Posted: 10:04 am Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

More arrests at Georgia, and Herbstreit jumps Richt 

By Jeff Schultz

Mark Richt needs to at least suspend his four arrested players.

Mark Richt needs to at least suspend his four arrested players.

There goes that quiet offseason.

By now you’ve probably heard that Georgia, not unaccustomed to unflattering headlines in the offseason, had four football players arrested for “theft by deception,” a misdemeanor.

The four players: starting safety Tray Matthews, wide receiver Uriah LeMay and defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor and James DeLoach. Their crimes: Double-dipping on $71.50 stipend checks. They would do this by depositing the checks with a picture on their smartphone apps, then quickly cashing the same checks at a convenience store.

If we go on the assumption that the four players are not in the Terry College of Business and weren’t doing this in hopes of accumulating credit hours toward their MBAs, let’s say that they’re beyond stupid for thinking they wouldn’t get caught.

I’ll weigh in on the arrests and what they mean to the program in a full column later on MyAJC.com. But for now, let’s address blame, because that’s where everybody’s mind immediately turns. Here are the three candidates:

1. Mark Richt: Is it his fault? No. The only reason I’m listing him first is to address this Tweet by former player and current ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit:

Herbstreit must’ve been besieged by Georgia fans but he has since followed up with comments that he admires Richt and that his comments weren’t meant to be a criticism of Richt as much as the frequency of arrests at Georgia.

A couple of thoughts: I’ve been as critical of Richt as anybody through the years. But he’s far tougher on crime than he ever was before and that, in combination with Georgia’s strict anti-drug policy, can’t possibly send a stronger message to players. There have a number of high profile players kicked off the team in recent years, including running back Isaiah Crowell, quarterback Zack Mettenberger and the guy who just led Auburn to the BCS championship game, quarterback Nick Marshall.

Now, if somebody wants to pose the question as to whether Georgia should have a tougher filter in terms of which kids to recruit, that’s another issue. But it seems Richt has been far better in this area than in the past.

2. The players: They need to be suspended. They need to sit out games and feel the consequences of their actions. Whether they need to be expelled depends on how many other off-the-field issues they’ve shown that maybe we’re not aware of yet. But these acts of stupidity are all on them.

• 3. The system: The only thing dumber than the players for thinking they can get away with this are the short-sighted fans who scream, “Give them more money, that will solve the problem.”

No, it won’t. I’m not arguing against increasing the stipend of athletic scholarships. That’s for another blog. But if an athlete is going to do something dumb, he’ll do it whether he has $1 in pocket or $100. If you give him more money, he’ll spend more money and need more money. Increasing stipends will not fix this issue.

Those are my early thoughts. Let’s see how this story plays today.

UPDATE: Here’s a link to the full subscription column.

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829 comments
TheOldGuy
TheOldGuy

Herbstreit sucks. Screw him. 

tyger
tyger

Just cut to the chase...


Take'm out back...

Lynch'em, burn'em and castrat'em...

Like you used to....


Now that's the UGA...

We all know and luv...

RX
RX

SCHUUULTZ! You did miss out on one important issue, that because of players like Nick Marshall (and colleges like Auburn), this bravado of stupidity will continue.

Players now know there is a viable "Plan B" if they screw up. 

"Plan B" has to be eliminated by the NCAA.

cloudodust
cloudodust

Road sign seen upon entering Athens city limits, ''' Watch For Falling Shoes To Drop '''

DawginNY
DawginNY

I must say that I can't understand why we have so many more public discipline issues than everyone else.  It can't be that all other coaches have better character tests on the recruiting trail.  The kids have to see that the consequences of bad behavior are going to be relatively severe at Georgia.  The only explanations that make sense are that we actually try to monitor behavior more than others and others sweep it under the rug more than we do.

GT71
GT71

Not theft by deception - just pure theft.  Stealing.  Taking the property of others for yourself.

Typical of what you get at UGA...garbage in; garbage out.

Should be kicked off team for crime.

Should be kicked out of UGA for stupidity.

Neither will happen as UGA remains the place where they couldn't have Christmas for lack of 3 wise men or a virgin.

Funny how old jokes turn out right, huh?

59bulldawg
59bulldawg

I'd be curious to know how proactive Richt is each year about addressing the team as a whole on the subject of behavior and how it can damage the team when knuckleheads misbehave. This crap is light years beyond getting old.

JacketMan
JacketMan

In the last four years, 25 UGA football players have either been suspended for rules violations or arrested. That's and average of 6+ players per season, and knowing there can only be 85 scholarship players on a team at one time, this means over 30% of the entire team (assuming no walk-ons are a part of this mess) has been affected.

Regardless of how "strict" Mark Richt has decided to become, the question Bulldog fans should be asking themselves is whether your team will be better off having these players on the roster for a year (or so), with all of their warts, or would you rather have players who may not look quite so good (physically) on paper, but you can be pretty confident they'll contribute to the team for 3-4 years.

If the number was lower, like 10 or 12 over the past four years, I'm sure this wouldn't have become such a national issue, but I think having this many disciplinary issues (we haven't even discussed classroom issues), then I think Kirk's comments were fair game. It wasn't something many of you haven't expressed many times on these very blogs yourselves.

tyger
tyger

That was dumb...


If they had more money, they'd spend more money????


They have NO money, that's why they stole the $70.00!!!


Your analogy better fits professionals that burn thru money....


These kids are BROKE....and desperate apparently...


The extra $70 they tried to squeeze is going to cost alot more now...


But then again, who hasn't bounced a check?

Iluvnutella
Iluvnutella

Dumb kids...........Imma Jacket fan, but I dot think we should blame Richt. Drew Butler told a local radio show that the players go to character development classes during the week and know better. I think the kids should make restitution, publicly apologize, un stadium steps til they drop and not dress for Clemson. I really don't think they understand the embarrassment they caused UGA either...maybe they do. f I can get in one dg, I DO like what Rome said on his show. "If UGA is going to recruit criminals, at least they should be playing for National Championships." Gotta admit that's a good one! GO Jackets!

forexbomb
forexbomb

@Dawg350


Proving that there is NO such thing as a smart UGA football fan... Priceless...  If your statement were not so sad, it would be funny...

Dawg350
Dawg350

UGA will win the Natty in 2014! I'm good looking and all the women in this state want me! My wife worships the ground I walk on. We own our own business. I'm built like a Greek gawd! I have money in the bank! Their is nothing finer in the land than a drunk&obnoxious UGA fan! Go dawgs sic em! 15-0 baby! Book it!

Dawg350
Dawg350

You moron trolls! Let me tell y'all something! The 4 guys will not see any prison time over this.....and they will not see one day of probation over this either. Probably just have to pay a court fine. So give up you stupid trolls!

mcsteveb
mcsteveb

Seriously?? CMR is to blame- for recruiting morons and thugs. Not only do they underperform on the field, but they embarrass the institution. We're even worse than Miami at this point….


MontanaDawg
MontanaDawg

And to add to my last comment...NO, CMR is definitely not to be blamed for these kids actions. This is simply knowing the difference between right and wrong, and everyone knows these guys absolutely knew how wrong this act was from the beginning. You learn this kind of stuff a long time ago.

MontanaDawg
MontanaDawg

As a Bulldog fan and alum these players are a complete embarrassment to the team and the school at large and should receive the harshest punishment possible. We have got to show these players that they are not above the law. Not only is the act one of the stupidest things I have EVER heard someone do, the act in itself was criminal whether or not the checks were big or small. And Herbstreit is very wrong on this one: UGA's disciplinary actions in the past under Richt have been pretty harsh. I don't think CMR is a pushover. You'd think these players would have all gotten that message by now, seeing so many of their cohorts suspended over and over again or kicked off the team outright over the past several years. I can assure you they are not representative of the total student body, but they do still make us all look bad.

TheRealJDW
TheRealJDW

It was stupid and Hebstreit is an a$$.  How someone with background from that state school in Ohio can toss slings is beyond me.

kerryb
kerryb

Kirk Hebstreit can kiss my behind.  Could care less what this moron says.  There is a reason why he had to flee his home state of Ohio for Nashville, Tn.  Even OSU fans got tired of his mouth.

SvenOttke
SvenOttke

In the real world, these young men would be fired and prosecuted.  Richt says they didn't something foolish. What a joke.

DapperDanDawg
DapperDanDawg

At least we know UGA isn't paying their players.  The measley sum of $71 wouldn't be worth an Auburn player's time.

Princess_Leia
Princess_Leia

Those four punks probably thought they were really clever guys to do the double deposit thing. And they had to know it was illegal, but they didn't care. It's just one more of many, many examples of the kind of no-class lowlifes that Richt has always recruited and always will.


There's no end to it.


Anyone have the latest Fulmer Cup standings?

HowlinDawg
HowlinDawg

@GT71  Isn't Georgia Tech the school that had to forfeit games due to academic hijinks? 


Just saying. 

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@GT71 Your going to get 350 stirred up with that post.

BigTimeJacketFan
BigTimeJacketFan

@JacketMan  Before we get too "holier than thou" out here, we need to remember that, sometime in the near future, the verdict is going to come down on Javaris, which makes all the rest of this stuff pale in comparison.  I guess we can lay it on Hewitt, but it is still off the charts.

Schleydawg
Schleydawg

@JacketMan Your numbers are king of fuzzy.  30% possibly if all of the arrests happen over 1 year.  You must take into account the 85 is over 4 years.  The percentage would be around 7%.  Just a little math help from a Georgia grad. 

tyger
tyger

These boys didn't kill anybody...

Didn't rob a bank or liquor store...


They bounced their $70 stipend check...


Which is ridiculous considering the millions...

UGA rakes in every weekend off of them...

GT71
GT71

@tyger not desperate, just stupid.

Not broke, just criminal-minded.  It's what is being created in HS and in homes of a culture that does not prize honor.

Domina8r
Domina8r

@tyger  Poor excuse.  You're type of thinking excuses this behavior.

DHJohnson
DHJohnson

not all criminals are good athletes?  go dawgs... go jackets... is liking both teams acceptable??

Dawg350
Dawg350

My statement is better than anything you got going on your pathetic miserable disgusting life.

dgroy
dgroy

@Dawg350 And you have an enormous EGO; however.......no, I'm not gonna say it :>)  dawgs will be 6-6, will lose to arch rival GT in last game and afterwards, CMR will be fired for gross incompetence

Domina8r
Domina8r

@Dawg350  Man!  You probably would turn down winning lottery ticket!  You have it made.

Domina8r
Domina8r

@kerryb  I'm sure KHERB is really floored.  I'm pretty sure he was looking for your endorsement.

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

LOL...The OSU fans were mad because he spoke the truth about their program much like you! You can't handle the truth.

andrech3
andrech3

@Princess_Leia did you not read the article? All the players we kicked off were immediately sucked up by other SEC programs. Are we supposed to believe that all of those "punks" as you call them stop being punks when they left UGA? Hardly, the other schools cover this crap up! Just like your stupid comments should be!

GT_Speck
GT_Speck

@Schleydawg @JacketManActually both your numbers are fuzzy. Given 85 scholarship players on a team at once and assuming those are evenly distributed over 4 graduating classes at any given time, that's 22.25 per graduating year, which means that in 4 years (including those who are still in school) you'd have 7 graduating classes included on the team for a total of about 156 scholarship athletes having been on the team at any given time over the most recent 4-year period. With 25 having been arrested, you get an arrest percentage of about 17%.

Maybe this should be a new team stat for college football - Percentage of Scholarship Arrests (PSA).

Dawg350
Dawg350

Wooly

Give it up....nobody care you south Alabama redneck!

SvenOttke
SvenOttke

@DawgNole @SvenOttke The fact that these kids, after stealing from the school, are still students is the joke.  What are you, the typing and grammar police?

FlatTire
FlatTire

@GT_Speck @Schleydawg@JacketMan does Tech still play Div I football?  I was just wondering since a school with such smart athletes seem to continue to have a problem beating a  bunch of so called dummy's every year