Donnan was not a player's coach

Monday revealed that Jim Donnan was not a player's coach. Georgia held its annual preseason press conference Monday and several players had less than flattering comments about their former coach.

The loudest critic of Donnan was Jasper Sanks. This is not surprising considering their rocky past. Donnan threatened Sanks with a permanent move from tailback to fullback in the spring of 2000 due to Sanks' weight. When Sanks fulfilled his obligation and lost the weight before the season he remained at tailback for a few games but was moved, at least in a part time role, to fullback. Currently Sanks is having trouble with his weight again, but Mark Richt has not threatened moving Sanks.

Sanks was quoted as saying, "Honesty and truth weren't really in this program the years I've experienced it." The remark is no doubt a direct shot at Donnan for the incident that occurred in the spring of 2000.

Other players and members of the Georgia family were not ashamed to share their feelings about Donnan's departure. Loran Smith, long time mover and shaker in the Georgia community, said that Donnan would avoid acknowledging fans and their stories about former games. Smith was informed Donnan's possible firing a week before it happened, and this reporter can tell you that it was probably all that he could handle not jumping through the roof of his office at the Bulldog Club when he learned of the soon to be dismissal of Donnan.

It is typical for schools and players to point out the negatives involved with a former coach. But in this case it is critical for the truth, as the players see it, be heard in regards to Donnan. He was not a player's coach, and if he was, it was to only the few players that he chose to be good to.

I realize that other former players might have opposing opinions of Donnan, thinking that, in their judgment, he was outstanding. But, the feelings of all of the players are not always known. This is because the media does not always have access to the "disgruntled" athletes, only to the ones that will tow the company line. And even if a "disgruntled" athlete steps before a mic, he might not be free to speak his mind.


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