Change of heart? Richt issues statement that UGA is ‘not pursuing Penn State players’

ATHENS — “Currently, Georgia is not pursuing any of Penn State’s football players. We wish Coach O’Brien and the players the best.”

That statement came from the UGA’s  sports communication office to beat reporters a little after 5 p.m. on Friday. It came as a raw statement without any context or explanation.

I happened to be talking to Christopher Lakos, one of Georgia’s associate directors of sports communications, just before the email was sent out. All he could tell me was the release was simply “a message Coach Richt wants to get out about something he’s been getting a lot of calls about.”

You’ll recall that Richt on Monday told reporters covering the annual Greater Atlanta UGA Days event at Cobb Galleria that the Bulldogs would in fact be interested in recruiting some of the Nittany Lions players. The NCAA, in its historic ruling against Penn State for covering up child sex atrocities committed by a former assistant coach, announced that Penn State players would be allowed to transfer anywhere without penalty and that schools would be allowed to openly recruit them.

Here’s what Richt said Monday:

“We do have some space available and if somebody fits a need and they’re excited about coming we would look into that possibility,” he said at the Cobb Galleria Centre. “There may not be anybody. But we’re at least going to explore. … I don’t want people to think we’re trying to load up a bunch of them. It could be zero, it could be one or two.”

One of two things has had to happen since then: One, no Penn State players expressed any interest in transferring to Georgia; or, two, Richt and UGA had a change of heart.

I was skeptical from the get-go about what Penn State might have to offer Georgia. The Bulldogs were recruiting finalist for two of their players, redshirt freshman defensive end Deion Barnes and junior linebacker Khairi Fortt. As we all know, Georgia is pretty well set on the defensive side of the ball. Penn State running back Silas Redd is apparently close to transferring to Southern Cal. Otherwise, it doesn’t appear there is going to be a lot of movement.

It’s late on a Friday and I have somewhere to be this evening, so for now I can just throw it out there for you guys and see what you think about it. The Bulldogs report for camp next week and we’ll start having regular access to Coach Richt and players, so we’ll get more from then later.

224 comments Add your comment

SamDawg

July 27th, 2012
6:01 pm

Must have had no interest from the Penn St guys.

Bob

July 27th, 2012
6:14 pm

This is not racist, but a lot of slow, white guys. I like our recruits. Just my opinion.

Frank Lane

July 27th, 2012
6:16 pm

Think that UGA decided to get first interest from a player rather than recruit and none were forthcoming.

Their OL is not big enough for the SEC anyway.

Bulldog on the Bayou

July 27th, 2012
6:19 pm

Bob – when something is prefaced with “this is not” – it usually is. Case in point.

DirtyDawg

July 27th, 2012
6:22 pm

I think Mark suddenly had an epiphany…in the form of ‘if Lame Kiffin thought it was a good idea to openly go after these kids that are struggling to hold their school and team together, it must be a pretty unseemly practice.’

Smitty

July 27th, 2012
6:27 pm

Sam….I figured it out…you are GTbob…makes sense now…you being such a turd…No he is not as bad as you. can’t figure out who you are except just a turd

kingdaddy

July 27th, 2012
6:28 pm

Good call Coach Richt. Go Dawgs…

Big Mike

July 27th, 2012
6:29 pm

After evaluation, not one 0f them could beat out our 3rd string..

Big Mike

July 27th, 2012
6:30 pm

If ur a freshman or sophmore…. dont listen too the seniors.. Leave asap Penn State players

Smitty

July 27th, 2012
6:32 pm

Did seem kind of creepy like eating road kill trying to leap out of road

Bob

July 27th, 2012
6:33 pm

“Think that UGA decided to get first interest from a player rather than recruit and none were forthcoming.

Their OL is not big enough for the SEC anyway”.

Sure they’re not big enough. The rushed for more yards on Bama than Florida, Vandy, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Miss State, and Auburn combined. Only LSU rushed for more yards against the Tide than PSU. I think Georgia could have used 1 or more of those guys.

SamDawg

July 27th, 2012
6:37 pm

Wow, the new Penn St S & C coach hired here at UGA must not have had any godd relationships, couldn’t even bring 1 guy in? Not a good sign.

Big Mike

July 27th, 2012
6:39 pm

you would be a complete Idiot to miss ur entire College experience to never play a meaningful game.. 10-0 means nothing….. no bowl…

Smitty

July 27th, 2012
6:39 pm

I think Penn State OL would be good enough but the ones that would help UGA are juniors and seniors and they are not leaving. Good for them I am a Dawg but I don’t want those kids to suffer for someone else bad mistakes

RTR22

July 27th, 2012
6:41 pm

Good for Jawja and I hope CNS is doing the same……. Roll Tide

it is what it is AND it ain't what it ain't (no national title for you fools)

July 27th, 2012
6:42 pm

bwahahahaha, like the PSU players were heading to inbredville to smoke some dope, conceal weapons and then proceed to join your backwoods team

Smitty

July 27th, 2012
6:42 pm

Anybody that does not feel bad for the Penn State players left behind of this mess are a$$ holes

Big Mike

July 27th, 2012
6:43 pm

Maybe he knew the size and talent difference ….

kral

July 27th, 2012
6:49 pm

you consistent on every blog sam..either your not a GA fan or your just an embittered one who believes the past team and coaches have let you down…keep up high noble standards..point out every mistake..that way our UGA football team will get better..and keep checking that mailbox because I am sure there is an apology on its way

Smitty

July 27th, 2012
6:50 pm

RTR22…nice to hear a Bama fan with class. I agreed with you. Actually most Bama fans I have ran into always were really nice. Ate some great BBQ with them over in T town when my son played college baseball

Smitty

July 27th, 2012
6:52 pm

I am a Dawg fan but my son played for Tennessee. Hard to put that orange stuff on but he played in Omaha and let me have a great time as a Dad.

Butter Bean Floyd

July 27th, 2012
7:03 pm

Looks like damage control for Richt huh…. Nobody wants to come on to UGA’s sinking ship.

rugbydawg79

July 27th, 2012
7:04 pm

+1 smitty–I can tell you are a class act–I also feel for PSU–my opinion also changed after hearing their players speak–going after them was not the right thing to do !!

Gater Hater

July 27th, 2012
7:06 pm

Bob, rushed against who though….

Smitty

July 27th, 2012
7:08 pm

Butter Bean….what ship are you on?

Smitty

July 27th, 2012
7:10 pm

Gator hater …good to see you on blog

Red Stick

July 27th, 2012
7:11 pm

I’m glad that Richt is backing off from recruiting any Penn St players. I hope other SEC coaches do as well.

You have to give O’Brien credit for keeping his team largely intact and how he has handled this mess so far. It seems Penn St made a good hire in him.

Geaux Tigers
Go SEC

Smitty

July 27th, 2012
7:16 pm

Red Stick…I agree

BigDawg

July 27th, 2012
7:18 pm

We need to throw a welcome party to them. Only 70 scholarship players, or less, and we are not on probation? Hope we get a lot of early enrollments!

Butter Bean Floyd

July 27th, 2012
7:20 pm

Fan Of UGA Smitty but tired of Richt.

LOL

July 27th, 2012
7:23 pm

No one at Penn State wants to go to a mid tier SEC School like UGA.

Tim JJ

July 27th, 2012
7:29 pm

I don’t really care if we get any of their players or not but why would anyone in their right mind want to play or coach there now? Even if you rush for 2500 yards and 40 touchdowns, they are still going to mention child abuse before they talk about your stats. Everything that program does now will be associated with the molestation of young boys. Just sad. I would transfer as quick as they would let me. And If I was O’Brien I would beg Belichik for my job back.

kingdaddy

July 27th, 2012
7:35 pm

That is the best thing that could have happened. If one of them wants to leave and contacts UGA, I imagine CMR will take a look then. I wish all those kids the best but still hate that they will miss so much because of something they didn’t do…

ramguy68

July 27th, 2012
7:48 pm

I don’t know but it sounds like CMR is trying to show once again that he’s not like the other college coaches and he’s above raiding Penn St for players. I don’t understand the media portraying coaches as vultures for pursuing these players after the NCAA said they are free to transfer without penalty.

Game Changer

July 27th, 2012
8:03 pm

Any word yet on the clearinghouse about JJ?????????

kingdaddy

July 27th, 2012
8:08 pm

I think the kids should have to initiate contact with any other program. This may keep the predator use-car salesmen from corrupting the younger ones. If this team stays togeather, it would make an interesting movie, especially if they could go undefeated. Barney Frank can play Sandusky, lol..
Go Bravos 2-1…

kingdaddy

July 27th, 2012
8:09 pm

BTW,
Good story C.T…

i'm a big georgia fan

July 27th, 2012
8:10 pm

yesterday yall were all for raiding the penn state roster. today st mark makes an announcement and yall all fall in line. no wonder we are looked at by other sec fanbases as “the weakest link”. the missing link is more descriptive. pathetic.

adawgfan

July 27th, 2012
8:11 pm

Not sure what UGA and CMR are thinking on this one… If I were a student athlete it would be difficult to continue at PSU, not only because of the NCAA sanctions, but because it would be hard to be loyal to a University that would hide such atrocities. The University of Georgia should offer these young men a place to continue their careers, and they are needed at UGA. The Univeristy is making a mistake in favor of ‘politically correctness’. Just my opinion

David C

July 27th, 2012
8:16 pm

There was one player that they thought they had a shot at. He said he was staying so from PR Stand point CMR decided to do a 180. Sound great, but really they would have taken the native Georgian had he showed interest.

BIG MIKE

July 27th, 2012
8:18 pm

Bob…Bob….Bob. They rushed for more yards against who???? I think the competition level between the SEC and “other conferences” has been well established as a mismatch. And some body is using my name without signing a release!!!! .

Mark (another one)

July 27th, 2012
8:21 pm

There appears to be some trouble interpreting a simple statement. UGA is not (currently) pursuing any Penn St. players. That could change tomorrow if a Penn St. player contacted UGA. I don’t expect it to happen but it would require a player to show initiative.

This is going to be a great fall. I am looking forward to a healthy Brown showing what he can do as a starting WR. Last year he avg. over 15 yards per catch, he’s listed at 6′5″, 222 lbs., and is a sprinter. If people double King, Brown can make them pay.

Game Changer

July 27th, 2012
8:24 pm

McQuackity:

Todd Grantham still has not signed you piece of trash offer, recruits know he is leaving asap after 2012. McQuackity, you are as much to blame regarding UGA recruiting problems as the others. You should be fired yesterday.

Will

July 27th, 2012
8:47 pm

I was disappointed when Coach Richt said he was going after PSU players. If a player is interested in UGA and wants to contact to the school that’s one thing, to actively recruit is

“Taking boots from a dead solder”.

Budlight Dawg

July 27th, 2012
8:56 pm

Im guessin Sandusky personally recruited all these young, delicate boys with a special touch… sounds like the ones wanting to stay liked his kinda coaching… if u know what Im gettin at….lol… Bet ya thers alotta towels poppin some gluts up in the Biaaach…. Especially the big dude who want keep Bigggggggggggggggggggggggg ………..
his mouth shut on ESPN

Budlight Dawg

July 27th, 2012
9:01 pm

GALT….. OMG ur freakin stupid…. Pen State students go to a College were they repeatively allowed little boys to the violated!!!!! really…. They need to change the name from Nittany Lions to “Litttle boy butt rangers” cause thats all u gonna hear for the next 4 years friend… Butt Rangers….. Maybe u know Sandusky too!!!! just sayin… defend that…

Gater Hater

July 27th, 2012
9:01 pm

Allowing a PSU player to transfer to UGA would be doing them a favor…their program truly is a sinking ship and fairly irrelevant of late. Plus I’d feel kind of creeped out playing ball there. A bunch of weird cats in that program……

LuvmyG

July 27th, 2012
9:07 pm

CMR did the right thing not to pursue any penn state players but if they decided to leave then they all welcome to UGA Go dawgs!

Son of Sammy Davis Jr, Jr

July 27th, 2012
9:11 pm

Don’t think they could stomach the smell of sweet mash that saturates Athens on game day.

facts

July 27th, 2012
9:13 pm

To bob. Georgia southern rushed for more yds than everyone against alabama and scored the most points. Pretty impressive for an fcs school