Mark Richt began his 2011 campaign as one of the most polarizing figures in Athens, Georgia. After a ten win season and a fourth SEC East division title, his public approval rating would be hard pressed to get any higher as the year comes to a close. However, following an NCAA violation the head coach of Georgia Bulldog football has again managed to enhance his nice guy reputation.
Chip Towers of The Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) reports that Mark Richt has incurred some secondary NCAA violations–for paying coaches and support staff members on his own football team. Richt felt they were not being paid enough by the University of Georgia for their contributions. Given the economic climate in this country over the past few years as well as the warm seat that Mr. Richt had been on this has to be considered the best violation in the history of University of Georgia athletics.
Here is an example from the AJC article that details Mark Richts’ generosity just in time for the holiday season. “Richt paid former recruiting assistant Charlie Cantor out of his own pocket after determining that Cantor was underpaid for his position compared to comparable programs against whom Georgia competed.” The article notes that Richt asked UGA to give Cantor a raise first, and he then paid Cantor $10,842 over an 11 month period ending in 2011, after then athletic director Damon Evans denied his request.
The wonders of the National Collegiate Athletic Association never cease to amaze, as apparently Georgia was supposed to let a five year old child go hungry to avoid a secondary violation. The AJC notes that the University paid $21.33 for two meals for Tyriq Gurley, who is the five year old brother of 2012 running back prospect Todd Gurley. The Gurley family has reimbursed UGA for the expense.
So a five year old is supposed to see his older brother get something to eat on a family trip, but he is not allowed to have any of the food? Sure NCAA, that makes a lot of sense. So Georgia bought the kid a few Happy Meals and an ice cream cone. Georgia was just showing their southern hospitality to the Gurley family. Refusing to buy a kindergarten age kid a few meals would have been heinous. Georgia should take that “violation” with a smile.
Santa Claus has nothing on coach Mark Richt this holiday season. Georgia’s head coach has proven that he rewards hard work not only with loyalty, but with compensation out of his own pocket as well. Hopefully the head coach has a national championship left somewhere in his bag of goodies.
- Reverses Don’t Work Against Good Football Teams – Mark Richt and Coaching the Dawgs
- Georgia Bulldog Football in 2011 and Beyond
- Georgia-Ole Miss 2011 – A Tale of Two Fourth and One Calls By Mark Richt
- Memorable Moments of the Mark Richt Era (Part One)
- Memorable Moments of The Mark Richt Era (Part Two)