Mark Richt on arrests: ‘We’re going to address everything head on’

NCAA Football: Georgia at Georgia Tech

The longest tenured SEC head coach has dealt with this before, and it’s nothing new to him.

Following the arrests of four players – Tray Matthews, Uriah LeMay, James DeLoach and Jonathan Taylor – on theft charges, Mark Richt didn’t lay out or announce any immediate discipline for the four players. In fact, all four players practiced yesterday.

Richt did promise consequences after practice, but he hasn’t laid out what those consequences will be yet, according to the Athens Banner-Herald. He also expounded upon how he goes through a process of determining the punishment for all matters.

“You’re disappointed, obviously,” Richt said. “You have to decide, start deciding what you’re going to do about it. At Georgia, we’ve never tried to hide things. If somebody makes a mistake, we clean it up. We don’t hide it. In due time, everyone’s going to know what’s going to happen because of it.

“Some things when it comes to discipline are very public and some things aren’t. I’m not sure exactly where this is going to fall. If there’s something that we need to let everybody know, we’ll let y’all know.”

Richt was then asked whether the fact that all four players practiced is any indication they aren’t going to be dismissed.

“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.”

Richt then added that he’d address the matter head on and handle it appropriately.

“A lot of our policies are stiffer than most people’s. If you’re going aggressively go after certain things, sometimes your business becomes a little more public than you want it to be. But in the meantime you don’t want to act like it didn’t happen. We’re going to address everything head on and handle it appropriately and move on from there. That’s just part of the learning process.”

Related: What to watch for during UGA’s spring practice

Georgia gets a bad rap when it comes to player discipline and players getting arrested. Richt, however, has handled matters appropriately. I also think Richt’s tenure – the longest in the SEC – actually works against him. Other programs have had just as many arrests over the last decade, but since it’s all been under Richt’s watch, there’s much more finger pointing going on, whereas other programs have had three or four different coaches during that time.

Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

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COMMENTS

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  • Let’s face it…Richt is/has been the face of UGA football for quite some time. While he does catch a lot of grief for on-field performances I think most fans can agree he handles off the field issues in the highest manner. He has repeatedly said there is the “Georgia way of doing things” and he stands by it.

    From stiff drug use enforcement policies and penalties to making sure kids get to class. What other school has suspended a player because they didn’t meet their academic requirements by missing tutoring and academic reviews EVEN if they are passing the class? Not many I can assure you.

    I like to think that when parents are deciding which school they would want their children to attend and subsequently who I is going to have a major influence on their attitude and life-long outlook on life and it’s lessons, Coach Richt would be that guy.

    In the long run these players did something wrong and they will have to pay the consequences. Personally I doubt they will be dismissed but they most certainly will miss playing time at the start of the season when UGA can least afford it. CMR has said time and time again, there are things in life more important than football. Let’s hope these young men learn that lesson well.

  • How much research goes into a recruits background. UGA does well with talented signing classes every year. Can they afford to do some digging as far as character issues for a certain recruit? For example the LeMay kid at QB had already exhibited behavior that could manefest again down the road? From what I’m told the 5 star running back Crowell had issue’s long before coming to Athens. I know we turned down a couple of good recruits to get Crowell. Anybody removing the serial # on a handgun and carrying it in his car, didn’t just start this behavior. Richt likes to sign so-called “skilled” position stars. Not so much on the “Blue- Collared” recruits. Is he taking a chance on players in order to get the certain player he wants? Just something to think about? I mean he did cut his teeth at FSU in the 90’s. Not exactly known for recruiting saints.

  • Investigate a recruits freaking background ! It’s pretty simple. You hire somebody for 20 bucks an hour to go around town and ask a few questions. Old techers, neighbors, employers etc. Not that hard. Well maybe it is for some?