Richt, Bulldogs address perception of being an undisciplined team

HOOVER, Ala. – Georgia was picked to repeat as SEC Eastern Division champions and return to the Georgia Dome for the SEC Championship game for a second straight year. But that wasn’t the most prevalent topic of discussion for the Bulldogs during SEC Football Media Days on Thursday.

Team discipline was the topic du jour for coach Mark Richt and the three players he brought with him to the Wynfrey Hotel. With the recent arrest and subsequent dismissal of tailback Isaiah Crowell, the Bulldogs stand to have five starters miss games this season due to disciplinary problems. That does not the count the dismissal of four other players for team-policy violations or academic shortcomings.

Richt has been out of the public eye and line of media since the Crowell news broke on June 29. So the majority of questions he fielded from beat reporters had to do with the impact disciplinary actions have had on his team for 2012.

“We’re certainly going to have an expectation for how we want our guys to behave,” Richt said. “If they don’t behave, we’re going to discipline them. So if the discipline involves running up and down the stairs at the stadium or some things that might be at the level of losing playing time losing your ability toi stay at Georgia, the thing we’re going to do at Georgia is we’re going to take care of any issues that do come up in the proper way.

“And so, if a guy does end up having to leave, it’s for the best interest of the group. From time to time that has to happen. It’s sad that it does but we’re going to keep taking care of business in that way.”

Until Thursday, Richt had not commented extensively on the decision to dismiss Crowell. The former 5-star running back prospect was arrested on June 29 on three weapons charges – including two felonies – when a handgun with a filed-off serial number was discovered in his car during a traffic stop. That was at least the eighth disciplinary ruling Richt has had to make since the calendar has flipped to 2012.

“No decision to dismiss a guy from the team is an easy decision,” Richt said. “It’s always tough because I care very much about all these guys. Having to make those kinds of decisions are tough. But in the end, I think we did what was in the best interest of the program. I wish Isaiah the very best in his future and I hope everything will work out for him.”

Starting cornerback Sanders Commings, who pleaded guilty to a domestic battery charge back in February, is suspended for the first two games of the season. Richt remained evasive when the subject turned to several unresolved disciplinary matters on the team.

The high school coach of Bacarri Rambo has been widely reported as saying that the All-American free safety will be suspended for four games due to a second violation of Georgia’s marijuana-use policy. However, neither Richt nor nobody with UGA has confirmed those reports. Likewise, Georgia has never confirmed reports that starting inside linebacker Alec Ogletree violated the same policy. Also, there has been no announcement of any disciplinary action for starting cornerback Branden Smith, who was arrested in March for misdemeanor marijuana and has since pleaded no contest to the charge.

Indications Thursday were any announcements on such rulings won’t be soon in coming. However, Richt admitted he has already made those decisions.

“We’ll share it sometime but not today,” Richt said.

Caught in the middle of the crossfire are the players who choose to abide by Georgia’s policies. Three of them accompanied Richt to Birmingham on Thursday – Abry Jones, Jarvis Jones and Tavarres King.

“It was devastating for everybody because [Crowell] had been working so hard,” said Jarvis Jones, an All-America outside linebacker from Columbus who has known Crowell most of his life. “I love him like a brother. But, you know, as a team we’re going to lose individuals. We hate that it ended that way, but we’re still a team here and we’ve got to stay focused on what we have.”

According to the media assembled at the Wynfrey this week, the Bulldogs have the makings to repeat as SEC East champions. Aside from the unknowns regarding disciplinary suspensions, Georgia returns nine starters from a Top 5 defense, features an all-star quarterback and has a schedule that is set up for success. The Bulldogs didn’t shy away from their distinction as favorites, but neither were they particularly impressed by it.

“Expectations are expectations,” said the senior King, the Bulldogs’ leading receiver last year with 705 yards and 8 touchdowns. “I’m just worried about outcomes.”

As for whether discipline – or lack thereof – is going to affect their ability to win, Richt couldn’t say. But he said the Bulldogs are going to continue to knock their players in line when they step out of line. That, he inferred, is not the case everywhere.

“People make mistakes,” Richt said. “When they do, you discipline it. Some people have policies that bring certain things to light and some people don’t. The bottom line is, I love every guy on our team and, part of love is being able to teach them right from wrong. When they make mistakes we’re going to discipline them in such a way that hopefully they’ll become better men down the road.

“That’s what we do at Georgia. To say these issues aren’t happening around the country aren’t really realistic.”

FULL AJC COVERAGE FROM DAY 3 OF SEC MEDIA DAYS:

FULL AJC COVERAGE FROM DAY 2 OF SEC MEDIA DAYS:

FULL AJC COVERAGE FROM DAY 1 OF SEC MEDIA DAYS:

114 comments Add your comment

GStateBen

July 19th, 2012
4:22 pm

Go Panthers!

#STATEofSHOCK

PMC

July 19th, 2012
4:24 pm

Top Dawg

July 19th, 2012
4:25 pm

Almost that time to tee it up between the hedges! GO DAWGS!

LoveUGA

July 19th, 2012
4:27 pm

Does it bug anyone else that the countdown on the main AJC UGA page is completely wrong?

Herschel Talker

July 19th, 2012
4:28 pm

FIRE MARK RICHT!!!

JMac

July 19th, 2012
4:38 pm

Facts support the “Perception”.

909

July 19th, 2012
4:39 pm

Nothing new here.

Move along.

I dropped my fried twinkie

July 19th, 2012
4:45 pm

Perception is reality or is reality just your perception?

Young man we would like to offer you a scholarship to play football at UGa. Here Pee in this cup before i give you the paper and pen.

I dropped my fried twinkie

July 19th, 2012
4:48 pm

gastatebeen…..your team hasn’t even played a FBS game but you have already had 3 kids kicked off the team? GaState is really trying hard to be a Big Boy like UGa.

How true, how true

July 19th, 2012
4:55 pm

CMR:
1. “Some people have policies that bring certain things to light and some people don’t.” Bingo! See SEC drug testing policies, and suspensions for failure. UGA and UK don’t give mulligans. Also wonder how many ACC teams suspend on first failed drug test?

2. “To say these issues aren’t happening around the country isn’t fully realistic.” Bingo again!

Dawg Haus

July 19th, 2012
4:56 pm

Great quote from T. King!

LHarding Dawg

July 19th, 2012
4:59 pm

Don’t you guys on the blog just hate the “Herschel Talker” moron! I mean “get a life”.

1970 Dawg

July 19th, 2012
5:10 pm

Fire Herschel Talker!!!!

LOLOLOL

July 19th, 2012
5:13 pm

“Georgia was picked to repeat as SEC Eastern Division champions and return to the Georgia Dome for the SEC Championship game for a second straight year……

……to get their @sses beaten to a pulp by an SEC West team.

There, FYT.

LOLOLOL

July 19th, 2012
5:14 pm

“The bottom line is, I love every guy on our team and, part of love is being able to teach them right from wrong. When they make mistakes we’re going to discipline them in such a way that hopefully they’ll become better men down the road.”

Down the road at the Clarke County Jail.

North Georgia Dawg

July 19th, 2012
5:15 pm

Georgia fans- Do you think Richt and the UGA coaches know the players are suspended and don’t want to embarass them by discussing the issues, or do you think that Ogletree and Rambo really will play against Missouri?

Also- If Ogletree really was suspended for a marijuana arrest, wouldn’t he be suspended for one game since it’s his first offense?

1970 Dawg

July 19th, 2012
5:16 pm

To point out CMR’s statement that not every team has the same policy, read Coach Muschamp’s writeup from yesterday. When he called Janoris Jenkins in to suspend him for 5 games after repeatedly failing drug tests, Jenkins asked, “Do you know who you’re talking to?”
UF had a “favorites” policy under CUM and I’m sure other teams also have such a policy.

RTR

July 19th, 2012
5:19 pm

As people can tell from my posts, I am no Georgia hater. I hope UGA beats Missouri, but I find it hard to believe Richt would remain mum on the suspensions if the guys weren’t missing the Missouri game. Maybe Smith gets one game if it’s his first offense, but Rambo is a HUGE blow for your team as I have heard you are thin at safety.

RTR

July 19th, 2012
5:22 pm

I think Muschamp has much more class than Meyer, but I’m not sold on him as a head coach just yet… maybe he will turn it around this season, but it depends on the offense. His quarterbacks were terrible when they filled in for Brantley last season.

Game Changer

July 19th, 2012
5:23 pm

J Jenkins elgibility being held up also? C Towers, ask question, get answer yes or no, then put one or two sentences in article to issue. Thanks

[...] Richt, Bulldogs address perception of being undisciplined team [...]

[...] Richt, Bulldogs address perception of being undisciplined team [...]

Game Changer

July 19th, 2012
5:27 pm

Ogletree failed minimum of twice, rambo failed minimum of twice, smith failed more than twice

guess the policies at UGA have always been smoke and mirrors, either follow them or throw them out but Richt you sound like an idiot. Perception?

I dropped my fried twinkie

July 19th, 2012
5:27 pm

What does M. Adams have to say?

RTR

July 19th, 2012
5:29 pm

Ogletree failed minimum of twice, rambo failed minimum of twice, smith failed more than twice

Where did you hear that? I’ve never heard of Smith failing a test until this spring.

AltamahaDawg

July 19th, 2012
5:29 pm

ON Rambo: There ain’t no way he is rooming with a bunch of guys who cooked down 2 ounches of pot for 4 hours, extracted the butter, and made brownies and not know about it. First mistake, you are there with a bunch of guys who would. But how does a passenger in his car, with a joint in her purse, qualify as the first strike? Now I realize that when they decided to just go ahead and call it a voilation,even if it wasn’t technically, they had no idea they would be faced with an “accidental” desert malfunction, so I would expect that he may actualy get a lightened suspension.

@Gamechanger

July 19th, 2012
5:29 pm

And you know all this how?

LHarding Dawg

July 19th, 2012
5:32 pm

Gamechanger – Another “idiot” hater without a life.

AltamahaDawg

July 19th, 2012
5:33 pm

rambo wasn’t suspended for failing a drug test that first time. Or at least that’s not what has been reported. Not that you care about that.

And again who are you to insist on knowing about Jenkins. Is he a player on a team that you support?

A troll and a pretender. Your ok with everybody looking at you that way?

Will Muschamp

July 19th, 2012
5:40 pm

I guarantee we will win the SEC.

JMac

July 19th, 2012
5:41 pm

Ogletree is NOT a first time offender, hence the possible 4 game suspension.

North Georgia Dawg

July 19th, 2012
5:42 pm

Is he trolling about Jenkins or is there a question about his eligibility? Any word on Houston’s status either?

Loveliest village upon the plain

July 19th, 2012
5:44 pm

“Bulldogs stand to have five starters miss games this season due to disciplinary problems. That does not the count the dismissal of four other players for team-policy violations or academic shortcomings.”
—————————————————————–

At the rate of approximately one arrest a month for the last four years, plus a few “violations of team policies” (i.e., drug busts), and some who can’t even pass remedial studies, you need to add a half-dozen more.

North Georgia Dawg

July 19th, 2012
5:45 pm

JMAC, do you know this for a fact?

Game Changer

July 19th, 2012
5:46 pm

@altamahadawg

A dozen players flunked the drug test prior to Florida last fall, two of the three I mentioned are part of the group that was unnamed.

J Jenkins means alot to the 2012 team and why are you attacking me, ask the sports personalities who make a living at reporting just as I continue to on each thread of each writer. Why dont you try to find an answer to the question yourself and post that J Jenkins is elgible for 2012. I am waiting on anyone to confirm he will be playing in 2012, to date no one can get the story.

JMac

July 19th, 2012
5:49 pm

Yes. He was suspended last season for theft

North Georgia Dawg

July 19th, 2012
5:50 pm

Which game was he suspended for?

Ogeechee Dawg

July 19th, 2012
5:50 pm

I for one like the UGA discipline policies. Mark Richt is right on this issue.

It is guys like RAMBO’s high school coach that ENABLE these kids by making excuses. I can not believe an ADULT in an influencial position would condone illegal drug use. All of the UGA athletes were warned about pending tests before spring break. The principal at that high school should fire the coach.

JMac

July 19th, 2012
5:51 pm

Arrested on the same day his picture was plastered on the cover of a local magazine with an article proclaiming how him and his brother were such good people.

JMac

July 19th, 2012
5:53 pm

FYI… He is from Newnan, where I have lived my entire life. It was such a shock to see his picture on the cover while hearing on TV that he had been arrested.

North Georgia Dawg

July 19th, 2012
5:55 pm

Okay, I saw it on google. One game suspension in 2010.

North Georgia Dawg

July 19th, 2012
5:57 pm

Gamechanger, if you want to play that game, I heard Matt Elam, Jon Bostic and Shariff Floyd are possibly being ruled ineligible this season. No one can confirm of deny that either.

JMac

July 19th, 2012
5:59 pm

Sorry.I was thinking it was last season.

flo-ri-duh

July 19th, 2012
6:02 pm

Richt is correct these problems are at all the major programs in the country. Just this week Ray Ray Armstrong was dismissed from Miami and Florida dismissed one of their top TE’s, A.J. Leonard.
Both were big time recruits.. It seems that with the AJC, which, always favors Tech their hometown school that multiple long term stories make the front page about UGA. At Florida, Miami, Auburn, Clemson. South Carolina, Alabama , etc they are swept under the rug.

I dropped my fried twinkie

July 19th, 2012
6:02 pm

How do the coaches not know these kids are pot heads before they offer a scholarship?

Game Changer

July 19th, 2012
6:11 pm

@northgadawg

who cares about those guys, only UGA players matter to me. J Jenkins, no answer.

Greg Reid

July 19th, 2012
6:37 pm

Dang, glad I didn’t wind up in Athens,
looking forward to another great season in Tallahassee.

Steve

July 19th, 2012
6:38 pm

I have been searching for information on John Jenkins and eligibility but nothing comes up…

Steve

July 19th, 2012
6:40 pm

@Greg Reid, how many times have you been arrested now?

AltamahaDawg

July 19th, 2012
6:42 pm

I know why we care about Jenkins. My point , that you so obviously pretend not to get, is why does it matter to you.