Archive for July, 2010

No two-a-days? Certainly not the Bear’s brand of football

No two-a-days runs counter to the way Bear Bryant forged Texas A&M's "Junction Boys." (Texas A&M)

No two-a-days runs counter to the way Bear Bryant forged Texas A&M's "Junction Boys." (Texas A&M)

It’s an interesting experiment Mark Richt is conducting by deciding to give up the time-honored two-a-day practices this preseason.

On the one hand, he’s bucking the traditional school of thought that forcing players to endure at least a few days of double practices in the late summer heat helps build physical endurance and mental toughness. Bear Bryant’s legendary “10 days of hell” camp for the “Junction Boys” during his time at Texas A&M set the template back in the 1950s. You might have seen ESPN’s movie about it.

But even schools keeping two-a-days have cut back on them in recent years because the increased risk of injury caused by fatigue is exacerbated by today’s scholarship limits. Even with one-a-days, many teams emerge from preseason camp literally limping — remember all those hurt hamstrings in Athens last year?

Speaking of last year’s preseason practices, you can …

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Today’s Dawgs don’t misbehave more, they just live in a fishbowl

Dontavius Jackson's booking mugshots.

Dontavius Jackson's booking mugshots.

Like me, you’re probably really tired of reading police reports related to college athletics.

Whether it’s serious misbehavior like the brawl in Knoxville or the latest UGA-related DUI charge, or annoying minor infractions involving fireworks, scooters or learner’s permits, it’s gotten exceedingly tiresome.

But let’s not get all sanctimonious and start railing about the good ole days and how these things didn’t happen back … whenever.

It’s always happened. It just didn’t always result in police charges. And even when it did, it rarely resulted in media coverage. Stupid college kids aren’t any more stupid nowadays. They just live in an era when everyone is under a lot more scrutiny than they used to be.

When I was at UGA, I got to know a guy who had been one of the athletic department go-fers back in the 1960s when Vince Dooley picked up his first couple of SEC championships. The tales he told about the off-field shenanigans that some of …

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Which game besides Florida will be toughest for the Dogs?

A.J. Green makes a big catch as Georgia sneaks by South Carolina last year. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

A.J. Green makes a big catch as Georgia sneaks by South Carolina last year. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

It’s time for our annual debate about which game on Georgia’s upcoming football schedule will be toughest — other than the meeting with the Gators in Jacksonville, which has unfortunately achieved a level of toughness for the Dogs above and beyond all other opponents.

Last year at this time when I asked this question, 43 percent of the poll votes went to the LSU game. Ironically, the Dogs came within about a minute, one blown call and a muffed tackle of winning that one. The second most worrying game for poll voters last year was Georgia Tech, but that was before The Dogs proved they still run this state. The opener against Oklahoma State drew 21 percent of the vote as the likely toughest game, but would have been winnable if not for some lousy kickoff coverage. But the Tennessee game drew only 5 percent of the vote and that turned out to be the worst beating of the season for …

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Dooley puts it all in perspective

Vince Dooley has the right perspective on Mark Richt. (Georgiadogs.com)

Vince Dooley has the right perspective on Mark Richt. (Georgiadogs.com)

With writers and columnists in the border states determined to try and generate some heat under Mark Richt’s head coach’s seat (despite the fact that nobody who counts in Athens feels that way), Vince Dooley puts it all in perspective.

Dooley, who’s visiting his hometown of Mobile for his 60th high school reunion, talked with the Press-Register there and summed up the UGA situation pretty nicely:

“Once you establish a program at a high level and you win 10 ballgames pretty much every year, when you fall below that you become a victim of your own success a little bit,” Dooley said. “The other thing is that Florida has been on a roll of late. Our record against them is just atrocious the last 10 years.”

But, Dooley noted, while “this has been the first what you might call not-so-good year,” the other side of the coin for UGA is “you beat your rival that won the ACC and you won the bowl game. A lot of people …

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Quick hits: Adams, AD search, Richt and UGA cops

Michael Adams and interim AD Frank Crumley (Phil Skinner / AJC)

Michael Adams and interim AD Frank Crumley (Phil Skinner / AJC)

UGA President Michael Adams raised a few eyebrows Tuesday when he said that while he thinks there are three or four people currently on the athletic association’s staff who would make “very strong” candidates to replace Damon Evans, “my first look in this case is going to be outside.”

I’m not a big fan of Adams generally, but I liked his reasoning here. (And not just because Greg McGarity, my favorite candidate for the athletics director’s job, currently works at the University of Florida, though he has strong ties to UGA.)

Said Adams: “I want an outside opinion to take a hard look at what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. As well as we’re doing it, can we do it better?”

Of course, it’s entirely possible that in the end the very capable search committee appointed by Adams might decide to recommend interim AD Frank Crumley or some other in-house candidate. But I wouldn’t bet on it. This is certainly no …

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Will Adams go for best man or ‘yes’ man?

Greg McGarity (University of Florida)

Greg McGarity (University of Florida)

I’m enjoying the Independence Day holiday, as I hope you are, but I wanted to provide a fresh forum for looking ahead, now that it’s being reported UGA President Michael Adams has asked for and received Damon Evans’ resignation and an announcement will be made Monday.

That’s a good thing. Dragging this tawdry story out would only have further damaged UGA.

One of Evan’s staffers at the UGA Athletic Association apparently will be named the interim athletics director and then the search for a permanent replacement will commence.

As I wrote Saturday, I think the best move would be to hire Greg McGarity, an Athens native who grew up hanging out at the UGA tennis courts, graduated from UGA and spent quite a few years with the UGA Athletic Association. He has been with the University of Florida since 1992 and currently is the senior associate athletics director there.

Whether you think McGarity should have had the job in 2003 or agreed with …

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Evans shouldn’t wait to be fired by UGA

Damon Evans wants to keep his job. Surely he must realize that's impossible. (Curtis Compton / AJC)

Damon Evans wants to keep his job. Surely he must realize that's impossible. (Curtis Compton / AJC)

The odds already were long against Damon Evans keeping his job as UGA’s athletics director after his DUI arrest this week. But the damning and embarrassing details that surfaced with the release Friday of the Georgia State Patrol incident report pretty well seal the deal.

According to the state trooper who made the arrest, Evans repeatedly invoked his position at UGA to try to avoid being taken into custody, which alone would make it difficult for President Michael Adams to justify keeping Evans at the head of the school’s athletics program. Throw in the widely quoted report of Evans crying uncontrollably and his companion’s red panties in his lap and, well, no institution wants a drunken punchline as its public face, no matter how well he otherwise might have done his job.

Evans, who we now know was less than forthcoming at his press conference the other day, said he wants to …

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Evans isn’t out of the woods yet

Damon Evans, seen here with Mark Richt, will have to do more than apologize. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Damon Evans, seen here with Mark Richt, will have to do more than apologize. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

So, did Damon Evans do enough in his news conference late Thursday to save his job?

He struck the expected contrite tone, apologized for the shame he has brought on the University of Georgia and his family with his arrest on DUI charges, promised to learn from his “grave, grave” mistake, and thanked UGA President Michael Adams for standing by him.

Somehow, just learning a tough lesson doesn’t seem enough, does it? And it should be noted that Adams said in a statement released by UGA that he “will reserve further action pending a full review by staff and legal counsel,” so Evans isn’t out of the woods yet.

Frankly, I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t have to do a lot more than just apologize. UGA athletes arrested on alcohol-related charges must sit out at least 10 percent of a season. If Evans is going to get to keep his job, it would seem only fair that he at the …

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Remembering when Dawgs were fit to be tied

Back in the days before overtime, ties weren't just Vince Dooley's wardrobe of choice on game days. (AJC file)

Back in the days before overtime, ties weren't just Vince Dooley's wardrobe of choice on game days. (AJC file)

Inspired by all the tie scores in soccer’s World Cup, Ivan Maisel of ESPN.com recently paid tribute to the days when college football wasn’t afraid to let a game end deadlocked.

As Maisel noted, “Ties brought a different kind of strategy to the field. Ties brought controversy. They may have ended games, but they started debates that endure to this day. … You want to get an argument restarted? Wander over to a tailgate outside Notre Dame Stadium and criticize Ara Parseghian for the 10-10 tie with Michigan State that secured the Irish the 1966 national championship.”

Which prompted my son to ask me about famous (or infamous) ties in Georgia football history. He’s 25 and thus “I only remember the last one against undefeated Auburn in 1994,” when he was 9 years old. “But I’m sure there were others of note.”

Indeed, there were, and as Vince Dooley put it in his memoir a …

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