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

Tom

March 30th, 2012
9:39 am

If….if….there were, in fact, 3 (or some other number) of failed tests in addition to Rambo and Tree, how will they be handled?….especially if it impacts even more defensive starters?

SHOCKED & ALARMED

March 30th, 2012
9:39 am

Carlton Thomas 3 times suspended 2011 alone transferred
HE SHOULD NOT BE ON THE LIST ATTRITION ?
Jordan Lawrence Love 12/31/90 arrested didn’t know middle name, nor did he know his birthday I have no problems with, transferred
HE SHOULD NOT BE ON THE LIST ATTRITION ?
Jalen Fields, failed to qualify, given Scholarship by Mark Richt, signed Scholarship, transferred.
HE SHOULD NOT BE ON THE LIST ATTRITION ?

ecdawg, I am not bothering replying to that “blog”

How preposterous ecdawg. Look, these guys all signed a scholarship with Mark Richt and none are here for Mizzou game, now, sir.

That is ATTRITION.

You Know ?

What you called :

” ADDITION BY ATTRITION ”

&

” GOOD RIDDANCE ”

Now, all of a sudden that it has reached epic proportions that 31 who should have played vs Mizzou now will not, all of sudden now, Mark Richt is not to blame for half the list ?

Right ecdawg.

Right.

DISNEYdawgs.com
(1) We do not beat the top teams
(2) We have no control of discipline on or off the field

ecdawg, sir.

Vince

March 30th, 2012
9:40 am

People!!–Smoking a joint in High School or College is as common as a can of Bud Lite. Apparently nobody has been with young kids in a while.

SHOCKED & ALARMED

March 30th, 2012
9:42 am

George Foster, a former NFL offensive lineman who played at Georgia from 1999-2002 had a different perspective.

“Whats goin on with our UGA football players?,” he posted on his Twitter account. “Intelligence nor street smarts seem to be present in them these days. u gotta have 1.”

Even a player who has recently left the program has made news for the wrong reason. Tight end Orson Charles, was arrested on a DUI charge earlier this month days after he worked out for NFL scouts at Georgia’s Pro Day.

Pago Pago DAWG

March 30th, 2012
9:44 am

We agree, tailgating, beautiful coeds and The Dixie Redcoat Band…only thing left…probably won’t be much to watch in Sanford.
Oh, isn’t Augusta National private? So they can have their own rules, well, until the libs step in.

Just wondering

March 30th, 2012
9:47 am

I mean seriously, you are testing college kids right after Spring Break? Give the test a month after and tell them when it’s coming.

If some student athlete comes forward and confesses before the test and has that character and balls then give them a pass, and sign them up for mandatory counseling/ testing.

This is college not an enlistment in the USMC…

Big Crimson 75

March 30th, 2012
9:48 am

Ingram said Rambo confides in him about everything and actually informed him the morning he ingested the pot brownies. He said Rambo told him he woke up hungry during the vacation and found a plate of brownies in the kitchen where he was staying. After eating two with a glass of milk, Rambo began to feel high. He asked a friend vacationing with him about it and was informed that marijuana was in the brownies.

———————————————————————————————————————————————

I tell ya, it’s even better the 2nd day you read it!!!

"The Georgia Way"

March 30th, 2012
9:48 am

Richt is a state employee. Scholarship players are receiving a big dollar benefit from the state and the university. This makes players very different from the kid whose parents are footing the bill. Criminal arrests are grounds for removal from Federal Financial Aid as well as most academic scholarships. Richt facilitates bad behavior by his absence of recruiting standards and his Bobby Bowden approach to discipline. Richt will never win a national championship or a conference championship. Keep doing what your doing and you will keep getting what you’re getting.

Dawg Fan

March 30th, 2012
9:49 am

Your right it is fans like me that understand I love to win! You Idiots would rather win at no cost and cover up the crap than hold them accoutable for there mistakes. Your kids prob. dont make it to college because your smoking it with them. And he is the coach that has in the last 11 yrs given you the chance to win 10 and 2 sec titles and play in 4! Who did what before that no one way back in 80 what we did our last sec title. So not only has he given your kids a chance to become men but also teaches them if you do it we will not cover it up! He should not have to tell you everything that goes on cause you would rather him have no policy to win that teach these kids right and wrong. If he dont pick up players your idiots cry and when he does they make mistakes and you cry! He wins and make boys into men be happy! AGAIN WHO YOU GONNA HIRE? NO ONE BEFORE HIM COULD WIN 10 OR GET THE SEC CHAMPIONSHIP! HE MADE THE TEAM WINNERS IN LAST 11YRS AND YALL SIT HERE ACT LIKE WE WAS ALWAYS THERE! WE WASNT THATS Y YOUR BUNCH IDIOTS ON HERE. AND NO MY SON DOESNT PLAY FOR UGA HE IS NOT OLD ENOUGH. SO WAKE UP AND STOP CRYING YOUR SAME IDIOTS WANTED HIM FIRED LAST YEAR AND THEN HE REELED OFF 10 WINS OH KEEP HIM DUMG A$$E$!

jalex49

March 30th, 2012
9:50 am

It’s time for the team leCoachders to step up and insist that this is hurting the Georgia Football program and the chance for a succesful season. There’s an opportunity for some players to step up and earn a spot on the team..

I really hate to see this type of thing happening. These players know the impact this will have on the season. They owe an apology to first, Their teammates, Coach Grantham and Coach Richt and their family.

I like the fact that Georgia has the toughest standards in the SEC and my hats off to the school, the A.D. and coaches and never, ever change the policy. Just let the recruits who want to come to Georgia know this up-front. I can’t believe that these players, as good as they are, are causing questions to be raised and especially from coaches and teams in the NFL ? This type of conduct can possible cause them millions in $$$$, which would be great for them and their family ? Millions for a joint?

SHOCKED & ALARMED

March 30th, 2012
9:50 am

http://www.dawgbark.net/blog.aspx?blog=458

” Coach Richt, You Are Responsible for this Mess! ”

Posted by ImYourHuckleberry on 3/29/2012 7:21:42 AM

The Real UGA

March 30th, 2012
9:51 am

The Georgia Way

Richt already has 2 SEC titles

border dweller

March 30th, 2012
9:51 am

Maybe we should quit sending the drug tests to Ga Tech for analysis…

get ya smoke on

March 30th, 2012
9:51 am

when Urban Myers was at Fla his players would tweet about it when ever they fired one up.

SHOCKED & ALARMED

March 30th, 2012
9:51 am

Posted by ImYourHuckleberry on 3/29/2012 7:21:42 AM

“For the fans like myself, that stuck with Coach Richt for the hard times on the field saying that if others were patient we would be rewarded, this season I thought that reward was coming. Well I no longer am expecting that reward and if the Dawgs disappoint this season as a result of suspensions and a lack of discipline I will say it is time for a change.

Make no mistake about it Coach Richt, you are responsible for this mess!”
_______________________________________________________
This by the guy we all love to read his posts, mind you.

SHOCKED & ALARMED

March 30th, 2012
9:52 am

At that point, Richt said: “You wanna talk about football?”
________________________________
How can we ?

Abe Lincoln

March 30th, 2012
9:53 am

Play the next best player and move on. I can handle the result. Winning with players who fail drug test is not anything to be proud of at UGA.

Just wondering

March 30th, 2012
9:56 am

Excuse me: This is about college and the college experience, not about little johnny in elementary school thank you!

I am just expressing my opinion that I believe this drug and substance testing policy which is in place now (not always), is excessive an unnecessary and is against the schools best interest in the first place.

It is not a problem at other fine institutions, so why does UGA in this era think that it is?

Big Crimson 75

March 30th, 2012
9:56 am

Bottom Line — If the Players KNEW a test was coming following spring break, then whatever punishment they get they deserve.
If they didn’t know a test was coming, then somebody in the Athletics Department should be clipped.
Their is nothing wrong with “notifying” Players/employees of a “test” up-coming!!

DodgerDAWG

March 30th, 2012
9:56 am

@TampaGator…you still try to mislead people with your statements…Jenkins SECOND ARREST was AFTER Muschamp took over the program…”Florida senior cornerback Janoris Jenkins has been dismissed from the football team, days after his second drug-related arrest in three months.” (source ESPN http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=6431674). That does not sound like a school administered test, sounds like the young man was caught with ILLEGAL SUBSTANCES on him by the POLICE and was ARRESTED. And you do not bring up Martin, who also did not fail a school administered drug screening, but was ARRESTED for ILLEGAL POSSESSION in the SAME car that Jenkins was arrested in earlier. Was there a cover-up to try and protect the 5-star transfer from Colorado. Was Martin in the car with Jenkins and given a free pass under Florida’s “very strict” program. The only way a UF fan can ever talk about discipline and their football program is AFTER the stop allowing 5 failures of a NON-ARREST drug screen and start utilizing the same transparency that the University of Georgia employs . The only thing you have proven in your statements above is that the University of Florida views CRIMINAL ACTIONS the same was Georgia views non-criminal administrative actions.

DawginLex

March 30th, 2012
9:57 am

If this continues, with all the talent returning on defense, if we lose 3 or 4 games in a year where we should be going 11-1 or 12-0, this year will be Richt’s last in Athens.

Grantham will leave and so will all our NFL caliber talent and 2013 will really suck with a new coaching staff, a bunch of youngsters playing and Florida, Tennessee and SC all being loaded.

Richt better get his act together

border dweller

March 30th, 2012
10:02 am

Besides bros, have you seen the schedule? Chill out. these suspensions just mean a more rested defense going into the less patsy part of the schedule. By the time the SEC championship game rolls around, the D will be in good shape, as long as they don’t leave a plate of hash brownies sitting around the locker room at halftime again..

The Commissioner

March 30th, 2012
10:02 am

With no argument, this is indeed Richt’s fault. People here are saying its the type of recruit that he’s bringing in. That’s a cop-out. All the big schools are going for most of what Georgia’s going for. One must put a fine line in 2 equations that result in the same answer…equation 1: what’s responsible for making the player a successful player “on and off the field” (as coach Richt defines it)? Equation 2: what’s responsible for making a player more talented each time he steps on the field, allowing him to progress during each game and season until he graduates?
Answer: Character Development
The only person responsible for developing these players is Mark Richt. Why? Because the majority of his recruits are being persuaded to come to Georgia because of football, not because of the Academics. Who’s doing the persuading? The coach. Who’s responsible for making sure there’s a smooth transition between where that player came from and where that player’s going? The coach. If it weren’t the coach, then why do we praise him for constantly preaching his intentions to make these individuals “good men, on and off the field”? Look beyond yourselves here and realize that the analysis is simple. A great man, but far from a great coach; because he preaches one thing, but his players don’t respect his philosophy. Who’s philosophy? The “coach’s” philosophy.

danny

March 30th, 2012
10:04 am

Here we go again with Mark Richt. It’s just one thing after the other with this idiot. If he isn’t killing the team by having willie martinez and mike bobo, he’s suspending players 5 months before the season starts. He is the biggest joke I have ever seen as a coach. So now the rest of the team and all the fans have to suffer because of his “morals”. Funny how his morals got lowered a bit last year when he was worried about his job. There are different ways to punish these KIDS. I can only hope that Grantham doesn’t leave before he gets his shot at HC.

o, AthensDAWG

March 30th, 2012
10:05 am

Chip,

From what I’ve heard this morning, Rambo, ‘Tree, Jenkins, Swann, M. Mitchell, I. Crowell and T. King have all failed drug test and facing between 2-4game suspensions depending on if it’s their 1st or 2nd offense….

I hope these “BOYS” had a great spring break b/c they have just let down all of their teammates. Yes, us fans, season ticket holders, contributors, families and coaches are hurt by this, but the teammates they battle with and play with on the field is who is going to be hurt the most by these choices they made over SB.

Without Hershel Walker, UGA would be Vandy without the quality education

March 30th, 2012
10:06 am

Richt=Bobby Bowden Clone

sheepdawg

March 30th, 2012
10:06 am

PTC DAWG

March 30th, 2012
10:07 am

What is the penalty at our rivals?

Dr. Phil

March 30th, 2012
10:07 am

Just love on them boys coach; it will make it all well.

SHOCKED & ALARMED

March 30th, 2012
10:10 am

Buck Belue posted at 3/29/2012 7:25 AM :

“Here we go again, right? Two more ‘Dogs are reportedly suspended to start the season. Must say, I hear a lot about this from fans and constantly from former players. The stance: Quit signing all these spoiled 5-star guys, who can’t do right…and start recruiting a better quality student-athlete. Hear it all the time.

It’s embarrassing to the University of Georgia…domestic violence, simple battery, drug possession, stealing from teammates, posing for sexually explicit photographs. What will next week bring? Perhaps it’s time to change the recruiting philosophy. Start signing a more disciplined, committed brand of athlete. Go get the 3-star rated guy, who would be honored to play football at Georgia and do it the right way. That’s what I keep hearing. Let the 5-star player, who has the red flags, go somewhere else. A.D. Greg McGarity has to be tired of this continuing storyline. Wonder what he’s thinking? It’s got to be frustrating for the coaching staff too. Do they have a big board, in the meeting room, that lists all of the suspended players? Does Coach Richt set aside time each day to meet with the players who get in trouble? When the cell phone rings, does Coach Richt immediately wonder who got arrested now?

Might be time to clean house. Forget about the 2-game suspensions, cut loose the guys that can’t do right, and go get a better student-athlete. Might fall from 10-2 to 8-4, but at least it’ll be a team that you can be proud of. Can’t be proud of this stuff, right? ”
_________________________________________________
ecdawg, sir, Buck Belue says this and your response is what again ecdawg ?

BUCK BELUE SAID THIS

sheepdawg

March 30th, 2012
10:10 am

when will someone with intelligence step up and demand cmr stop signing sub-par citizens with no proclavity for obtaing a college education?

sheepdawg

March 30th, 2012
10:14 am

buck belue is dead on right – we need a leader who will make integrity the top priority for our athletic programs, CMR needs to go

Big Crimson 75

March 30th, 2012
10:14 am

Lex — what up dude?
Are they gonna settle in on the Court or @ the Dialyses Centers?!

Football Guy

March 30th, 2012
10:15 am

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA………………………
………………………………………………………
………………..

evil empire

March 30th, 2012
10:16 am

gotta blow to be a dawg fan…the only time this program succeeds is when other programs are down…and that opportunity is going “up in smoke!!!”…and the schedule gods will soon introduce you to a tougher SEC schedule….how cool would it be if zach mett lit the dawgs up for 40+ at sanford and son stadium???…ray goff would have won 10 straight with last years schedule…donnan would have probably won you a nat champ by now…richt will win you a couple more fulmer cups, no titles in next 5 years, before you finally realize it’s time for someone else….after over a decade of mediocrity and well over 30 million dollars…

TOO TOUGH44

March 30th, 2012
10:17 am

IN my opinion……UGA needs to get back to old school football! If someone screws up, the entire team suffered! RUn Run RUn…and if they kept screwing up…BYE! They were gone. I think these so called atheletes Ramgoof, Ogleweed, need to realize that it aint cute or cool..I honestly feel the BOYS think the world evolves around them. I am a DAWG Fan, but, I am tired of BOYS like Ramgoof, Ogleweed causing problems for our great universtiy, look you dumb a##’s,you know you are gonna be drug tested…what are you thinking? I know exactly what you are thinking..Rambutt, last year you disapointed the bulldog nation, and looks like you have done it again,,.,,what a distraction you are…good ridance to you in my opinion….ogleweed…I hope you learn from your bad choices..Rambutt didnt…he should be gone… Go Dawgs!

Nooga Dawg

March 30th, 2012
10:23 am

Baccari shouldn’t worry about the NFL draft, he’ll never amount to anything in the NFL.

sheepdawg

March 30th, 2012
10:24 am

hahahahahahahahaha…..couldn’t happen to a more deserving program!!!

AltamahaDawg

March 30th, 2012
10:25 am

What surprises me the most about the story is that we actually susupended our starting BD for a huge opener game, because a passenger in his car commited a minor infraction. THEN we test the guys the day after spring break. Who does that? either one?

It seems to me that we self impose penalties on ourselves that nobody else does, then if we give ourselves black eyes because ot it, we double down and make it worse.

This has nothing to do with discipline or respect. This is a policy problem. Don’t tell me our guys (the same one that EVERYBODY recruited and would have signed) are any different than the rest of the conference. But do tell me what other SEC football program are taking these type of measures to shoot themselves in the foot and not just handling it behind closed doors.

Peach Fuzz

March 30th, 2012
10:26 am

If the NCAA ever comes in with their microscope like they did at UNC, UGa’s rule-breakers would make UNC’s look like child play.

dawgfan

March 30th, 2012
10:28 am

Its simply impossible for me to imagine that we can win a championship under the current regime. And by “regime” I mean everybody. The coaches and the players. Bobo is simply in over his head. Everyone knows that. The players do not have the heart and desire of a champion. The astronomical arrests and suspensions prove it. Its really bad when supposed “leaders” like Rambo and Ogletree are toking it up on spring break. We have no true leaders on this team. Everyone is in it for themselves. Its all about having a good time and the NFL. Someone said it the other day on these blogs: Our team just sits around with its thumb up its butt waiting for something great to happen while teams like LSU and Bama MAKE IT HAPPEN. That’s the honest truth.

Expect more of the same in 2012. This team doesn’t have the guts to win the big ones. If they have a problem with that they can prove me wrong. That’s why they play the games. I’ll believe it when I see it.

Thanks.

59bulldawg

March 30th, 2012
10:28 am

If I had worked my tail off during weight training and mat drills and practice and meetings and these knuckleheads keep getting suspended year after year, it would definitely affect my feelings about the team concept. If you can’t trust your fellow teammates to work hard and be at your side when it’s time to go to war, it has to affect the mental aspect of your game. Somebody on the team needs to go off on these wayward teammates and address this problem during a no holds barred team meeting. If the suspensions continue without correction we can recruit the best and still never achieve our championship aspirations because our team will never all be on the same page. Perhaps that has been the problem in Athens for the last several years.

Promethius

March 30th, 2012
10:28 am

Talk about lack of institutional control! I agree with Peach Fuzz.

DawginLex

March 30th, 2012
10:29 am

big crimson

The dialysis center UK fan is a rock star up here now. LOL

The game is going to be an all out war with no place for the timid

Can’t see Louisville winning but stranger thing shave happened

I’m gonna watch it on campus at a little pub with a million idiots.

win now bulldog

March 30th, 2012
10:33 am

Are these players stupid? yes! But you don’t win titles with 4.0’s. Colleges sold their souls long ago for the money and yet they try to keep acting like you can win with saints. Get real!!!

dawgfan

March 30th, 2012
10:34 am

AltamahaDawg, that misses the point. Our policy is what it is. If its strict the players should know its strict and they should know that if they want to smoke a little weed on spring break that there could be consequences for them and the entire team. Are you seriously suggesting that its too much to ask these guys to stay away from the ganja? Is that what it has come to? Give me a freaking break. The fact that they proceed with this behavior anyway is very selfish and undisciplined. We need to stop making excuses for them like we’re Tech fans or something.

And watch 2012 come and go as yet another year devoid of a championship. I’m telling you people right here and now that you need to get your heads out of the clouds. It ain’t going to happen.

Thanks.

pensacola dawg

March 30th, 2012
10:37 am

Problem is this is happening at all major schools, but UGA actually inforces their policy where bama, auburn, lsu etc are smart enough to cover it up. So do not dare say UGA atheletes are any worse than the others we just arent crooked enough to cover it up.

WALDY BUTTS

March 30th, 2012
10:39 am

One toke over the line sweet jesus

UGA Insider

March 30th, 2012
10:40 am

We have a championship team in the making folks but it appears this team will self destruct before the first snap. I feel sorry for CMR because he knows this is the team that can win it all but the guys can’t handle the expectations.

I originally had predicted a 11-1 season for the Dawgs and now I am predicting 7-5.

I also predict this will be the worst off-season in the history for UGA. By that I mean suspensions and arrests… we are already on a torrid pace and it’s only March.

Everything the trolls throw at us today we deserve. I am embarrassed to be a Dawg.

Stephen A.Dogg: Suspensions hurt the team. Ask LSU.

March 30th, 2012
10:40 am

Yeah, LSU made it to the BCS National title game after multiple suspensions during the season. They were a very talented team with decent coaching and they went very far, but the suspensions did hurt them in the end. Their starting QB Jordan Jefferson needed every rep he could get because he was such a poor passer and he was totally exposed in the SECCG and BCS title game. He missed multiple games while his backup, Jarrett Lee stepped up and did a good job of leading the team up until the Bama game. To make a long story short, LSU was embarrased by Bama 21-0. That early season suspension of QB Jefferson came back to bite the Tigers and Jefferson has almost zero value in the NFL as a QB.