Hot topic: What did Georgia know, and when did it know it?

UGA AD Greg McGarity. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Georgia AD Greg McGarity. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Yes, it looks awfully convenient. Three Georgia tailbacks are suspended for a game, but not the game that stood to make or break the Bulldogs’ season, due to a failed drug test that was administered last week — meaning, before the Florida game.

And here we turn to a fairly basic concept — trust. Georgia insists it did not cherry-pick which game the backs would miss. Greg McGarity, the athletic director, said: “When certain things are found, we act right then.” Claude Felton, the Hall of Fame publicist, said: “At the point a violation is discovered, if a suspension is required the penalty will be enforced for the next contest.”

Not everyone is buying this. Some folks can’t get past the notion that Isaiah Crowell and Carlton Thomas were able to play in the game that meant so much to both Georgia and its head coach. And journalists, I should note, are trained to be skeptics. But I must also note that journalists are trained to be observers, and here, over time, is what I’ve observed:

The two men quoted regarding the timing of the penalty — McGarity and Felton — are men, I’ve come to believe, whose word means something. Call me naive, but those are men I’d trust not just to say the right thing but to do it. (And I’d also suggest that just because the tests were taken before the Florida game doesn’t mean laboratory confirmation was immediately forthcoming.)

Sometimes circumstances have a fishy smell to them, and in a million-dollar industry like college football an old-fashioned thing like honor can yield to expedience. As the photo of yours truly (above) will attest, I wasn’t born yesterday. But I’ve also learned this: There are cases where you have to make a choice — to believe in people’s worst instincts, or to believe in their best? And the answer invariably hinges on the people involved.

Given the people involved in this, I trust Georgia. If that makes me a fool, so be it.

By Mark Bradley

575 comments Add your comment

Sende'em Uhauls

November 2nd, 2011
9:58 am

Send'em Uhauls

November 2nd, 2011
9:58 am

I say its time to clean house anyway.

Mark Bradley

November 2nd, 2011
9:58 am

Kudos, Sende’em.

2010 BCS CHAMPS

November 2nd, 2011
9:59 am

Can’t wait till 2 weeks from now.

WOOF WOOF!

Craig Skok

November 2nd, 2011
10:00 am

Send'em Uhauls

November 2nd, 2011
10:02 am

Sorry Bark Madley I was typing a bit fast and was so excited to get the honor….

Dawg-Gone

November 2nd, 2011
10:04 am

notbspn

November 2nd, 2011
10:04 am

Of course they knew the results before the Florida Game. It was a must win game for Mark Richt. However, in the end the rest of the SEC wins as we do not want him fired- as he keeps the Dawgs underachieving and in mediocrity. Mark Richt knows he sold his soul to the devil last weekend ironically Samuels the only one not puffing was the only one producing of the Trippin Trio.

GeorgiaDawg93

November 2nd, 2011
10:05 am

I think this was a case of plausible deniability.

DogTheMan

November 2nd, 2011
10:05 am

Reality is what it is!!!!!

rrich

November 2nd, 2011
10:05 am

Being the christian man Mark Richt is I believe him

German Shepherd Dawg

November 2nd, 2011
10:05 am

Mark,

This article was a waste of my time and your talent. The rules strictly forbid any delay in suspensions, and another article (I believe Chip’s) reported that the tests take 5-7 days to process.

This was a non-story.

jimbodude44

November 2nd, 2011
10:06 am

This is just way too convenient. They is full of BS

Send'em Uhauls

November 2nd, 2011
10:06 am

Hope McGarity will lean on Richt to either fire or demote Bobo at seasons end. Lets be real, our offense stinks.

td

November 2nd, 2011
10:06 am

If true, then all you CMR haters need to just go ahead and find you a new team to root for because the AD and President Adams is totally behind the coach and he is NOT going anywhere. I feel a contract extension coming after the season now.

reckingball

November 2nd, 2011
10:06 am

What kind of a drug test?

You Ain't-Know Gaily Whacker

November 2nd, 2011
10:06 am

Free the Ganja Three. Here is one before the Gator game.

http://www.myrtlebeachwebdesign.com/koala-lizard.html

St Simons - we're on Island time

November 2nd, 2011
10:06 am

Crowell would be man of the year at Auburn

we don’t roll like that, and he’ll be a better man for it later, in a career

that’s why, to this day, I cull the Auburn resumes first.

Vain Jangling

November 2nd, 2011
10:07 am

A bowl for the cat, a bowl for the dog, and a bowl for me . . .

cattle dawg

November 2nd, 2011
10:07 am

I get drug tested twice a year as do all our cdl drivers . I piss in a cup, they send it off and several days or up to a week later we get the results back. So if they took the test on Thursday I doubt UGA knew the results before Saturday.

Send'em Uhauls

November 2nd, 2011
10:07 am

td….. wake up and smell the coffee and get off the kool aid.

Cosmo

November 2nd, 2011
10:08 am

As GT fan, this really concerns me little, but it is curious why they failed to address this in Richt’s press conference rather than waiting 30 minutes afterward to issue a printed release. That is the stink here. Clear avoidance of confrontation of the issue leads to a perception of manipulation and in the public eye, perception is everything.

Eternal Optimist

November 2nd, 2011
10:08 am

Give them a break as drugs should be legal anyway! http://www.norml.org

bjohndawg

November 2nd, 2011
10:08 am

Wow, now people are worried about the timing. Richt, Felton, Mcgarity and company have bounced players for things other schools give 4 and 5 chances for. They bounced star prospects like the QB who is now at LSU. I believe Richt would play with 10 players before he would let football come before doing the right thing.

And if Crowell does not get his act together, they will bounce him and his 800+ yards before the end of the season, and have the ex- walkons run the ball the rest of the way.

Beauvighn

November 2nd, 2011
10:09 am

You are Naive……

Shug

November 2nd, 2011
10:09 am

Nothing’s changed. Fire Richt now.

Andy

November 2nd, 2011
10:09 am

I’m sure it takes at least a few days to get the drug test results back. I guess it depends on when the drug tests were given. Also, it’s possible they delayed giving the tests until a day when they know they would not get the results back until after the game was played. The question would be whether this was a regularly scheduled test and if they followed the same schedule as they always did. Also, did it take the normal amount of time to get the results back. I’m on the fence on this one. In this day and age I don’t fully trust anyone and that’s too bad.

Who Cares???

November 2nd, 2011
10:10 am

Does it really matter? There are a lot worse things that people get away with in college football. Like giving a NFL football alumni $180,000 to then go ahead and donate to Pastor Newton’s church. (What paper trail>?) Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

gdawginkalamazoo

November 2nd, 2011
10:10 am

Thanks Mark, good article. I trust McGarity seems to be a stand up guy. Mike Adams wouldn’t let this get out of hand IMO. I don’t like Adams but I don’t think he would want the U tarnished in this manner. Richt has said hit the door to many good players the past two years for discipline issues. I bet he hits the recruiting trail for an intelligent running back as soon as he can.

Bogey

November 2nd, 2011
10:11 am

You’ve got to go with your instincts on this Mark. We will probably never know for sure but who cares.

Send'em Uhauls

November 2nd, 2011
10:11 am

Crowell looks to be another bust anyway only 4 TD’s thus far into the season. I guess he will be another to get in line with the Ealey’s and Kings.

dawggirl

November 2nd, 2011
10:11 am

If the results take as long as they are said to take (5-7 days according to Chip’s update), then I have no problem with it. You can’t suspend without proof. After all, there is a Seinfeld episode where Elaine was fired for using opiates, when in fact it was due to her eating a poppyseed bagel. Obviously this wasn’t the case here, but the wheels of justice do turn slowly as we all are well familar with.

This will not deter or satisfy the haters, but frankly, that is their problem.

timthebrave

November 2nd, 2011
10:11 am

Florida wouldn’t have suspended at all so missing the new mexico state game is worse than most schools would have given them. That being said it is getting hard to put your trust in Crowell. Hope he learns his lesson and gives his all in becoming a great player and man

GaDawg

November 2nd, 2011
10:12 am

If you trust these men Mark, why even write this column. You, and Schultz, need a story to help sell this fish wrapper. Richt getting fired is your story that you’re hoping for. A typical drug test takes 7 working days to get back. If the test was administered during the first of last week, then getting the results this week would be right.

I’m sure that Richt is getting tired of the crap these kids pull. And, had it been me, all three would have the remainder of the fall to toke all they wanted, because they would have been suspend the balance of the year. And I as the coach would take my chances with the kids that want to be here.

In my opinion, unless Crowell matures alot in the next 10 months he will not be a Bulldog next year. Thomas knows this is it for his football career and Malcome I hope just went with the crowd. Crowell has been a joke to be the #1 recruit at running back from last year. This just proves these services that rank 17 year olds are useless.

It will be fun to see how Richt and Bobo respond this weekend.

GeoffDawg

November 2nd, 2011
10:14 am

Georgia already has the toughest drug testing policy in the SEC (along with Kentucky). If they were interested in obfuscating the truth purely for their own benefit, they’d enact something along the lines of LSU or Florida.

mmraines01

November 2nd, 2011
10:14 am

Bradley…Good article. Nice to see a logical and honest approach to this issue. As you say, all we know is what they are telling us and I have no reason not to trust them. Thanks. Keep up the good work.

td

November 2nd, 2011
10:15 am

Send’em Uhauls

November 2nd, 2011
10:07 am
td….. wake up and smell the coffee and get off the kool aid.

No my brother, you are the one that needs to wake up and come to the realization at what is going on. If this is true then it is a huge sign that the AD and the President are 100% behind CMR and do not want to see him go anywhere. Can you really not see the politics? You do not have to drink any kool-aid when you understand behind the scenes politics.

JJ

November 2nd, 2011
10:16 am

This was smart on UGA’s part. Administer a drug test on Thursday before UF, knowing the results can’t be official until week of N.M St. Nothing wrong with that. I wonder why Samuel IV was not invited to the doobie party though?

reckingball

November 2nd, 2011
10:17 am

UGA will probably kick Crowell off of the team, and he will go Auburn, Ala., LSU, or some other school.
I don’t think that a lot of other SEC and NCAA coachs, have a moral code as high as Richt’s.

St. Richt

November 2nd, 2011
10:17 am

Test results usually come back within 24 hours. I think this is a case, however, where they are not lying but are also not being completely truthful. My best guess is that they avoided reading the results until after the Florida game, for fear of what they might find.

ty webb

November 2nd, 2011
10:18 am

Bradley with yet another one, schultz will likely follow with another hard hitting investigative piece on “weedgate”, and Carvell is already on the phone getting Vandy’s recruits’ opinion on it…how did the NCAA’s tech investigation ever get by these guys?

Football Fan

November 2nd, 2011
10:19 am

If this was a university administered test, as has been reported, then you have to question the timing of the test itself. If I had players I suspected of drug use, there couldn’t be a a more beneficial time in the whole season to administer a drug test than two days BEFORE the Florida game and the week BEFORE the weakest opponent on the schedule.

Send'em Uhauls

November 2nd, 2011
10:19 am

td… give it up bro Im could care less about the politics. You will see in the coming weeks that much hasnt changed with this football program.Its time to can Richt.

Tampa Gator

November 2nd, 2011
10:19 am

Richt’s coaching career depended on Georgia beating Florida…..and that is all you need to know about the situation….and how conveniently the information came forth along with the serious consequence……suspensions for the game of the year…..”New Mexico State.”

I sure hope Georgia…..and Richt….lose to the Lobos….or whatever their team name is. And I sure hope Auburn and Tech win as well.

On second thought…..I hope Georgia loses to N Mex. State and Tech….and beats Auburn….so the powerhouse Dawgs from the East, with the 7-4 “tough schedule” record….can go get their brains mashed against either LSU or Bama.

Yes……I can dream as well as a Dawg in summer heat.

TossSweep

November 2nd, 2011
10:19 am

Let the NCAA investigate what really happened. Better yet, forget what I said.

Jborodawg

November 2nd, 2011
10:20 am

I haven’t heard any official from UGA say that the infraction was for drugs. Where’d this come from? How does any fan or reporter know what the infraction was? Did I miss that press release?

Its a UGA rule, not NCAA

November 2nd, 2011
10:20 am

Its a UGA rule not NCAA. UGA can do as they choose and when to suspend so it doesnt matter Cosmo.

Dawgfan0711

November 2nd, 2011
10:20 am

I’m a dog fan and I don’t think you can say that Richt had the results before hand and delayed the punishment. If you want to say he choose when to give the drug test and did so thinking if someone fails and I will have to punish them, it will land against NMS then so be it. That’s how most any coach would have handled it. Do you think bama or Lsu drug tested last Thursday, I think not.

reckingball

November 2nd, 2011
10:21 am

Is this a test that is mandated by the NCAA, and that all schools must adhere to, or was this UGA’s policy?
Was it given to all of the UGA players?
Was it scheduled, or a random test?

Send'em Uhauls

November 2nd, 2011
10:22 am

Why wasnt Aarom Murray Suspended after the photo in Tallahassee? Under age drinking is a no no as well.