Richt questioned about off-the-field problems

HOOVER, AL – Mark Richt's session at Media Days was not as brutal as Phillip Fulmer's was, but the head coach spent a significant amount of his time addressing the Bulldogs' off-the-field problems from this summer.

Richt, who has strung together three consecutive ten-win seasons and three consecutive top ten seasons, had steady questions about Georgia's discipline and academic issues. Of Georgia's 19 signees from the Class of 2005 only 13 will be playing for the Dawgs this fall. Several players, one no longer with the team, were arrested during the off-season in incidents ranging from bar room fights to traffic violations to a DUI.

All of that lead to several questions from the assembled media about the events of the off-season. Richt was asked eight times, in one form or another, about the off-the-field difficulties of his program – taking up nearly a third of his time. At one point, he indicated that most of his duties as head coach do not actually involve coaching.

"Maybe 25 percent of what I do is coaching football," said Richt after being asked about his role as head coach.

When asked by this reporter if this was "the most difficult summer since he arrived in Athens" Richt responded: "It was not as relaxing of a summer as I would have liked it to be personally."

Richt is not the only Dawg burdened by the trouble of this past off-season. "It's really been disappointing," said senior defensive tackle Gerald Anderson of the summer's distractions. Anderson and fellow senior Max Jean-Gilles were in town for the event as well.

When asked, Richt said that his program is addressing the off-the-field issues – trying to stop the problems before they start.

"I'd have to say we have got to be in the top ten in the country of being proactive about (solving off-the-field issues)," said Richt.

Tennessee and South Carolina have also struggled this summer and off-season with off-the-field problems.

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