UGA: Brent Benedict free to transfer anywhere he wants

Brent Benedict has been granted an unconditional release by the University of Georgia, Athletic Director Greg McGarity confirmed Tuesday.

McGarity

McGarity

The redshirt freshman offensive lineman from Jacksonville is free to transfer to any school of his choosing, and that includes Florida or Georgia Tech or any of the Bulldogs’ bitter rivals.

Such is the athletic department’s policy under McGarity. If a student-athlete is unhappy at UGA, then he’s free to seek happiness elsewhere, he said.

“I bring the same philosophy as we had at Florida,” said McGarity, who was an associate AD for the Gators for 18 years before returning to his alma mater last year. “If a kid’s not happy, we just want him to be happy. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I don’t care where he goes. These four or five years are the supposed to be the best and most important of these kids’ lives and they need to be happy.”

As for Benedict’s depature, McGarity said, “Things just didn’t work out. I’m sympathetic to that. They just need to be in a happy place.”

There’s at least some chance Benedict, a former five-star recruit, could end up back in the SEC East. Florida and South Carolina were among his finalists — along with Notre Dame, Ohio State and Southern Cal — when he chose the Bulldogs in the fall of 2009. Benedict’s father, Ed Benedict, told the Athens Banner-Herald, “I would imagine some of them would take a look at him again.”

McGarity said UGA would not block Benedict’s transfer anywhere.

“It’s the theory of plenty,” he said. “There’s plenty of good ones everywhere. I don’t worry if they go to Florida or Tech and may come back to beat us. You can’t think that way. Life’s too short. [Student-athletes] are our most valuable resource. If they’re not happy here, I want to see them happy somewhere.”

McGarity said the only situation in which he might block a potential would be if he knew there was some kind of tampering by another school beforehand.

Benedict was a five-star prospect before suffering a devastating knee injury that included nerve damage and a required complete reconstruction his senior season in high school. Benedict claimed in March to be “100 percent” recovered from that injury and was medically cleared to play. But he continued to show effects of that injury even in summer workouts.

254 comments Add your comment

CJJScout

June 28th, 2011
1:54 pm

Mixed feelings. A great gesture, but…. When I reflect on this I’ll be glad McGarity has taken this stance, but for now I want justice.

Bradley G

June 28th, 2011
1:55 pm

Whatever happened doesn’t matter to me. I agree with McGarity. If you don’t wanna be here, you don’t have to be.

sandman053

June 28th, 2011
1:57 pm

Leatherhelmet said he met with Muschamp and Richt found out. I’d be interested to hear the real reason. If true, then Richt and McGarity are better men than me to allow no restrictions.

RabidDawgFan

June 28th, 2011
1:58 pm

He left because of Joe T. And I’m not joking.

Roaddawg80

June 28th, 2011
1:59 pm

Why would anyone want our O Lineman? We under perform at that position every year. I just don’t get it>

Chip Towers

June 28th, 2011
2:00 pm

sandman053: Not true. Hence the unconditional release.

KOOL

June 28th, 2011
2:03 pm

Why was an athlete with a devestating knee injury given a football scholarship? I totally disagree with giving damaged goods a full ride as a “nice gesture”

Dawgwild

June 28th, 2011
2:04 pm

That’s BS. A Scholarship is a 4-5 year agreement. If UGA had tried to pull it from him when he injured his knee everyone would be crying. Is it wrong to expect people and kids to live up to their commitments? Unconditional release is BS!

Spike 80DF

June 28th, 2011
2:05 pm

@sandman053, wouldn’t that be considered “tampering” according to McGarity? Don’t think they would let him go to UF if that’s the case……

Remarkable

June 28th, 2011
2:08 pm

One more spot just opened up for an O Lineman for next year. Want to be a starter at UGA? Apply to Mark Richt.

CMR Titanic

June 28th, 2011
2:08 pm

Kid knows that UGA is a sinking ship along with others like Logan Gray.

lsmidnite

June 28th, 2011
2:13 pm

@Dawgwild: Scholarships are actually a year to year basis agreement. The head coach has the decision to who gets scholarships. Now with that said Mark Richt views scholarships a a 4-5 year agreement. I agree with Coach Richt on that.

jrmdvm1

June 28th, 2011
2:15 pm

UGA did the “right thing” in honoring his scholarship offer. We are again doing the “right thing” in giving him an unconditional release. I wish young Mr. Benedict the best in his future endeavors. We will have to wait and see if Mr. Benedictis doing the “right thing.”

CHARLOTTE DAWG

June 28th, 2011
2:17 pm

Happiness aside, McGarity doesn’t mind this kid or another transfer to leak our play book to the enemy? That’s what comes to my mind first. Not afraid of his body beating us…afraid of his mouth and what he will tell our rival if he ends up playing for them.

That along with the fact that Saint Richt gave his gimpy a$$ a scholly when nobody else would should make all parties think twice about saying the unconditional release was the decent thing to do….disagree! The kid punked us. Everything he touched and did at UGA was a waste in the end…..I hope Richt has learned his lesson…it is a business….not about being ethical.

Spike 80DF

June 28th, 2011
2:18 pm

@cmrtitanic, yea b/c logan gray was loaded up with playing time, that had nothing to do with his transfer….douche.

CHARLOTTE DAWG

June 28th, 2011
2:21 pm

KOOL,

My thoughts exactly. Being nice gets you nowhere. We would have been better off recruiting and signing a second rate O-lineman that was committed to Tech or Georgia Southern….in the end we would have still gotten more use out of them…even if the contribution was the scout team.

This kind of wastefulness based on ethics and goodwill just makes me sich at my stomach. IT IS ABOUT WINNING GUYS! THAT’S IT!

2012 FEAR THE END

June 28th, 2011
2:22 pm

PLEASE STOP with the Logan Grey, transfer BS he had a limp noodle arm and was a bad team mate

ScoutDawg

June 28th, 2011
2:27 pm

If he was ever a TRUE Dawg at heart he would NEVER consider FU . I wish him the best but when he had a devastating knee injury UGA honored his offer. Now he talks with FU. Where is the loyalty for a team that stuck with him when it would have been easy not to.

Kerryb

June 28th, 2011
2:27 pm

Titanic, you are just an ignorant fool. Logan Gray transferred because he was through with his education at UGA and wanted to try to play his last year which he wasn’t doing here. He went to Colorado because his brother is there. Get your facts right before you post a stupid post like that. I don’t care where Benedict goes. He apparently was so injured that he was not going to be a starting O-lineman in the SEC. My guess is that when the other Division 1 schools find out that his knee is that bad then he will be at Jacksonville State with Ealey.

Bo

June 28th, 2011
2:29 pm

KOOL – I’m pretty happy we assured Murray a scholarship would be waiting when he injured his leg.

Kerryb

June 28th, 2011
2:31 pm

This will probably help us even more with John Theus. His brother is at UGA and there is a starting job to grab on the O-line.

ScoutDawg

June 28th, 2011
2:35 pm

Giving our play book to the enemy is not an issue. FU has 10 years of film to study, so the knowledge of a never played, RFresh. really isn’t going to sink the ship. This kid feels like he needs 1 more year of no-contact football to further his dreams, NFL maybe. Transfering to a FBS school will do that. On the other hand, no loyalty to the school who stuck by you is not what we want in Athens.

bitter CMR

June 28th, 2011
2:36 pm

stop with all the whinning————you all new when bitter JOE T—–took over some pu—- were going

——-to run for cover——————–deal with it——–its ole school now——frat boy’s

———————hahahahahahahah———————-just saying——————gaytards stink

Kerryb

June 28th, 2011
2:36 pm

Bo, good point. You give a top prospect like Benedict a chance to see if he can get back to the form he had. Apparently he could not. Everyone should blame his stupid High School coach. From what I heard he was injured running down field to celebrate a TD with his team up something like 61-7. Why was he even in the game at that point?

KOOL

June 28th, 2011
2:38 pm

Thank you CHARLOTTE DAWG for a common sense post. To jrmdvm1, it’s unfortunate that the young man wrecked his knee while he was committed to UGA, however, the offer was made when he was totally healthy. It’s insane to waste a scholarship on a player that is not likely to perform at the assumed potential high level prior to injuring the knee. This isn’t charity, and UGA isn’t the only school the injured player can attend.

KOOL

June 28th, 2011
2:41 pm

@ Bo… apples & oranges… Murray’ injury was a broken leg that healed with no impeding his playing ability. Benedict’s injury was reminiscent of Robert Edwards on a Hawaii beach…

Kerryb

June 28th, 2011
2:42 pm

Guys, I don’t think it was about being nice. Benedict was rated the best or second best Tackle in the country when he came back. If he makes it back from the knee injury knowing that he is going to redshirt the first year then you still got a great tackle. If he doesn’t he doesn’t. You got to take that chance.

Bo

June 28th, 2011
2:44 pm

CHARLOTTE DAWG – I doubt you are a real Bulldog fan but CMR gets plenty of excellent recruits precisely because of his ethics. Also if you think that you can succeed in life without being ethical, you are mistaken as to how the score is kept.

CHARLOTTE DAWG

June 28th, 2011
2:47 pm

To back up what KOOL is saying, Saban, Myer, Spurrier…those guys don’t make football decisions based on the “will this get me to heaven” mentality. Last I checked, those guys have more hardware in the trophy room.

IT IS ALL ABOUT WINNING FOLKS. And to win, sometimes you have to be a prick for the good of your school and your own employment….as in…revoking the scholly of a kid that messed his knee up beyond belief. Yeah, it is mean, heartless. bla, bla, bla….such is life…AND FOOTBALL.

He never EVER should have taken up a scholly spot at UGA. But that’s why UGA will always be where it is I’m afraid.

No other programs seem to have the “heart” we do. Well you know what, I see what that “heart” is doing and it is starting to tick me off! I WANT A CHAMPIONSHIP PEOPLE!

And it is not this one player that will make or break us. It is the mentality that I’m talking about which scares me.

Bo

June 28th, 2011
2:48 pm

KOOL – revisionist history. There are plenty of examples of kids with HS injuries coming back 100% in college. No one knew this kid had never damage until after he was at UGA.

georgia87

June 28th, 2011
2:51 pm

The thinking that we should not be human, this is just a business, “tough luck kid” makes sense in the short term. Georgia would be better if we didn’t recruit hurt players. But that thinking leads to a “whatever it takes” mentality which leads to trouble like Ohio St., USC, NC, et. al. are in. Did USC actually win the 2005 title. Nah, they cheated to have the best player in the nation. What do you believe about Auburn last year? As far as I am concerned, build it right and when we win it, we have really won it.

1eyedJack

June 28th, 2011
2:51 pm

What would Saban have done?

KOOL

June 28th, 2011
2:51 pm

Bo, your post makes no sense.

1- revisionist history?… care to elaborate?

2- plenty of examples?… please provide one example of a player with a destroyed knee

3- your last sentence… what in the world are you attempting to say?

Kerryb

June 28th, 2011
2:54 pm

Charlotte Dawg, that has to be one of the most moronic post I have seen on here.

CHARLOTTE DAWG

June 28th, 2011
2:54 pm

Bo,

You and other “Bulldogs” like you are perhaps what is wrong with UGA and why we can’t be #1 in the sport that matters most.

Your soft view of the world is exactly the same soft mentality of UGA’s Mark Richt. I maintain the opinion that nice guys in the business of football finish last(or certainly not first).

And why am I not a true Bulldog? B/c I have a harsher view of how the world really works and want my team to be dominant just like others?

Not a Bulldog “cause I’m just a big meanie”? Well shame on me I guess.

Richt continues to be the nice guy following the rules, going to Hondurus, not oversigning WHILE ABSOLUTE PRICKS CONTINUE TO REEL IN CHAMPIONSHIPS!

And if ethics were so important hot shot, why is Nick Saban still raking in blue chippers left and right. Sure, some folks want their boy to play for choir boy richt. But most of the studs in these parts care about the pay day…know what I mean? sure you don’t.

Have fun at your softie gathering. Be sure to be nice to everyone.

Chip Towers

June 28th, 2011
2:54 pm

CHARLOTTE DAWG: You’re entitled to your opinion but your assertion that Richt gave Benedict a scholarship when no one else would is not accurate. Benedict committed to Georgia in June of 2009. His injury happened that fall. He had around 50 offers and most everybody said those offers were still good. Some even stepped up their recruitment hoping Georgia would back down.

CHARLOTTE DAWG

June 28th, 2011
2:55 pm

Why Kerry? Refute it

Suches Dawg

June 28th, 2011
2:55 pm

Charlotte Dawg- I agree. Although we don’t have the details, the timing of his departure is also questionable. Knowing we are thin all along the OL having just lost some recent OL , then waiting until after recruiting season to leave/defect for personal reasons strikes me as disingenuous. Although I agree in principle w/McGarity’s decision, the ability to transfer to an SEC East team is the last straw. CMR brought this on himself with his good faith gesture to sign Benedict (Arnold ?), and I stand by his integrity, but let’s hope we don’t make this mistake again.

CHARLOTTE DAWG

June 28th, 2011
2:59 pm

Would Saban or Myer have still given him a scholly?

Nice guys finish last. Whenever/wherever the injury occurred, UGA should have backed off this kid as soon as they found out. Hasn’t this happened to us before.

Just so freaking tired of seeing us get screwed like this.

1eyedJack

June 28th, 2011
3:04 pm

The moral dilemma of ethics.

Tobias Funke

June 28th, 2011
3:07 pm

Benedict

As cowardly and disloyal today as it was in the 1700s.

CHARLOTTE DAWG

June 28th, 2011
3:16 pm

Austin Long will probably do the exact same thing.

Back injury from HS. Is anybody else skeptical that he will ever be a Saturday contributor? I certainly have my doubts. But there he is…chewing up a scholly spot just like an Albert Hollis or a Benedict. Great use of resources!

Tobias Funke

June 28th, 2011
3:19 pm

The fact of the matter is if he EVER considered himself a true BULLDAWG, this traitor would never, ever consider going to Florida. The truth is that he has been spotted in Gainesville since last Wednesday. Get rid of the me players and keep the Dawgs. I love the fact so many me players have QUIT. Keep up the hard work Joe T 2. Those of us that have played competitive sports know that championships are won in the offseason when you don’t feel like putting in the hard work.

Tobias Funke

June 28th, 2011
3:21 pm

Charlotte Dawg

Did your folks ever teach you about class? Or did they just throw you out when they realized you would never amount to squat? Great use of resources!

D BAG TROLLS!

June 28th, 2011
3:23 pm

Who really cares where he ends up? Hopefully he makes is back but like TS it will be tough to have the lateral movement and confidence that it takes to play in this league.

UGA will be fine! Not sure he would have started at any point in his career. The injury was the worst someone could have and not many make it back to 100%. Its ashame!

P-Man

June 28th, 2011
3:24 pm

WRONG! It is not all about winning. It is about:

1) EDUCATION- UGA IS a university first. It was before a down of football was ever played, and will be if football ever goes away (which I doubt).

2) ENTERTAINMENT- That’s all college football was ever intended to be. Like all other sports, it should be entertaining to play and to watch.

3) PROMOTING THE UNIVERSITY- College football is also about promoting the university, and making the name well known.

Now, granted, winning helps with all this, but it is NOT the be-all and end-all. Only in the last 20-30 years has it been IMPORTANT and NECESSARY to win a national championship to be called a success. Using that criteria, almost every one of us are failures, since few of us have won national championships, or are even considered among the best, in our field.

This has trickled down even to midget leagues where if you don’t win the championship, then you are no good, and you must win at all costs. This mentality leads to parents assaulting coaches, coaches lying to their bosses, people cheating to win- whatever it takes. I would MUCH rather win (and lose) with integrity than to win with ill-gotten players and have to return the awards/wins/championships. Whatever happened to “it’s how you play the game”?

Kirby Smart

June 28th, 2011
3:27 pm

CHARLOTTE DAWG,

you think having a kid leave and leak the offensive playbook is really that big a deal? Hell, Georgia has been running the same offense for the past 10 years. We all already know that when the offense lines up in the shotgun on 3rd and 7 or more, Bobo called a draw.

icedawg

June 28th, 2011
3:28 pm

It’s just a game. A game. A game. I know it’s hard but some of you must discipline yourselves to see beyond a university football team. Football is a game, it’s fun to watch for some yet not for others. To get bent out of shape over something like this means you need to check yourself into a psychiatric hospital for evaluation.

MtnDawg

June 28th, 2011
3:28 pm

If not a Dawg at heart then get the flock outta here!

bucket

June 28th, 2011
3:33 pm

I hate the way this all worked out, but McGarity and Richt are doing the right thing by allowing Benedict to try and find somewhere that will let him rehab for another year. Benedict is still very young and still wants the chance to play in the future and because of the numbers UGA couldn’t afford to continue to hold a spot for him. I don’t blame Benedict for wanting to try again and I don’t blame UGA for trying to move him to a medical hardship scholarship.