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He Is! He Isn’t! Talk Of Richt And Seat Temperature Continues

I’m guessing we’ll be covering this debate right up until September.  Seemingly every day someone feels the need to chime in on the status of Mark Richt’s seat in Athens.

Is it hot?  Is it not?

Yesterday, UGA athletic director Damon Evans and president Michael Adams said Richt is not on any kind of hot seat.

Obvious question — What were they supposed to say?

Another obvious question — Would the brass at Auburn and Tennessee have said that Tommy Tuberville and Phillip Fulmer were on the hot seat entering 2008?

At any rate, when asked if Richt’s status could change with another 8-5 season, Adams said that he wouldn’t deal in hypotheticals.

So what did the folks at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution make of Richt’s bosses comments?

Mark Bradley believes that Richt’s not atop the hot seat yet, but it’s getting warmer:

Richt is a fine coach.  He has earned the benefit of every doubt, and his willingness to change his defensive staff bought back most of the good will he’d lost.  But his is a business predicated on results, not good will.  Unless his team goes 1-11, there’s no way he gets fired within the next year.  Another middling season, however, and the heated-seat talk will become more than just talk.

Put it this way: Evans and Adams aren’t paying a first-time collegiate defensive coordinator $750,000 just to make this program competitive.  They’re paying big money because they want to win big.  Georgia fans came to love Mark Richt because he won SEC championships.  He would do well to win another soon.

Now let’s change desks inside the AJC offices and see what Tony Barnhart makes of the situation:

Kudos to the AJC’s Tim Tucker for going right to the source — President Michael Adams and AD Damon Evans — and putting to rest this ridiculous notion that Richt is even in the same universe as a coaching hot seat.  Tim had to ask the question because that is what good reporters do.

I’ve tried to be politically correct on this issue and realize there are passions at work here.  So let me just put it in language that is a little more to the point: If you think Richt, who has won 90 games in nine years in the toughest college football environment in the world, is on some kind of hot seat then you are living in an alternative universe that is completely divorced from reality.

Yes, Georgia had a disappointing season in 2009.  Changes were made.  Very soon it will be time to play another season.  Then Richt will evaluate the program again and Richt will be evaluated again.  Period.  End of discussion.

So is Richt’s seat hot, getting warmer, not hot at all?  Seems that even the folks at the biggest paper in the state of Georgia can’t completely agree on Richt’s status.

Bradley says he won’t be fired this year, but he needs to win big soon.  Barnhart says he’s nowhere near the hot seat.

So which guy is right?  Like the heat of Richt’s seat, that appears to be a matter of opinion.


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