Herbstreit Misses the Mark with Tweet

ATHENS – The usual reaction started after an off-season arrest at Georgia.

It was expected, but I was disappointed to see ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit tweet the following from his account:

"Clearly some of the UGA players take advantage of Coach Richts forgiving heart. No fear of the consequences leads to ongoing shananagins."

I like Herbstreit. I think he does a good job. I think he's a nice person. He's been totally cool in person when I have been around him.

I am going to give Herbstreit a pass on the fact that he links to a bleacherreport.com "report" that incorrectly states that "Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald originally obtained the police report." The police report is not yet available... but I digress.

I think, too, that he falls into the easy narrative that is the non-nuanced look at college sports. It was the same line of thinking that gave us "Aaron Murray can't win a big game" coming into the 2013 season.

It's disappointing – not as disappointing as James Deloach, Tray Matthews, Jonathan Taylor and Uriah LeMay's childish behavor in getting arrested – but disappointing nonetheless.

Make no mistake: this commentary is not about letting those four off the hook. If they did what the police have accused them of they are wrong. They chose to put themselves in this situation. They were the selfish ones. They are the only reason I am writing this right now.

That is fact.

But what happens, and I think we all do this in the media (and that doesn't make it right), is to lump any off-season arrest into the camp that a particular coach is soft on his players. We, as it turns out, are pretty lazy when it comes to details.

In Georgia's case its always Mark Richt's fault that the players are doing something wrong off the field – he's "lost control" of the program.




Mark Richt has no more "lost control" of the program at Georgia as Nick Marshall, Zach Mettenberger, Isaiah Crowell or Josh Harvey-Clemons still slip on Silver Britches.

It is funny - Richt doesn't get the benifit of those star players still being on his roster, but he gets criticized for what they did before he kicked them off? If he's soft wouldn't he just leave them on the team? Don't you think Crowell would have been useful about mid-season in 2013? Marshall would have been a much better third-year defensive back for the Bulldogs than the rookies they had in the secondary.

Richt, who is not perfect, can't win. He throws players out of his program, but is never given credit for having standards.

It can't be both.

What Herbstreit missed in his quick-trigger tweet is that while he might not think there is a "fear of the consequences" at Georgia there are actual consequences at Georgia… like you are no longer with the team if you screw up enough.

So let's get two things straight – 1. The four selfish individuals who were more interested in themselves than the program will be punished one way or the other… that will happen. 2. College football's media should have a better understanding of what actually happens in Athens… not what they think happens there.

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