The NCAA/Georgia Tech story was being discussed Thursday afternoon at the afternoon news meeting in our newsroom when one of the senior editors cracked, “Bill, what’s that big smile on your face?”
OK, I’ll admit it, as was probably true with any other UGA die-hard, I couldn’t help taking some pleasure in the “Institute” being caught once again with its frequently trumpeted integrity not quite in place.
But considering the fragile nature of “good standing” in the world of the NCAA, it’s not a good idea to spend too much time crowing about a rival getting slapped, as you never know when your own school is going to have to deal with another eligibility issue.
I will say note, though, that last year Georgia’s coaches determined that they would sit A.J. Green rather than risk using an ineligible player, and that kept Jerseygate from turning into something much bigger and nastier, like what has come down on the Flats.
I’ve no idea what, if anything, will transpire in the Jarvis Jones case. But I’m betting until Mark Richt and his staff know, Jones won’t take the field.
Meanwhile, before it was official yesterday that Richard Samuel would be returning to the tailback position, I wrote that I thought it was a bad idea, and I still do.
Oh, I fully understand why Richt is doing it, and you can make a good case that from the team’s perspective it’s the right move. Georgia has a startling lack of experience at the tailback position right now, and Samuel has experience, albeit in the somewhat distant past.
But for Samuel’s development as a player it’s not the right move. Having already gone from starter to benchwarmer in the backfield once, the young man stood a better chance of getting sustained playing time as a backup linebacker. At tailback, he may start out the season getting a decent number of carries spelling true freshman Isaiah Crowell, but as Crowell gets acclimated to college ball, Samuel’s likely to find himself back on the bench again.
I’d love to be wrong about that and for Samuel and Crowell to develop into a one-two punch in the backfield, but what we’ve seen of Samuel in the past indicates that his best use would be as a linebacker.
The back-and-forth with Samuel brings to mind the UGA career of Kiante Tripp, who the Georgia coaches moved from defensive end to offensive tackle to tight end back to offensive tackle back to defensive end. And he ended up excelling at none of those positions.
I hate to see the same thing happen to Samuel’s career.
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