|Senior Baccari Rambo against LSU in the 2011 SEC Championship game.|
The suspensions for the players, something that UGA has not confirmed or denied to the media or announced on its own, will be at least two games, and could be as many as the first four games of the 2012 season for Rambo. These are games against Buffalo, Missouri, Florida Atlantic and Vanderbilt. Georgia had the nation’s #5 ranked defense last season and who was once hopeful of a dominant season with 10 starters returning, will face these two suspensions. These occur along with the suspensions of two other starters. Both corner-backs, Sanders Commings and Branden Smith have been suspended for at least two games for simple battery and disorderly conduct and a marijuana possession in March, respectively. Vanderbilt was barely a win for the Georgia Bulldawgs last year, and Missouri has two of the best wide receivers in the newly expanded SEC.
These suspensions, coupled with the DUI arrest of former Bulldawg and NFL prospect Orson Charles and the releasing of three football players, WR Sanford Seay, DB Chris Sanders and DB Nick Marshall in January for stealing from a teammate.
Another troubled off season, following a Mark Richt contract extention. This does not bode will for Richt, Grantham, or what Athletic Director Greg McGarity wants for the football team. Discipline has been a huge problem in the last few football seasons for Georgia. The 11 arrests or disciplinary actions that had to be taken on football players in 2010 does not seem to matter to these young men who continue to believe they can skirt around the rules. This is the second suspension for Rambo and Ogletree. Rambo actually apologized to media last season after returning from his Boise State suspension.
How long is McGarity, who has not commented on the news of these suspensions, going to continue to let these types of situations happen with slaps on the wrist? Players at other schools get suspended, yes, but they have the leadership from the top, for Alabama for example, that a slap on the wrist probably won’t come the second time. When the coach is known as no nonsense, like Nick Saban is, there is little room for misdeeds off the field. Teams that win championships don’t have guys getting into the same situations repeatedly. Mark Richt, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham would not or could not be reached comment, with Richt not talking to the media until Saturday; Athletic Association spokesman Claude Felton said yesterday, “responding later to an email, said he did not have any information regarding Wednesday’s report” according the the AJC.COM on yesterday.
|Alec Ogletree is a repeat offender.|
And here is where Georgia is in a bind. Vanderbilt is out for blood, and will want to beat the Dawgs in Athens on September 22. With Georgia as Missouri’s first SEC home game on September 8 in Columbia, Missouri will be trying to prove themselves and now are even more poised to pull an upset. The spring practice experimentation rising sophomore Malcom Mitchell to cornerback now sounds like a legitimate consideration a G-Day looms,but won’t the offense need his presence as a pass catcher to Aaron Murray? The Rambos, Ogletrees, Commings and Smith could learn from the selflessness of a Malcom Mitchell, who was recruited to be a stand out wide receiver now puts his slim frame in the backfield of the defense.
What will it take for the Georgia coaching staff to truly get their boys in order? What will it take for Georgia officials, fans, football players and supporters to realize that no matter how talented your recruiting class or returning starters are, it takes more than a swagger to think you can win games and win championships, especially with the climate of college football as it is. Georgia will not repeat as SEC East champions and contend for the SEC if it does not get its act together.
There is an old saying that crap rolls downhill. Father figure Mark Richt needs to bring down some tough love for these guys, for the 2012 football season already seems to be out of reach as far as winning big is concerned. Since the 2010 roster, there have been 19 departures or suspensions of key players. The AJC’s Chip Towers compiles a list on one of his posts here .
|When he does speak, is he going to say the same ol “Boys will be boys, we will take care of it in house” he says EVERYTIME someone gets in trouble? That cannot be enough anymore.|
And it’s only March. While all of Dawg Nation gets laughed at, as fellow SEC Jams Georgia Writer Dawg Day Blog wrote yesterday, the fan base begins to get fed up with the selfishness and the immaturity of those brought to campus to be student athletes. This will ultimately bring Richt and the structure of the football program down.
Information, quotes and photos used for this post are from The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Seth Emerson’s Bulldog Blog via The Macon Telegraph, The Bleacher Report, Dawgsports.com, Dawgpost.com, The Chattanooga Times Free Press and ESPN.COM.