Fan talk: Richt vs. Crowell, wayward tailbacks, armed Dawgs and Grantham’s future!

Was there more to the Isaiah Crowell story than we knew? (Associated Press)

Was there more to the Isaiah Crowell story than we knew? (Associated Press)

Let’s get right to some timely Junkyard Mail …

Bobby Dupree writes: Bill, I have to say I was shocked by the speed with which Mark Richt dismissed Isaiah Crowell from the team after his arrest. And I’m a little bit baffled. Why would the coach move so quickly to kick the kid off the team without even waiting to see if the charges stick or get reduced?

I’ve had that question from several fans, and unless Richt fills us in on why he acted so quickly, whatever we say is sheer speculation. I had expected Richt to wait to see what happened with the charges and then, if they were dismissed or reduced to misdemeanors, suspend Crowell for half a season. Depending on how the player reacted to that, I figured the coach would then either reinstate Crowell or dismiss him. But with Richt moving so quickly to get rid of Crowell on the same day he was arrested, I’ve got to figure that Isaiah was already on thinner ice with his head coach than any of us imagined. Perhaps there was more to last season’s troubles than was made public. The fact that Crowell also had three freshmen in the car with him and his buddy probably didn’t help matters. Richt may have seen him as a bad influence who needed to be removed. Also, I think that Richt, in acting so quickly and decisively with Crowell, was sending a message to the rest of the team. Frankly, I think if Richt had waited, he would have been only postponing the inevitable. Yes, it’s likely that if Crowell gets the felony charges reduced or dropped he’ll wind up playing for some other major school, possibly within the SEC. And, who knows, this time he might actually come to his senses and apply himself, stay out of trouble and become a star player. But I’d say there’s an equally good chance that the same deficiencies that hampered Crowell in Athens will show up wherever he plays.

Jerry Doster writes: Bill, what is it with Georgia’s tailbacks? OK, I know college kids are known for getting in trouble and our athletes aren’t the only ones crossing the line, but the string of incidents in recent years involving the Dogs’ tailback corps is really ridiculous. Dontavius Jackson, Washaun Ealey, Caleb King, Carlton Thomas, and now Isaiah Crowell — all in trouble in one way or another and all gone from the program before their eligibility expired. What’s going on here? No other position on the team has had such consistent problems. Is it time to look at the position coach and maybe ask what he’s doing wrong?

Ken Malcome and the other UGA tailbacks don't need to worry about being the next Herschel Walker. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Ken Malcome and the other UGA tailbacks don't need to worry about being the next Herschel Walker. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

You’re not the first to ask whether any of this continuing turmoil with the running backs can be laid at the feet of their coach, Bryan McClendon, who got a hefty pay raise last year, up to $200,000, in large part because of his considerable prowess as a recruiter. There’s no denying his value to UGA in that regard. His two latest successes: Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley. Only those intimately familiar with the workings of the team can say for sure whether there’s anything McClendon could do differently that might make a difference, but it’s tough to pin the stupid things that college students do on their coaches. Still, I’d be surprised if McClendon isn’t part of some rather urgent discussions of what can be done to put an end to this. Perhaps Georgia needs to look at how it evaluates the non-football aspects of its recruits. As for Ken Malcome, Marshall, Gurley and the others stepping up to take on the seemingly cursed tailback spot at UGA, I like this piece of advice from Chris White of the Athens Banner-Herald: “You no longer have to be the next Herschel Walker. You just have to make it through college.”

Jim Parry writes: Bill, Has gun possession become another topic our athletic department staff and coaches need to address? We do not want to become the U. of Oklahoma and their Switzer-coached wild west teams. Last I heard, Americans have the right to possess firearms, with certain legal restrictions, of course. Maybe our coaches need to dig deeper as to which players own or possess firearms and just make sure 1) They are not obviously [illegal], i.e. scratched off serial numbers like Crowell’s Luger. 2) They are a legal type to possess. 3) Registered, if need be. 4) Proper permits are carried to own and/or conceal such weapons. 5) Mandate proper use education for firearms (maybe at a local firing range). 5) Find out WHY these athletes feel the need to carry around weapons in the first place (especially ones that aren’t of the weekend deer hunting variety). Do they need to pretend they’re “gangsta” in a college environment? Get ’em out of here, if that’s the case. Are they being threatened by others and feel they need it to defend themselves? Coaches, parents and maybe even police might need to know if that’s the case. Coaches, like it or not, are the closest guardians these athletes have on campus and they need to know personal information about their “kids” to help protect them. Even if it means protecting them from themselves.

Hey, remember the whole flap about the need for Georgia’s coaches to insure the kids all have valid driver’s licenses and all the effort that went into that? If they also have to take on weapons inventory, I’m not sure they’ll have any time left for coaching.

Travis Hill writes: Hey Bill, I hope and pray that we are able to keep Coach [Todd] Grantham around a long time, but truthfully in the back of my mind I am afraid he is going to be such a hot commodity that he will have a lot of options after this season. Do you think UGA would ever put the “Coach in waiting” tab on Grantham?

That whole coach-in-waiting tactic didn’t work out very well for West Virginia and Texas, so we may not see many more schools going that route. And I’m not sure Georgia would consider Grantham to be head coach material yet, based on much-publicized incidents the past couple of seasons. From Grantham’s point of view, I think it would depend on what sort of job offer he got. I don’t see him leaving Georgia simply to return to the NFL. As for a head coaching job, it would depend on where the offer came from. If it was from a mid-major or below, he’d have to ask himself if being a head coach there was really better than being a defensive coordinator in the SEC.

I’ll answer more Junkyard Mail next week, so if you have something you want to discuss concerning UGA athletics or a question for the Junkyard Blawg, send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

334 comments Add your comment

Vain Jangling

June 30th, 2012
10:08 pm

Vain Jangling

June 30th, 2012
10:09 pm

What I meant to say was, “First!”

Joey Hanie

June 30th, 2012
10:13 pm

STUPID! But, i was once too

Matt

June 30th, 2012
10:20 pm

Crowell is cancer…Good riddance scum bag

Battlin Bulldog Beer

June 30th, 2012
10:30 pm

I got a six pack of this from Winn Dixie in 1980. I have been ready to drink it for the next championship if we ever won it. How long you think this stuff will last?

buzz

June 30th, 2012
10:42 pm

Georgia Football – We Gun This State

SouleSurvivor

June 30th, 2012
10:46 pm

Young Brother,
You WILL play again but if your prints are on that weapon, you will need a good lawyer to minimize the time you will do. If u know whats good for you, you will enroll in your hometowns community college IMMEDIATELY and volunteer at a charity. Dont lie and let this scare the hell outta you. Dont throw it all away Zay. Think of your mom and what you WONT beable to do f(r her if u keep fkng up. Hoping this gets to you man..dammit Zay..u dun it this time..but God is a fair and just one. You will play again kid.

Buzz2011

June 30th, 2012
10:50 pm

It’s refreshing that Dog fans are very concerned about Crowell being able to continue
studies in pursuit of a future law degree. I thought they just wanted to keep their first string running back in their games… Go Dogs….

Herschel Talker

June 30th, 2012
10:56 pm

Mark Richt is a dope. Mark Richt babies these clowns, and in return, they toy with him. This will NEVER change with Richt as coach. McGarity knows it, hence why the buyout of Richt aint so large. This doofus ain’t long for Athens, thank God.

FIRE MARK RICHT!!!

PROMOTE GRANTHAM AND GET THIS IDIOT RICHT OUT OF TOWN!!!

greyshirt_ne_1?

June 30th, 2012
11:07 pm

Tired of everyone blaming coach Richt and the staff. This is not a daycare. Young me must be held accountable for their actions. With that said, Isaiah we love you still young son. It always seemed like everyone else wanted it for Isaiah except Isaiah. Maybe the pressure was to much. Sometimes you don’t know what you had until its gone.

Lakedawg

June 30th, 2012
11:11 pm

Herschel, you are one slow dipstick!

Sully Man

June 30th, 2012
11:19 pm

Hey Herschel Talker… I suspect you are more of a talker than you ever were a player, so before you label Mark Richt a dope, you may want to look in the mirror. The man is one of the finest football coaches in the league and he’s got more character in his little toe than most of the SEC coaches have in their entire body. If winning a championship at all costs and by any means is the goal, there are plenty of schools that will tolerate all kinds of bad behavior from player who are “too good to lose”. But that’s not how we do it at Georgia. When the championship comes… and it will… it won’t be tainted (e.g. Scam Newton and Auburn).

SSIgator

June 30th, 2012
11:28 pm

Someone asked about his twitter account:

https://twitter.com/iSAIAH_RIP_STEV

If there are any remorse or regrets comments in there, I couldn’t find them.

A rather clear answer to Jerry Doster”s question.

wrightsville dawg

July 1st, 2012
12:01 am

Crowell will probably play in kansas with nick marshall this year before he goes to either lsu,bama, auburn, florida, tennessee, or south carolina. Take your pick. However i think he needs to go learn his lesson at either gmc or hargrove milt. Teach him some DISCIPLINE

Moobs Johnson

July 1st, 2012
12:23 am

UGA = the new Thug U. At least Miami won NC’s, all Georgia can do is win divisions via cupcake scheduling.

chuck

July 1st, 2012
12:35 am

A wise man once told me that he was so tough on me growing up because I had plenty of friends and didn’t need him to be a friend. His role in my life was to be my Father. His job was to keep me headed in the right direction. Mark Richt doesn’t understand that his role is to have his player’s borderline scared of him so they stay on the right path. The players have enough friends and they obviously don’t respect or fear CMR.

Kimmer

July 1st, 2012
12:35 am

SSIgator

June 30th, 2012
11:28 pm

I would need some sort of dictionary to understand that. Where is that type of dictionary sold?

Lamar

July 1st, 2012
12:37 am

Let me get this straight, RONNIE WILSON, A PLAYER AT FLORIDA 3 YEARS AGO, SHOT A AK 47 OVER SOMEBODY’S HEAD AT A BAR, AND URBAN CRYER LET HIM HANG AROUND, yet Crowell has his under the seat, and he is run off? I GUESS CROWELL SHOULD HAVE SHOT THE GUN AT SOMEBODY, THIS WAY HE WOULD STILL BE ON THE TEAM!! Don’t worry though, CROWELL WILL WINDUP AT ALABAMA OR LSU, JUST LIKE THE REST OF GA”S REJECTS. SEE METTENBERGER!! ENOUGH SAID!!

RED DOG 77

July 1st, 2012
12:40 am

I too hope coach Grantham stays with the DOGS for good number of years. I am as big a supporter of coach Richt as there is, but I will give Grantham credit for our beloved BULLDOGS return to toughness…………….Crowell needed to go , Oline will do just fine this year, Murray will have his best year to date, DEFENSE will litterally destroy SEC offenses………………….And all will be well in DAWGLAND……………RED

SOUTHGADAWGG88

July 1st, 2012
12:44 am

Losing Crowell hurts no doubt about it.Why did it go down so quickly?I’m sure some details will start coming out in a couple of days.I hate to see stuff like this happen, it’s bad for the kids,the team and the University.There is no need to bash the young man incessantly…he is already gone.I hope he learns from this situation and does the hard work necessary to get himself back on track.I wish him the best.

Truthiness

July 1st, 2012
1:09 am

Losing Crowell won’t make this team any worse or any better than it might have been with him. The other isses with this team will far outweigh the Crowell effect. UGA has too many good athletes to lose to the weak teams on its schedule. It doesn’t have enough good coaching to beat the better, ranked teams. Nothing much will change that.

rayray145

July 1st, 2012
1:17 am

It’s simple, the football players at UGA have to deal with the University and Athens police who do not care if they’re star athletes. You dont think this happens at Al, AU, UF, etc? The difference is, football is not above the law in Athens like it is in other college towns. Get busted at AL and the cops call Saban. Get busted in Auburn and Chizick is called. Get busted in Athens, you go to jail. That’s my bet.

Dirty Dawg

July 1st, 2012
2:52 am

OK, here we go again…high-profile athlete pulls enough bone-head crap to be dismissed from a SEC member institution…shows up at some JC (probably only having to actually be enrolled in classes for a couple of months.)…plays well and is ‘recruited’ (AKA bribed) to attend another member school…excells, hell, maybe even wins a Heisman and a NC and becomes a hero and/or starter t an Auburn or LSU. Basically, no penalty whatsoever, just like transferring and ’sitting out’ a year. What I’m saying is there should be, at least, a two-year suspension from the SEC. If they go someplace else, fine, but not the SEC.

KimGarner

July 1st, 2012
2:54 am

I am sickened by Crowell’s actions. Stop running with that crowd! God gave YOU opportunity & you should use your talent for a higher purpose! I’m a Georgia grad & worked through school. I know it’s tough, but just stop & see the opportunity you’ve been given. Get your head right! YOU are talented!!! Don’t waste it for drugs! I love watching you run that ball! Be Strong! Gotta turn away from things & people that are bad for you! GO DAWGS!!! – regardless!

7576DAWG

July 1st, 2012
4:17 am

I think Richt dismissed Crowell because Crowell was on notice that if ANYTHING else happened that was do to questionable behavior or Character that he would be gone. Third strike and you are out.
I also think that Richt knows that there are at least 5 Tailback’s that have not committed yet and with an opening at Tailback to shore up our depth those recruit’s could see where they would get early playing time. Why postpone something that was inevitable ? Now our coaches can actually tell these recruit’s that Georgia need you and mean it.

Cuz

July 1st, 2012
4:35 am

I trust Coach RIcht knew what he was doing when he dismissed Crowell. Bring on the Boo, Gurley and Marshall.

collegeballfan

July 1st, 2012
6:42 am

“…the same deficiencies that hampered Crowell in Athens will show up wherever he plays.”

He had those same deficiencies in high school.

Endless Summer

July 1st, 2012
7:24 am

All you have to do to find out about Crowell’s character is to read a few days worth of his tweets:

https://twitter.com/iSAIAH_RIP_STEV

Crowell was a train wreck waiting to happen. Read a few of his illiterate, stupid rants filled with the N-word and then ask Mark Richt why he recruited this punk.

Dawg_Mike

July 1st, 2012
7:46 am

Josh Harvey Clemons Grandpa said I told you so….

Knick knack paddywack, give the dawg a bone...

July 1st, 2012
7:53 am

The “Crowell Affair” should be the last nail in Saint Mark Richt’s coffin. It’s time for the phony preacher man to move on. Dump him now!

Good Riddance

July 1st, 2012
7:55 am

Glad Crowell is gone. He was an evil presence n the locker room.

tell me again

July 1st, 2012
8:24 am

Little did CMR know that when he showed Crowell the “missing back” formation in Athens when he was recruiting him that it would be a prophetic vision of Crowell’s own future. I think, as other posters have said, CMR saw that Crowell’s attitude was a ticking time bomb. The fact he had 4 other football players on the car also showed Richt that the kid was not only going down, he was going to take a bunch of other kids down with him. He had to go. He’s a big talent, but how many times have we seen “can’t miss” talent go into the tank? It’s sad his life is such a train wreck at this point, but, football aside, I hope he grows up and makes something good out of his life. Football isn’t life – if he gets straight he can still make it right. But like I said before – his absence will hurt. Now we need to go and recruit another back – AND more linemen! Go Dawgs!

Niceville Dawg

July 1st, 2012
8:38 am

The kid was bad news from the begining.I think the minute he got to Athens he knew he was in the wrong place,and has been doing everything wrong since.It’s been said a lot in the last couple days,and I’ll say it again.Incredible talent,zero heart,zero morals,zero respect for anyone.Let’s move on with what we’ve got….GO DAWGS

ozzfest

July 1st, 2012
8:43 am

I am very interested to know how Crowell scored on his SAT or ACT. One looks at the situation and asks how a kid could be so dumb…and this kid has flown on planes, been in nice hotels, had a taste of what “riches the world has to offer”…and then drives around with a gun.

The sheer stupidity of his decision to carry the gun is amazing. The fact he had FRESHMEN players in the vehicle with him shows a real lack of vision.

If I were IC’s parents I would take hime for a mental evaluation.

Joey

July 1st, 2012
9:01 am

A couple of questions: Reading a few of his Twitter posts, how did Crowell EVER pass an English course, hs or college? How could our coaching staff been so clueless as to let this guy have teenage freshmen players out on the town at 3 am?

Well, one thing’s for sure, Richt got UGA back in the national media spotlight again – too bad it’s not football season yet.

The way Richt’s career is winding down, his legacy will wind up being that he led UGA to being a Miami-like Thug U, only without the titles. When he’s gone, folks will talk and write about the next coach having to “clean up the Bulldog program.”

Sad for him. Sadder for UGA.

GATiger

July 1st, 2012
9:03 am

I truly don’t get the infatuation with Grantham. He’s been a DC for one year of his entire career, and what good offenses has he beaten? It appears this guy was born under a lucky star, and has benefited handsomely from merely being better than Martinez.

Return to Glory

July 1st, 2012
9:03 am

He had to go, he got to many chances last season. Hope he gets on track somewhere else. The TEAM will be better off without him.

RxDawg

July 1st, 2012
9:14 am

“Losing Crowell won’t make this team any worse or any better than it might have been with him.”

Than I’m afraid your in denial friend. One of my Bama buddies called me last night to rib me a little bit. He said he thought Crowell was going to lead the SEC in rushing this year. He may of been right. What a shame, what a shame.

I’d imagine the quickness of the dismissal had a lot to do with puting the other 3-4 players in jeapordy. And probalby already being on thin ice as well. The moment that Crowell turned from Richt while he was coaching him during the SEC champ game last year… I knew we had a problem. I wanted to deny it and ignore it and hope IC turned it around.

One other thing, I swear you can’t listen to a dang thing that comes out of spring camp talks.

DooleyDoo

July 1st, 2012
9:22 am

Do locals in Athens need to pack to protect themselves against gun-tot’n UGa FBplayers?

SOUTHGADAWGG88

July 1st, 2012
9:22 am

Well if his academics are too shaky to go to another school then he shouldn’t have been eligible to play at UGA this year.The kid is gone..time to move on

Lee

July 1st, 2012
9:32 am

As long as colleges recruit borderline retards with room temperature IQs, this will continue to happen. The only way to fix this problem is for the NCAA to require student athletes to apply and get accepted into college using the same criteria as every other student who walks through the door.

A lot of these so-called “five star” recruits have been pampered and catered to throughout their playing careers. Teachers and coaches at the high school level overlook bad behavior because they don’t want to jeopardize the game. When they get to college, it is expanded exponentially because there are millions of dollars riding on this young ADULT’S athletic performance.

They are provided tutors who spoonfeed them lessons. They have “class checkers” who make sure the idiots actually go to class. They have coaches, trainers, and other folks numbers programmed into their cellphones to call if they find themselves in a bad situation.

And they STILL get into trouble.

“You can’t fix stupid” quips comedian Ron White.

“Garbage in, Garbage out” sayeth the computer geeks…

dawgincarolina

July 1st, 2012
9:35 am

Endless Summer – I get your point abt recruiting him, to a degree. Be aware though that several other big time schools also offered him.

bardawg

July 1st, 2012
9:35 am

If this incident with Crowell Is’nt an indictment of our so-called educational system, then I don’t know what is. The young man has been coddled, taught not to respect authority (or himself for that matter) and to adopt the gangsta way of life. What a damn shame and a terrible waste.

VA DAWG

July 1st, 2012
9:39 am

People need to stop bashing this kid on the comments. You are the same people that were saying he was going to win the heisman (or “the next Herschel”) or a troll posing as a dawg fan. If you grew up the environment this kid came from, you wouldn’t have even made it to UGA. The kid has made some mistakes and I hope he finds his path to success even if its not in red & black or even on the football field. He’s an all-world talent with the football in his hand and I hope he can use that ability to move his life beyond that of which he’s grown up in. Best of luck to Isiah and GO DAWGS!

dawgincarolina

July 1st, 2012
9:41 am

RxDawg– I agree that IC had a good chance of leading the sec in rushing, assuming our OL has learned how to block. Assuming he stayed healthy and out of the dawg house, both of which would have been highly suspect.

On another note, I agree that cmr had no choice but to cut his losses. Had this been IC first incident, it would have still been hard to accept what will likely be a federal weapons charge.

Finally, IC has made some horrendous decisions and possibly flushed any chance of playing for a big time D1 school. Let’s hope that 1) he has learned his lesson, and will make the most of what opportunities are available when all this is over 2) this sets and example for other athletes, not just at UGA, about decision making and consequences.

Bigboy

July 1st, 2012
9:43 am

Recruit Georgia first has it’s drawbacks too.There are a ton of knuckleheads from Georgia getting in trouble all across the college football landscape.Say what you will it’s just the damn truth…look around the SEC suspended or kick off the team lists…The state of Georgia is well represented.

6-18 Against End of Season Ranked Teams Since '05

July 1st, 2012
9:45 am

….doesn’t matter, I dare say even Herschel Walker couldn’t run behind this pathetic O-line.

GT4EVER

July 1st, 2012
9:48 am

Considering a couple of former Aub players were just murdered a few weeks ago. I would assume a lot of football players are secretly armed when they go out to certain areas.Stay away from those places!!!

LogicalUS

July 1st, 2012
9:48 am

“wind up being that he led UGA to being a Miami-like Thug U, only without the titles”

Ding, Ding, ding we have a winner…that was the thoughts going around…at least when Switzer’s commandos were rampaging thru Norman, Oklahoma was destroying teams on the field and then stomping one their faces.

UGA has Vandy success with thug attitude.

dawgincarolina

July 1st, 2012
9:49 am

GT4EVER– Pls tell me that was not an attempt at humor.