Richt: Internet not all bad

BIRMINGHAM – At today's session of the SEC's annual Media Days, Georgia head coach Mark Richt said that the college football Internet community is not all bad. Some of his peers in the coaching industry, however, disagree.

"I hate to admit it, but I think some of the Internet conversations on recruiting are healthy for (Georgia)," said Richt. "If a kid is going to go to any given school and just spill the beans as to everything that has happened while he was there, I think there's more accountability for (recruiters)."

There are two major Internet companies that cover collegiate sports as well as recruiting on the Internet –, which Dawg Post is a part of, and Some independent websites cover recruiting as well, but those two networks are considered the leaders in the industry.

"I think in the recruiting area, it's just part of life that you are going to have going on," Richt said.

While Richt's comments about the Internet were mostly positive, his main recruiter has not felt the same about it recently. In an interview during Sugar Bowl practices, Georgia recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner expressed his concern about "recruiting services" and their weight in the recruiting process.

"I think with the pressure and the Internet that recruits get beat down a little bit. You've got four or five recruiting services calling these kids every night," Garner said. "It gets old – it really does. It's not the coaches wearing the players out--it's the other people."

Garner is not the only coach who has been critical of the Internet and message boards.

"You have to dispel rumors while you are building a program," said Kentucky head coach Rich Brooks, who has had to deal with criticism on the Internet because of the Wildcats' struggles on the gridiron. "I hope our players are smart enough not to go in there," he said.

Brooks went as far as to say that today's mainstream media is influenced by Internet message boards.

"Media today is sometimes driven by Internet message boards," Brooks declared. "Is it a factor? Hell, yes, it's a distraction."

Still, Richt was surprisingly positive about the internet. The Georgia head coach, who rarely brings up the Internet, was not ready to throw the Internet industry under the bus.

"Message boards are only a distraction if you read them," Richt said. "I learned a long time ago not to get onto those boards. You may feel good sometimes after reading them, but usually you will get your feelings hurt."

Richt continued, saying he's satisfied with reporting on the Internet because it can keep recruiting as honest as possible.

"If a program is trying to do things that they ought not to be doing, there is a darn good chance that a recruit is going to say it. I think it's healthy for our league and the country as a whole," he said.

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