Monday Dawg Post UGA News & Notes

ATHENS - Mark Richt spoke publicly for the first time on Tuesday about accusations from the Freedom From Religion Foundation that Richt and chaplain Kevin “Chappy” Hynes are imposing “their personal religion on players” in a coercive way.

The group sent a letter a letter to UGA president Jere Morehead asking them to abolish the position of team chaplain.

“We’re at a secular university,” said Richt, a devout Christian. “I understand that. We don’t try to make anybody believe a certain way at all. Anything that has to do with the spirit is strictly voluntary and never has any bearing on somebody’s ability to play at Georgia. It’s always been that way.”

Richt said he encourages his players to grow spiritually.

“I think we’re made of our body, we’re made of our mind, we’re made of spirit,” he said. “We work hard on our bodies as far as getting them in shape and working on schemes and plays and lifting and running and all the things that we do: nutrition and sleep. We work on the mind. We care very much about them getting their degrees. We’ve got the tutoring and academic appointments and classes and all and our segment meetings and all those things of that nature, and all those things are mandatory. But anything that has to do with growing spiritually… I don’t tell them what to believe.”

This and that

Quayvon Hicks is working as Georgia’s top fullback, Brown said. Christian Payne, who was working at No. 1 at the position, has returned to practice after being out with a leg injury, Brown said. “He’s got a shot,” Brown said. Hicks, who is in line to be the top fullback, has also gotten tailback work in practice, Richt said. “We learn every year, but a year ago, that depth chart can change in a hurry. You’ve just got to keep getting as many guys prepared as possible.”

Inside linebacker Reggie Carter was missing from practice for the second straight day with an undisclosed injury.

Brown will be the lone full-time offensive assistant in the press-box on game days. “So if you see a chair flying, that’s probably going to be me.” Brown has been on the field at his previous coaching stops. Told that former offensive coordinator Mike Bobo was very vocal up there, Brown said “You’ll probably hear me, too. Don’t judge me because of it.”

Richt said that freshman Jonathan Ledbetter, who returned to practice from a knee injury, “is pretty questionable,” for Saturday.

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