Athens — If there was any doubt after the black-helmeted debacle against Florida, it seems official now that there’ll be no more uniform gimmickry from the Georgia Bulldogs anytime soon.
Georgia athletics director Damon Evans, appearing on UGA’s weekly radio call-in show Monday night, gave a pretty strong thumbs-down to future variations on the Bulldogs’ traditional uniforms.
“I don’t believe playing the game is about uniforms,” Evans said. “I just want our team to go out on the field and play the best of their ability. We have had some uniform changes in the past, but I would tell you not to look for that anytime soon. I’m not going to ever say never, but that’s not something that we’re going to be focused on.”
The Bulldogs veered from tradition by wearing black jerseys in a big 2007 home win over Auburn and a big 2008 home loss to Alabama and by wearing black pants and black helmets in this year’s big loss to Florida in Jacksonville.
“I know there are times when you try to use uniforms to maybe change the mood of the team and so forth, and that’s been done . . . [with] the blackouts we’ve had in the past,” Evans said. “But . . . I like our traditional uniforms –- the silver britches, the red jerseys, the white jerseys and the red helmets -– and that’s what we need to stick with at the University of Georgia. . . .
“I want people to be able to recognize us. . . . And I had a lot of comments after the Florida game that people didn’t recognize who we were. . . . I want people to know we’re Georgia.”
Evans again expressed confidence that coach Mark Richt will guide the Georgia football program through the storm that currently engulfs it.
Appearing on the second hour of the weekly call-in show –- Richt fills the first hour –- Evans expressed the same sentiments about Richt as he did in an interview with the AJC earlier this month.
“Mark Richt is our football coach, and I’m glad that Mark Richt is our football coach,” Evans said Monday night. “I have confidence in Mark Richt to get the job done and do the things he’s done over the past years to keep us competing for championships. And I know that what Mark will do are the things he thinks are appropriate for the program.”
Later, Evans added: “I’m glad that our fans . . . know we have a good football coach, a coach that has been through the thick and thin, and somebody who has led us to great heights with SEC championships, BCS bowl appearances. Any program faces adversity, and when you face adversity, it’s what you learn from it and how you come out of it. And I have confidence that Coach Richt will come through this.”
A caller asked Evans if he gets involved in head coaches’ decisions about their assistants. Evans said that across all sports he evaluates the head coaches and trusts them to evaluate their assistants.
“I think head coaches need to have the responsibility to deal with their coaching staff,” Evans said. “If there are times in which I need to get involved, I will do so and voice my opinion.”