Georgia’s Aaron Murray ‘relieved of interview duties’ this week (UPDATED)

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, here directing traffic during last Saturday's game against Georgia Tech, was not available for interviews after that game, nor will he be before this week's SEC Championship game. (AP photo)

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, here directing traffic during last Saturday's game against Georgia Tech, was not available for interviews after that game, nor will he be before this week's SEC Championship game. (AP photo)

*Updates with quotes from Christian Robinson . . .*

ATHENS – Aaron Murray has gone silent.

Georgia’s record-setting quarterback has decided not to talk to the media this week as the No. 3-ranked Bulldogs’ prepare for Saturday’s monumental matchup against No. 2 Alabama in the SEC Championship game. According to Claude Felton, UGA’s director of sports communications, Murray “has requested that he be relieved of interview duties this week and Coach Richt has approved. . . . Apologies.”

Murray will apparently be available after this Saturday’s game.

Murray also bolted from the locker room after this past Saturday’s game. Traditionally Murray answers questions from the same stool in the southeast corner of Georgia’s locker room at Sanford Stadium after every home game.

“He told somebody he just wanted to hook up with his family,” coach Mark Richt said on Sunday. “I don’t know if his family was going to try to drive home after the game because it was not a late game or what. I think he wanted to get out and spend some time with his family before they took off.”

It has made for an interesting turn of events. Not only is Murray a fantastic player and leader on the field, but he also has served as a face and voice for the team for most of his three seasons as the Bulldogs’ starting quarterback.

Murray is playing the best football of his career at the moment. This past Saturday he became the first player in SEC history to pass for more than 3,000 yards passing in three consecutive seasons. He comes into the SEC game with 3,201 yards with 30 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, which gives him 9,399 yards, 89 and 29 for his career. Against Georgia Tech his past Saturday he was 14-of-17 for 215 yards and two touchdowns. Since the fourth quarter of the Florida game, Murray has thrown for 14 TDs and no interceptions.

Of course, the knock on Murray has been how he has played in marquee games against elite defenses. He threw three interceptions in the first half against Florida  on Oct. 27 and was 11-for-31 for 109 yards and an interception in the Bulldogs’ 35-7 loss to South Carolina on Oct. 6. Perhaps Murray didn’t want to be answering again all those questions about not playing well in big games.

Meanwhile, Alabama comes into Saturday’s game with a defense that is ranked No. 1 in the nation in total defense (233.67 ypg) and scoring defense (9.25 ppg), No. 2 in rush defense (77 ypg) and No. 3 in pass defense (156.67 ypg).

Obviously Murray wasn’t available to explain. But senior linebacker Christian Robinson, one of Murray’s roommates and best friends, defended Murray’s decision.

“I don’t think it has anything to do with the media,” said Robinson, one of three UGA student-athletes to participate in an SEC conference call Monday. “I don’t think he’s trying to send a message. I just think he’s so dedicated this week to being prepared. He wasn’t at the house (Sunday); he was here studying film all day. He’s just a great competitor, one of my great friends, and I know this one means so much to him. He works his tail off every day and people don’t see that. He just wants to be completely ready and not have any distractions. He’s just trying to prepare and I don’t think it’s bigger than that.”

So what do you think? Is it a good call Murray has decided to shut it down from a media standpoint this week? Or is he making a mistake from the standpoint of breaking from his normal routine and treating this game differently than he has all the rest?

Ultimately, the answer will come on Saturday.

178 comments Add your comment

Goldenrod

November 26th, 2012
11:04 am

Murray is just scared of Bama, That is all.

He’s as classless as that Rambo guy who body-slammed all those innocent Georgia Tech players on Saturday. Brutal hits.

We need more GT/FSU articles AJC – wake up and smell the ACC Championship!
We WILL Run This Conference!

BamaFaninAugusta

November 26th, 2012
11:09 am

Wow…. That is strange …. Get ready for his comments after the game: “We lost to a great team”

bulldog5

November 26th, 2012
11:11 am

is that a joke goldenrod? your conference has a 6-6 team that just got beat 42-10 going to the conference championship. not only that, the acc just got swept by the sec during rivalry week.

if you actually watched interviews of murray or asked anyone in the media they would tell you and you would know hes one of the classiest players in the league. why dont you wake up and smell defeat

MaxxDawg

November 26th, 2012
11:13 am

Does anybody care about this?

BillD

November 26th, 2012
11:15 am

You’re an idiot. Paul Johnson is an idiot. You will run this conference as 6-6? WAKE UP TECH SUCKS

Shoeless joe jack

November 26th, 2012
11:17 am

Does that mean no twitter for him either?

knoxdawg

November 26th, 2012
11:24 am

Aren’t finals this week? Anyway, perhaps he would like to be able to concentrate on preparing for the game and not have to answer knuckle headed questions. I don’t see where it is such a big deal. So he wants some time for other things, let him alone to do what he wants.

Dawglasville

November 26th, 2012
11:24 am

Goldenrod – Your name is only half right because there is nothing Golden about you. Only a true troll could try to spin Saturday into something positive for Tech.

Aaron’s gotta do what he’s gotta do. Let’s hope that the second half of the UF game has cured whatever yips he had. Another thing that has happened in big games is we have dropped a lot of passes. Everytime we moved the ball against USC Bennett or another receiver would drop a first down or a big play. We really have nothing to lose. Play loose.

David Granger

November 26th, 2012
11:26 am

Great idea, Aaron. The less we talk about this upcoming game, the more chance we have of being prepared for it and being ready to play hard from the opening kickoff. “All work and preparation, no BS” is a good recipe.

ole dawg

November 26th, 2012
11:32 am

AAron Murray has earned the right to do whtever he wants to Chip. NO BIG DEAL!!! He is breaking from his routine because this game is different than any other game he has ever played in. This game is arguably bigger than the National Championship. He is focusing up and getting his head right to roll the tide. Setting the example for the rest of the team. Focus up Dawgs and play like this is the biggest most fun game of your life!!!

dobearsbare

November 26th, 2012
11:34 am

Murray is a graduate student. They have finals too. Plus, his dad is being treated for cancer. Sorry, but the media and the media-consuming public are only entitled to as much of his time as he is willing to give. I’m not concerned in the least about this.

Bear's taint

November 26th, 2012
11:34 am

Good choice by Murray. He’s been the starting qb at UGA for 3 years now. He knows the routine, and he knows what questions he’ll be asked. Concentrate on the actual game and let the writers come up with their storylines.

kauai dawg

November 26th, 2012
11:35 am

Isn’t it amazing that “Tech” has a better shot at a BCS bowl than Georgia? We play Bama and they play Fla State. Amazing turn of events.

4 weeks ago I would have given us little chance. NOW I’ve drank the L Koolaid and think we have a chance.

Go DAWGS!

ole dawg

November 26th, 2012
11:36 am

Commit to the “G”!!!! Leave no regrets… and there will be some property destroyed Saturday night!

Bremen Dawg

November 26th, 2012
11:37 am

I think its great, hope he shuts everything down, phone. twitter, and Internet and just focuses on getting ready.

kauai dawg

November 26th, 2012
11:37 am

Agreed SEC championship is the real National Championship…. for who ever wins takes out golden boy in Miami

Dawglasville

November 26th, 2012
11:38 am

Mark Richt – I don’t know Mark Richt. But I’m pretty sure that real Mark Richt doesn’t talk like a classless16 year old. I’m sure that by the time I hit the Submit Comment button, Chip will have banned you. I hope you’re not shocked.

Rick James

November 26th, 2012
11:38 am

manateedawg

November 26th, 2012
11:39 am

Great thing for Murray to do!

HOWBOUTTHEMDAWGS

November 26th, 2012
11:40 am

Goldenrod, you are complete idiot. Rambo and Ogletree body slammed those chump tech players because of all the chop blocks UGA’s line was getting on account of that useless triple option you nerds run up in Atlanta. Sometimes you’ve gotta make a statement and that statement was made with your “helpless” player getting his head slammed. Also, if Miami didnt back out, tech wouldn’t even be in the run and Floria state just got hammered by a team with ZERO offense. The ACC is a joke. I’m done here.

NC Dawg

November 26th, 2012
11:40 am

@Mark Richt… Please don’t take the name of our venerable coach when you know know nothing about OUR team. Murray HAS graduated, but is enrolled in a doctoral program in Organizational Psychology so he still does have to go to class and take exams, so Knoxdawg was spot on in saying that he would rather concentrate on studying (both academic as well as football) rather than answer questions like “Can you win the big one?”. I think he has proven beyond doubt that he is a leader on this team and if you have ever heard him speak you would know what a well-spoken, intelligent individual he is and what a truly classy representative he is for the university.

JDW

November 26th, 2012
11:43 am

I think it is a great idea. I wish every player would follow suit and spend the week preparing instead of consuming media in any way. If they focus and execute they will win, simple as that.

azdawg

November 26th, 2012
11:46 am

I think AM wants this game more then any other he’s played to date. Rest of the team as well but w/AM, and all the baggage he’s been carrying around about cannot win against the elite D’s, this is his biggest test and he wants to go into this game w/o the added pressure of the media. Whatever he feels it takes to play better this w/e more power to him. There’s no doubt AL will be going all out to pressure him. That’s when he’s shown he’s not at his best. He’s his own worst enemy when he makes mistakes. He shook it off late in the FL game and regained his composure. He’ll for sure have to do the same vs AL. Its the biggest game of his life and will, if he wins, erase last years loss to LSU, and shed that damned label of not being able to win the big one. I hope the kid does great, win or lose, kit’ll be a team effort. GO DAWGS.

Jay are

November 26th, 2012
11:51 am

Who cares about the acc. Sec is the most dominating conference in college football. Alec is a beast. How is he classless just because he body slammed a player? As long as the defense is hittin on all cylinders again we will be on top. Offensively we need a great game from the offensive line and Aaron Murray because Gurshall will continue to dominate and malcom mitchel will continue to make athletic plays.

AltamahaDawg

November 26th, 2012
11:52 am

Well, it’s never really matter if it was an actual quotes from players or coaches. We can just do as normal, and pretend to know what they “meant” or what they “think”, with or without them, can’t we?

UGA Bob

November 26th, 2012
11:52 am

Goldenrod sounds like his porn name. Really, his comments are just sad. Maybe, maybe, GT will be relevant again with a new coach and new direction, but they are ONLY in the ACCCG by default. It’s a sad commentary on the ACC that they have a 6-6 team as one of their so-called Champions.

CHDawg

November 26th, 2012
11:53 am

Guys, don’t respond to the clueless and classless trolls. Murray’s dad is trying to win a battle with cancer, and he could be concentrating on him and football. You never know. Give the young man some space! It would be fine with me if the whole team went silent on the communications this week. IMO, Rambo needs to politely reiterate his respect for Alabama, and clarify by saying that he loves his team and believes they have a good chance of competing, despite some of the naysaying by the media. And then, let their playing do the talking on Saturday. Interviews *after* if we win.

beanster

November 26th, 2012
11:56 am

I hope AM is offering steak dinners rather than ice cream this week to his OL. Not only does AM have to play his best game ever, so do Gates, Theus, Burnette, Andrews, and Lee.

Give Murray time back there and the Dawgs will pull off the victory. If he’s rushed like he was against SC, it’s going to be tough to win.

joe jenkins

November 26th, 2012
11:57 am

I like it…Murray will do his talking on the field. Dawgs 28 tide 10

Remarkable

November 26th, 2012
11:59 am

Good decision AM. Focus on the task ahead. I like reading the sports page as much as anyone and I know it frustrates sports writers, but the less talking the better until after the game.
I do hope the Defense get challenged again, just behind closed doors. If they come out to play like they did in Jacksonville it will be a GREAT game.

CHDawg

November 26th, 2012
12:02 pm

Beanster, I agree with you. I would add that if they are able to bring a lot of pressure, similar to SC, I hope CMB will cut Aaron loose. Bama struggled with a running QB, and it affects the defensive play calling in a big way. Several times we had SC stopped and Shaw took off and moved the chains. It causes the D to think twice about bringing the kitchen sink, making the line’s job easier. Murray’s legs could be a key to this game. If the line can protect him well, that would be even better. Go Dawgs.

OLD DOG

November 26th, 2012
12:02 pm

What can Murry say that he hasn’t said already. I had rather have him focus on the game, his father and his school work than have a bunch of over paid underworked sports writers try to make something out of nothing. Go talk to A J McCaron or tp Saban. To hear the press especially ESPN the DAWGS don’t need to show up they are so overmatched by BAMA.That’s why we play the game on the field and not in the press box.

Sam

November 26th, 2012
12:04 pm

It’s not like they say anything in the press conferences anyway. It is all “media talk”.

AltamahaDawg

November 26th, 2012
12:04 pm

I do agree with that first guy, that the tech player are innocent.
It’s unfortunate that they are the ones that had to take the bodyslam on behalf of thier classless fan base. And endure that humiliation of a football game on behalf of thier coach.

hind tit

November 26th, 2012
12:05 pm

I would think both coaches would welcome that neither team talk to the media. Diarrhea of the mouth leaves an unpleasant taste if you can’t backup what you say.

Dawglasville

November 26th, 2012
12:06 pm

Those “cheap shots” were actually tackles. That is why none of those tackles were flagged. What is a cheap shot is blistering a bunch of kids after you failed them as a coach to have them equipped and prepared to play.

OLD DOG

November 26th, 2012
12:09 pm

This is nothing more than a play off game for the NC. To bad the Irish get a pass and don’t have a play off game. I notice that Las Vagas has made the SEC winner a favorite over the Irish. Those guys don’t have favorites except Ben Franklins and they know where the best college football is played.

202dawg

November 26th, 2012
12:10 pm

dobearsbare said it; Murray’s father is battling cancer. Some of you need you heads examined…

beanster

November 26th, 2012
12:11 pm

I think you’re right CHDawg but as much as I would like to see Aaron Murray play the role of “gamer” that we saw flashes of his 1st year in Athens, I doubt it happens. I am pretty sure that style has been coached out of him. The offense either executes its game plan or it doesn’t. There is a difference though in the way the D played against SC versus the way they are playing now. Maybe it won’t take an all-world performance from the offense to get the job done.

Don'tsufferfools

November 26th, 2012
12:13 pm

Dawglasville, Bennett did not play vs. USCe. That was the week he hurt his knee.

GaTruth

November 26th, 2012
12:14 pm

This will all come down to BOBO! If he game plans as he did against SC (i.e., no game plan for Clowney and Company), we’ll get spanked. If he plans to keep in enough people to give Murray time to throw, rolls him out, and lets him scramble. We have a 50/50 chance. McCarron is no where near the running threat of Bray or Shaw. Our D should be able to focus on head to head play with no gimmicks. It is up to BOBO!

Blue Ridge Dawg

November 26th, 2012
12:14 pm

Aaron Murray does not have to answer to anyone except to his coaches, team mates, and family.

GO DAWGS!!!

Jack

November 26th, 2012
12:14 pm

No big deal…..either way.

SERIOUS QUESTION

November 26th, 2012
12:19 pm

Chip – is it possible that Aaron caught the flu from the Tech crew? The Tech football team had a pretty bad outbreak last week.

WDE

November 26th, 2012
12:21 pm

Lets see finals,Dad battling the big C , a SEC title game yeah not having to do interviews might be a good thing , give a man a chance to concentrate on what is really important. Go Dogs !

me

November 26th, 2012
12:21 pm

Do the same for Rambo.

me

November 26th, 2012
12:23 pm

@GaTruth “This will all come down to BOBO! ”

Bobo has no eligibility.

It will come down to the players on UGA’s OLine.

UGAly

November 26th, 2012
12:25 pm

I think Aaron Murray is focused on the game. He doesn’t owe anything to the press.

Jeff

November 26th, 2012
12:25 pm

I hope Rambo is taking note of what Aaron is doing.

Ron Jirsa

November 26th, 2012
12:25 pm

He’s probably really looking forward to the weekend, YOU GUYS