March 19th, 2014 01:30 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Tags: Georgia, Kevin Butler, SEC, UGA
On Monday, four Georgia football players were arrested for cashing UGA-issued scholarship checks twice. Folks from ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit to legendary UGA kick Kevin Butler weighed in on Mark Richt’s discipline. Here’s what Herbstreit said via Twitter:
Butler then responded to Herbstreit by tweeting “your dead on Kirk ….. No consequences, no fear… just plain stupidity every year. Embarrassing for University.”
What neither pointed out is that you could put together a pretty good squad from the players Richt has tossed from his squad: Zach Mettenberger, Nick Marshall, Isaiah Crowell, etc. All those guys landed elsewhere, including two inside the SEC who Richt had to coach against last year.
Also not mentioned is the fact that perception is worse than reality when it comes to Georgia’s “outlaw” reputation.
Georgia — as we’ve pointed out a few hundred times on this site — has the toughest drugs and behavior policies in the Southeastern Conference. A footballer busted for an alcohol-related crime elsewhere might be forced to run stadium steps and sit for a quarter. At Georgia, that’s typically an automatic suspension for two full games. South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier has poked fun at the Bulldogs by saying he likes playing them early because they’re always missing a few guys. That kind of comment gets kicked around until outsiders who don’t know any better — and apparently a supposed insider like Butler who should — start believing that UGA has more disciplinary problems than other schools when in fact, Georgia simply disciplines more than other schools.
Kids get in trouble at all schools. And if your favorite school is on a clean streak right now, consider your football program overdue. With 100 kids on a roster, there will be alcohol, marijuana and behavioral issues to deal with each and every year. Georgia deals with them harshly and openly… and the school, the football program and Richt pay a price for that.
Kudos to Georgia and other SEC schools who have implemented strict policies (Kentucky being another), but in a world where Twitter perception is reality, it might be time to stop sweating the small stuff, just as most other schools do. That will help make the big stuff — like the actions of the four dullards arrested Monday — seem less like the norm and more like the exception that it really is.
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