Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Is Hank Schrader Working at Butts-Mehre?

Though I generally view the focus on the off-field exploits of Georgia football players as a tired pursuit of sports radio hosts and Jeff Schultz, the suspensions for Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree have caught my attention.  Georgia is now going to be missing at least four defensive starters for the SEC opener at Missouri, at least three because of apparent marijuana use.  The crusade by Georgia's football program against any drug use is going to have significant effects on the field.  The development has put me into rhetorical question mode:

Georgia's football program is in an interesting place right now. The Dawgs' head coach is a well-liked coach who is pretty clearly a B+ head man competing for titles against an A+ coach in the state to the west. The fan base is fiercely loyal and turns out for every game, but one has to wonder whether they will continue to make significant donations for the privilege to buy tickets to increasingly soft home schedules. How much do Georgia fans really want Mark Richt to play the role of Joe Friday when the conference is hyper-competitive? Do they really want to pay hundreds of dollars per ticket to see back-ups because the starters smoked pot on spring break?
The question that remained after I wrote that column was whether the current stance taken by the Georgia athletic department is the result of media attention paid to off-field issues.  Is Georgia overreacting to criticism from members of the media?  Or has this policy been in effect throughout the Richt era?  Is it just a function of the coach's personality and worldview?  I'm interested to hear from people who know more about the program than I do.


Anonymous said...

I think that its more Adams's policy than CMR's policy. I also think its way too strict. I am still buying my tickets and am generally glad not to be an Alabama (win at all costs forget the kids roster manage till the cows come home) fan. However, this policy actually seems to hurt the players more than it helps them.

Anonymous said...

Michael, that's not really a fair comparison.

Saban has the Tuscaloosa police and every quadrant of the state (minus the SE, maybe) in his back pocket. Plus every major media outlet in the state is terrified of him (sad).

Based on some of the reasons UGA players are cited, Richt doesn't even have sway over the Athens Clarke PD.