No Complaining Allowed in Athens

ATHENS – In a way Georgia coach Mark Richt had heard enough.

The 11th-year coach gathered his team up and gave them white wristbands with a simple statement: "No Complaints".

"It's about everyone coming together as a team, and not complaining about the workouts or practice," sophomore linebacker Alec Ogletree said of the white bands with black lettering.

The move by Richt is a follow up to the team's summer reading – The Energy Bus by Jon Gordan – about "being positive, and when guys are not they are called energy vampires."

"It talks about how to stay focused and how to come together as one," senior defensive end DeAngelo Tyson said. "Coach Richt came up with the "No Complaining" bands. He said that there's no complaining. The only way you can complain is if there is a solution. If you complain, and you have a solution – that's OK. But there's no whining."

Several players indicated that complaining in general has gone down.

"The whole team has gone on board the ‘no complaining' thing,'" junior defensive end Abry Jones said. "I think a lot of guys – it's a constant reminder – and they take it to heart. I think, so far, you really have not heard anyone complain."

"I think through the first five days of camp the complaint level has gone drastically," senior punter Drew Butler said.

Butler went on to say that Richt's wristbands, which are ever-present on the practice field, made sense. The team's sense of urgency this fall is as a result of poor results the last two years. The "no complaining" wristbands seem to drive home the urgency of the 2011 campaign.

"The entire team has the mindset that it's now or never. Everyone knows the situation we are in," Butler admitted. "We have to bring a new level of intensity and a new level of energy every single day at practice for us to be effective on game day. We 6-7 last year, and 8-5 the year before. We haven't been where we've wanted to be. We've lost close games. We haven't finished the fourth quarter. It's now or never. As a senior I definitely know that, but from the senior leaders to the incoming freshmen – we all know that it's this year or bust. I think everyone has bought into ‘no complaints', and it's helped us out a lot."

"The wristband just reminds us," Jones said. "If someone complains – you see a lot of people getting on top of them about it. They are reminded of what we are trying to do, and are told not to bring the team down with a whole bunch of complaining."

CB Brandon Boykin with his "No Complaining" wristband. (Fletcher Page/Dawg Post)

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