Georgia Bulldogs Extend Contracts for Mark Richt and Todd Grantham

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So happy together.

(UPDATE: The AJC’s Chip Towers is reporting that Mark Richt “is not receiving merely a contract extension, but a whole new deal.“)

Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal Constitution is reporting that the University of Georgia has agreed to a contract extension with both Georgia football head coach Mark Richt, as well as defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. Both men had banner years in 2011, guiding Georgia to its first ten win season since 2008. Mark Richt’s new deal extends his current longest running SEC head coach tenure until at least 2016. Hopefully Todd Grantham will stay between the hedges for the duration of his extended deal, which expires in 2014.

This news is cause for celebration in Bulldog Nation. Todd Grantham’s defense was one of the best in the country this past season and it could get even better if certain players would learn to stay out of trouble. Both Sanders Commings and Branden Smith have had good careers on the field at Georgia. Now, they must show that they can be productive members of the community off the football field, and earn back their silver britches so they can finish their respective careers at Georgia on a high note.

Five seasons is an eternity in today’s college football landscape. Mark Richt has gone from hot seat to hot streak in the past two years alone. With questions surrounding Mike Bobo’s ability to be an effective play caller in big games one has to wonder what, if anything, was said about Georgia’s offense during negotiations between Mark Richt and Greg McGarity. It is admirable to have faith in your coordinators when you are winning. However, loyalty is often seen as foolish when it does not translate to success on the field. Here’s hoping that McGarity encouraged Richt to play a bigger role in offensive game planning, and that the idea of a special teams coach came up at some point.

The time is now for the Georgia Bulldogs to compete for a national title. The SEC has ruled college football for the last six years, but the Bulldogs have not won a national title since Herschel Walker’s playing days. Mark Richt came to Athens hot off of his success as Florida State’s offensive guru under Bobby Bowden. Coach Richt has had a lot of success in Athens, but in order for his legacy to stand the test of time he must lead Bulldog Nation to a national championship.

Mark Richt NCAA Violation – The Best NCAA Infraction In The History of College Football

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Jolly Old Saint Richt.

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.

Georgia Bulldog Football in 2011 and Beyond

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The long wait begins again for a Saturday in Athens.

As the college football calender shifts to bowl season, the 2011 Georgia Bulldog football campaign has been a memorable one. From those horrendous power ranger Nike Pro Combat Uniforms to winning the SEC East, this year has been a roller coaster ride for Bulldog Nation. Georgia improved from 6-6 in 2010, to 10-3 in 2011. The Dawgs will have a chance to add to their 4 game improvement against the Spartans of Michigan State on January 2, 2012. Continue reading