Published October 15, 2010 - 9:13am
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I write this as iTunes blares out “The Devil went Down to Georgia.” These days in Athens one would think the very Devil himself has set up shop on the corner on College Ave. and Washington Streets. Yes, UGA did win the “Fulmer Cup” this off season, if you don’t know what that is; you are probably on the wrong website
My questions is, “would you rather win the Fulmer Cup or lose the Richt Cup?” The so called “wave” of arrests of football players at UGA must be taken in context. Below are two examples of what other teams fans have to deal with. I am NOT saying that any crime is ok; just we need to remember the spectrum varies greatly.
An example from that school down South
RONNIE “AK-47” WILSON
Charge #1: Aggravated assault, battery and use of display of a concealed weapon during commission of a felony in April 2007 for shooting a semiautomatic rifle after a dispute with another man.
Outcome: Wilson pleaded no contest to battery and discharging a firearm. The felony charge was reduced to a misdemeanor and later dropped. Wilson was placed on two year’s probation and given 100 hours of community service.
Charge #2: Misdemeanor possession of marijuana in January 2008.
Outcome: The charge was dropped despite serving probation for his original arrest.
Charge #3: One count of battery and one count of assault for an altercation at an apartment complex in October.
Outcome: Nothing has been ruled on the case, according to court records.
Team punishments: Wilson was suspended for the entire 2007 season stemming from the gun charge, including a full-year suspension from University of Florida academics. Wilson rejoined the team in 2008 but was suspended and eventually kicked off after the third charge.
An example from the University of Tennessee
According to Tennessee station WBIR, an NBC affiliate, three University of Tennessee football players were arrested early Thursday morning and charged with armed robbery. A Knoxville Police Department spokesman told WBIR that the three students, Nu’Keese Richardson, Janzen Jackson and Mike Edwards, plus female driver Marie Montmarquet, were being held at a detention center after allegedly attempting to rob three Maryville residents at a Pilot convenience store.
According to the victims, the men were sitting in their car when one of the students opened the driver’s side door and demanded money from the three, who reportedly showed them empty wallets. After the students left the scene, the victims described their car, which police then located, finding Richardson, Jackson, Edwards and Montmarquet in the process. An air-powered pellet gun, two black hoodies (which the victims described the alleged perpetrators as wearing) and a marijuana grinder were found by police. Montmarquet claimed that the grinder was hers and was subsequently hit with a drug charge.
This report is quite interesting in the fact that the RB Bryce Brown has been reported saying he wants to be released from his scholarship from Tennessee after complaining of what he considered “questionable behavior” from his teammates. Supposedly he was actually in the elevator when these three UT players were discussing the robbery planning.
Back To Georgia…
Now taken in light of these two examples and believe me there are many more out there, the “Scooter-Gate” at UGA seems pretty mundane.
Nobody else can say that, not Urban Meyer, not Nick Saban, not Les Miles, not Joe Paterno, not Mack Brown….nobody. And the Georgia fans want Richt run out town on a rail because some 19 and 20 year old young men can’t pay their traffic tickets?
Imagine if every other college kid in Athens got his/her arrest story splashed all over the media. Do we go after their professors or parents? Do we want to pull their scholarship? No…..So why does it make sense that a football player gets arrested and we want blood?
Imagine you are in charge of 100 young men; you are responsible for their grades, their care and feeding, their conduct on and off campus 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Every misstep played out in the National media. Imagine yourself on ESPN because your kid failed to pay a speeding ticket. Seems pretty easy? You couldn’t pay me the $4M per year to take on that kind of heat. …and I doubt not too many people would either.
Championships take some luck and a lot of hard work. Coach Mark Richt has certainly put this team in a position year-in-and-year-out to win championships.
I’m sure if you gave any Head Coach in college football this option, “You can win 8 or more games for 13 years OR you can roll the dice and see what you get.” Line forms to the left please…..
The 2002 team was a Terrence Edwards catch away from beating Florida and going to the BCS Championship game. They did beat FSU in the Sugar Bowl to finish #3 in the country with a record of 13-1. The most wins by a UGA team EVER….that was under Mark Richt’s watch.
The 2007 team was a win against either a South Carolina or Florida win away from the SEC Championship vs. LSU and possibly another BCS Championship Bowl appearance. The pineapple-crushing defeat they put on Colt Brennan and Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl that year was probably their most complete game. I would bet money they beat Ohio State (0-9 vs. SEC teams in bowls) in the BCS game if they had played. Remember LSU lost TWICE as the #1 team in the country and STILL made it to the BCS game. You need some luck….or a good Vanderbilt FG kicker…to get to the big game.
His record is 92 wins and 31 loses. 92 wins in ten years people….put the pitch forks away.
But “Hey Coach, can we beat Florida this year? Please……..”