Georgia coach Mark Richt sidesteps questions on player suspensions

ATHENS — Georgia coach Mark Richt didn’t shed much light on the Bulldogs’ suspension situation when he addressed an unusually large media contingent at the end of Thursday’s practice. In fact, he didn’t as much as flick on a flashlight.

Richt would not even confirm that there are new suspensions despite numerous report Thursday that at least two of Georgia’s defensive stars have run afoul of the athletic association’s drug policy.

“I can’t confirm anything,” Richt told more than a dozen reporters and two Atlanta television news crews. “I’m just going to be waiting for us to go through our process. When there’s something to report, I’ll report it to everybody.”

Earlier Thursday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was able to confirm that All-America safety Bacarri Rambo is facing a four-game suspension for failing a UGA-administered drug test this week. Rambo’s high school coach, Alan Ingram of Seminole County, said it was Rambo’s second violation of Georgia’s drug policy regarding marijuana, which according to the student-athlete handbook calls for a 30 percent suspension from the total number of competition dates. Rambo plans to appeal the suspension through UGA’s appeals process.

Ingram said he understands from his conversations with Rambo that junior linebacker Alec Ogletree also failed a similar drug test and is facing a similar length of suspension. In fact, Ingram said he believes as many as five UGA players failed drug screenings that were administered shortly after spring break.

But Richt refused to confirm or deny any of it. Before he entered the interview room on the second floor of Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall, UGA sports communication personnel passed out a brief written statement from him.

It read: “There is a process we follow regarding team guidelines and policies. I cannot make many comment until that process has run its course.”

Afterward, when Richt was asked questions regarding suspensions or player behavior in general, he referred to the statement.

“Don’t know if you’ve seen our handout but you might want to read it because you’ll hear it repeated again,” he said, smiling.

Asked exactly what process to which he was referring, Richt said:  “Just, we’ve got our guidelines, we’ve got our policies. There are certain things we’ve got to do when we’re taking care of business and that’s what we’re talking about.”

Asked how he felt about handling player behavior issues, he said, “I don’t like distractions, that’s for sure.”

More details to come. . . .

Chip Towers, The UGA Blog

417 comments Add your comment

SD Dawg

March 29th, 2012
7:40 pm

Just a shame.

maddawg

March 29th, 2012
7:40 pm

Are you serious? Five players? Are you kidding?????????

maddawg

March 29th, 2012
7:40 pm

Are they stupid???

maddawg

March 29th, 2012
7:42 pm

Make these mental midgets run the stadium stairs every day until they puke…..each day!

REALLY?

March 29th, 2012
7:45 pm

UGA ignores a lot of good talent for undisciplined and problematic kids! The repeditive suspensions by the same players are a serious signal that something is wrong. If you think that UGA can win with these guys your crazy! It takes far more than talent to win a BCS. Keep dreaming UGA your dreams will end soon in Columbia, S.C.

bad brad

March 29th, 2012
7:45 pm

Enough is enough; kick Rambo off the team.

savannadawg

March 29th, 2012
7:51 pm

If the coaches are serious about building a “TEAM”, Then they must make the whole team pay for the mistakes of a few. If they start doing this then I guarantee you there would be less problems. Nothing strikes harder on a person than the peer pressure he or she would feel from this action.

BG

March 29th, 2012
7:53 pm

If every team in the SEC drug tested their players after spring break their would be a bunch of 3rd and 4th string players playing.

Really now...

March 29th, 2012
7:59 pm

BG,

The problem with that thinking is that this news leaked early by some people close to the program. The same thing would be sure to happen with other SEC schools in similar situations. If other SEC schools had the same number of problems at the same rate, there’s no way they could cover all of them up without someone getting wind of it.

Keep thinking that to make yourself feel better. This has been going on for several years at an alarming rate and the kool-aid drinkers are still patting UGA on the back and thinking they took the moral high-road.

Richt has two options: Make an example of all the ones screwing up, or avoid recruiting many of those “special admits”.

Macclenny_dawg

March 29th, 2012
8:01 pm

Same ole crap. Players can’t stay away from trouble. Richts contract has set us back 5 more years. I think at some point the coach has 2 be held accountable. But I also thought at some point Bobo would also been accountable for 3rd and long. Its a run up the middle!!! Unbelievable!!! Will have 2 settle 4 a good team never great!!!!

Desert Fox

March 29th, 2012
8:02 pm

its always something w/this team and players. What looked like a promising season has taken a severe swerve south. bad enough to lose 2 starting CB’s f.oir 1st 2 games now lose 2 def standouts for multiple games. Not to mention the 2 def kids kicked off the team earlier this year. If the season ends up going down the tubes don’t blame the coaches just lay it on the dumb a$$e$ that got suspended. Geeez.

TampaGator

March 29th, 2012
8:07 pm

Richt….the deciplinarian….yeah boy!

outkasted

March 29th, 2012
8:07 pm

yeah all y’all crazy…. most schools u want know a dude failed a drug test until their 2nd or 3rd time…. case in point the Honey Badger was suspended one game after his 2nd offense… its 85 players the guy needs to be ready why am i even talking its not even april yet let alone sept…

M.T.

March 29th, 2012
8:08 pm

I wish the violators could fathom how much damage they do to the other team members, coaches, and fans. All the past hard work of their teammates and coaches wasted because of their self centered decisions. Now their teammates and coaches have to double their efforts, because of these knuckleheads. I was planning to take my family to the Missouri game, now I’m re-thinking the trip. And for a high school coach to complain about conducting drug tests after spring break? Is he suggesting that vacations or other periods of time be set aside for players to abuse alcohol and drugs, jepardizing their health, the health of others, their teammates and coaches goals? .

TampaGator

March 29th, 2012
8:09 pm

Janoris Jenkins….2 weed offenses….kicked off team by Muschamp.

Chris Martin…..2 weed offenses…..kicked off the team by Muschamp.

Baccari Rambo…..2 weed offenses…..”bad boy! and stop eating those damn cookies.”

ugab

March 29th, 2012
8:09 pm

OMG!!!!! It does not suprise me at all!!! It is the same ole sht every year. Why would anyone ever drug test a bunch of kids just gettint back from spring break??????? WTH?? Whoever is doing the drug test is not a Uga fan.. THERE GOES OUR HOPES OF MAYBE HAVING A GOOD DEFENSE. THERE GOES HAVING A CHANCE TO WIN SOME GAMES WITH AN EASY SCHEDULE..Uga is the laughing stock of College football.

ugab

March 29th, 2012
8:11 pm

CMR got his contract!!! He is set… Poorest leadership in College football. To drug test players after spring break is stupid.. Is someone trying to ruin these kids lives and Uga.

outkasted

March 29th, 2012
8:13 pm

Chris rainey threatens to kill a female starting…………

Billdawg

March 29th, 2012
8:16 pm

What a team with Preacher Coach and team full of drug users. He will sign anybody to win with no class. I guess they play better high!

Billdawg

March 29th, 2012
8:20 pm

I’ve always been a dawg fan but this is a disgrace. Richt needs to get some ball and kick these idiots off team.

Rick James

March 29th, 2012
8:22 pm

Ooh, Mary Jane, Ooh, Mary Jane

I’m in love with Mary Jane.
She’s my main thing.
She makes me feel alright.
She makes my heart sing.

And when I’m feeling low,
She comes as no surprise.
Turns me on with her love.
Takes me to paradise.

Do you love me Mary Jane?
Yeah. Whoa-oh-oh.
Do ya? Do ya? Do ya?
Now do you think you love me Mary Jane.
Don’t you play no games.

I love her just the same.
I love her, Mary baby, just the same.
The woman plays no games.
Now, now, now.

I’m in love with Mary Jane.
I’m not the only one.
If Mary wanna play around,
I let her have her fun.
She’s not the kind of girl
that you can just tie down.
She likes to spread her love
and turn your head around.

Yeahhhhh! Ooowoooo.
Oh baby. Oh baby. Hit me.
Whoah, Mary. Only love.
I love you, yeah. Whooo!
Something until we give it now, lovey-dove.
Uh-huh. Wow, baby!
Sing! La-du-da-da-du-da-dahh.
Sing! La-du-da-da-du-da-dahh.
Sing it for me baby.
Come Mary, Mary Jane.
Sing it for me baby

Old Dog, Retired

March 29th, 2012
8:22 pm

Say it ain’t so, Shoeless Bacarri

Dumb

March 29th, 2012
8:24 pm

Whatever, let them appeal suspension> re-test them in 2-3 weeks(as in shape as they are the pot will have run its course)> if positive again 1st offenders suspended 1/4 season, repeat offenders 1/2 season, if not then rescind punishment.
Tired of the crap! but I do believe Rambo, he could be making a sizable income in the NFL. If he was like Janoris Jenkins and just couldnt put the smoke down, he wouldve been better off leaving UGA, however this sounds like a simple mistake esp if 5 players who havent has issues before are involved
Chill people.
P.S. Id much rather know my child was eating edibles than destoying his liver day after day. Alcohol = more of “drug” than pot but thats for another blog

Dumb

March 29th, 2012
8:29 pm

Besides the first four games should be cake walks….yes Mizzou cake walk, QB coming off shoulder surgery plus a pourous defense is not a good combo.
ILB is an easy position to fill out with our depth…hello Brandon Burrows! Amarlo stepped up last yr and is powerful downhill and is a yr stronger/faster, C.Robinson is a Sr leader.
The bigger void is safety but Corey Moore is good enough to go and w Deas and Cootie(big hitter) platooning behind him we will be fine
If we cant be 4-0 after Buff, Mizzou, FAU, or Vandy regardless of personnel, UGA has a lot bigger issues than 4 players.
P.S. Swann should start over B.Smith anyway and B.Smith should be moved to offense

Ole Big Dawg

March 29th, 2012
8:30 pm

What in the heck is going on with our beloved Dawgs!?

bart

March 29th, 2012
8:31 pm

McGarity screwed up big time giving the preacher a 5 YEAR EXTENSION. A 2 or 3 year might have been acceptable. This extension has put the program back 5 years. Richt’s teams have no discipline on or off the field. This kind of stuff goes on and on and on and on. You don’t hear about Sabin’s teams having these kinds of problems. Obviously, McGarity did not learn from his mentor Foley. Foley would not put up with this kind of crap from his coaches, but Richt continues to survive mediocre seasons and criminal behavior from players. Foley wants his teams to be great, not average. I had hope that McGarity would oversee a top notch athletic department, but I guess I was wrong.

Beast from the East

March 29th, 2012
8:31 pm

TampaGator,
We don’t know how many drug tests the Gators may have failed, so don’t be so quick to judge Richt. Jenkins was dismissed for two ARRESTS smoking weed.

aw

March 29th, 2012
8:34 pm

WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF

chilidawg

March 29th, 2012
8:34 pm

CMR’s policies are not working. Give them a choice: leave the team or be worked like a rented mule for two months.

tim

March 29th, 2012
8:36 pm

Okay Bulldog Nation settle down we at UF have had more than our share of knott heads who would rather roll a fatty than breath. We cannot blame our coaches they cannot watch these kids 24/7. The dielema here is simple if you boot them from the team as they should be some lower division team will sign and let them continue to play (see Janoris Jenkins). Unless these kids are no longer to participate in their chosen sport at any level they will never learn. Allow them to continue their education but no longer allow them to play at any level this to include NAIA, it is a priveledge to get to participate at intercolliegiate athletics.

Pago Pago DAWG

March 29th, 2012
8:39 pm

Here we go again! Sad the way UGA has gone down hill……

Brainiac(Dawg for life/Richt fan for life)

March 29th, 2012
8:42 pm

@ BG:(7:53 pm post)

You hit the nail on the head BRO.

That’s no consolation but it does give UGA an uneven playing field!!!

Brainiac(Dawg for life/Richt fan for life)

March 29th, 2012
8:44 pm

@ Tim: (8:36 pm post)

Well said Bro!!!!

RedandBlackDAWG

March 29th, 2012
8:45 pm

Tampa gator,
were the two you mentioned caught by a random drug test or by the police? It seems Jenkins at least, was guilty of more than failing a random drug test, if the news paper accounts from your teams area are correct.

Brainiac(Dawg for life/Richt fan for life)

March 29th, 2012
8:46 pm

@ Bart:

You don’t know Big Wood from Brush son.

Get a life!!!

Lakedawg

March 29th, 2012
8:46 pm

@bart–Sure you have had this discussion with McGarity, he is open to a phone call from any dog supporter/ Course not sure he talks from trolls from other schools.

Also sure ypou are aware of Alabama’s drug policy vs Dawgs.

You are also wrong about he next 5 years will be a great period for Dawgs Football and Coach Richt will be here through 2020, which will give him 20 years.

Don’t know how you screen stupidity when recruiting plyaers, but these guys recruited by everyone. Knowing that screening coming and still doing it.

ugab

March 29th, 2012
8:49 pm

Uga needs to have an easier policy for these players. Uga’s policy should be similar to other schools in the SEC. Kids will be kids. There is no reason Uga’s policy being the way it is

Bwah ha ha ha ha

March 29th, 2012
8:53 pm

Pass the bong, please

Lakedawg

March 29th, 2012
8:56 pm

How many schools tested every football player after spring break???? One, guess who?

mgdawg

March 29th, 2012
8:58 pm

A very wise man, and one I greatly respect, used to tell me “tell me who you’re friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are.” If you hang around pot heads, you’re probably a pot head. I don’t believe the “I accidentally ate some brownies.” What I really love is rambo’s friend ingram saying that it is dumb to test after spring break, if you’re friend would put the weed down it would be the end of story. Follow the rules, it isn’t that difficult, you’re costing yourself money in the draft also.

Who threw the first stone?

March 29th, 2012
8:58 pm

This thread and UGA’s policy regarding the matter stink of draconian bible belt thinking. I love how everyone passes judgment on these guys like they know them.

We all make mistakes. Go Dawgs.

Betty Crocker

March 29th, 2012
9:00 pm

Loved BR’s story. I woke up hungry a gobbled a few brownies only realizing what they were when the buzz set in.

OK, who eats brownies for breakfast? Who brings brownies on spring break? Guessing there was a little chit chat about the brownies beforehand. Nice friends though to bring weed brownies on the trip, leave them laying around and not tell anyone( highly doubtful). Such good friends. Did they not know what was at stake for their pal BR?

Then you have BR who was suspended last year because he was with someone caught with a joint. Do you think it might have crossed his mind to make sure he wasn’t an innocent bystander
again?

The story doesn’t add up. At worst it’s a straight lie. At best he’s not too bright. it should’ve been important enough to set his buddies straight before the trip. If it’s important enough, you’d make sure you weren’t anywhere near this again.

IT IS WHAT IT IS

March 29th, 2012
9:01 pm

it should only be 2 games for Baccarri, the first offense was a girl he was with had weed!!!!!!!!!! How could that be Rambo’s fault!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! UGA shoots itself in the football giving drug tests every month and after spring break!!!!!!!!!! That is stupid!!!!!!!!!! Its like they want to find players guilty!!!!!!!!!!

Bwah ha ha ha ha

March 29th, 2012
9:01 pm

Yeah, it’s always somebody else’s fault. TYPICAL excuse

uga1984

March 29th, 2012
9:04 pm

TampaGator… Does 30 arrests in 3 years under Coach Meyer ring a bell??? The BIG difference was that he won championships!!!!

DodgerDAWG

March 29th, 2012
9:05 pm

@Tampagator…Get your facts straight. Jenkins was ARRESTED once for RESISTING and POSSESSION and had a SECOND ARRESTS FOR POSSESSION of ILLEGAL SUBSTANCES. MARTIN was ARRESTED for POSSESSION. ARRESTS are a lot different from 1 case of SELF REPORTING and a FIRST FAILURE of a Drug Test. In case you are wondering Florida ALLOWS 1 free failure, and dismissal from the team after FIVE DRUG TEST FAILURES. In the case of Jenkins and Martin CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS were initiated. Rambo failed a drug screening. Want to talk Discipline now?

Get serious

March 29th, 2012
9:08 pm

Yeah, it’s UGAs fault for testing. How hard is it to not smoke weed right before spring practice starts. “sure fellas, pass that joint over here. The coaches gave a big speech right before spring break about how we test right after Spring Break and I’ll surely be suspended for 4 games, but catching a little buzz right now is sooooo worth it”

Bwah ha ha ha ha

March 29th, 2012
9:09 pm

@ Get serious, let’s face it UGA jocks have never been known for their intelligence.

Give me a Break

March 29th, 2012
9:11 pm

We have now had two presidents who have admitted to trying or using drugs as young adults or while in college. Any school that is stupid enough to drug test kids after spring break should have the AD’s head examined. McGarity and Richt really screwed this up and whoever is in charge of scheduling the tests should be fired. It would be like testing any other college kid that went on spring break or to a concert festival for the weekend. Why not test all kids receiving the hope scholarship or any other academic scholarship.

Now to the players. At some point in your life, the “it wasn’t me defense” does not hold water. Even if you are not smoking or eating drugs, you are keeping company with those that do. Eventually those that do will drag you down. You just as easliy could have had police officers in your hotel room checkling out a noise violation and found the drugs. But coach, they weren’t mine.

JB

March 29th, 2012
9:16 pm

Tailgating is now the highlight of Georgia Football. Dawgs haven’t beat a good football team in 3 years…..and the coach gets a raise and a extension………………You got to be kidding.