Carver-Columbus coach lifts ban of Georgia recruiters

Carver-Columbus High juniors Gabe Wright and Isaiah Crowell, two of the state’s top prospects for the Class of 2011, both list the University of Georgia among their leaders and intend to make unofficial visits sometime this fall.

This is significant for two reasons: One, they’re both exceptional players that are being sought by virtually every major program in the South; and two, you may recall they both play for the coach that banned the Bulldogs from recruiting Carver-Columbus earlier this summer.

But that’s all water under the bridge, according to Carver-Columbus coach Dell McGee. McGee told me Wednesday that his unofficial ban of Georgia recruiters had been officially lifted.

“We pretty much talk to them almost every week so, yeah, I’d say everything is pretty much back to normal,” said McGee, whose 2-0 Tigers are ranked No. 1 in Class AAA. “Like I said, it was just a bad-communication deal. The things that were done, it wasn’t really something I wanted to go national. I just had to what I had to do to look out for our kids. But I’m not going to prevent any of our underclassmen or anybody else from going to Georgia or any other school. I’m going to be supportive of wherever our kids want to go to college.”

To refresh your memory, McGee was angry after his senior quarterback, Devin Burns, went to Athens on July 18 for the the Bulldogs’ big “Georgia Night” mini camp for elite recruits with the intention of committing to Georgia. It was only after Burns’ arrival — with his entire family in tow — that Burns was informed by a UGA assistant coach that the Bulldogs actually no longer had a scholarship available for him.

Upset and embarrassed, Burns and his family returned to Columbus. That Monday, McGee let it be known that Georgia coaches would no longer be welcomed at his school.

But McGee hinted even then that the ban was anything but permanent. He is a former Auburn football player and graduate assistant coach. He was on Pat Dye’s staff at the same time as current Georgia assistant coaches Rodney Garner and Stacy Searels and remains friends with both men.

“We’ve spoekn a few times,” McGee said of Garner, who is Georgia’s recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach. “He was in support of the decision I made and said he’d have been disappointed if I hadn’t done that. So everything worked itself out with time, like I said it would earlier. I just think things like that shouldn’t happen. I think the NCAA’s going to have to eventually make a new rule with all these kids committing early.”

Burns has since accepted a scholarship offer from Maryland and has played well for Carver. Through the first two games he has completed 14-of-18 passes for 232 yards.

“Devin’s been pretty consistent the first two weeks,” said McGee, who takes his flu-riddled team to Northside-Warner Robins on Friday. “He’s thrown the ball well and done of good job of running the offense and getting the ball to the right people. He’s a good player.”

Meanwhile, Wright (6-3, 270) and Crowell (6-0, 202) — both members of’s Top 100 prospects for 2011 — are primary targets for the Bulldogs’ Class of 2011. Trouble is, they’re also being heavily recruited Auburn, Clemson, Florida. Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma State, Southern Cal, Tennessee and UCLA, among others.

“Football wise, Gabe is just great,” McGee said. “He has tremendous upside. He uses his hands well, has good size, a good motor. And he’s a very mature kid, a great person. When things are going bad he’s going to get everybody going again.

“Isaiah is a great athlete but still has some work to do as far as being a running back. He’s got to work on the things you do when you don’t have the ball, blocking, blitz pickup, route running. But that’s the same with pretty much all high school running backs. He’s going to keep getting better with time.”

McGee said both players visited Clemson this past weekend. They are scheduled to take the ACT this Saturday so they will not be visiting Georgia this weekend.

But, McGee said, they probably will eventually. And that’s good news for the Dogs.

41 comments Add your comment

Al Beeski

September 9th, 2009
3:53 pm

Good job by Dell McGee & principal Lindsey!


September 9th, 2009
4:01 pm


September 9th, 2009
4:12 pm

Cry me a river you MUTTS.I told you losers that Okie State was going to wax that azz.And if you cowards dont hurry up and get Aaron Murray into that offense its going to be a very long season in those Athens Trailer Parks. “BOOK IT” GO GATORS!!!!!!

Lilburn Dawg

September 9th, 2009
4:25 pm

I appreciate the coach standing up for Burns and speaking out if he felt the player was embarrassed, but I don’t know how he thinks he has the authority or right to prevent any other kids from going to which ever school they choose. If I were the parent of a top athlete and a school offered him a scholorship which he wanted to accept, I wouldn’t take kindly to his high school coach telling my son (and me) that “he” wasn’t going to let my son go there! What nerve! The coach doesn’t have any say-so in the matter at all. I don’t need the high school coach’s permission for my son to go to college anywhere he desires.


September 9th, 2009
4:29 pm

Sorry Gator Chomp UGA should have scheduled Charleston Southern. And how are those cutoff jean shorts working for you these days???


September 9th, 2009
4:33 pm

Lilburn Dawg – I agree 100% with every word you wrote. If I were Richt I would not allow a UGA coach on that campus for a few years.


September 9th, 2009
4:43 pm

go anywhere but ga their run of ten win seasons are over!!!!!


September 9th, 2009
4:44 pm

Nothing that a few under the table handshakes with Coach Garner from UGa won’t cure. He ain’t called “The Bag Man” for nothing. Delivering the bags of $$! That’s what he’s known for.


September 9th, 2009
4:50 pm

Yea, I just visited them at church.


September 9th, 2009
5:07 pm

Fun fact for the day…There are more trailers per capita in the state of Florida than any other state in the nation…… I’ll bet that the people living in those trailers have more mulletts and cut off blue jeans than any other state in the nation to….Gator Chomp is the leader of the gator trailer nation.


September 9th, 2009
5:14 pm


September 9th, 2009
5:38 pm

Why would any prospects trust the GA coaching staff after pulling their offer to a player? That’s lying to someone’s face! Major trust and integrity issues with the Dawg staff now. Plus they will probably do good to finish 4th in the east this year. All these top ten recruiting classes the past few years haven’t really translated into championships or even SEC championship game appearances for the Dawgs.

BS Patrol

September 9th, 2009
6:01 pm


BS Patrol

September 9th, 2009
6:08 pm

Maybe they’ll provide another Jasper Sanks for the doggies.


September 9th, 2009
6:17 pm

TIM – Our jorts are working better for us than your undersize red and white striped nylon Richard Simmons running shorts are working for you curdawgs.
3 National Championships since your’s in 1980…..yep, I’ll take my jorts!
How do you get a curgawg out of your yard….pay for the pizza!


September 9th, 2009
6:26 pm

AtlGa… if that were the case there would be few scholarships ever offered. There would be no schools left to trust. Army, Navy and Air Force would have all the players. It is a business you know. It is not about education, hasn’t been in 30 years. I digress for a moment. It just occured to me. Has anyone ever refered to a college player as a student-athletic outside of any person not getting a pay check from a university? Folks I hang with never ever said those words in a sentence. And something else; when or if you ever talk about a Div 1-AA football team, do you refer to them a “former sub-division class 1A federation sub class” or whatever it is called.

Lilburn Dawg

September 9th, 2009
6:47 pm

Collegeballfan, thanks. That next-to-the-last sentence by the high school coach in the 4th paragraph (”But I’m not going to prevent any of our underclassmen or anybody else from going to Georgia or any other school”) just really burned my butt. Like he thinks he COULD prevent someone from going to a college of their choice! I wish he would try and see how fast some parent lays into him…..either physically or legally!!


September 9th, 2009
6:55 pm

GATOR CHOMP, I would bet $1,000 that you have never even seen the inside of the University of Florida. Also, You probably live much closer to a trailer than anyone else here. Why don’t you go to a Gator site to anonymously pound your little pud.

Cartoon Jacket

September 9th, 2009
7:04 pm

What’s a curgawg anyway??


September 9th, 2009
7:13 pm

Why did y’all bring me in to the program?


September 9th, 2009
8:58 pm

just hit the ignore button on these kids

Gerald Ball

September 9th, 2009
10:58 pm

Liburn Dawg and fellow travelers:

Of course, this is hypothetically speaking. So, if there was a coach known to mistreat and abuse his players, a university known for exploiting and failing to educate them or properly treat their injuries, and an athletics department known for failing to honor scholarships i.e. refusing to renew them on a year to year basis, would you oppose a high school coach’s refusing to allow that program to recruit his players? A high school coach does not have the right, no, the MORAL RESPONSIBILITY to try to do everything in his power to prevent his players from choosing a situation that the coach knows is bad for him?

What is it that you people care about anyway? Wins for the Georgia Bulldogs above all else? You are willing to throw everything away just to beat Florida once every four years? McGee is an educator, leader, advisor and authority figure of young men, and he is so by choice. The guy could be doing something else if he wanted to, including being a runner for those sleazy agents, and making a lot more money. So do you want him to act as a mentor, guide and authority figure? Do you want kids to respect their parents, teachers, coaches, and pastors so that we will have a strong, healthy functioning society regardless of what happens on the football field? Or do you want people like McGee to abdicate their responsibility and authority and just hand kids over to people who to be perfectly honest could care less about these kids as people?

That’s right, I said it. If UGA doesn’t get one of those Carver kids, big deal, they’ll just go recruit somebody else. UGA’s responsibility to these kids begins when those kids actually get on campus. Even after a kid signs a letter of intent, Richt has the prerogative to rescind it, like Oklahoma did to that Jarboe kid over a Youtube video (Jarboe is now at Troy State) last and Richt did to a player who got arrested this year (he still hasn’t been able to find a school). There is absolutely no point in pretending that these college coaches are looking out for the best interests of these recruits because they aren’t. You said it yourself … it’s a business, and if these coaches have to choose between their million dollar salaries and the future of any one of these kids, they’ll look after themselves, and justify their actions by saying “hey, I am not that kid’s mother, father, teacher, guidance counselor, pastor, OR HIGH SCHOOL COACH. I look after my own business, and this kid and the people who know and love him and have a stake in his future should have been looking after his.” And you know what? That coach would be 100% right. It isn’t the job of Richt, Saban, Spurrier, Miles or anyone else to look out for what is best for these kids in what you well know is a billion dollar industry that chews kids up and spits them out right and left. That is the job of the kids and their support systems, and this support system includes high school coaches like McGee. So back off, let McGee do his job guiding and advising his players, and you stick to your own job with your own kids (assuming that you have any) or the players of your own team (assuming that you even coach a team).

MOst of you folks sitting back trashing the parents of these prospects have never so much as had a kid be recruited to play for some basketweaving junior college tech, let alone Division I-A major program. Most of you who trash coaches never even so much as put in 4 or 5 hours a week as a volunteer coach at a YMCA or church league. Yet you have the nerve to trash parents and coaches of kids that have to make one of the biggest decisions of their lives, people who UNLIKE YOU are actually involved in the lives of these kids and know and care about them. If these kids were to wind up living under some bridge strung out on heroin you could care less so long as UGA still has 85 guys on scholarship that are better than most other schools. Admit it. You don’t care about these kids, you have nothing invested in them, you have no stake in their future, so stop criticizing those who do. Seriously, you people disgust me. You really do. The vast majority of these kids whose names appear in these recruiting columns and on signing day, you will never hear of again. Yet those are real people who have to live their lives the best that they can, and I hope that these kids listen to authority figures and get good advice from them that will help them later in life. If this coach’s stand against UGA teaches these kids a lesson on how to stand up for themselves and not let the government or their employer take advantage of them, then he has done his job. Then again, you could care less about his job as an authority figure and life teacher to these kids because you don’t care about these kids anyway – only UGA victories – so my time was wasted on you anyway.

Pulpwood Smith

September 9th, 2009
10:59 pm

So what. None of them can get in Georgia anyway.


September 9th, 2009
11:24 pm

Gator Chomp a big one! Zoning does not allow any “trailer parks” in the Athens city limits. Next time do your homework before chomping on a BIG ONE!!!!!!!

Lilburn Dawg

September 10th, 2009
6:38 am

You know, Gerald, what you describe about college coaches mistreating their players, he and the university exploiting the players and failing to educate them has been a criticsm of college football program for years by many critics. However, I think Coach Richt as a person cares a lot more about his players than does many other college coaches. But my comments were not about UGA or Coach Richt. As I said, I reacted to the comment by the high school coach which made it appear as if he didn’t want a kid to go to a certain college that he had the power and authority to prevent it! And he does not! If any high school coach is mad at a college coach because of a situation with one kid and I am the parent of another kid on the team who wants to go to that college…..then the high school has no power to prevent my kid from going there. As a parent, I may want to get the high school coach’s opinion about the college and consider it….but if my kid still wants to attend a particular college and I, as his parent, concur and think this college is the best placement for him, then the coach has no legal power to stop my kid from attending that college. It’s a family decision and the coach, not being a member of my family, has no vote in it. If my kid wants to attend a certain college then his high school cannot say “No, I’m not going to let you attend that college because I had an argument with the coach there and I don’t like him”. Fine. He doesn’t like the coach but he has no legal authority to prevent my kid from going there. That was my point.


September 10th, 2009
8:54 am


I enjoyed your post and appreciate the passion.

However, I disagree in your arguement about win/loss being the only thing that is important.

1. These successful college coaches get paid millions to win games first (which is exactly your point). Nick Saban will now make $4 million a year coaching college. Do you think he would be making this kind of money being a 6-5 coach in the SEC. No he would be fired.

However – by NCAA rules – and just as important – pressure from alumni – and the Univiersities themselves. All (including the coach) do not want the black eye on the University by giving unqualified kids scholarships that do not have the ability to graduate. The tide has turned in that the majority of Universities and Alumni want the winning records with kids that can do the work – and graduate. And that is how it should be.

- minimum academic requirements to be allowed to receive scholarships.
Defending UGA here – they have sent several kids to prep schools to get their act together for a chance to play D-1 ball and full scholarship.

By the way – where are the HS coaches that allow such athletes to compete on the field when they are not competing in the classroom? I suggest to you that they are more concerned about their own win and loss record.

Also – the primary group opposed to minimum standards was the NAACP.

2. Again – defending UGA as this is a primarily a UGA blog – they have not admitted several kids that were academically qualified – but had a troubled past. This is UGA standards. Richt has personally found scholarships for two kids at Mississippi State and Arkansas – in helping out a kid – giving them opportunity as they failed to meet UGA admission requirements.

3. I do agree that Coach Dell McGee is doing his best to look out for kids that he has nurtured and he wants the best for them. However, like most coaches out there – they have huge egos – which is what makes them successful. Problem is – they get a false sense of self importance.

Coach McGee stated that he never meant for this to get the publicity it received – yea – right! If this was the fact – he would have had private conversations with UGA staff – not gone to the figging media and lambasted that particular school.

I do not know all of the facts – but apparently there was a huge communication issue. I hate it that the kid and his family were embarrassed and hurt – just hate this happened. However, this is a great life lesson – one door closes – make another open up. This kid now has a scholarship at a good academic university. I wish him the best. If this is the worst thing that happens to this kid in his life – then he will turn out in great shape.

One last thought. We all root for these kids on game day – but more of us than you think root for the kids in the classroom as well.

The hypathetical kid that you mentioned eventually living under a bridge on herion and nobody cares. I would say we all care – but we also realize that this kid has a huge degree of responsibility of his own actions as well.
– Did he attend class?
– Did he chose a major that would give him an opportunity to compete for a good job after graduation?
– Did he graduate?
– Did he go to the big university to play football only and not pay any attention to his future?

I believe there must be minimum requirements in academics and moral and ethical standards. IF a kid messes up and is a thug – then he can go to a Junior College and get his life in order – there is nothing wrong with this path.

We all have issues with these situations – these scholarships are not entitlements – but opportunities that should be given to the best athletes that also meet academic standards.

Again – this is primarily a UGA blog – so we will speak specifically about UGA. I firmly believe that UGA gets it – and wants these kids to graduate. They give out these opportunities – and the players also have responsibility to do there part as well.



September 10th, 2009
9:30 am


Chip Towers

September 10th, 2009
9:49 am

Wow, didn’t expect the conversation to turn this direction, but I’ve enjoyed your thoughtful debate. My two cents: I think many of the criticisms Gerald Ball made regarding college coaches and their focus on the almighty W do NOT apply to Georgia’s Richt. In fact, that he is so focused on “developing to the total person” is actually one of the more persistent criticisms of him by the zealots. The bigger issue is the rush of early commitments these days and the logistical problems it creates. Bottom line, EVERY program is going to offer far more kids than they can accommodate. They simply have to from a mathematical standpoint. So, as both McGee and UGA has said, this was a communication issue.


September 10th, 2009
10:26 am

I don’t want Richt banned. I want Richt to get a big pay raise and a long term contract extention.

Gators for Richt!


September 10th, 2009
10:43 am


Paid for by Americans Against That Enjoy Making Fun of Hypocrisy & Fools. I approve this message.

Reality Check

September 10th, 2009
10:46 am

This whole thing was dumb, we offer a lot of kids just in case, if you’re not one of the better one’s tough luck.
You dumb gator fans, when you call your time outs this year you WILL NOT be ahead more than 25 points. Anybody want some of that action?
I didn’t think so…………….jump back!


September 10th, 2009
11:42 am

UGA can Use Crowell….I hear Gray will start vs S.Car


September 10th, 2009
12:19 pm

Wow! What an excellent dialog…one of the best blogs I’ve ever read. Thx LDawg, GBall, Bama Stan and others for the passionate insight. I’d like to offer my own.

I am a person who volunteers with youths throughout the year, and have had 2 sons participate in the recruiting “game”. I have also conducted Q& A sessions and symposiums about the recruiting process. So much of the problem in recruiting is due to a true lack of understanding which results in parents and players leaving their future totally in the hands of coaches with varying interests. The business of college football recruiting is a GAME, however very few non-coaches know the rules. PARENTS NEED TO LEARN MORE BEFOREHAND, so that they don’t leave so much in the hands of high school coaches (who know only a little more than they do).

One of my sons was recruited by UGA, but did not receive an offer. But…before you jump to any conclusions that I am anti-UGA for that reason, stop. The process my son and I went through with UGA was great, primarily because of the communication and expectations established early in the process. I told the coach who was recruiting him that I expected from him the same honesty about where my son stood with them, as he expected from him if an offer was made. When the time was right, that coach was upfront that 4 offers were made at the position my son played…they planned on signing 2 (and felt they had them in the bag)…but that if something fell through, my son was “next” on the board. It was wonderful to hear that…nothing is worse than a “maybe”. At that point, we made the decision to move on, and not wait for a “possibility” that may not come. Thanks to the rapport the coach and I developed, and the honestly of the coach, we were not left on the fence. When my son told him that we were moving on, all partied parted with a great respect for one another. I consider this to be a good recruiting story.

On the other hand, another coach from an SEC school encouraged my son to come for an unofficial visit. It was “strongly suggested” that an offer was going to be made when he came. That was a day in our lives that we will never get back, ’cause we’re still waiting for the follow-up offer! LOL! A kid I have worked with did not have his scholly renewed by an SEC school because he didn’t gain enough weight! He was recruited as a DE, moved to DT, and released after Spring practice this year. The truth is, that school signed more kids than they had schollies, but thought several wouldn’t qualify. When they did, the school created schollies by “releasing” players! Those are bad stories.

Now…I must say that no college coach should be put on too much of a pedestal when it comes to recruiting. They are providing a sales pitch that was offered the year before, is being offered to others this year, and will be offered to some others next year. The head coaches are being paid millions of dollars, and hundreds of thousands are being paid to assistants, to #1 – WIN, #2 – generate revenue (through winning), #3 – make the alums happy (for the purpose of #2, and accomplished by #1), and #4 – avoid scandal. I have never seen a coach fired solely b/c of the graduation rate of his players. It’s all about getting enough talent to compete. Coach Richt is a very nice guy, but as competitive as they come. UGA has signed many kids with borderline academic and character concerns, but it’s naive to think they did that because they wanted to give the kids a 2nd chance. They felt the kids would help them win.

If a parent is not involved enough to learn more about the system beforehand, then they are voluntarily leaving their child’s future in the hands of others. If one of those people make it difficult to consider a school because of a rift btwn the high school coach and the school, so be it. The parent has nothing to complain about since they essentially turned it over to that coach to handle. I have no problem with what Coach McGee did, but I find his 180 degree turn in 2 months to be laughable. We must remember that it makes him look good to have 2 of his athletes recruited by UGA. More good athletes will now want to play for him, thus increasing his chances of keeping a winning program going.

As I said before…it’s ALL a game.


September 10th, 2009
12:43 pm


Chip – agree with you. CMR kind of reminds me of a cross between Vince Dooley – in that he will be UGA in the top half of the SEC and for the most part a very good coach – and – Bill Currey – who had the “total person” approach.

Coach Currey was really into developing good character – and took a firm hand on discipline – yet gave second chances. A very good man!

I thought he did a great job at Alabama – and set the table for Coach Stallings.

Coach Dooley – also a good man – a gentleman as well – seemed not “intense” enough to win a National Title – good thing Hershall came along – andhe was smart enought – and the supporting cast good enough – to win a National Title.

Which brings me to Richt – a good human being – a gentleman – will have very competitive teams – total person development – but lacks that “intensity” (see SABAN, MEYER, MILES, etc.) to win a national title – at least that’s my thoughts.

Chip – keep up the good work and remember this……


White Trash

September 10th, 2009
12:46 pm

Were is the blog about Gray starting this weekend, due to Cox arm not being strong enough???


September 10th, 2009
12:51 pm

We know what Georgia was not on purpose. Someone dropped teh ball but it happens sometimes. The coaches reaction to ban Georgia was typical “drama queen” attitude. Let’s overreact pitch a big fit! Like you could really stop a player from going to a school they wanted to go to! Grow up dude. That’s why you are a high school coach…….you are an idiot!!!!


September 10th, 2009
12:56 pm

It’s time for high school coaches to stop thinking they are more than they really are. You are a damn high school coach……..that is it! Teach your study hall class or PE class and coach your football team. We don’t care about your 15 minutes of fame you feel you deserve!

Johnny DangerDawg

September 10th, 2009
12:59 pm

Thanks for sharing your experiences and insight. Good stuff.


September 10th, 2009
1:26 pm

savannahdawg hit it on the head,

Who do these high school coaches think they are? I mean I appreciate the fact that they’re trying to look out for their kids, but these universities are risking a lot of money and resources into the recruiting process and coaches jobs are on the line. Half the kids they recruit will turn them down. The kids and parents are clearly looking out for their best interest when they change their minds at the last minute, shafting the recruiters in the process. So why can’t the universities do the same? The recruiting process is chess, not checkers.


September 11th, 2009
1:17 pm

You sa funny Gator Chomp… 1 …. 2, 3, 4, 5, them there Gaytuh don’t take no jive!

Have you seen my jorts laying around?

[...] resulted in McGee refusing to let Georgia coaches recruit his players — a ban he lifted about a month or so later after accepting Bulldogs’ coaches apology and explanation  — and Burns accepting a [...]