Mark Richt is a cool-headed guy. Many a Georgia fan has wanted to see their coach blow his top and get demonstrative on the sidelines. During Saturday’s 43-38 heartbreaker of a loss to Auburn, Richt did show some anger.
And then he was flagged 15 yards for it.
As we noted yesterday, we feel that if any coach in the SEC should get a little leeway from the refs, it’s Richt. The guy’s not the easily enraged Will Muschamp, after all. But SEC official Penn Wagers flagged Georgia’s coach for arguing a fumble ruling a bit too vociferously. So what did Richt say that earned him a flag?
“So I got as close to his face as I could and said: ‘You guys are the best officials in the Southeastern Conference.’ Then Penn threw the flag. So I think if he had heard what I said he might not have thrown it. But I think he thought I was continuing on with my opinion of what had happened.”
According to Seth Emerson of The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, Richt was laughing as he told the story. Georgia’s student newspaper, The Red & Black, reports that the unsportsmanlike conduct call was the first penalty ever called against the longtime Bulldogs coach.
Georgia’s coach went on to explain that his anger was not solely directed at the fumble which was ruled in Auburn’s favor:
“I’m not allowed to say much about officiating. I guess the flag was an indication of how I’d been feeling about things for a while. And I’ll say this too: If we’re really, really honest, and we’re totally unbiased, when you watch film there’s some things that we do that probably should’ve been holding called against us. Or should’ve been, this, that or the other. I guarantee you, as many slices of film we’re showing the officials about what we think should have been in our favor, there’s just as many that should’ve been against us. It just feels like it’s been a little bit more against us this year than normal.”
Judging from our inbox, a lot of Georgia fans would agree with that statement.