Take an instance in the spring of 2012 when future 1st round draft pick Alec Ogletree and All-American Bacarri Rambo were reportedly suspended for failed drug tests. Richt released a statement to the media three minutes before walking into the media center that vaguely talked about a “process” that Georgia takes to punish players for violating policies.
The coach then opened his press conference saying: “I don’t know if you all have seen our handout but you might read it because you’ll probably hear it repeated again if you ask the right questions. ... We’ve got our guidelines, we’ve got our policies. There’s certain things we’ve got to do when we’re taking care of business, and that’s what we’re talking about,” Richt said when asked if he could confirm the Rambo-Ogletree suspensions.
The same was the case when Richt addressed the media on Wednesday, when he told reporters: “I would just say there’s always a process that I go through before I make a decision. Sometimes it happens rapidly and sometimes it doesn’t. I’m not going to say anything other than if there’s something I need to report to everybody, I will.”
Now, you can’t blame Richt for wanting to avoid the issue if possible. He’s there to coach football, not string the media with off-the-field stories – which can be perceived as distractions.
Yet this column isn’t intended to indict Richt or his methods. He’s been in Athens for 14 years for a reason: 126 wins, two conference titles while not once missing a bowl game.
The longest tenured coach in the SEC is simply surviving in a cut-throat, dog-eat-dog world of college football.
In speaking with a Florida State fan on Tuesday’s arrests, his first comments were: “This all falls on Mark Richt. How can you recruit a guy that makes a decision that stupid?”