Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Can Richt cling to his core, and will that work in the SEC?

This column was published in The Albany Journal
by Mike Flynn

A friend attended the UGA event at Doublegate last week. This friend knows little about football or the dynamics of the SEC coaching world. When I ask for an opinion of what Coach Richt had to say, this person said, "Coach Richt is very devout, but I got the feeling he is focused on ministering to his team more than coaching them."

In the big picture how do you complain about that? How do you knock a man for putting God first, and football second? You simply can not, but let's examine where all this may be headed.

No one on Earth questions the man's principles, but there are growing signs that the desire to coach a high profile Division I program no longer exist in him.

Just look at some statements made by Richt. In a recent interview with Chip Towers, Georgia beat writer for the AJC, Richt said his family was living at their Lake Hartwell home for the summer. He went on the say how he enjoyed the commute of about one hour because it gave time to think about things other than football.

Sounds logical for your average Joe, but in a league where Sabans roam the sidelines and devour time by watching tape and working 70 hours a week, this mentality will not get you to the top. Nor will your AD making more time in your schedule so you can "study football".

While the man's principle must be admired, the time is coming for the coach to make the ultimate display to back up what he says. The University of Georgia has paid Richt over $25-million in his tenure. If Richt is truly what he says, principled, he will honestly evaluate his level of desire to be a football coach.

After the Bulldog nation has enriched the man and made it possible for him to evolve into his current altruistic form, he owes it to UGA to step down if he does not have the drive to give what is needed to do the job.

Team Chaplins don't get paid $3-million a year in the SEC, and many good men have been terminated for falling just a bit short. Just ask Bill Curry.

Same old story, nice guys finish last. Richt is not another Jim Tressel, or wolf in sheep's clothing. He's the real deal, but in a league where coaches over sign, offer pay for play, and burn out after two championships, can this type of man deliver. Can he hold to his core while Central Florida embarrasses the Dog Nation?

I did an informal poll and asked a few fans about the current coaching situation. My question was would you prefer a man of principle and devotion with a 2-8 record versus Florida, or an abrasive sinner that mops the Jacksonville turf with Gator guts?

The response was overwhelming and you know what they picked.

I have a theory that Richt knows it is time to for him to move on, but being the man he is, doesn't want to leave UGA down and out after a 6-7 season and disappointing bowl loss to Central Florida. I predict he will attempt to right the ship this year, then step down with the program on the up swing.

He is far too principled to stick around for a buyout or ride out a contract for money. That behavior would not be Christian like. Sticking around just for the dollars when you know you aren't delivering on your side of the agreement, is not something this man will do.



  1. Well I've read a lot of opinions about Richt and whether or not he deserves to stay. This is the first time I've encountered this particular angle. Me, I'll take Richt as long as he is willing to stay. Florida be damned. I attended UGA during the Vince and Erk era. We routinely thrashed the Gators. I wish we still did. But I could not stand to see a Tressell like situation unfold at Georgia no matter how many wins we might have. I'd rather have a clean program.

  2. Funny that a man with a strong Christian background all of a sudden after one bad yr is ready to step down shortly. Come on man, you have no idea what this man has in his mind.

  3. Anonymous... you are absolutely correct I have no idea what CMR is thinking, that's why I called it a theory.