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

Rick

April 8th, 2010
12:29 pm

Folks this is football not church. Championships are what matters. Until Richt wins one he will be considered inferior to Saban, meyer, etc.

Dawg 39

April 8th, 2010
12:29 pm

Check Holtz, May.Herbie & Co. previous relationships with the Dawgs. They are not fans. As a 70 year old female fan said to them when ESPN came to Athens: “You have something against my Dawgs”. They Do.

Spokesman for the SEC East

April 8th, 2010
12:29 pm

You are correct Bama jammer, Richt “mr class” totally knew the endzone dance was coming, got caught on Nationa TV laughing on the sidelines and then tried to apologize. Not a christian but a hypocrite!!! You people have short memories.

Commissar Obama

April 8th, 2010
12:30 pm

Class? what about partying in Florida’s end zone? what a joke.

Spokesman for the SEC East

April 8th, 2010
12:31 pm

Dawg 39, since when do Holtz and May determine who goes to the title game? and what year did they keep you out of it?

UGASlobberknocker

April 8th, 2010
12:32 pm

I agree with all of the positive comments from Mr. SEC about Coach Richt. That said, we better start getting back to where the program was 5 yrs ago or Coach Richt, despite his wonderfulness, might be coaching elsewhere.

Moore

April 8th, 2010
12:33 pm

So classy the Athletic Association which is a separate entity from the university itself donates funds to keep the university solvent.

kevin

April 8th, 2010
12:33 pm

I could are a less is Richt is Christian. Hitler also was a Christian. Religious man does not equal good man. There are plenty of non-Christian people who are far more moral than many religious folks.

That Guy

April 8th, 2010
12:34 pm

Clearly sending all of your players out on to the field after scoring ONE touchdown in a game against an inferior Florida team demonstrates the utmost class and respect for the game. Everyone does that, right?

Also, becoming one of the nation’s leaders in personal foul penalties the past few seasons reveals the incredible stature, character and respect for the game held by Mark Richt, right?

Give me a break.

BS Alert

April 8th, 2010
12:34 pm

The majority of you jokers would support firing Richt tomorrow if it meant you were assured of getting a coach like Saban or Meyer to win a NC. Not that they would want to take a step down going to UGA, but just saying hypothetically all this moralistic, “class” talk would go out the window if were guaranteed a NC with someone else.

Georgia Fan

April 8th, 2010
12:34 pm

Spokesman — Dude, you are without a doubt the most pathetic loser that trolls the ajc blogs. Today it’s Spokesman, yesterday it was sling blade, perhaps you are Saint Simons because you are obviously a Tech fan. Seriously man…do you really get that much happiness from trying to tear down UGA fans every minute of the day? Doesn’t it get boring? What’s even scarier is that you can tell from the tone of your comments that you’re so proud of your “witty” remarks even though you are having a conversation with just yourself. Occasionally someone will respond to you but mainly your retorts may as well be directed at a mirror.

I am curious so please tell…what was the cause of all the anger? Did a drunk UGA fan (maybe the guy Patrick with whom you are obsessed) beat you up or something? Seriously man — what’s up with all of the pent up frustration? (wait, don’t answer that).

Jason is a Dawg

April 8th, 2010
12:36 pm

Thank you for writing what was on my mind. This is your finest post. Keep up the good work. Those outside of Athens, even in our state, don’t understand what Mark Richt means to the University of Georgia. Never heard a negative rumor about the MAN, you can’t say that about the foul mouthed Saban and the very suspect Meyer. Great coaches, great recruiters, are they great men?

jc_atl

April 8th, 2010
12:36 pm

Ha – class my a55. Some of the shenanigans he’s put his teams up to, and the extremely poor discipline his teams exhibit year in and year out, not to mention all the arrests. Not impressive.

Spokesman for the SEC East

April 8th, 2010
12:37 pm

Georgia Fan, not a tech fan at all. I live to bring delerious humper fans to reality. Your Coach Richt is a fake or he would not allow things that go on in humpville.

Dawglasville

April 8th, 2010
12:37 pm

We have our coach and we love him. You have your coach and I hope your happy with him. You also have a blog that I hope will one day satisfy your blogging needs so that you won’t have to come on ours.

Minnesota Dawg

April 8th, 2010
12:37 pm

Man! Did that little dance in the end zone against Florida make some fans outside the Bulldog nation mad or what! We are so relevant in the SEC! Like I said before, every team looks over their shoulder when we come to town to play them!

Denver Dawg

April 8th, 2010
12:39 pm

Coach Richt is a fine man. His character is awesome and he really cares about his players. He is so refreshing in an era of all of the win at all cost ideals.

Minnesota Dawg

April 8th, 2010
12:40 pm

BS alert, NO WAY!!!

LSU Tiger

April 8th, 2010
12:41 pm

Newsflash – The polls are adjusted after conference title games. A 2 loss Dawg team that doesn’t play in their conference championship game gets in the BCS Title game over the 2 loss SEC Champion? Not a chance

South Carolina 16 UGA 12 ???????

Humper hater

April 8th, 2010
12:41 pm

Minnesota Dawg, you need to worry about taking control of the Hedges before you make comments about the pups coming to town. Dawglessville, I think this is the AJC so considering there are about 100K Dawg grads in the Metro Atl and about 3 million readers, I would say its open to anyone.

Spike

April 8th, 2010
12:42 pm

So now that UGA has not won anything in the past few years the sports writers in Atlanta start talking about the class Richt has brought to UGA? Please explain how multiple arrests and gimmick celebration football is classy. I am open to any thoughts. And do all the UGA fans out there agree that class is more important that a BCS title?

UGA fans are just plain dumb. Four months ago you were ready to fire him and now I see all of these amens. After another lackluster year next year will we see the same amens? Get a grip.

Humper hater

April 8th, 2010
12:43 pm

LSU Tiger you won’t convince them. They have such a bad inferiority complex they think that everyone including the refs hate them. They dont realize that outside of Athens everyone just laughs at them.

jason

April 8th, 2010
12:43 pm

good article, except Georgia players are thugs and Richt cant keep them out of jail. How many arrests have there been under Saban? Yea, not really close…

CATERDAWG

April 8th, 2010
12:43 pm

To all you BAMA and GATOR fans, CLASS and caring about these KIDS is more important than winning a National championship!! If more coaches cared about these kids who come from broken homes, with no Dad around there would be less opportunities for these kids to get into trouble!! Alabama fans just remember you will get what you wanted by paying for Satan but in the end you will get BURNED!!!

Minnesota Dawg

April 8th, 2010
12:44 pm

Kevin, we are not trying to make an issue out of Richt being a Christian, but it can’t be overlooked that his faith in Christ is the basis for all he does. Hope you can respect that.

buzzDawg

April 8th, 2010
12:44 pm

Richt does have class. What some mistake as Richt being passive is simply being cool, calm and collected under pressure. His outward demeanor is a sign of his inner grace and relationship with God. It has nothing to do with weakness, quite the opposite, in fact. Spouting off and venting at reporters and kids shows weakness of character. Sure, we might be able to get a coach like Urban Meyer but I, for one, would not like to see that at Georgia. Winning is great but is not the only thing nor should there be a win-at-all-costs mentality. You have to do it right and be able to look at your face in the mirror at the end of the day. Richt has always taken the high road.

UGA player in jail

April 8th, 2010
12:44 pm

Class?!?!? LOL…OMG…LOL! This is the most humorous blog I’ve ever seen written. UGA is the scum of the SEC and so is Mark Richt. He has players sitting in jail, players who receive a 1-game suspension (of course the 1-game is against a 1AA opponent) for DUI, DWI, theft, etc. You mean to tell me that Richt is classy? Love it! April Fools right?

RunningDog

April 8th, 2010
12:45 pm

Bill,
I thought about you and Coach Richt’s disagreement over punt returners when Urban Meyer had gone of on the Sentinel blogger. You and the coach had a polite, vaguely tense exchange, but in the end you agreed to disagree. There was no name calling or threats.

The fact that you’ve written today’s entry is indicative of the class that both you and Coach Richt possess.

Keep up the great work!

PreSeasonNationalChamp

April 8th, 2010
12:46 pm

Too bad that ‘class’ is not transferred to their fans.

ga gator

April 8th, 2010
12:46 pm

Haven’t been on in a while, but my opinion is this: If what CMR brings to the table is ok with Dawg fans, then it is no one else’s business. They pay his salary so it is them who decides how long he stays. He appears to be a very fine gentleman.

Minnesota Dawg

April 8th, 2010
12:46 pm

Humper hater, down deep inside you really worry when the dogs come to town. I know you are not going to admit it!

run the ball

April 8th, 2010
12:46 pm

Good read!! I like Coach Richt, but the bottom line in big time athletics is results. Ten wins a year. That’s pretty good. But, there is a real discipline problem in Athens. Off the field and on the field. Our players can’t wait to “superman dat ho”, or stand on the bench and wave towels, or act like they”ve never been there before, or jump up in down in the endzone after a T.D. It’s embarrasing, but we’re willing to accept it as long as we win? Wow.

Spurrier

April 8th, 2010
12:47 pm

With me calling the plays again and our defense bringing everything we have at that Frosh QB we are going to win that game!

DAWG hater

April 8th, 2010
12:47 pm

Isn’t saying someone has the most class in the S.E.C. like saying you have the slimmest kid at fat camp?

Minnesota Dawg

April 8th, 2010
12:48 pm

Amen, Buzz dawg!

Humper hater

April 8th, 2010
12:48 pm

Minnesota Dawg, my town is Jax so I love it when they come to town and love it when they drag themselves back licking their wounds.

Steve

April 8th, 2010
12:49 pm

I still think scheduling is the only reason Richt doesn’t have his National Championship – not whining – just a fact. Alabama and UF schedule 3 creampuffs last year, UGA only 1 – that saps a team when the game has gotten so physical over the years. And UGA’ers will be crying when we only win 7 or 8 this year, but that will be mainly only the defense. No way to win big in the SEC with our lack of depth at CB…..Hope I’m wrong.

Humper hater

April 8th, 2010
12:50 pm

Steve, that was 4 creampuffs if you count the dawgs.

Spokesman for the SEC East

April 8th, 2010
12:51 pm

One last time, DONT FIRE RICHT, PLEASE!!!! I’m out, see you losers.

Minnesota Dawg

April 8th, 2010
12:51 pm

Humper hater, I hear what you are saying, but hind sight is always 100%. The tables will turn and we will be kings of the hill again!

trey

April 8th, 2010
12:52 pm

Richt’s window of opportunity has run out… he had a good chance before alabama and Florida upgraded their coaches, big difference in zook and shula compared to meyer and saban.

aj dawgs

April 8th, 2010
12:52 pm

You measure a man by his critics. I’d say is we get to page 3 here, it proves Mark Richt is a great coach.

John Peyton

April 8th, 2010
12:52 pm

Minnesota – As the mayor of Jacksonville I eagerly look forward each year to the Dawgs annual trip down here. Gooooooooo Gators!

kevin

April 8th, 2010
12:52 pm

LSU Tiger,

You lost to Arkansas! I take your point regarding winning the SEC championship win allowing LSU to leapfrog the Dogs in the polls, but had it not been for UT beating us head to head early that year, we would have destroyed LSU in the championship game. UGA was playing better football than any team in the country in the end of 2007 season.

too easy

April 8th, 2010
12:53 pm

we’re all happy to have CMR stay as long as possible at UGA. visiting players in jail, and playing in shreveport. Go Dogs!

DawginLex

April 8th, 2010
12:54 pm

Spurrier-Mark richt owns you and the domination will continue.

Coach Richt is a class act. I’m glad he is our coach.

Minnesota Dawg

April 8th, 2010
12:54 pm

John Peyton, you don’t have TEBOW this year! The tables have turned and we are hungry. Those Junk Yard DAWGS are COMING!!!

Humper Hater

April 8th, 2010
12:55 pm

And Trey even the Zooker owned him.

Dawglasville

April 8th, 2010
12:55 pm

As much as I love my SEC brethren and hate Tech, I can take the barbs from Techsters better than those from our neighboring states. At least Tech is in Georgia. Aren’t there jobs in Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina? Don’t they have newspapers? Has 1-20, I-75, I-85 or the airport been closed down?

Vandy and Kentucky

April 8th, 2010
12:56 pm

We are glad he’s your coach also DawginLex