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Richt Dealing With Another Off-Field Black Eye For His Dawgs

When you lose to Central Florida in the Liberty Bowl to fall to 6-7 on the season, the last thing you need are off-the-field issues.  Especially when your entire reign has been marred by numerous off-field issues.

But that’s just what Mark Richt is facing today.

In May, backup linebacker Marcus Dowtin was charged with second-degree assault in Ocean City, Maryland.  According to reports, Dowtin knocked a man unconscious in a bar fight.  Records show that the case was settled on December 21st, but no further details have been released.

Here’s the kicker — Richt didn’t even learn of the arrest until yesterday.

Look, a coach can’t be beside 85 of his players at all times, especially in the summer.  But fair or not the Dowtin situation creates the perception that Richt has no idea what’s going on in his program.

Richt reportedly booted Zach Mettenberger from Georgia’s team last spring because he wasn’t honest with the coach when asked about his own run-in with the law.  How will Richt react to a player who got into trouble but didn’t tell him about it? 

Richt, obviously, is facing a make-or-break year in Athens in 2011.  He has a number of star players who could leave for the NFL months before his season kicks off.  Can he afford to boot anyone from his team at this point?  From a perception standpoint, can he afford not to?

If there was ever a year for Georgia players to behave themselves, it’s this one.  Their coach can’t afford more black eyes for his program.  So they can’t be dishing out black eyes to citizens this winter, spring and summer.

Each time a Bulldog screws up off the field in 2011, he’ll be inching his coach a little closer to the unemployment line.

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