Jeff Schultz blog 

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

LIVE BLOG: Expect Georgia to open with win

  • 2:49 pm Saturday, August 30th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
The only certainty about Georgia's secondary: Champ Bailey won't start.

ATHENS — Hello. It’s hot. As I type this it’s 90 degrees in Athens but it feels like a 137 with the humidity. It’s days like this when I think a beer, ice bucket and deodorant concession stand would do quite well.

Anyway, onto the game of the day: Georgia vs. Clemson. I sat in the Clemson press box a year ago at this time expecting the Bulldogs to open with a defeat. The Bulldogs’ defense was missing Josh Harvey-Clemons and several other players because of either injury or suspensions. The Tigers had some of the nation’s best talent on offense, [More]

Richt, Pruitt justified in making changes

  • 8:51 am Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Jeremy Pruitt has been given free rein to fix Georgia's defense. (Curtis Compton, AJC)

There are two absolutes when a college athlete is dismissed from a team: 1) The player did something wrong (probably more than once); 2) The coach did something right.

Given Georgia coach Mark Richt has dismissed safety Tray Matthews for unspecified reasons, the third high-profile exit from his team’s defense this offseason. This should confirm that the let’s-give-him-one-more-chance mentality that used to exist in Athens is officially dead and buried.

Richt’s statement on Matthews’ exit was brief but said enough: “We are trying to make room for guys who want to do things right.”

UPDATE: Matthews addresses his dismissal: He admits he caused [More]

Holiday 6-pack: Will Nats close on Braves?

  • 12:01 pm Monday, May 26th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
The Braves' B.J. Upton is reaching base more and striking out less. Honest. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

Good morning. This is the day to celebrate our true heroes. Memorial Day began as a day to honor the soldiers who died in the Civil War but now serves to recognize all Americans who died while in the military. This isn’t a day for politics. To borrow from Mark Twain: “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”

And now, on the backside of this barbecue weekend, a six-pack of thoughts on a six-pack of teams:

1. Braves: Keep an eye on Washington

The Braves are showing signs of coming out of their offensive rut, [More]

More arrests at Georgia, and Herbstreit jumps Richt

  • 10:04 am Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
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 [More]

Georgia’s Pruitt: ‘I feel like this is championship staff’

  • 1:59 pm Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Jeremy Pruitt was given an ovation when he met with Georgia players.

ATHENS — Mark Richt walked into the team meeting room at the Butts-Mehre building Wednesday, scanned the crammed line of television cameras, photographers and media members filling several rows of seats in the room and said, “Wow. Must be a big day here.”

The fact the hiring of an assistant football coach could draw this kind of attention was kind of, yes, amusing. But the hiring of Jeremy Pruitt from national champion Florida State is kind of a big deal for defensively challenged Georgia. He didn’t help the Bulldogs win a game at his introduction but his words struck the right [More]

Pruitt’s one great year a risk worth taking for Georgia

  • 2:52 pm Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz

Home run.

The mixing of sports metaphors notwithstanding, that was my initial reaction when our Chip Towers broke the news that Georgia was hiring Florida State’s Jeremy Pruitt as its new defensive coordinator.

Now, it should be noted that Pruitt’s hiring comes with some risk. He has had a meteoric rise in the coaching profession. He was coaching high school football only seven years ago (Hoover, Ala.). He followed that with six years at Alabama under Nick Saban (three years as director of player development, three as defensive backs coach). Then came one year as the defensive coordinator at Florida State.

One. [More]