGS!!!!

ONLY Fair

April 8th, 2010
11:49 am

DawgByte

April 8th, 2010
11:49 am

Great article, thank you! UGA has knocked on the MNC door three times under Richt. We’ll get there with hard work and the ball bouncing on our side.

DL

April 8th, 2010
11:49 am

Can someone define class, present how Meyer and Saban don’t have it, and then give me proof of where either of them cheated?

Spokesman for the SEC East

April 8th, 2010
11:50 am

ugafan426I agree with this article 100%, there is no other coach in the country i would rather have over coach Richt. As a college football coach, your job is not only to win games, you also have to teach those young men character and how to make good decisions in life because not everyone makes it to the NFL where you can run people over with your car and sexually harass women and nothing happens to you.

Then if that is what you want in your coach, HE IS A FAILURE!!

bamaguy

April 8th, 2010
11:51 am

UGA2009: I never tire of the UGA petty jealousy of Alabama and Florida. It is amusingly obvious.

Besides: Georgia without Atlanta is Mississippi. Those who live in glass houses . . .

Troof

April 8th, 2010
11:51 am

Charlotte Dawg is an idiot. Saban gets it done without cheating. Richt is no doubt a class guy but how much longer will you Dawg fans settle for no NCs? There will come a point where not getting the crystal football is going to be a sore point with you guys. Then we’ll see how much leeway class gets him.

Rheumatism

April 8th, 2010
11:51 am

Bama fans: after Saban is gone in 2-3 years come back afterwards with the “I’d rather have a trophy any day.” and talk to the recruits heading to UGA where they’ll tell you they want to be at a program with a coach that won’t ditch them there sophomore year.

Pago Flyer

April 8th, 2010
11:51 am

Yea, but he hasn’t won a National Championship and may not win another SEC Championship!

Alaska Dawg

April 8th, 2010
11:52 am

Bill, thanks for that piece. I am a lifetime blind loyalist to UGA, but I agree that Richt’s character is way more important than Wins and Losses. I do think that with Richt we can win a National Title. It has been unfortunate that when we have had some awesome 1 loss teams that the top of the BCS field was too crowded. Everyone wants to jump on the Gator bandwagon for their titles in seasons when they were not undefeated. Meyer is scum and I for one think that Mike can, as he puts it, go drink the Gator Kool aid. We certainly do not need someone like him in the Dawg nation!

POAD

April 8th, 2010
11:52 am

CLASS? Class? class? HAHAHAHHAH. Class at MIAMI? Class at FSU? Class at UGA? Richt acts like he has class but the thugs he coaches proves different.

Spokesman for the SEC East

April 8th, 2010
11:53 am

Please everyone, don’t critisize RICHT, we want him to stay FOREVER!!!!!

Forever a Bulldawg

April 8th, 2010
11:54 am

Double Amen!